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10 Accessible Mountain Biking Trails In St. George (and Beyond)

By Karli Davis
June 13, 2023

Are you ready for some a-mesa-ing rides? We’ve got the 411 on the best places to mountain bike in St. George.

What a butte-i-ful place, that St. George. It’s known for being a warm weather haven and being a hop, skip and a jump from adventure. A plateau-thora of trails can be found within 30 minutes of each other, so it’s perfect for a quick mountain bike vacation.

And holy crap, speaking of those trails … they’re vibrant, otherworldly and ready to be shredded. There’s an ombré of red-rock colors that make you feel like you’re in a painting. You, on your bike, in a painting. A model. Strike a pose! Just have one of your besties take a fly-by pic of you with a mesa in the background. Your iPhone will stabilize the image and make it look close enough to a painting. 

If you’re new to mountain biking, be sure to download apps like Trailforks or Alltrails. They will give you detailed maps, trail directions and trail condition reports. Shade is minimal on most of these trails so consider early morning or evening rides, when the pink desert hue will be unmatched. There are trails for beginners and experts alike, so buckle your helmets and load up the crew.

Worshiping the Trails North of St. George

There’s a super accessible trail system 10 minutes north of St. George in Washington. A 5-minute drive from your hotel gets you to the Grapevine trailhead. Or, a 15-minute bike ride will get you there if you’re sick of road tripping in a car. Grapevine is an easy connector trail that gives you access to multiple mountain biking routes. It’s only a mile long and takes riders straight to Church Rocks and Dino Cliffs trails. These trails are intermediate with a few expert level spots that can be walked. 

Church Rocks 

Here at Church Rocks, the red rock formations look like chapels and the cliffs echo with hymns. They may not be hymns you’d hear in an actual cathedral, but listen closely and you’ll hear an angelic chorus of mountain bikers singing praise to the desert. You’ll hear harmonies of unbridled laughter and the falsetto tunes of bike brakes. The stanzas are like the trails — chunky and without rhyme — with lyrics like “Send it, my good and faithful rider!” and “Be ye able to bomb down that hill, little shredder!” 

You can ride this as a single 4(ish)-mile loop with 250 feet of climbing, perfect for repeat laps. If you have a little more downhill skill, be sure to hit the short but amazing trail section called Church Rocks Playground. It is recommended to take this section from east to west for the ultimate downhill rush. So let’s get this straight. You’ll be rolling over smooth slickrock while riding into the sunset? Heavenly.

Dino Cliffs

After you ride the Church Rocks loop you can add Dino Cliffs. With the combination, it makes a 9(ish)-mile loop. Done alone, it’s a 4.5-mile loop or about 6.5 miles out-and-back including the start from Grapevine trailhead. Dino Cliffs is mostly intermediate with only 150 feet of climbing, but is rated black diamond because of a few technical obstacles. 

This trail is filled with cathedral-esque red rock as well, and stunning views of the Pine Valley Mountains. Oh, and let’s not forget the prehistoric dinosaur tracks. You can photograph the footprints, but please, no touchy — unless you want a Jurassic level of karma headed your way.  

Looking for Gould and Other Jems 

Hurricane, pronounced “hurrrrr-uh-kun” (we don’t make the rules), is between St. George and Zion National Park. It’s known for having strong winds and adventure mobiles with six bikes attached cruising down the highway. 

That’s because the mountain bike trails in Hurricane are destination-worthy. We’re not bluffing when we say the plateau views are on another level. The trails are on another level too, filled with rocks, cliffs and jumps. 


The Jem Trailhead is a 10-minute drive from nearby lodging. It’s an easy rated trail with some fun, rolly terrain that goes through the Hurricane Cliffs Recreation Area. If you want to see the Virgin River, take a 13(ish)-mile out-and-back ride. You can also make a loop of about 16 miles by adding the Cryptobionic trail. If you do the loop you’ll get around 1300 feet of elevation gain. Not bad for a fairly easy route. You’ll have plenty of options to branch off on other trails if your heart and skills desire, too. Once you start cruising down these trails that berm-eate the sagebrush and cliffs, you’ll catch yourself uttering, “Wow, this trail is a Jem.”

Goulds Rim

This is an easy to intermediate trail that can be accessed from two directions. The first option is crossing highway 59 from the Jem Trailhead. From there you’ll hit the easy 2.4-mile Gould Trail. And yes it’s rated easy, but still has 400 feet of elevation gain between the trailhead to Goulds Rim.     

If you maybe hate yourself a little bit, head to the Three Falls Connector Trailhead. It’s only a 5-minute ride from your room, but beware … this connector has been said to be “spooky” and “not for the faint of heart.” It may only be 1.6 miles of trail, but it’s technical, exposed riding with 300 feet of climbing. That’s not short and sweet, that’s short and mean. 

Once you hit Goulds Rim, it has nearly 350 feet of climbing on its own. So whichever direction you take to get to Goulds Rim, it’s like you’re walking 3 miles uphill both ways. Your grandma would be proud. Goulds Rim is an underrated trail that has less crowds, but no less views. You’ll pass wildflowers and steep cliffs, with signs that remind you to watch the trail so you don’t accidentally huck yourself over the edge after spotting Mollie’s Nipple. It’s a nearby butte, guys. 

