This is a local favorite. Sometimes called Jewels as a JEM-Goulds
mash up. It's the ride to do when you just want to go fast and easy. It has it all; great views, easy climbing, and fast flowy descending. It combines the easiest and fastest section of the trails in this network.
Need to Know
There can be 2-way traffic on part of this route, so keep your eyes open. Most of the time there is a very good line-of-sight so its easy to avoid any problems.
The trailhead can be a little hard to find, but the MTB Project mobile app should lead you right to it. Turn right off of State Road 9 onto Sheep Bridge Road just before you enter Virgin, Utah. Cross the Virgin River and take the first right after the cattle guard. Follow the two track to the end (this is the trailhead).
The trail starts as you leave the parking lot heading west downstream along the rim above the Virgin River. There are great views of the river with Zion National Park in the background. The trail is obvious at this point. As you leave the canyon rim the trail hits a dirt road and it can be a little confusing (mile 1.3). Go right (west) on the road for about 100 yards until you cross a (usually) dry wash. Turn left after the wash and look for the brown trail sign to get back onto the singletrack.
At mile 1.6, you'll come to the Hurricane rim trail junction - stay left on the JEM trail. You'll cross over a few double tracks, but the trail is obvious on the other side of the roads. At Mile 4.5 you come to a well maintained gravel road. Do not cross the gravel road onto the trail on the other side (you'll come down this trail on the return trip). Turn right (south) here, and follow the gravel road south for about 1/2 mile to State Road 59. Cross the highway and turn left, then go about 100 yards and then go right (south) on the dirt road (mile 5.2).
After about a mile (mile 6.3) look for corrals on your left (east). Turn here and follow the road past the corrals. You'll see another brown sign marking the singletrack. Follow the trail until it crosses State Road 59 again this time heading north (mile 8.8). After crossing the highway take the dirt road south to the upper JEM parking lot.
Look for the singletrack on your right (east) immediately after you cross the fence on a small bike cattle guard (mile 9.1). Get ready for one of the best xc descents anywhere. Simply follow the singletrack back to the Sheep Bridge parking area (and your car). The singletrack crosses a few dirt roads, but you'll be having so much fun you may not even notice. This description makes it sound more difficult than it actually is!
Shared By: Kevin Christopherson