Updated: Mar 3
Southern Utah is full of great mountain bike rides. Ask around, and you might find that most agree, Gooseberry Mesa is near the top. Gooseberry Mesa provides a large variety of trails, from a beginner trail that most anyone can handle to expert trails and obstacles that will test even the most seasoned rider. If you are looking for a challenging ride or just a fun adventure with some world class scenery, Gooseberry is for you.
Gooseberry Mesa is closest to the town of Apple Valley Utah. From I-15 take exit 16 and follow the signs as if you were going to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. You'll drive through the town of Hurricane and turn on to UT-59 at the edge of town. Turn on to Main Street in Apple Valley and you will see signs for a dirt road that will eventually lead to Gooseberry Mesa. If you pass Hilldale/Colorado city you have gone too far east and need to come back towards St. George. The Trailhead is about an hours drive from St. George. The dirt road is passable by most vehicles, I've done it in a subaru impreza, but it is nice to have something with a little more clearance.
Gooseberry Mesa has a trail for everyone from the beginner mountain biker, down to the expert. A beginner trail runs the length of Gooseberry Mesa almost all the way to the western edge which gives you a great view of Orderville canyon. This beginner trail is wide and well maintained with very few obstacles. Out and back this trail is about 10 miles. Several intermediate and expert trails spur off this main beginner trail and traverse the Mesa offering some great sites and some challenging obstacles to overcome.
The practice loop is marked blue for intermediate and is a great warm up for many of the different trails on Gooseberry. It also provides some great views looking north toward Zion National Park and great views of the Southern Utah desert landscape.
Maps of the trail system on Gooseberry Mesa can be found at about any bike shop in southern Utah, and in case you forget your map there is also a very detailed map of all the trails at the trail head. So if you brought your smart phone you can snap a photo and use it as a reference once you are on the trail. Most of the trails are well marked and are color coded to give you an idea of the degree of difficulty.
I can't say enough good things about this ride. Everyone can find something they will like on Gooseberry Mesa. If you have any question or comments leave them in the comments section below. If you found this article helpful and are planning other adventures in Utah consider signing up for our e-mail list (simply go to the top of page and click subscribe - it's free!) to get the latest adventure posts. You can also sign up to be a member here to share comments at the bottom of our posts and in our forums. Most importantly don't forget to get outside and find your adventure!