Riding the Wedge OverlookGoogle Earth File of trail
May 27, I woke up to a rainy, dreary Heber Valley. I wanted to ride my bike and kind of needed to be on it for conditioning anyhow. So I started looking at trails south of here and found that there was one trail I'd heard about, Goodwater Rim. That is was Utahmountainbiking.com is calling it. It's on the Wedge in the San Rafael Swell, just southeast of Huntington, yes, Huntington, Utah. Getting there is super easy and it's a worthwhile drive...
I followed the directions and left highway 6 in Price at exit 241 and drove exactly 28 miles down highway 72 toward Castledale where I saw a narrow brown sign: "San Rafael Swell Access." It cuts through private, semi-open range property so please respect that. Don't speed and kill a cow. You can be hung for that. The above, very old corral is on the left side of highway 72 which is where you're supposed to turn left. Get on that road, left after you see the sign. You should be at mile 28.25 from Highway 6.
I drove 12 or so miles to an intersection that is more like a landing strip with a back country rest stop. I turned right here and continued down the road to the "Wedge Overlook." A few miles down the road you'll get to a camp site kiosk for the area. I would go there just to set up camp. It's one of the most beautiful places out there! This is where I decided I wanted to park at the north end of the trail which put me in the middle of the ride as well.
I parked in the Campsite 5 and made it apparent I wasn't going to take any space. As it would turn out, the trail cuts right through here so I got on immediately! I rode the western half of the trail as an out an back to get some miles. Then I took a break at the car and did the eastern half. Upon popping out at the eastern end of the trail I took the road back, it took about 8 minutes to get back to Campsite 5.
The trail is basically the only firm part of the desert soil. It's been hardened by continual use by mountain bikers. If you skid or swerve off the trail you'll end up with deep sandy problem. Thank goodness there aren't any sheep, cow's or motorcycles on the trail. It's tight and twisty. It's just over 15 miles of riding through the brush along the rim of an odd canyon tributary of the San Rafael River which you can see from several overlooks. It's very pretty.
Be aware, this trail is mostly flat and has easy ups and downs, little elevation gain and loss, but you have to stay on it because of the rocks. It's like riding the Paris-Roubaix. My 4" of front and rear suspension was enough travel but because of the cobbley nature of the trail I was rattled to pieces. I had to lube my chain halfway through the ride because it got rattled off...
Other Surprises included booby-traps. Yes, the trail is naturally booby-trap rigged. Be on your game. Here's what happens: Your front tire will hit a flat rock, lots of these, partially burried on the trail, it fulcrums and pops up, it's straightened upright with a pedal stroke, then attacks your bottom bracket, locks your rear wheel, sends you up and your forward momentum sends you down onto your face. Almost happened several times to me and once entirely caught me off guard sending me onto my face. You'll see rocks standing, pointy up, all over! No matter how good you are, these little dudes are out to get you.
I will call them "Merking Rocks." When you're moving quickly, which you can do on this trail very easy, you can imagine how quickly you go down! So aside from being a very cobbley and sadistic trail, it's fun to get out and see some pretty places.
I would recommend setting up a camp here and enjoying it. If you have a car, you can get there. A truck will make it so you can take adjacent roads all the way back to I-70 or Highway 6 as it heads south to I-70. Highway 72 will take you to Fremont/Loa, Utah which sets you in the direction of Escalante and Boulder. It's Beautiful country. Go Relax.