Gooseberry Mesa: Windmill and Hidden Canyon Lollipop

Hurricane

Zion National Park

A flowier version of Gooseberry Mesa.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
18 km
Ascent
234 m
Descent
234 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.6 km
Gradient
Gooseberry Mesa: Windmill and Hidden Canyon Lollipop Map

The longtime classic trail system on Gooseberry Mesa has seen a couple of trail additions in recent years—most notably the Windmill trail. Windmill offers an alternative path to begin the ride at Gooseberry. This new trail segment begins from a different trailhead and also provides access to the Gooseberry Yurts that now provide a glamping lodging option on the mesa.

Description

The pedaling on Windmill begins on relatively flowy singletrack interspersed with slabs of iconic Gooseberry slickrock. Windmill is a much more approachable trail than the more challenging sections found on South Rim, yet it still offers stupendous views with swoopy rim-side singletrack and vistas across the valley below. If you're looking for a slightly easier ride on Gooseberry Mesa, pedaling an out-and-back on the Windmill Trail is a great option.

After connecting through the Bowls and Ledges and Practice trails, this loop does reach the classic South Rim trail, following this challenging yet entertaining section of slickrock ridges and bowls for a few miles. However, to create a different ride variant than the Classic Loop, you'll turn off of South Rim before you actually reach the rim itself.

The turn you're looking for is the right-hander onto Hidden Canyon. While Hidden Canyon might look short and relatively flat on the map, this stretch of singletrack, if ridden in the proper direction (as mapped here), it provides a fantastic dose of speed and flow in an otherwise up-and-down trail system. Here, you'll find some superb sections of swoopy singletrack, still interspersed with rock shelves to climb up and over. Some of the rock sections here are decidedly different than the rest of Gooseberry, with narrow ledges and narrow canyons alike.

After dropping out of Hidden Canyon, you'll pick up the North Rim Trail and follow it all the way along the rim until it runs into Windmill, and then retrace your tire tracks back down Windmill to your car.

If you ride this route on one day and the Gooseberry Mesa: Classic Loop on a different day, you'll have successfully covered almost all of the designated trails on the Gooseberry Mesa!

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area