Hurricane Rim

This trail is intermediate with some amazing downhills that’ll have you flying by the rim of your pants. Or the rim of your wheel? Either way, you’ll be flyin’. You can access it via Hurricane Hill Trailhead in less than a 5-minute drive from your hotel. You can make the Hurricane Rim a 14.5-mile out-and-back or connect to the Jem and Gould Trails for a 20(ish)-mile loop. It’s mostly intermediate with lots of single track, fun technical sections and panoramic photo-op spots along the Virgin River. You might even see some cows! How a-moo-zing.

Take It Out West 

A 10-minute drive west of your hotel in St. George will take you to an intricate web of trails in Santa Clara. The original Bearclaw Poppy and Zen Trailheads give you quick access to an unbelievably packed trail system. Be sure you overfill your backpacks with snacks and water, because there’s so much to explore in this area. 

Bearclaw Poppy

Bearclaw Poppy is named for the federally protected Bearclaw-Poppy flower. So keep that in mind when you see signs reminding you to stay on the designated trails. It’s an incredibly popular trail, and for good reason. It’s gorgeous, kid-friendly and sort of resembles a bike park. 

This trail starts at the New Bearclaw Poppy Navajo Trailhead and makes an easy, directional 4.7-mile loop. Only 300 feet of elevation gain make it a popular trail to do laps. The views are cool enough to appease the parents patiently teaching their kids to ride, and the hills are gentle enough for timid riders. You can also connect Bearclaw Poppy to any myriad of trails in this system, including the famous Zen trail.  


This trail is rated difficult. Why, you might ask? Count how many times you have to channel your inner zen master and shout, “Rock (and) Roll!” to get over each obstacle. What even is a zen master, though? Is it someone that has superb balance in the face of rowdy rocks and turns? Is it mindfulness on the edge of precipices? Is it someone that likes to suffer the uphills and then get gnarly going downhill? Is it someone that regularly thinks, “That ride was no joke … let’s do it again … ” Is that you? Then you might be a zen master, and the Zen trail might be for you. 

This trail is one of the best places to mountain bike in St. George because it’s super close to town and lodging for being such a rugged trail. You can start from the original Bearclaw Poppy Trailhead or the Zen Trailhead. This 6-mile loop overlooks every direction of St. George and climbs almost 700 feet. 

Barrel Roll

While you’re over at Zen, how many hours in the day do you have left? Lots? As many as the sun provides? Sweet. We’ve got just the diversion excursion for you. Take a 4-mile ride on a few connector trails and dirt roads from the Zen Trailhead to the Cove Wash Trailhead. This takes you to Barrel Roll, aka, Zen-lite. This trail is a good middle ground for those that still want some spice but less risk sounds nice.

This loop is 5.7 miles and 570 feet of climbing. It’s recommended to ride clockwise so you hit the midway point full of techy terrain followed by a rollable downhill. 

Too Hot? Head North 

St. George can get a little toasty at times, but never fear! Cedar City has some excellent trails too. It’s under an hour north, but 3,000 feet higher in elevation. You’ll still get red-rock scenery and rainbow sherbet colored hills. Don’t eat the dirt though, it ain’t dessert.

Thor’s Hideout to Valhalla

Imagine this. You’re the crown jewel of the mountain gods. Defender of the trees. Slayer of giants. Well, giant drops, anyways. Your Asgardian-esque full face helmet glistens in the sunlight as you whip past junipers, kicking up red dust. If on those dusty turns you happen to wash out, just blame Loki. And after falling, don’t worry. The trail you’ve fallen on leads straight to Valhalla, you valiant trail-warrior you. 

The battle of finding the funnest trail ends here, at Thor’s Hideout to Valhalla. Along the path you can find a little red-rock chair where gods of the mountain sit and rest. In under 2 miles you can ride from your hotel room to the Coal Creek paved trail, up Cedar Canyon, and straight to the Red Hollow Trailhead. Then you ride 0.8 miles up to Thor’s Hideout and then Valhalla. Expect about 6-7 miles out-and-back and somewhere between 300-400 feet in elevation gain. 

Three Peaks

You’re going to absolutely lava the trails out at Three Peaks. These trails are covered in volcanic rock formations that make perfectly playground-like obstacles. You’ll only be about 15 minutes from where you’re staying in town, but far enough away to feel like you’re in another world. 

The full Three Peaks loop is 10.5 miles with nearly 850 feet of climbing. There are tons of inner loops and trails that are worth exploring too. One of the inner trails has the Voodoo Tree. It’s a juniper tree that’s been decorated with trinkets and gear that were lost to the desert. So get stoked, ride, drop and jump magic jump. And remember, you’ve got the power. What power? Power of the voodoo. Who do? You do.

Stay Near More Mountain Biking Trails in St. George, Utah

Now you know why you should shred in southern Utah — because it’s the best. And there are tons of places to stay and rest with easy access to the best places to mountain bike in St. George. And one final note — if you have a GoPro, absolutely bring it so you have proof of the views and proof of your steez.