Blow Hard - Trail, Brian Head, Utah

Blow Hard - Trail, Brian Head, Utah

DESCRIPTION

This trail was re-cut by the Forest Service about 3 years ago. The re-routing of the trail was to ensure that it would not pass throug the wilderness area that it now skirts. Most of the trail is down hill and shuttle is recommended for those of you who are not very strong climbers. If you like L O N G climbs when you get to the bottom you can ride the highway back to the top. Allow abot two hours if you ride it as a loop. Whith a shuttle it can be done in an hour or so. Get ready to loose altitidue, about 2500 Ft in 12 miles.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 10  
[Mar 14, 2007]
PhotoMom
Weekend Warrior

Both my kids (Mouse & Zack) rode this trail last summer. They said it's an amazing trail and a "must do" for the intermediate to advanced rider. They want me to hike it next time and take some "PhotoMom" shots of it.

Here's details from http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/index.htm

Blowhard Mountain is an advanced-technical downhill trail, usually ridden one-way with a shuttle vehicle. The trail drops 3300 vertical feet over 7 miles, for an almost 12% rate of average slope. One section near the top is particularly steep, averaging 22% slope over a mile. This is a challenging and tricky trail, delivering some great views and real bragging rights.

Brochures from shops and resorts at Brian Head may give you the impression that intermediate riders can do this trail. Well, maybe. But I wouldn't recommend Blowhard for the casual rider. This trail has a steep mile -- not "fly down the trail, take some air" steep, but "hang your butt behind the seat, work the brakes carefully, skid the tires through loose rocks while bouncing over roots and rock outcrops in constant terror" steep.

The trail begins by climbing uphill. After 1/2 mile, you begin dropping. Not too bad, you think. A few switchbacks, a few loose steep plunges, but not tough. Then, at mile 1.0, you hit the sick stuff -- a tiny trail traversing a steep side-slope, on a bed of loose pebbles, plunging at a 25% incline, through ridiculously tight switchbacks, down rock-outcrops, over roots.

The upper portion of the ride is on the freshwater limestone of the Claron Formation, formed 60 million years ago in a giant lake. This limestone breaks up into small angular chunks. These chunks form the trail surface, which makes the mile of steep ridgeline riding spooky for riders who like firm braking and steering control. Heavy spruce forest surrounds the trail here.

Once you've survived the initial 1.6-miles to reach the Potato Hollow trail fork, it gets much easier. Here Blowhard becomes an intermediate-level trail, with a few short sections reaching advanced technical. There are intermittent patches of sand, but they're easily ridden. Here you're riding through aspen, with occasional spruce, fir, cedar. The final steep plunge to the highway follows a gorge cutting through cliffs of Navajo Sandstone. In this lower ecosystem, trees are juniper, cedar, and bitterbrush.

Customer Service

For riders without a shuttle vehicle, there's the loop option. You'll spend 11.1 miles on pavement, 1.1 on gravel road, and 7.0 on the trail, for a 19.2-mile ride. You'll climb 3100 vertical getting to the trailhead. Add about 300 vertical on-trail. The loop is a monster ride. Even though the climbing is on pavement, don't underestimate the difficulty of 3400 vertical at this altitude, especially with the morning wind coming down-canyon into your face. If you're an experienced roadie climber, allow about 80-90 minutes for the 12 miles on the road.
Getting there: In Cedar City, zero your odometer at the intersection of Center and Main Street. Head east up the canyon on U-14. Trail's End: At mile 9.2, underneath tall gray cliffs, there's a cindered pullout on the left side, GPS N 37 36.965' W 112 55.919', altitude 7450'. The trail hits the road here. If you're riding the loop or leaving a shuttle vehicle here, I suggest you park at a pullout 100 yards down-canyon or 1/2 mile up-canyon, so you won't be in the way of the shuttle vehicles from Brian Head. (Alternate: continue to mile 11.5 and park at Wood's Ranch for loop ride.)

