Horseshoe Bend

Vernal, Utah

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If you chum around the mountain-biking circle in Vernal, you’ll learn that the Horseshoe Bend loop goes by several names; regardless, it’s a locals’ favorite. The loop takes you across the broken high desert west of town that announces the onset of the expansive Uinta Basin. But as you scurry off the treeless mesa on a roaring descent, you catch sight of a line of cottonwoods in the distance that can mean only one thing—water. Progressively, the Green River grows nearer; then you follow along the banks of northeastern Utah’s lifeblood. Miles away upstream on a stretch called the Gates of Ladore, the Green boils with foaming rapids. Far downstream, the Green again tumbles through Desolation Canyon. But here, the river is rippleless and meanders on a circuitous course across broad tablelands, not through deep, confining canyons. A side spur takes you to the Notch where the river has doubled back on itself after making an 8-mile-long gooseneck around Horseshoe Bend. Towing memories of the Green River and of the fertile streamside pastures it nourishes, you surmount the terraced mesa to return to the trailhead.
Mountain Biking Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Biking Utah

by Gregg Bromka (Falcon Guides)

If you chum around the mountain-biking circle in Vernal, you’ll learn that the Horseshoe Bend loop goes by several names; regardless, it’s a locals’ favorite. The loop takes you across the broken high desert west of town that announces the onset of the expansive Uinta Basin. But as you scurry off the treeless mesa on a roaring descent, you catch sight of a line of cottonwoods in the distance that can mean only one thing—water. Progressively, the Green River grows nearer; then you follow along the banks of northeastern Utah’s lifeblood. Miles away upstream on a stretch called the Gates of Ladore, the Green boils with foaming rapids.

Far downstream, the Green again tumbles through Desolation Canyon. But here, the river is rippleless and meanders on a circuitous course across broad tablelands, not through deep, confining canyons. A side spur takes you to the Notch where the river has doubled back on itself after making an 8-mile-long gooseneck around Horseshoe Bend. Towing memories of the Green River and of the fertile streamside pastures it nourishes, you surmount the terraced mesa to return to the trailhead.

©  Gregg Bromka/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Vernal
Distance: 13
Elevation Gain: 900 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
Physical Difficulty: Moderate
Season: March to June, and September to November
Trailhead Elevation: 5,280 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Bureau of Land Management, Vernal Field Office, 435-781-4400
Local Maps: USGS: Vernal SE
Driving Directions: Directions to Horseshoe Bend

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Apr 2018