Torrey / Velvet Ridge

Torrey, Utah

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This 14.5-mile loop begins at the edge of Torrey, a liberally shaded little town containing some wonderful old stone-block houses and certain newer businesses suggesting that the quaint settlement has been discovered. Following sandy and sometimes rocky four-wheel-drive road, ATV trails through hills of clay, and 4.5 miles of pavement, the ride is rated moderate in both aerobic and technical difficulty. The sandy sections will be in best shape shortly after a rainfall; unfortunately, that’s also when the prospect of negotiating the tire-gooping bentonite soils of Velvet Ridge will range from improbable to impossible. Where the road hugs the base of the clay hills to wrap around the heads of several arroyos, look up and notice the clay “fans” coming off the rimrock above; they resemble the statifications of sand in a sand jar in their perfect layers of various shades. Out below, the wetlands and irrigated green hayfields of the Fremont River flood plain provide luscious contrast to the desiccated hills you’re traversing.
Mountain Bike! Southern Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Bike! Southern Utah

by Michael McCoy (Menasha Ridge Press)

This 14.5-mile loop begins at the edge of Torrey, a liberally shaded little town containing some wonderful old stone-block houses and certain newer businesses suggesting that the quaint settlement has been discovered. Following sandy and sometimes rocky four-wheel-drive road, ATV trails through hills of clay, and 4.5 miles of pavement, the ride is rated moderate in both aerobic and technical difficulty.

The sandy sections will be in best shape shortly after a rainfall; unfortunately, that’s also when the prospect of negotiating the tire-gooping bentonite soils of Velvet Ridge will range from improbable to impossible. Where the road hugs the base of the clay hills to wrap around the heads of several arroyos, look up and notice the clay “fans” coming off the rimrock above; they resemble the statifications of sand in a sand jar in their perfect layers of various shades. Out below, the wetlands and irrigated green hayfields of the Fremont River flood plain provide luscious contrast to the desiccated hills you’re traversing.

©  Michael McCoy/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Torrey
Distance: 14.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Moderate
Physical Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Season: April through October
Local Contacts: Loa Ranger District, Fishlake National Forest, 435-836-2811
Local Maps: Fishlake National Forest visitor map
Driving Directions: Directions to Torrey / Velvet Ridge

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Apr 2018