|Riding along the ridge of the Virgin River|
Utah has such a diverse landscape which makes the entire state a perfect mountain bike mecca.
The trickiest part of the JEM trail is getting there. From I-15, take exit 16 (Utah State Route 9) to Hurricane/Zions National Park. Travel east on Highway 9 past Hurricane. Make a right onto Sheep Bridge Road before getting into Virgin, Utah. Follow this dirt road over the bridge of the Virgin River. After crossing the cattle guard take the first right and follow the two track road to the end where you will find the trailhead and parking.
From the parking lot head west along the rim of the Virgin River. This is a singletrack trail. As it bends and heads south, it merges with a dirt road (about 1.3 miles). Turn right on the road and ride over a dry wash a short way then turn left at the brown trail sign where it’s singletrack again.
Stay left on the JEM trail at the Hurricane Trail Junction (1.6 miles). Stay on the singletrack for a steady, easy climb. At mile 4.5, the singletrack crosses a gravel road again. Follow the singletrack to a steep hill. Many will attempt to climb this but few will master it. I didn’t even try. I walked my bike up the hill. At the top of the hill, follow the singletrack to the upper parking lot. This is where you will turn around for an out-and-back ride. It’s about 6.9 miles to the upper parking lot from the lower lot.
For those who want to only do the downhill, you can drop off at the upper parking lot and send a shuttle to the lower lot. It is a fast and fun descent. On our return, we veered off the JEM trail and onto the Goosebumps trail. The Goosebumps trail has a lot of up and down hills, like a roller coaster. It is a little more technical but a lot of fun.
I made it with a smile on my face and only had to walk my bike in a few spots. A new record for me.
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