Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
The McCoy Flats Trail System located outside of Vernal, Utah is the most expansive trail network in the region.
With over 35 miles of interconnected singletrack, you can create routes of varying lengths and technical difficulties.
The terrain in this region is classic desert badlands, filled with flat-top mesas, soaring ridgelines, and lowlands in between.
There isn’t any tree cover to speak of in the area, so expect to ride in direct sunlight the entire time.
During the spring, the hillsides are covered in green grasses and flowers, but in mid-summer, the earth will be scorched dry. Consequently, the best time of year to ride here is during either the spring or the fall.
With the McCoy Flats trailhead located at 5,300 feet above sea level, the area is a bit too high for reliable winter riding.
However, when you hit the temperature window just right, the weather is absolutely perfect! The route mapped here explores the most technical trails in the network.
While it’s hard to label any of these trails as truly gnarly, tight, twisty singletrack will demand advanced control of your bike.
Rock gardens provide much more chunk and spice than you will find on other trails in the network, and if you have the eye of an advanced mountain biker you’ll spot numerous alt lines—usually ledge drops to flat landings.
Not the most pleasant of alt lines, but still, if you like to bash your bike around you can find a way to do it on these trails. The trails in this route, including More Hoes, Fire Sale, and Slippery When Wet, are all rated as black on the trail maps.
More than the rocks, the steep climbs and descents contribute significantly to the black rating.
More Hoes, in particular, climbs straight up the side of one of the largest mesas in the area.
Once on top, it affords gorgeous views of the region… and then get ready for a steep, tight, fall-line descent right back down! Overall, the trails at McCoy flats provide an old school, hand (and hoof) built singletrack feeling that’s becoming rare these days.
If you enjoy the feel of old school mountain biking in the desert, McCoy Flats is for you!