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Scout Camp Loop Trail

The Scout Camp Loop is a high-altitude singletrack that starts in Brian Head and loops through the Scout Camp lower in the canyon. Length is about 9 miles, depending on the route you take back. It's an upper-intermediate technical trail, with some slightly steep and rough descents and some loose trail surface on turns. Due to the altitude (10,000 feet), it would be rated strenuous aerobic.

The Scout Camp Loop has been severely affected by the summer 2017 forest fire and is closed. UMB will watch for the re-opening of the trail, but you can contact the bike shop for current status.

View of Hendrickson Lake, about half-way into the ride, and near the ride's lowest elevation. Photos July 23, 2001 by Bruce Argyle.

This is a good trail that, unfortunately, has been mauled by cabin construction and logging. But it's still absolutely worth doing, although it wouldn't be your first choice at Brian Head. The bike shops say to ignore the "Stay Out" warning signs at the construction area; they've been there for a couple of years. 

The trail is still good enough to be used for Brian Head's races. Bikers continue to ride it, although those who try to follow the old guidebooks get lost on the return leg. We describe a loop that uses the Town Trail for a return, avoiding the logging area that has obliterated the old return trail.

View down the trail, showing the mix of aspen and spruce that you'll encounter on the singletrack.

Total altitude change is 1000 feet. If you start from U-143, you'll first climb 600 vertical on gravel road, then descend to the low point at the scout camp, then climb back about 350 on singletrack.

The singletrack surface is mostly hard-pack dirt, but with a bit of small rock in it that behaves like cinders. It's easy to slide out on a turn.

An old steam engine used to haul logs during the heyday of logging at Brian Head sits in "Steam Engine Meadow," along the gravel road at the beginning of the loop.

Most of the time, you're riding in forest of mixed spruce and aspen. There's an occasional small meadow. Common wildflowers include lupine, penstemmon, yarrow, and paintbrush.

View of Munoz Meadows, where the Dark Hollow Trail joins up with the Scout Camp Loop for a couple of miles.

Riding at this altitude, you'll find the uphills to be brutal. There aren't any really steep climbs, but the slow steady climb up from the scout camp will seem difficult at 9500 feet elevation. Be sure to take good sunscreen and a cold-weather slicker.

Jackie stops for a drink at the springs, near the junction where the Dark Hollow Trail leaves the Scout Camp Loop.

Trailhead, Junction of U-143 with Bear Flat Road, ride straight uphill on Bear Flat
0.8 passing Steam Engine Meadow (on your right), enter construction Hell, keep straight
1.6 find singletrack leaving road on the left, enter trees
1.8 out into meadow, reach road at logging area, turn left downhill
2.0 turn right on logging road
2.25 Dark Hollow Trail crosses road, turn left downhill and cross meadow
3.4 leave Dark Hollow Trail, turning left on Hendrickson Lake Trail
4.2 pass Hendrickson (on the left), keep straight
4.3 trail fork, keep left for Scout Camp (right is 2nd Left Canyon)
5.5 arrive at Scout Camp, ride south along doubletrack
5.7 at road intersection, turn left through log fence, climb uphill on doubletrack past camping areas
6.2 gate at end of scout camp, straight onto singletrack along fire break
6.9 former trail - ignore sign and curve right downhill
7.1 turn right at bridge over creek and climb onto firebreak
7.4 Mosquito Lane exits on the right - turn here for longer singletrack option
7.5 continuing straight on firebreak, arrive at Burt's Road, turn right downhill
8.2 Town Trail comes in on right side of Burt's Road
9.0 trail goes behind gas station to reach Bear Flat Road

Mosquito Lane is an advanced-technical singletrack. It's 1.3 miles long, joining the Town Trail about 0.2 miles from Burt's Road. (When you reach the Town Trail, fork left.) It will add 0.7 miles to the loop. This section is twisty and rocky, requiring significantly more skill than the other sections of the loop.

Getting there: Heading uphill (south) into Brian Head on U-143, turn left on Bear Flat Road (there's a small gas station - look for the pump - on the downhill corner). Start your ride from here at GPS N 37 41.882' W 112 50.685'.

 

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Garmin     National Geographic     Google Earth    GPX
High-res topo map (300 KB):  View
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to Cedar City area resources

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