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Iron Springs DH Trails

The Iron Springs DH trails include three downhill flow trails. These include sYdwindErS (the capitol letters spell YES), which is an easier route for early-intermediates, and the intermediate-level YES Please (which splits into two trails about 1/3 of the way downhill). 

Riding the YES, Please downhill flow trail, looking south. Photos and trail review by Bruce on August 1, 2021.

The trails start at 5800 feet elevation and descend to 5400. The top of the trails can be reached from above via the Three Peaks Loop trail (for example by climbing up the Iron Springs trail to Petrified Whales and then to the loop) and from below by climbing doubletrack. The expected riding season would be April through November.

Looking downhill on the newer eastern option of YES Please, which I'm calling YES More until I learn the real name.

From the Iron Springs resort, the trails are reached by starting uphill on the Iron Springs trail. In the large gravel parking lot on the north side of the Iron Springs Road, the access trail starts right next to the road on the far east side of the parking area. It descends through a culvert under the railroad, spends about 100 yards in a wash-bottom, then climbs out.

During a heavy summer rainstorm, the wash and culvert may not be safe to ride. There's a dirt road that offers a higher dryer passage over the railroad tracks. (The route is shown on my map below and also discussed on the Iron Springs page.)

Take this trail to the big culvert under the railroad tracks ahead.

Climbing Route - Direct
After crossing under the railroad tracks, navigating a bit of wash-bottom, then climbing out, take the ATV trail that splits to the left from the singletrack Iron Springs trail. Pedal 150 yards. (Pass the singletrack connector to Iron Springs on your right.) Veer left as the ATV track joins a larger dirt road. Another 150 yards later, turn right uphill on the broad dirt road.

Turning left onto the smaller road at mile 0.5 of the climb from the base of the DH trails -- 0.8 from parking. The path will go up onto the ridge at far right.

After 0.5 miles on the main northbound dirt road, turn left onto a smaller dirt road. It will become loose and granny-gear steep. Follow this road 0.4 miles. As you reach a ridge, on your right are three paths that turn 90 degrees off this road. Take the third one, along the north side of a slot mine. (The mine will be to your right.) At the top, turn left and descend 100 feet to the DH trails, on your left. You'll climb 400 vertical feet.

A second option that's slightly less steep (but with a bit more overall elevation gain) is to climb the big road to mile 0.7, then veer left on a smaller track. Follow this up to the Three Peaks main loop and turn left. The turnoff to the connector trail is 150 yards west on Three Peaks. (Before reaching Three Peaks, there's an ATV path that climbs up directly to the connector trail, but it's a little harder.)

On top of the mine (there's a cliff into the pit to my right here). I'll now veer left downhill to the DH trails.

Climbing Route - Big Loop via Iron Springs trail
You should use this climbing route at least once while you're doing the DH trails. Longer, but worth it!

Start out from the trailhead, but instead of turning onto the doubletrack stay on the singletrack Iron Springs trail. Climb 2.6 miles up Iron Springs to where it ends on the Petrified Whales trail. Turn left.

Rolling up the granite on Iron Springs.

Pedal north on Petrified Whales for 0.3 miles. When you reach the Three Peaks Loop, keep straight onto the loop. (R goes northbound on the loop, L is the expert-level Four Loco trail. You might want to take a few seconds to be certain you're on the correct trail!)

A narrow elevated boardwalk on Petrified Whales.

Pedal for 0.7 miles on Three Peaks. You'll pass the return from Four Loco (unmarked at the time of my ride) and cross two doubletracks. (The smaller dirt road is one of the direct climbing routes.)

View south at an iron mine from the Three Peaks Loop.

Shortly after crossing the smaller ATV path, the Three Peaks trail will make a gentle turn to the right. On the day of my ride, there was a cairn on the left and a metal sign in the juniper on the right. This is the access trail to the flow trails. Turn right. (During my ride after recent heavy rains, the trail was littered with rock and almost impossible to see.)

Here's the turnoff to descend to the DH trails.

When riding the Three Peaks loop counter-clockwise, the connector can be reached via "Rock of Death" which is a short optional route to the right when heading southbound.

The Rock of Death option, marked by this sign, is straight ahead. The Three Peaks loop is uphill on the left.

The rock isn't horrible, it simply has a substantial side-slope. After crossing the rock and dropping to the dirt trail, keep right as the trail from uphill joins.

Doesn't look too deadly, but it's going to hurt you if you don't ride it right.

Now pedal over a low hill and drop 0.3 miles on the ATV track. Pass an ATV track on the left (keep straight). When you're looking at a big bald hill -- and the ATV path appears to go to the right of it -- keep straight and begin to climb the upslope of the saddle in front of the knoll of mine tailings. There you'll spot the two DH trails on your right, about 50 feet apart.

