There are a number of mountain bike rides available in St George that are both thrilling and beautiful. One of the best of these is a ride called The Barrel Roll, and it’s located just outside of Santa Clara Utah. This area is a known mountain biking wonderland, with several trails beginning and ending in this general vicinity (specifically the trail Suicidal Tendencies). But Barrel Roll is definitely my favorite as it’s both challenging, but not “suicidal”, as well it’s an incredibly beautiful area that you just can’t see without getting on a bike and riding to it.
How You Get There
As you’re heading through down town Santa Clara going west there’s a new bridge located at Gates Lane that heads south over the river. Once over the river the road curves and heads west, right after the road curves take the first left on a dirt road that heads up into the hills. This is not accessible by car unless is has high clearance. You’ll head up the road towards a water tank, and then past it to the parking lot that is well marked.
Here’s a Map to the Barrel Road Trailhead
The Barrel Roll Mountain Biking Trailhead
Now you’re ready to head out. There are two different ways to ride it, but after having ridden both of them I can safely say head left first. The trail itself is very well maintained, although you will encounter a fair amount of rocks and obstacles, many of which seasoned mountain bike riders will look forward to overcoming.
You’ll gradually climb for a few until you get a nice view south out over the desert, but rest assured the real views are coming up.
You’ll drop down some before heading back up another mesa, here’s where the fun really begins. The first section of this area offers views off of a jagged cliff area that look south west for miles. But again you’re just getting a taste of the views that are offered you as you continue riding up along the mesa’s ridge.
Incredible Scenery of The Barrel Roll
You’ll know you’re there when you encounter the most technical aspect of the trail. There are some rock faces and drops that should only be attempted by those who aren’t of the faint of heart. Once you’re past those you’ll be greeted with the grand view looking out west over the green valley below. The contrast is drastic as for the entire ride you’re riding through desolate desert and sage brush, then when you reach the view you’ll see a green lush valley below you that’s quite beautiful.
As you continue riding you’ll start to head back to the east slightly and this is where you’ll be given the final vantage point that has the stunning view of the Red Mountain peaks above Ivins, framed by the magnificent Pine Valley Mountains to the east. It truly is a wonderful view that shows you the drastic change of environments and ecology that is within just a few minutes of each other in southern Utah.
After this last view point most of what you’ll have left is the downhill thrill that makes mountain biking so much fun. Mountain biking in St George offers some of the best biking you can find anywhere, and The Barrel Roll mountain biking trail showcases that perfectly. It offers some fairly challenging obstacles, and adds on some of the more beautiful views and sights in all of St George.
So if you’re looking for things to do in St George, then why not take on one of the best mountain biking trails in southern Utah? Add the Barrel Roll trail to your to do list and you won’t be disappointed.