Day 13 - Thunder Mountain & Cassidy -> Losee Mountain bike rides (UT)


The Moab La Quinta inn was a good place to stay - even better with it being free as I had used some of my La Quinta reward point's for the stay. I had a good nights sleep on the comfortable bed. I had banana waffles at the breakfast buffet and then packed up my gear and hit the road for St George at around 9.15am.

I stopped off at Poison spider bikes along the way and bought some Giro Gloves.

Today I was going to ride trails near Panquitch - Thunder Mountain and Cassidy / Losee mountain bike trails. The drive there was quite long and dull I stopped off at Richfield along the way at about 12:20 to get some fuel and drank some Red Bull Cola to keep me wake on the drive.

I arrived at the Thunder Mtn Trail head at about 13:45 am. the weather was just about perfect clear blue sky's , light wind and about 70f. I set off up the bike path to get the start of the Thunder Mountain mountain bike trail.
The bike path is at a nice easy gradient , my time up in the mountain's in Colorado must have made me more used to the altitude than I had thought as I overtook quite a few roadies going up the bike path on my Mountain Bike.
After about 5 miles of riding you turn right down a forest road (113). After about 2.2 miles of riding gradually uphill you arrive at the trail head. The road was a lot drier than the last time i'd ridden this trail.
From the trail head the singletrack climbs upwards in the pines, before going up and down quite a few drainage's. The trail surface was just about perfect on this ride and all the climbs were ride able, unlike the last time I rode here when my bike got bunged up with mud, due to heavy rain the night before.
Once you break out of the trees the trail winds up and down the mountain along ridge lines and around hoodoos. The views and riding are great.
There's quite a few ups and down on the trail, until you get to the high point of the trail after around 11.1 miles, as the trail starts to descend along a ridge.

There's one really neat long ridge line you ride down along, I went up and down it several times trying to get some shots of me on it using my Tripod and camera's countdown timer.

From the ridge line the trail drops down rapidly via a series of steep switchbacks. Until finally you blast out of the canyon on a fast straight trail back to the car park.
I got back to the SUV at around 17.15, I'd ridden 16 miles at this point. After filling up with water and eating some snacks I rode up the bike path again to find the turning for the Cassidy mountain bike trail.

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Thunder Mountain Video (Flash Player)

I started to ride up the Cassidy trail at about 17:30 , the trail climbed very steeply in places, a couple of time's I wondered if I was riding it in the right direction. I cut off from the main trail to go to a view point which looked out over to Thunder Mountain.
From the view point the trail continued to climb upwards , there were a couple of downhill sections but mostly the trail climbed on upwards. Until I reached the high point on the trail, which had some smashing views of the surrounding canyons.
Probably on this fun descent down to Losee canyon I lost my gorilla tripod.
The Losee trail headed down the canyon quite often in the dry river bed, and other times on a narrow singletrack. I was surprised how good the singletrack was , as I had read that the trail got beat up by quad bikes, but it seem 'd pretty good to me.
As the sun was going down I stopped taking so many pictures as I didn't have my lights with me, also I had a worrying feeling that something was watching me from among the big rocks and trees, So I rode faster down the trail, and then almost crashed in a loose section in the wash.
I reached the dirt road which heads back to the car park at about 19:30 , its about 3 miles back to the car from this point.

I got back to the car at around 19:45 - today had been a great days riding. Although next time I would do Cassidy first and then ride Thunder Mountain , as with the sun low in the sky the colours would have been amazing.

Total climbing for the rides was 2664 ft and the descent total was 2666 ft, and I'd ridden about 30 miles today.

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Cassidy Canyon Video (Flash Player)

Once I'd backed up my gear I then drove to St George where I was going to stay with my friends Rick and Cathy.

Click here for Day 14