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Black Dragon Canyon

Average Rating:    (3.83 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 6

Old jeep trail that passes by Fremont Indian rock art as well as a mining claim or two. Can be done as an out and back, or a one-way with a car shuttle from the ranch exit at I-70 Exit 129. (unless the idea of a 12 mile uphill ride on the interstate shoulder to make a loop appeals to you) Nice uphill ride, but the best scenery is in the lower 4.5 miles of the ride. Almost guaranteed not to see any other traffic after passing the rock art. Once exiting the canyon, the landscape opens up, and the trail follows a small canyon for a distance, and eventually tops out in open meadow-type surroundings. Once you've had your fill of climbing (the trail continues to the top of the San Rafael Swell) you can turn around for the descent. Some sandy spots with loose rocks, but nothing very technical. When you get back to your car, look at the base of the huge slickrock ramp you parked next to. If you still have the legs, ride up the ramp for a birds-eye view of the trail you just rode. Not for those with a fear of heights. Wide open slickrock (without the dashes) where you can do as you please.
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Latitude
38.92522904714054
Longitude
-110.478515625
Trail Directions
From Green River, head west on I-70. Between mileposts 145 and 144 (about 0.5 miles past the San Rafael River) there is a gate on the North side of the interstate. Remember to close the gate after you pass through, and continue on the dirt road for about 1 mile to the signed turn-off for the Black Dragon Canyon. Just before you enter the mouth of the canyon, there is a turn-off to the right that leads to the base of a large slickrock ramp. Good place to park and start the ride.
Trail Length
4.5 in the canyon, 15 miles to the top (one way)
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Gren River
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
April 18, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Floyd ,  Downhiller

Summary:
This is a very fun trail but I wouldn't recommend going up then down. Just go down. But be careful one of my riding partners took a hard crash and is still pretty hammered from it, over a week later. The trail starts smooth and slow mostly flat. then it picks up into a nice downhill with some cool dips, still smooth. The trail takes a turn and gets rocky and semi steep so be ready for it. (this is where my friend crashed.) you will go through the canyon which is way cool.

Recommended Route:
Take Exit 129 on I-70 and follow the frontage road it will swing north. Follow that for about 6 miles there will be a road on the right that heads south east. That is the start of the trail. Leave pick up vehicle at the dirt road between mileposts 145 and 146, on I-70.



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Review Date
November 18, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Troy , from Salt Lake City

Summary:
Scenery - *****
Slickrock Ramp - *****
Climb - *1/2
Downhill - ***1/2
Upper 10 miles *
Overall - **** By far the best parts of this ride are the scenery and the slickrock ramp and playground to the northeast of the trailhead. The slickrock is cool because it is only as tough as you want it to be. If you have legs of steel and lungs of leather you can go straight up. There is plenty of room to zigzag your way up if you are not feeling up to the climb. You could make a whole day out of just exploring this area. Once on top the slickrock just goes on and on. Just don't fall off the edge. The 800 foot drop won't kill you, but the sudden stop at the bottom sure will. The ride up the canyon is pretty and fun for the first 5 or so then becomes relatively bland for the next 10. The trip back is bit better because you can carry some pretty good speed and get the wheels off the ground a time or two. We did this ride in mid November and the weather was perfect. mid to upper 40's but a tad chilly and windy up on top. This is a great ride to keep the legs spinning in the off season. It's a damn sit better than a spinning class!

Recommended Route:
Out and back. We did the whole thing 29.4 miles round trip. By far the best part is the lower 5.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
I wish I knew of more trails in the swell!



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Review Date
June 6, 2002

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Mike , from Sandy, UT

Summary:
We rode as a family with 11-16 year old kids and 3 adults. It is a delightful downhill with just enough challenge to give the newer riders a little experience. Great family ride! Scenery is fantastic! Take lots of water. We used a "sag wagon". Almost any 4WD with a low range should be able to follow you with care, but they won't keep up with the bikes! There are a couple of washes where you may have to stack rocks to get through with a stock 4WD. We rode on Memorial day and saw 1 biker, 2 ATVs until the Rock Art! By the way, the rock are is partially Fremont culture and partially "desert archaic" culture which dates about 1-3000 years ago.

Recommended Route:
We left a shuttle at the mouth of the canyon as described. We then drove west on I-70 to exit 129, and started around sinkhole flats. There are a couple of turns, just take a map (we used the National Geographic, Trails Illustrated map of the San Rafael Swell) and you shouldn't have any problems.



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Review Date
May 1, 2002

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
3.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Boris , from San Jose, CA

Summary:
Off the hook trail. Rode through snow, hail, rain, and ended laying out in the sun. Great ride for those campers that have a hang over from the previous 2 nights. Spectacular views! Would love to ride it over and over again. Like a roller coaster, once you ride it and liked it, you want to ride again and again.

Recommended Route:
Not sure.



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Review Date
February 24, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Paul , from Springville, UTAH

Summary:
We traveled this trail February 23 (still snowy in some shadowy spots, and muddy in the sunny spots, but very rideable). The first part of the trip, you just follow the dirt road to the first Y junction and fork left. The next prominent Y junction is where we had a bit more confusion (see recommended route). Just make sure you fork right at the honey-blonde out-cropping of rock to the north of the Y junction. After that it's all down hill! We stopped and confirmed that we were entering into Black Dragon canyon by seeing that the canyon's rock had layers of red-brown, terraced with layers of orange-brown, topped with a layer of white-tan stone. We stopped here and refueled and rehydrated. Continuuing further, we saw the massive canyon walls, and then we arrived at the pictographs. The rock art was bound by log fences 50-60 feet long and there's a visitors log book you can sign with a message to please preserve these awsome pictographs for future generations. Exiting out of Black Dragon Canyon, we found our shuttle vehicle. It was really a lot of fun. We did this as a Scout group and had 5, 11-13 year old boys and 3 adult leaders. The boys were all beginners and two of the three adult leaders were intermediate-expert level riders. The last leader was a beginner. Great trail for beginners to learn on!

Recommended Route:
Take I-70 west from Green River to a dirt road between mile post 145 and mile post 144. There's no official exit here, so once you see mile post 147, SLOW DOWN! There will be a gate you'll have to open and then close behind you once you're vehicle is through. Now travel down the dirt road about a mile to a sign that says, "Black Dragon Wash." Turn left at the sign, and park your shuttle vehicle here. Now go back to I-70 and travel west on I-70 to exit 129 (Ranch Exit). Double back on the frontage road and travel for about 6 miles to a place called "Sink Hole Flats." There is a sign at Sink Hole Flats for drivers that are headed out of the canyon which reads "Salina Canyon Campground (go north), I-70 (go south)". We left our transport vehicle here, disembarked the bicycles and began our ride. Traveled about 1.5 miles and forked left at a Y junction on a good dirt road. Road for another 2.6 miles to a prominent Y junction. There is no sign here, so we had to double & triple check the maps. What helped us the most was a honey-blond out-cropping of rock from Jackass Benches which rose immediately before us to the north. Seeing that, we knew that if we forked RIGHT it would take us straight to Black Dragon Canyon. You can really get going fast while skirting the bench. There is a ravine (about 50 feet deep) to your right that you will ride next to, but it never gets closer than 20 feet from the trail. Then the trail will empty into a wash area. This is followed by the entry into Black Dragon Canyon itself. As you exit the canyon, you'll see your shuttle vehicle.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5