Brian Head Mountain Biking Stories
Brian Head Mountain Biking? Usually Brian Head is thought of primarily as a ski resort … but during the summer it doubles as a hiking and biking hot spot.
When I told Cindy I wanted to mountain bike in Brian Head she started checking for lodging. After a couple hours she came to me… frustrated. “All of the condos in Brian Head are over $120 a night!” I said, “That can’t be… this is their off-season.” Her immediate reply was, “I think I’ve tried them all.” I said, “Well, check on Cedar City or Parowan, maybe we’ll just have to drive into the mountains every day.”
And that is exactly what we ended up doing. We didn’t understand why the Brian Head condo owners would not lower their prices in the summer. We passed by the condos later in the week and… they looked empty. As a matter of fact… the whole town looked empty.
Staying in Cedar City
In contrast… the next week we stayed in a condo in Park City for $60 a night. The condos were packed… and the whole town was alive! We think Brian Head is missing out!
So we didn’t stay in Brian Head. We ended up in Cedar City… with a Jacuzzi suite for $69 a night. The result was we had to drive up Highway 14 several times, as most of the best rides are near Brian Head. Don’t get me wrong though… that is one beautiful drive!
Meeting Jens Jensen
We found Cedar City to be a delightful town. Our new friend, Jens Jensen (a local resident I met on the Cascade Falls Trail), recommended a few places to eat and his wife Catherine said we should go to the Shakespeare Festival at the College (Southern Utah University).
We found the food at 3B’s Coffee and South West Wraps to be excellent and enjoyed watching a free green show (a live mini- production performed each night right before the actual play starts). We even ate the tart that Catherine suggested.
Jens also told us about the “Running of the Sheep” through the streets of Cedar City. As the Cedar City/Brian Head Tourism Bureau describes it, “Approximately 1,000 head of sheep will be herded from Cedar Mountain pastures down Cedar City’s Main Street, providing an exciting glimpse of the Old West and its livestock heritage to spectators along the route.” This event takes place on the last weekend of October each year.
Now let’s get into Brian Head mountain biking specifically. Check out the map below to orient yourself geographically with the various trails I’ll be talking about.
Brian Head and Cedar City Map
Have you ridden any trails in Brian Head? You can share a story of your trip here at the bottom of this page, and I’ll publish your writing as its own page on this site for other visitors to see and learn from.
Tons of Trails
This area has more good mountain bike trails than I could possibly ride in one week. Like usual, I went to two bike shops (Cedar Cycle and Brian Head Sports) and told them I wanted to ride the best trails in the area. Both people immediately said, “The Virgin River Rim Trail.” (The woman in Brian Head Sports was most helpful. She took the time to show me maps and explained all the trails in the area.) The manager of the Cedar City Chili’s Restaurant recommended the Virgin River Rim Trail as well. He didn’t look like the mountain biking type, but may have hiked part of the trail.
Cascade Falls Hike
I checked into that trail and found it was about 33 miles long and a lot of up and down. Some other descriptions said it would be a grueling one-day ride. They suggested breaking it up into pieces, so I decided to try a piece that was part of the Cascade Falls Hike. I felt riding the whole rim trail would offer a lot of similar pictures. I wanted more variety… with so many great rides in this area I found it easy to be picky.
When I return for more Brian Head mountain biking I will do the ride that starts at Strawberry Point, or …from Te-ah Campground to Woods Ranch, or …maybe do the whole 33 miles.
Brian Head Rides
Two rides that are somewhat similar are the Bunker Creek Left Fork and Dark Hollow. Both are 10+ mile downhill rides that work great if you have a shuttle vehicle. Bunker Creek ends in the town of Panquitch Lake while Dark Hollow ends in Parowan.
Three Peaks and Thunder mountain are similar as they both crisscross desert type regions. Thunder Mountain is near Bryce Canyon National Park and parts of the trail exhibit similar colors and rock formations. Three Peaks is just a few miles northwest of Cedar City and the landscape is beautiful in its own way but not nearly as striking as Thunder Mountain.
Blowhard Mountain Trail is a combination of these two types of terrain, starts out as a “Red Rock” ride… later dropping into a heavily forested area, emerging onto Highway 14.
Cedar City Rides
Overall, I would have to say Brian Head Mountain Biking is hard to beat … lots of trails, beautiful scenery, great weather, and very few trail users. I’ll be back!