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Tombstone and Bone Yard

Tombstone and Bone Yard (together with a piece of Lava Link) form an expert-level loop on the slopes of Square Mountain above Shurtz Canyon near Cedar City. Only strong, skilled and confident riders should do this loop.

View to the north from the Tombstone viewpoint. Photos and ride review by Bruce on July 27, 2021.

Tombstone is a two-direction trail that climbs from Lava Link to an overlook. Bone Yard is a DH-only trail that starts on upper Tombstone just before the viewpoint. Tombstone can be done as a four-mile out-and-back (plus whatever riding you did to get to Tombstone), or used as the climbing route to Bone Yard for the loop ride. 

Trailhead at Shurtz Canyon, where most riders will start. The trailhead is currently being remodeled as a BLM campground is under construction.

The trails lie between 6400 and 7000 feet elevation, with an expected riding season of late May through October. Both of these trails deserve their expert rating.

Climbing up Elevate to get to Tombstone.

Tombstone Trail
Tombstone starts at 6550 feet elevation on the Lava Link trail. It reaches a top elevation of 7000 feet. Tombstone ends at a viewpoint with 270 degrees of valley views.

Entry to the Tombstone trail from Lava Link.

Tombstone is 2.0 miles long, with 450 vertical feet of elevation change. There are frequent rock challenges that make this trail an expert-level climb.

The first 100 yards of Tombstone will let you know what you're in for. But it's not ALL like that.

Coming from the Shurtz Canyon trailhead, you'll pedal 0.9 miles on Turnpike, 1.4 on Elevate, then 0.6 miles on Lava Link to reach the bottom of Tombstone. Your climbing just to reach the Tombstone trail will be 500 vertical feet.

The trail heads straight for a big rock. Because, why not?

To reach Tombstone from Southview, take Lichen It to Lava Flow, then pedal on Lava Link for 1.5 miles to reach Tombstone. (The Spare Rib trail offers a shortcut. See the Lava Link page.)

Proof that not every foot of the Tombstone trail is a rock garden...

At mile 1.8 from the bottom of Tombstone, the Bone Yard trail forks away downhill to the right. Tombstone continues on another 0.2 miles to an overlook (well worth the trip even if your destination is Bone Yard). The highest point of Tombstone is at 7000 feet, just past the Bone Yard turn-off.

Climbing uphill. Like rocks?

Tombstone is a two-way trail. It will be considerably easier to descend than it was to climb. An out-and-back on Tombstone from Shurtz Canyon will be 950 vertical feet of climbing and 8.6 miles round trip.

I couldn't clean this stretch of trail uphill. You do see the trail, right?

Looking north. The Bone Yard trail runs down that ridge. Looking southeast from the viewpoint.
Bone Yard Trail
Bone Yard drops 500 vertical feet in 0.8 mile. It is a double-black high-expert trail. Bone Yard follows a ridgeline west from Tombstone, ending at a four-way intersection at the top of Elevate. (The other trails are the south end of Lava Link, and the top of Black Ops.)

Bone Yard leaves Tombstone on your right, 0.2 miles from the viewpoint.

Bone Yard has a lot of engineered jumps. Many are designed as doubles. There are tight high-banked turns. And a few stretches of stair-step rocks.

Sampling of the stuff you'll hit: a few bumps...

And a bunch of jumps... And tight twisty turns!
There's one rock drop with a gap that requires some speed to clear. It's about 1/2 mile downhill. A rockwork ramp takes you up to the top of a long rock, then a second rock fin. You'll need to build some speed for the gap that's coming. I suggest a scouting trip on either side of the gap for your first run.

View west over the valley as we head down.

A ramp leads us to the top of this big rock. 2nd rock coming up! Here's what's waiting in the shade at the end of the second rock!
Getting there:
Shurtz Canyon Trailhead. Exit I-15 and head south on Old Highway 91 as above. At 2.4 miles, turn left on Tipple Road. After 0.6 miles, turn left on Shurtz Canyon Road (mislabeled "Shirts" on the road sign). Go 0.7 miles and turn left into the trailhead. The Turnpike trail is on the east side of the parking area. Pedal through the campground and go 0.9 miles to Elevate, then climb Elevate to Lava Link. Drop down Spare Rib to Tombstone.
Southview Trailhead.
At the southern I-15 Cedar City exit (Exit 57 to Cross Hollow Road and Highway 130), turn east onto Highway 130. Immediately turn right (south) from 130 onto Old Highway 91. Drive 0.3 miles. Watch for the sign for Southview Trailhead and turn left on Shurtz Canyon Drive. Now stay on Shurtz Canyon Drive to the trailhead and find a spot to park. Start out on the paved Southview trail. After the bridge, go past the Turnpike trail and the one-way return trails from Lava Flow and Iron Giant. Turn right onto Lichen It and climb to Lava Flow to connect to Lava Link. Pedal uphill on Lava Link to Tombstone.

Bathrooms:  Southview and Shurtz trailheads
Repair stand at Southview trailhead
Water:  Southview only, at sink in bathroom
Camping:  Campground under construction at Shurtz Canyon (recommend Three Peaks for now)

GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Multi-track area GPX files
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to Cedar City area resources

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