Lower Bitterbrush Trail

Trail Meter: 

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 File64.98 KB
Lower Bitterbrush Google Earth File2.89 KB
Hall Ranch Kiosk Map776.02 KB
Map to Trail Head: 

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Lower Bitterbrush Trail Click on image to enlarge
Lower Bitterbrush Trail Click on image to enlarge

T: 9 A: 9 C: 7

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2.3 mi.
650 ft.


Drying out, only a couple of nasty ice sections which are just past the top going down to the Antelope "T" and then down to the creek on the upper part of the trail. Still it's best to go early as a few mud sections still exist.

RangerDMorris via Twitter: Hall Ranch - Bitterbrush Tr - Muddy spots and sections up through the Rock Garden, then mostly slush/mud. #boco_trails http://pic.twitter.com/maHoYeN1

Trail Meter: Good»Fair

Good to go to the top of the rock garden.

Rode Friday, dry the entire way

Rode at noon on sunday, trail is in good shape, even the saddle down to antelope. Dry to loop.

Trail Meter: Poor»Good

11/6 - Sunday: Ranger and Dave at Redstone Cycles says the lower part of Bitterbrush (up through rock garden) is good to go!!


via Denny Morris rangerdmorris: Hall Ranch - ~ 4" of snow this morning, warmed up to 41degrees = instant mud for the next few days

Trail Meter: Good»Poor

Heard it through the grapevine today - muddy as shit. Wait a couple more days - oops, snow coming then. Maybe by 11/5 or 11/6

Dry and fun. Ready to ride!

Trail Meter: Poor»Good

one or two small mud puddles then dry dry dry. (didn't ride the rest of hall but it's probably more of the same?)

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