Dixie Outdoors: Red rocks, city overlooks beckon bikers

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Owens trail is filled with scenic views and tricky terrain, and riding these red rocks is a great way to get some fun exercise.


Owens Trail, only about five minutes from campus and located west of Dixie Rock, is a beautiful yet challenging bike ride that is great for intermediate to expert riders. It is filled with tricky turns, big boulders and a lot of slippery sand and is a challenging adventure with a beautiful scenic overlook of St. George.


The trailhead begins near the intersection of Red Hills Parkway and Skyline Drive. It would be smart to park in the parking lot for Pioneer Park and walk your bike to the trail.


“Owens Trail is a fun trail to mountain bike or trail run that doesn’t require you to leave too far from home,” said MarkiJo Spencer, a freshman general education major from Eden.


According to www.utahmountainbiking.com, Owens Trail is 3 miles round trip, which is the perfect length for a quick ride. The trail is not only for mountain biking, but it is also a great place to hike or trail run. If you want to visit Owens Trail but have never mountain biked, an ideal way to start is to hike or run the trail to see for yourself what kind of terrain you will be dealing with.


The smell of freshly stirred dirt was in the air, and I was able to see all of St. George. After a few minutes of riding the trail, I was breathing heavy; it was a great workout. This hike would be a superb way to get exercise even on foot. Also, the views on Owens Trail are stunning, from beautiful rock formations to crisp views of the city.   


Although this trail is both for hiking and mountain biking, it is a lot harder to maneuver a mountain bike due to large rocks and loose dirt; it requires good technical skills.


“Owens Trail can get technical, but it is really rewarding and a great way to start off a morning,” said Matt Bass, a senior business major from West Jordan.


The beginning of the trail is the hardest part. For about the first 100 feet there is a very steep hill with loose dirt and big boulders in the trail. There are also a few parts where there are cliffs to one side of the trail and about 10-foot rocks on the other side. It would be smart to walk your bike through parts like these if you’re a beginner. After you make it past the steep parts, the trail widens and it’s easier to pick up speed.


If you are a beginner, I wouldn’t recommend riding Owens Trail until you are more experienced. You can find easier trails online at www.utahmountainbiking.com


If you want to get into mountain biking but don’t have a mountain bike, you can rent equipment at Dixie State University’s Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Center. Students can rent Cannondale mountain bikes for $25 a day and $35 for a weekend.