2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
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! If you want to gain some real elevation and access fantastic views across the entire region, then the Jackalope loop is for you! This route climbs to the top of the highest ridge in the trail system.
If you make it all the way to the top (which allows you to complete the entire loop), you’ll enjoy tremendous views of Dinosaur National Monument, the mountains beyond, and the desert below you.
Pack your camera and snap a few shots. The only way to potentially shorten this route is to travel out-and-back on one leg of the loop.
This will reduce mileage, but you’ll still be traveling in direct sunlight through low sagebrush, with no options for water resupply or bailout.
Be sure that you’re prepared for a long time out in the hills in this desert environment.