Category Archives: Mountain Biking

Large Ungulate Torpedoes South African Mountain Biker

I’ve never seen deer or mountain sheep on Gooseberry Mesa, but now I’m nervous. If a “red hartebees” can get this aggressive, then I’m assuming any ungulate can. Could a cow pull this kind of Superman missile move? Can you imagine a cow taking you out on the JEM trail? Sheesh.

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Mad Adventure Biking by Danny Macaskill

Okay, this video doesn’t have anything to do with Zion… but WOW, does this guy know to create adventure. I’ve been reflecting on “extreme” sports enthusiasts lately, on the apparent paradox our culture practices when we ridicule folks who accidentally perish while getting too close to a river or a cliff, but we celebrate those who take on risk regularly to push the envelope of what is possible. The difference between the two acts, I think, is preparedness. When Danny Macaskill hops rides a cable between two trains, it’s difficult to imagine (but we have a sense of) how many hours, months, probably YEARS he’s been on that bike. So for him, it’s not crazy at all. If I tried that, I think I’d likely die… because I have zero preparation. One thing I love about guiding is how a good guide can help us leap from “zero preparedness” to “really well prepared” almost instantly. The average Joe or Jane should not go canyoneering or rock climbing tomorrow on his/her own tomorrow… but when they hire a guide, it’s suddenly a prudent decision, and it opens up huge possibilities for them. It’s not a perfect analogy, of course… If I … Continue reading

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‘Tis the Season: Late Summer Adventures in Zion

Ahhh, August is here. The desert is still hot, the thunderstorms are coming and going, and for many it is the last chance for a summer adventure. I offer this post as a guideline on how to maximize this time in Zion and the surrounding area. Climbing, for me, is the most important form of recreation, so I will start there. There are few sports that offer such extreme physical challenge and such inspiring rewards. Even when it is 100 degrees outside, climbing in the shade is amazingly reasonable. Shady cragging opportunities exist all through the main canyon for those who can find the right aspects and times of day. One of my favorite summer climbing areas, Kolob Canyon’s South Fork of Taylor Creek, features cool temps and shade most of the day. Perhaps the most exciting and challenging summer climbing I have done is in Kolob on Huecos Rancheros (5.12c) and Namaste (5.12a). Also, Last Rites (5.10+) is a super-fun single pitch finger crack with a bolted start. St. George also has some fun summer climbing opportunities. Enjoy the novelty of Veyo’s Crawdad Canyon Climbing Resort; if you go, don’t miss “The Fly” (5.11c), right off the pool deck. Snow … Continue reading

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Alternatives to Hiking the Zion Narrows During Spring Flood

Extraordinary precipitation this winter/spring has resulted in high water levels in The Narrows this spring, closing the world-famous hike for the last two months. Since the snow pack remains significant in the watershed’s higher reaches, we expect The Narrows will remain closed another 2 to 4 weeks. So many Zion visitors plan to hike The Narrows, and we have the ugly job of telling all these folks, day after day, they can’t explore this place they’ve heard so much about and have travelled so far to see. Visitor reactions fall across the board: mad, sad, frustrated, crestfallen… a few hesitant hikers are even glad to have an convenient excuse to miss The Narrows. But the upside of this whole situation, the thing we try to help everyone see, is there are TONS of world-class activities in Zion that can be just as rewarding as The Narrows hike. If you are bummed to miss The Narrow on your current or upcoming trip, please peruse the following ideas for ways to turn that frown upside down and make the most of your visit. Fabulous Day Hikes 2- to 4-hour hikes like Angels Landing, Observation Point, Emerald Pools, and Hidden Canyon offer breathtaking views, great … Continue reading

Posted in Canyoneering, Families, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Seasonal, Spring, The Narrows, Weather & Climate, Zion, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Three Great Biking Options in the Zion Neighborhood

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best.” – Ernest Hemingway There’s no better way to see Zion than by bicycle. In my own time off, biking is my favorite mode of travel and recreation. Zion has every type of biking for every level and ambition of biker. I find pedaling the perfect speed between hiking and driving through our vast, scenic landscape here in the Southwest. Here are a couple of my favorite bike rides in and around the Canyon: Biking Zion Canyon Our free shuttle system is great, but cycling the Scenic Drive is the best way to take in the scenery and (especially after our rainy winter) the Spring flowers blooming alongside the road. It’s also a great way to experience peace and quiet; other visitors pass by on packed buses, while you and a few other cyclists have the road to yourselves. The Details: The full scenic drive is about 14 miles round-trip and takes most bikers 2 – 3 hours. The steepest sections (Canyon Junction to Court of the Patriarchs) is really not too bad, but CAN be avoided by using the shuttle system to transport your bikes … Continue reading

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“Ride the Divide” Depicts Mountain Biking’s Toughest Race Playing Thursday, Sept. 30, at O.C. Tanner Amphitheater

The weekend of 9/30 – 10/3 just keeps getting better. Adding to the great Radical Reels and Red Bull Rampage events that weekend, Mike Dion and Hunter Weeks are bringing their film, “Ride the Divide” to Zion on Thursday, September 30th. While I have only seen the trailer (below), this film joins the growing tradition of gorgeous, compelling, and engaging adventure film documentaries that has been blossoming rapidly in the last decade. It’s inspiring to see film makers out there living their dreams by documenting others living theirs… makes me want to get out there and do something crazy, which maybe someone would make a movie out of. But I should do more walking and less talking… Anyhow, “Ride the Divide” follows three riders as they compete in a 2700-mile race along the Continental Divide. From Banff, Canada, to the Mexican border, the film brings the joys, sights, travails, and misery of the race straight to us, without all the effort it would otherwise require. Winner of “Best Adventure Film” at the Vail Film Festival, this movie seems to have some chops. If you are can make it, come up/down/over to Springdale to catch “Ride the Divide” next Thursday. The … Continue reading

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Red Bull Rampage Freeride Comp Coming Soon to Virgin

Autumn is my favorite season in Zion, and the weekend of October 1 -3 is a particularly exciting one this year. On top of October’s warm days and delightfully crisp nights, this first weekend features the return of the Red Bull Rampage (after a 2009 hiatus) AND the Springdale premiere of the Banff Film Festival’s Radical Reels tour. If you like active and varied weekends, you owe it to yourself to get here for this one. While Sarah posted on the Radical Reels tour a week ago, we didn’t give you much beef on the Rampage. The video should give you a taste of the concept and feeling of this competition, a daredevil spectacle of adrenaline, extreme terrain, and helicopter flyovers. For details on how the competition works, the Red Bull website explains the basic logistics and competition framework. Spectators have great views of the action, though binoculars may help you get the best view of all the action. If you want to take part of the competition… you can’t. Which is probably good. Somehow, Red Bull has found 40 riders for this competition, and looking at the course, its easy to question their sanity. The Rampage in Virgin is … Continue reading

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