Keep straight at this sign, which points downhill to an ATV route (you can climb this ATV track as an alternate uphill but don't go down it now).

Downhill Flow - sYdwindErS trail
The trail on the north (first trail if you descended to the trail from Three Peaks, second trail if you pedaled up the dirt road past the mine and went over the knoll) is sYdwindErS. (Seems like a lot of work on the name "sidewinders" just so the capitol letters can spell "YES" but OK. If you build the trail, you get to name it -- and spell it however you want -- and everybody else can just shut up.)

Entry into the sYdwindErS trail. Looking west.

sYdwindErS is an easy downhill flow trail. It's machine-cut, with banked turns and rollers. It's 1.5 miles long with 400 vertical feet of elevation change. (The last 0.1 mile runs along the downhill side of a doubletrack, and is often skipped by riders who are planning to head back uphill. See the map.)

Section with very low rollers, heading south.

A few of the rollers are sharp enough to throw a beginning rider's back end up in the air. So I'm going to classify this trail as an easier-intermediate, not as beginner-level in skill requirement.

Banked turn.

At the bottom, sYdwindErS crosses  the east-west doubletrack then turns to the east and runs parallel to it for 0.1 miles more. To reach the direct climbing routes, either bail when the trail crosses the doubletrack at the bottom, or turn 180 degrees and come back 100 yards to the climbing road. (By the time you ride, it's likely that riders will blazed an "option" through to the bottom of YES Please and the climbing road.)

Almost to the bottom.

Downhill Flow - YES Please trail
The YES Please trail is 1.1 miles long, descending 400 vertical feet. It ends right at the bottom of the direct-climbing road.

Entry to YES Please. Looking west.

YES Please is intermediate in tech requirement. Compared to sYdwindErS, it has more rock exposure, bigger dirt humps and tighter turns. It descends the same 400 vertical feet.

Heading into some rollers.

The YES Please trail splits into two trails for the lower 2/3 of the run. The eastern (left) option is still being worked on a bit and has no trail markers. To hit this newer east option, you'll need to keep left at two trail forks.

The big rock is a fun natural wall ride, but you probably won't see it your first trip down. Looks like most riders just roll the corner under the rock.

At mile 0.4, YES Please has an expert option on the right, which will rejoin a bit lower down. But within the distance that's bypassed by the optional line, the eastern route forks away from YES Please. You wouldn't see it if you took the expert line.

The expert option is only 100 yards long. Within that distance is a second split of around 20 feet with the more gnarly rock-drop being on the right.

A bit below the wall ride is the trail fork for the tech option. The main trail runs left under my handlebar.

After the tech option rejoins, the trail meanders downhill through the junipers, with occasional flirting with rock outcrops.

Rolling through rocks.

Downhill Flow - YES Please eastern option: YES MORE?
At mile 0.4 of YES Please, and less than 100 feet past the split with the optional tech line (see above), YES Please splits into two trails for the remainder of the descent. The trail on the left is still being worked on somewhat.

Approaching two small engineered ledge drops in the trail as we head southeast toward the main climbing road.

This route is a bit longer, at a total of 1.2 miles. It will also require a short stretch of climbing. This eastern route will drop to the valley floor, cross the climbing road, then go into the rocks on the opposite side of the small valley.

We've crossed the road and are now in an area of narrower hand-built trail. This area is slightly uphill.

There's one "you're kidding me" drop down a loose slope with embedded rock that ranks expert in skill requirement. Maybe they're working on an alternate line to this. Granted, I rode after a nasty gully-washer rainstorm, but I found the drop down the chute to be ugly and spooky.

Looking back at a slippery steep chute.

At the bottom, the trail returns to machine-cut ribbon, with banked turns and a few jumps. It dumps onto the climbing road a few feet above the bottom of YES Please.

That's a table jump on the opposite side of the little wash.

Getting there:

At the Cedar City 200 North Exit from I-15, go westbound on Highway 56. After 4.4 miles, just as the road is turning from straight west to southwest, turn right onto the Iron Springs Road (1740). Drive another 4.4 miles. As you see the big Iron Springs sign and flags on your left, look for a big gravel parking lot 200 yards ahead on your right. Turn into the parking lot and turn right to park along the eastern side. The outgoing trail starts on a broad dirt path alongside the paved Iron Springs Road. As soon as you pedal up onto this dirt path, immediately turn 90 degrees left onto singletrack. Descend into the wash and go through the tunnel under the railroad tracks. Follow the signs as the ATV path and bike trail split. (You can take the ATV path to the left to reach the DH trail system, or wait until Iron Springs crosses a dirt road and turn left there. To climb Iron Springs, just follow the signs.)

Water at trailhead. No public bathroom (resort, campground, and restaurant facilities are for customers).

GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
     Multi-track area Iron Springs   Three Peaks multi-track
Topo map for printing:    Load above area topo
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to Cedar City area resources

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