Drew put the call out awhile ago to investigate the rumors of sweet 1-track in Vernal. Little did he know I had already been there twice and knew just where the goods were. Drucy, Wedge, Single H, Rhonda and I left the cold of the valley behind on Friday and met up at McCoy Flats just west of Vernal to begin our 1-track weekend. We started with a warm up on Serendipity loop which starts with a gentle climb to the ridge above the McCoy flats parking area and finishes with a fast romp down the ridge on the narrowest single track you’ll ever see. Unlike Fruita, Vernal gets very little traffic and the trails are still of the 4-6″ wide hand cut variety. We finished our riding Friday on More Hoe’s. Over 30 Hoe’s were destroyed in the construction of this loop and I can see why. It’s super narrow, rocky and kinda technical including a scary traverse of a 6″ wide knife edge ridge on loose cobbles.
Saturday we woke up, shook off the early AM chill and headed over to the Red Mountain trailhead to ride Rojo. Rojo starts by climbing almost 3 miles up a jeep road and finishes with a technical decent all the way back down on slickrock. This isn’t your typical Moab slickrock either. It’s scarred and pockmarked from erosion with endless wheelsucking holes if you stray off the marked trail. In other words wicked fun. After Rojo we headed over to ride a big loop of Cabin Boy, Three Amigos and Chrome Molly. I had ridden these trails a few years ago and navigation was a challenge to say the least. This time we came prepared and Single H loaded his Edge 305 with track files to keep us on trail. It kinda worked. We started on Cabin Boy which was a nice mix of narrow 1-track and slickrock. Three Amigos was next and thats where the fun began. About halfway through the loop we followed a trail sign off a double-track which coaberated with the GPS track. After a couple hundred yards the trail pretty much disappeared. We would see a bermed switchback here and there but large swaths of trail were gone and without the GPS we might still be out there! Well not really but we would have ended up bushwhacking back to the road. Apparently sections of the Three Amigos trail have been abandoned. Who would have known. Eventually after 3-4 miles of losing the trail and following cow paths that went in the same general direction as the GPS track we re-connected with a part of the trail that was still in use and rode it back to the car.
It rained a bit Saturday night and the skies looked pretty threatening Sunday morning when we woke up. Our original plan was to explore the new Springfield trails (all named after Simpsons stuff) northwest of town but with the possibility of bad weather we decided to stick with what we knew and ride some of the trails we hadn’t hit yet at McCoy flats. Just as we were about to head out the skies opened up and dumped rain. Ten minutes later the rain stopped and we saw a small patch of blue to the southwest open up so we headed for the trailhead. We started on Firesale which was a blast. Narrow single-track and a bunch of fun little moves to test your technical prowess. About halfway through the loop more dark clouds started heading our way so we motored through as quickly as possible. We quickly loaded up in some light sprinkles and just as we were leaving the parking lot it started to hail.
Vernal was fun and I’d defiantly go back again. It’s not as cool as Fruita or some of the new trails in Moab but it’s closer and there’s far fewer people. The entire time we were there we never saw another soul on the trails and only a handful at the various trailheads.