Lower Bitterbrush Trail
Lower Bitterbrush (we've divided the trail into two sections here, because of the very Jekyll and Hydeian nature of these two sections and because they meet the Antelope Trail right where things change) is an awesome technical trail to sharpen your skills before heading out on a trip to Moab! The Lower Bitterbrush Trail is marked with the blood and broken derailleurs of a generation of riders. If you are an advanced rider or want to be one, this is your playground! Before I go further, I think it's best to recall that whole "discretion is the better part of valor" thing (bet you weren't expecting a Shakespeare quote on a trails site, were you?). This trail is HARD, but there aren't really many surprises here. If something looks too tough for you to try today - don't. Very few riders can "clean" this trail and those that do often wreck trying. Have fun, ride hard, be careful! Heading up this trail is the ultimate interval workout where you will go from maximum effort 20 ft climb to maximum effort 20ft climb with about 10ft of flat recovery for a good section of this trail.
The Lower Bitterbrush starts at the Bitterbrush trailhead and seems innocuous enough at the beginning. Head out of the west end of the parking lot up a short section of newly restored trail that winds around big boulders heading north. Enjoy the smooth singletrack as the trail then heads west again and crosses a maintenance road. The first rocky section begins shortly. From here, the trail winds up a gnarly rock garden for close to a mile that will either make you smile from ear to ear or need to change your shorts depending on your comfort level with riding up big rocks, through narrow cracks, over roots, and up steep slopes.
You know you are coming to the top when you get to a prairie dog town. In the spring, this is a great place for wildflowers (thanks to the prairie dogs that help disperse seeds and prep the landscape for wildflowers!). The top of the hill has a bench on it, so feel fee to stop for a snack. Lower Bitterbrush only continues for a couple hundred more yards down a stepped (with rock steps spaced far, so easy to ride) trail down to the intersection of Antelope and Upper Bitterbrush.
Coming back down:
Lower Bitterbrush is a blast to ride down! It's a killer full-body workout keeping your bike upright over the interesting rock obstacles out there. Be careful about getting too much air here: this descent has claimed more than one rear rim of mine as I landed pointy rocks that make great tacos! Because the trail is so jankety and because so many people use it, always keep your eyes forward and your speed way under control. Keep your butt back over the rear wheel and enjoy the trip down.
Directions to the trailhead:
|Lower Bitterbrush GPX File||64.98 KB|
|Lower Bitterbrush Google Earth File||2.89 KB|
|Hall Ranch Kiosk Map||776.02 KB|
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