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Steamboat Mountain Trail

The Steamboat Mountain trail runs along the northern edge of Springdale, just outside Zion National Park. It's a short and quick ride. The expected riding season would be mid-February through December.

Looking east from the trail we see the Great White Throne in the morning sunshine. Photos and trail review by Bruce on July 28, 2021.

The trail is narrow singletrack hugging the skirts of the mountain north of Springdale. There's a small loop on the western end, for an out-and-back ride of 3.3 miles. Depending on conditions and maintenance, I'd rate the trail intermediate in technical requirement.

Early in the ride, the breaks of Steamboat Mountain loom above us.

This is not a "destination" trail. But if you're staying in the area with a bicycle and need some quick nearby early-morning dirt, it will do.

I'm telling you about this trail because riders are constantly asking on-line about bike rides while staying in Zion. This trail is as close to Zion as it gets. You can quickly ride your bike from the campground within Zion to this trail.

Rounding a corner, we're now in a position to appreciate all of Steamboat Mountain to the north. Like most of the tall cliffs in Zion National Park, this is Navajo sandstone from the Jurassic era.

The trail begins on Winderland Drive, 0.3 miles north of Highway 9 in Springdale. See the map. There's no trailhead here so you'll need to pedal some streets. Note that parking in Springdale is significantly restricted and the parking rules are constantly and vigorously enforced. Even the paid parking strips fill up quickly in the morning. So be sure that the spot your car occupies is paid for and/or legal.

This is the entry to the trail on Winderland Drive.

There's a tiny trailhead on Paradise Road, across from the cemetery, that appears to have room for a couple of cars. This spot is 0.7 miles west along the trail. But you could park here and take Paradise downhill to Winderland. Now turn uphill left, reaching the trail's beginning with 0.3 miles of easy pavement pedaling from where you parked. Or you could just do the eastern segment out-and-back from the Steamboat Mountain trailhead, then do the western segment.

This is the Steamboat Mountain Pioneer Trailhead on Paradise Road.

Now about the ride...

On Winderland Drive, watch for a gravel ramp on the left (uphill) side of the street. It goes up to the singletrack. The trail skirts the edge of homes for a bit, then arcs around a basin above the cemetery.

Looking south toward Springdale with the cliffs across the valley still in shadow.


Metal sculpture of a turtle at the Steamboat Mountain trailhead. Antique rock-processing equipment along the trail.
When you hit the trail kiosk at mile 0.7, the continuing trail is 90 degrees to your right. The trail gets significantly more difficult after you pass through the trailhead on Paradise Road.

Nearing the circle at the end of the trail. The Moenkopi Formation is very colorful here.

At mile 1.4, the trail enters a small loop. Most riders will stay straight for a counterclockwise loop. As you approach the edge of private property, stay on the trail here. Do NOT try to find a way out to the roads! You must go back the way you came.

The loop is 1/2 mile around. At mile 1.9, you'll be back on the main trail with 1.4 miles to go for the return trip.

Heading back east along the trail.

Getting there:
In La Verkin, turn east on Highway 9 and drive to Springdale. In Springdale, the highway will turn from northeast to east. Immediately look for Winderland Drive and turn left. After 0.15 miles, turn left on Paradise Road. In 0.15 more miles, find the gravel parking area on the left, across from the cemetery parking strip. You can do the eastern side out-and-back from here, or you can take city streets over to upper Winderland Drive to catch the trail on your left just above the last row of homes (in 2021).

No water or bathroom at trailhead.

Riding resources:
GPS track file (right-click and "Save as..."):  Download
Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to St. George area resources

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