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Serpendipity

This is an 8.3 mile mountain biking loop ride in the McCoy Flat trail system west of Vernal. The trail climbs 650 feet from the Flat via the Jackalope Trail. From the slopes of Asphalt Ridge, Serpendipity descends in a fun ribbon of singletrack dirt. The last two miles of the loop are undulating singletrack on the Retail Sale trail. 

Joel Quinn zips through the ravine of Serpendipity and up the other side. Photos May 26, 2010 by Jake Weber, Gene Poncelet, Steve Winters, and Bruce.

The ride starts just south of the corral on the And Cookies trail. Just after you start riding, keep left as you pass the Jackalope return trail. At mile 2, leave And Cookies to fork right on Jackalope. Now you'll start your climb.

Trailhead at McCoy Flat. Bathroom, large shaded picnic area.

From this point on, the trail is one-way. Jackalope climbs a dry slope among junipers, then reaches a scrub and grass ridgeline. About 1/2 mile before the top of the ridge, Serpendipity forks right. 

Serpendipity immediately begins to plunge down a ravine, dipping through the bottom, then flying high up into the brush. It's a continuous swoosh. Poetry for your bicycle.

Gene Poncelet climbs Jackalope. The terrain here is clay with bits of rock. Occasional wildflowers sprout among the junipers.

After 1/2 mile, the slope lessens, and the trail zooms across the flats, heading generally downhill. The trail straightens, and the base is smoother.

Jake Weber rocks the serpent.

As the trail hits the flat, it becomes hardpack dirt. Grasses fill the space between the brush.

At mile 6.3, Serpendipity crosses the McCoy Flat paved road. 1/4 mile later, it joins Retail Sale. Keep right at this fork.

Jake gets up some speed heading toward the Flat.

Retail Sale dips and twists north 2 miles north to the trailhead to complete an awesome loop ride.

Steve Winters rolls down a slope on Retail Sale after finishing Serpendipity.

Riding notes, clockwise loop (ONE WAY trail):
0.0  Find southbound ST on southwest side of DT
       Trail = And Cookies   N40 21.028 W109 34.902
0.1  Fork L (R = return trail)  N40 21.022 W109 34.806
0.3  Cross DT   N40 21.126 W109 34.80
1.0  Fork R onto Jackalope (L=And Cookies)
       N40 21.412 W109 34.992
3.4  Fork R downhill (L = Jackalope)
       N40 22.212 W109 33.127
4.3  Cross Jackalope (keep straight)
       N40 21.503 W109 33.452
6.3  Cross paved road  N40 20.458 W109 34.199
6.5  Keep R, merge with Retail Sale  N40 20.454 W109 34.418
8.2  Right on DT, cross road
8.3  Back at trailhead

Jake takes a drop on Retail Sale while Steve captures the moment.

Getting there:  
While driving toward Vernal on US-40, pass mile marker 138, then turn right on the narrow paved McCoy Flats road ( N40 23.427 W109 35.752). If you miss McCoy Flats road, go to the viewpoint overlooking Vernal and backtrack exactly 2 miles, then turn left into the road. Drive 3 miles. Immediately after passing a corral on your left, turn into the large fenced BLM trailhead parking lot.

Camping: BLM land, primitive camping allowed. No developed sites.
Bathroom:
At trailhead
Water:
Bring your own.
Bike services, maps, trail conditions:

Altitude Cycle, 580 East Main, Vernal. 435-781-2595

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
    GPX Serpendipity ride    McCoy Flats area trails
Topo McCoy area map for printing:   View map
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Vernal area resources

Copyright 2010 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Topo map updated 2016