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Twist Trail

The Twist Trail lies in a badlands area at the base of the mountains east of Richfield. The area is shared with motorcycles and ATVs. The loop ride described here is 6 miles with 500 vertical feet of climbing, starting at the race loop parking. The usual riding season is April through November. 

Looking down the Twist. Photos and ride recon June 1 and 2, 2018 by Bruce.

Side routes may create some confusion, so unless you're navigating with GPS, the ride must be considered a navigation adventure. You may not make exactly the ride you intended. There are several competing routes that look very much like Twist. Most of them will, however, deliver you to the same place eventually. 

Looking uphill, about 1/2 mile down the Twist. Smooth twisting ribbon.

First, get to the top. From the Race Loop parking (see below), go northeast to the powerline doubletrack. Turn left and climb gently uphill. It will roll through a badland area, then meet the main dirt road at mile 1.3 from the trailhead. Turn hard left onto the road. Go about 100 yards south, then turn uphill 90 degrees to the right and stop on a small rise. Look to see if you're in the right spot.

Northbound on the powerline doubletrack.

The correct location will look like the photo at right. Twist heads straight west as a broad smooth rolling doubletrack. About 1/10th mile away, you'll may spot singletrack on a fin of colorful dirt. That's the Skyline trail, an alternate more-techy option.

View down the throat from the top of Twist. If you don't see this, you're in the wrong place.

If, as you roll up onto the small rise, you see singletrack immediately on your left -- and the doubletrack seems more "road-ish" than ATV-ish, you're at North Canyon. See the photo at right. That's what you DO NOT want to see. You need to backtrack about 1/4 mile. Unless your intention is to ride down North Canyon.

Looking south from the entry to North Canyon. Different ride. North Canyon is a lot like Twist, but is not Twist. Also has a singletrack ridgeline option. (The ridgeline ST splits and drops a line to each canyon, but I haven't pedaled it. So I can't tell you whether it's cushy or hairy.)

OK. You found Twist. 100 yards later, it's decision time. Fork left on mildly-spooky ridgeline singletrack for the Skyline ride (which will rejoin Twist after 0.7 miles), or keep straight for a smooth rolling twisting trip down the gully.

On Skyline heading southwest. Very fun. There were 3 uphills where I had to get off and push 20-30 feet.

Your next decision point comes in 0.7 miles (whichever route you took). As Skyline drops to Twist, a left turn continues with Twist. Straight down the throat of the wash takes you to North Canyon. You can use the North Canyon dirt road to climb back out to the powerline road if you need to abort.

100 yards later, Twist goes straight west; a techier ridgeline alternate goes south on your left.

Looking west on Twist at a critical navigation spot. At my back is the end of Skyline; to my right is the part of Twist I've already done. Straight ahead is the way downhill for the loop ride.

As you're approaching the bottom of the valley, the ridgeline alternate and Twist rejoin. Then North Canyon comes in from the right just when it looks like you've run out of hill and must ride straight into the valley.

The combined Twist and North Canyon now turn south to skirt the edge of the hill.

Almost to the bottom. Still heading west.

There are some competing doubletracks here as well. But as long as you're going south, they should rejoin. Some will take you up a ridge and drop you back down the next little ridge. In general, try to stay level and straight-ish.

Southbound, just uphill from the valley's edge.

The dirt road will curve around gradually to the east. When you're on the edge of a farm, you're almost there. Keep heading east and skip the first canyon on your left. The doubletrack looks nice, but it will get (briefly) push-a-bike steep. But if you committed to it, it will get you there.

Beginning to turn to the east now. When you see this rock-squeeze, you know you're on the right path.

The next canyon is a more sane climb. The trail is occasionally doubletrack, sometimes singletrack. Climb north until you reach flat terrain. Turn right when you hit doubletrack and pedal east to the main gravel road. (Or, you can hook up with the race loop for your return.)

The correct canyon (looking back downhill). Lots of brush; a bit of protruding rock in the slope of the canyon walls; the wash wiggles back and forth.

Riding notes, counterclockwise loop:
0.0   Northwest from parking N38 46.824 W111 57.570
0.2   L on powerline road N38 46.956 W111 57.384
1.3   Hard L on main road N38 47.848 W111 57.505
        100 yards south, then R N38 47.807 W111 57.532
1.4   R for Twist (ST on L = Skyline) N38 47.823 W111 57.618
2.1   Straight N38 47.584 W111 58.170
        (Skyline joins on L, R = to N Canyon)
2.2   Straight (R=ridgeline alt) N38 47.587 W111 58.228
2.7   Keep R (ridgeline alt joins on L) N38 47.463 W111 58.587
3.0   North Canyon joins on R, keep straight N38 47.612 W111 58.714
3.1   Fork L (R = alternate) N38 47.535 W111 58.804
3.4   Alternate rejoins, keep L N38 47.256 W111 58.701
4.2   Keep R (L = alternate climb) N38 46.835 W111 58.448
4.5   Veer L and north into canyon N38 46.673 W111 58.239
5.2   R on DT N38 47.104 W111 58.001
5.5   R on main road N38 47.144 W111 57.608
5.9   Back at parking
Getting there:
On Main Street in Richfield, turn east on 300 North. This is Utah Highway 118, old US Highway 89. After 0.9 miles, Highway 118 turns north. Keep straight to the single lane that becomes Highway 119. Continue straight east and in about 4 miles the road will veer a bit right and climb up the hill. At mile 6.4, begin watching for a gravel road on your left. It will be just before the Glenwood Hills OHV sign. Turn left and drive 0.8 miles. Turn right toward the fenced area and park outside the gate.

The Twist ride starts by pedaling northeast -- toward big power line and the mountains -- and turning onto the northbound dirt road at the power lines.

Water:  none
Bathrooms:  none

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
    GPX Twist Loop track   Multi-track area file 
Maps for printing:  Area aerial view with roads
Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to Cedar City area resources   Bryce area

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