Soak in the Cool
The high elevations of the Markagunt plateau are what make mountain biking during the hot southwestern Utah summers possible. It is normal to loose 30 degrees of temperature during the 90 minute drive, and 40 degrees is frequently possible. The single track trail around Navaho lake is a rolling curving ribbon of alpine loveliness that flows through aspen, spruce, and fir forests, and wildflower studded meadows. The riding is aerobic due to the 9200′ elevation, but low in technicality, suitable for a wide range of ability levels and when combined with the Virgin River rim trail, offers nearly 20 miles of loop possibilities.
Two trail heads at opposite ends of the lake offer numerous ways to arrange the riding and the elevation difference between the 2 sides is negligible enough to make both directions enjoyable. The trail on the north side of the lake (south exposure) is a mix of aspen with small pockets of spruce / fir and offers expansive views of the lake environment, while the south side is a denser and darker fir forest with limited views but more shaded riding.
Weather considerations: When riding this trail on summer afternoons be prepared for thunderstorms and sudden downpours. The temperatures can drop off a cliff when the rain starts pouring and the threat of hypothermia makes stuffing a rain jacket in your pack a wise move.
The season for this trail is dependent on the depth of the winter snow pack, the number of trees that fell during the winter, and the work load of the trail crews of the Dixie National Forest. Generally the trail is open and ridable by early June, but far later in heavy snow years. Snow fall in late October may end the riding season, but occasionally early November rides are possible.
- Difficulty: beginner to intermediate
- Kid Friendly- yes
- Dogs: yes
- Wet Weather ride- No
- % Singletrack- 90%
- Quality (1-5 stars) *****
Mountain Bike Project https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/1872459/navajo-lake-loop-trail-32022
Utah Mountain Biking http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/navaloop.htm