Trailhead: Continue on U-14 to the top of the plateau. At mile 18.1, turn left on U-143. Drive another 2.3 miles (mile 20.3) and turn left onto a gravel road at N 37 35.983' W 112 51.022'. 1.1 miles up the gravel road, just after going under power lines, spot the trail sign on the right side of the road, at mile 21.4. Trailhead GPS N 37 35.607' W 112 51.628', altitude 10650'.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 30, 2006]
jeffmonson
Cross Country Rider

DO NOT MISS THIS ONE if you are an intermediate to advanced level rider. I rode this trail with a group of 9 riders - ranging from beginner to advanced. The beginners had a rough time in several areas and had to walk down the loose, rocky switch-backs near the top. After about 2 or 3 miles of sketchy riding the trail transforms into one of the best trails I have ever ridden! Fast rolling, hard packed, tight lines through dense pines and aspens. My buddy got a mosquito stuck in his teeth because he was smiling so big. The scenery is also spectacular! Beginners will have more fun riding Dark Hollow (which is also a blast).

Customer Service

Shuttle to the top.

Similar Products Used:

Dark Hollow

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
2
[Aug 28, 2006]
bariumai
Cross Country Rider

Really liked this trail. Then again, I happen to enjoy walking my bike down 2-3 miles of steep descents covered with loose rocks. Penalty points are VERY high as well, especially in the top section. After the hike from hell, the trail gets fun, although there is a good bit of climbing. Good runs through trees on single track give a nice Star Wars Ewok speeder feel. After the fun section, there is another part of sketchy downhill. Be careful. There are some spots where you will likely die if you fall. Overall, the trail was good, but don't make it the second half of a 35-mile day. You'll need some energy for this one. Mind-blowing scenery though.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 01, 2003]
Cucucachu
Weekend Warrior

Took a fully supported tour of the Brian Head area. If you're not from the Southwest this may be the best way to see it all. This trail offers some incredible views of Cedar Breaks you can't see from any other view point. The day I rode it there were some thunderstorms in the area. This cooled the weather a little and made the trail nice and tacky.

Customer Service

Starting from the trailhead, this trail gradually works its way down as ribbon of smooth single track until you get the this first steep rocky section. With a little concentration you can roll it fine. A great view of Cedar Breaks here. You ride for about an 1/8th of a mile right on the lip. Then a quick left takes you into the switch backs other reviewers write about. As a flat lander I did some walking in this section. The single track with tightswitch backs is doable but intimidating. Next to you its steep. At the bottom of the switchback section the trail is nothing short of ribbon smooth, twisty single track in the trees. The next section comes out of the trees into soft sand but still going down, so put your butt behind the seat and roll it. At the end of the sand section you turn left through a cattle crossing and enter a rockin' roller coster section followed by riding on the edge of a rock formation (wish I could post pics of this). Then you are dropped into a tight ravine with lots-o-green, ending with nice down section onto HWY14. In my case, where the tour vehicle was waiting.

Similar Products Used:

Blow Hard is the most technical of the Brian Head singletrack. Others starting from roughly the same trail head: Bunker Creek (Left & Right Forks are both good), Virgin River Rim Trail, and my favorit

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
[Oct 05, 2000]
Mike

This is perhaps the one of the most if not the most amazingly diverse and technical trails I've ever ridden. It's also the most fun. Great technical rockfields, fast dirt singletrack, stream crossings, you name it this place has it. I've ridden many other trails in the Utah area and only dark hollow can compare to this one. If mountain biking's your thing you must venture to the high elevation and crisp clean air of Brianhead Utah.

Customer Service

point your wheel straight down and fly

Similar Products Used:

All of them, Dark Hollow, Bunker Creek, Town Trail, search around, ask some locals

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Nov 11, 2000]
dave

Of all of the trails at Brianhead to ride, this is the one. It is smooth, picturesque, and fast. It is difficult enough, fun turns and curves, and all around goodness. This is also one of the least technical and bumpy. I rode it once on a stiff front (that's right, so all of you F/S pansies can pucker your lips, I rode all of them on a stiff front) and this one was the nicest on my body. If you are h/t, or beginner, this trail is a good bet. All of the trails in Brianhead are good, but this is the best. Try it out.

