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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:50 am 
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If you’re looking for an epic ride in southwestern Utah, this would be it. If you’re looking to ride above a river, then look elsewhere. “Rim trail” are the operative words here.

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High in the Dixie National Forest, this route will deliver but you better be ready to pay up. Just the drive to the start at Strawberry Point (9,016’) will cost you an hour. You’ll spend 80% of the next 33 miles above 9,000’. Spending the 3 days prior on rides around Brian Head, we were somewhat acclimated but this ride still gave challenge to seasoned riders.

Strawberry Point

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Pink Cliffs

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Zion in the distance

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Trailhead

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Aspens

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More Pink Cliffs

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Section of hike-a-bike on the climb up from Cascade Falls after lunch

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Riding up to Navajo Peak (9,700'), which is more of a mesa up top

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Rock hurling

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More aspens

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Navajo Lake with a stop at Te-Ah campground for water

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A finish in the Aspens

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Of course while I retrieved the shuttle vehicle, the boys couldn’t resist playing with fire

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VRRT is an outstanding, but challenging epic mainly due to the altitude. It was our big ride day of our 5 days in Brian Head. With the trail system around Navajo lake, you can partially skip the climb over Navajo Peak or add in an additional 11 mile loop around the lake. But this ride was 100% Virgin. The most scenic section of Pink Cliffs is from Strawberry Point to Cascade Falls. Nearly all the ride is forested pine and aspens, so there’s always shade to take a break. The middle section between Cascade Falls and Te-Ah campground is the most popular section of VRRT since several loop variations can be done. But even on Labor Day, we saw only two other riders on this section and two groups of hikers on the first. Shuttle service provided by Brian Head will save you 2 hours retrieving the shuttle vehicle from the start. I was quoted a flat rate of $100, so $20/pp would have been reasonable for our group of 5.

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Virgin River Rim Trail
Type: Point-to-point, 95% singletrack
Mileage: ~33 miles
Ascent: ~4,100’
Descent: ~4,800’


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:19 am 
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Simply beautiful. I should visit Utah someday and ride those trails. By the way, what were you cooking on the grill? :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:05 pm 
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6packguywith5spot wrote:
Simply beautiful. I should visit Utah someday and ride those trails. By the way, what were you cooking on the grill? :lol:


It was late when we got done with VRRT. We knew that we had about an hour of light left and once the sun went down it was going to get cold fast, so we wanted to find a way to make a fire. Evan noticed some coals smoldering in the little elevated BBQ, so we took some wood shavings from the playground and threw them on there and blew and blew until we had flame. Then we moved the flame to the proper fire pit on the ground and continued to build a true bon-fire. That was a memory I'll never forget: building a raging fire with someone else's left over charcoal. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:44 pm 
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6packguywith5spot wrote:
Simply beautiful. I should visit Utah someday and ride those trails. By the way, what were you cooking on the grill? :lol:


Well, these were on the menu in case Sean didn't come back

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But QS couldn't catch any

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:42 pm 
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evdog wrote:
But QS couldn't catch any

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QS looks like he is unzipping his pants... :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:22 pm 
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kettlebell wrote:
QS looks like he is unzipping his pants... :lol: :lol: :lol:


Jacek what are you suggesting?

Dammit, Mike! Can't take you anywhere! :lol: :lol: :lol:



I took em so I might as well post em. Here are my pics

Our wheels
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Special preparations were in order
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We would have a great distance before we would be able to refill
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Morning view from the overlook
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What's over there?
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Ready to go
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But not QS. He decided some trail sanitization was in order
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Now he's ready
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We started with a short fun descent and a bit of a climb, then some more descent.
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First they log it then they burn it. This hillside was littered with woodpiles waiting to be burnt when conditions are right.
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Once we got up top the views really opened up
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There were frequent stops for photos
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And why not...
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The crew at another lookout
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And more great views
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And the singletrack was sweet too
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Very sweet...
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Handlebar pic FAIL
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We stopped for lunch at Cascade Falls. QS and Stang check out another overlook
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Looking back from where we came
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Trail map
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We go that way -->
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After some more climbing, more views
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Mike almost takes a wrong turn
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And then spots a UFO
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And more views
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Followed by more s/t
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Deno was into it
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Rest stop
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We got away from the ridge top for awhile
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And soon found ourselves above Navajo Lake
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Finally, around 20mi in, we get to the campground where we could refill with water. GP_pilot checks the map and sees only 2 big climbs remaining.
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Another rest stop in the trees
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As we climbed higher we started getting into Aspens
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Stang nears the top of the final climb
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The contrast of color in the aspens is awesome
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GP and QS reach the top
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And too soon, it was over. The only letdown for the whole ride was the final couple miles were a fire road descent back down to the rec area.
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When Sean told us it would take 2 hrs to retrieve the van and pick us up, I jokingly suggested we should build a fire. Knowing it would soon get cold once the sun went down we moved over into the sun. I happened to notice heat rising from a bbq stand and saw the coals were still hot. One thing led to another and we soon had a roaring fire.

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QS FAILed to catch us a sheep for dinner. So, zipper done back up, he decided to play on the picnic tables



That line proved too easy, so a new one was created so he could ride up as well

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The bastard gets it first try...



Back to the fire
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The end
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:36 am 
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That is freaking awesome. It has been several years now that I have trying to get up there but have not pulled it off (yet)

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