Similar Products Used:

Dark Hollow, they all start from the same spot so ride them all, but ride Blow Hard twice.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Nov 14, 2000]
Tom

you said blow...

Customer Service

uhhhhhhhhhhh...huh huh.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jan 07, 2001]
Christina

As a busy student most of the year this is one trail that I take time out for. Cedar City is only 30 minutes from the head of this trail and an easy 15 minutes if you want to catch the trail half way. The top of the trail was a doosy for me as a beginner but toughing through the hard part is the best because what awaites you is beautiful. This trail offers things for all types of riders. A couple sweet ups with quick downs and wide open meadows to satisfy the x-country folks.
As far as conditions go this trail is rideable almost 8 months out of the year. If your thinking of making a trip out, talk to us locals when you come the the trails change sometimes in the winter months. This whole area of Southern Utah is a mtn. bikers paradise.

Customer Service

Don't close your eyes! This trail has awesome views.

Similar Products Used:

There are too many to choose from.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 27, 2001]
Darrell McMillan

This trail rocks. With the exception of a few very tight steep switchbacks towards the top, any intermediate rider should be able to clean it. I don't know where they got 12 miles from, the trail is actually about 7 1/4 miles long. It took us about 50 minutes of riding time to get down to the highway at the bottom. The views are spectacular. Even though it drops something like 3000 feet in so short a distance, there are a few rolling sections requiring hard pedaling. They're short but steep and will take their toll by the end. This is one of the three trails that keep us going back to Brianhead every year. The temperatures stay nice and comfortable throughout the summer due to the high elevation and it gets chilly at night. Enjoy.

Customer Service

Just as the description at the top of this page says.

Similar Products Used:

Bunker Creek & Dark Hollow

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 28, 2002]
Giacomo


Every one that is resourceful and properly equipped can ride this trail - its a breeze. Beginners will however, likely struggle with this one. A map is probably not necessary.

Ride time can vary due to the age old battle of: 1. Do I exit the trail where the (3 or 4) overlooks are and experience the mind blowing scenery or 2. Do I ride like an animal set loose in the forest (courteous to the trail and other users of course...)and drop the vert like it is going out of style? Ride time is therefore about 45-90 minutes.

For the first course of this tasty dish, the top part of the trail gives you a bit of dense pine forest to whet your apetite for greenery, then the second course is a brief rock garden that gives your spine a good shake and then it is on to the main course. The edge of the Cedar Breaks Park is then in view with a vantage point that is only accesible to hikers, bikers, horseriders and the local animals. Take your camera, because here is where the money shot is that your friends won't believe and you will be thinking about for days... The surface of the trail is now soft and colorful.

Now, are your technical skills dialed in? A series of challenging switchbacks will get your attention before you hit a swinging gate and then it is onto the next lower level of forest. Variable trail surfacing will give you a chance to see what is considered fast and what is inside the boundaries of your potential.

Pass through Crytal Springs and see the lush high mountain meadow and tons of wild flowers. For the next meal course it is a short climb and then a downhill on trail that is about 5 feet wide and takes you up to the nose of a hill that overlooks Cedar Canyon. Loose dirt abounds for a short while and then the dreamy roller coaster is ready for you to ride. Only about 6-7 of the rolling grade dips in this section can be launched without the penalty of bailing out due to the curves and the abundant speed you will now have. In the last third of the trail, you will now be a bit warmer due to the lower altitude.

After a fine meal, the desert course had better be good and this trail delivers all you could want and more. The bottom of the trail takes you from the "riding on the edge of a rock formation" down through a deliciously tight ravine with green, green and more green plants to line the trail. Soak your feet in the creek across from the trail terminus and you will be invigorated.

If you pick up a piece of trash or two on the trail, your karma will be polished up a bit for your next trail...

Customer Service

From peak. Or as a loop, start on Virgin Rim Trail at Woods Ranch, top out at Webster's Flat, ride Hwy 14 down to Crystal Springs and savor the lower half of Blowhard. To do a shuttle from the peak takes time and involves some driving.

Similar Products Used:

Virgin River Rim, Red Mountain

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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