Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Silver Reef to Ice House

I was looking for something new with some good mileage so I had an amigo drop me off in Silver Reef. During the 1870's it was known as the murder capitol of Utah and had it's own China Town. There is still an original Wells Fargo building open for the tourists.
The first 2.5 miles is a steady and at times taxing climb with about 1000' of vertical gain, the higher you get, the better the view gets. 

After a 2 mile descent the road flattens out but maintains a general uphill tilt for eight more miles. The snow capped peak of Pine Valley Mt is always on your right hand side. Have I told you that it is the worlds largest lacolith? 

The summit is at 5341' and the last pitch to the top is  S T E E E P. Or maybe it just felt that way because I have not started  blood doping for this season.
That is Zion National Park in the far distance.

The second part of my plan was to locate the top of the Ice House Trail. My penchant for never getting lost really came in handy, luckily someone else had ridden it earlier that day or I doubt I would have found it.
The trail has seen very little traffic over the years but is getting a new revival as of late so I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

The early settlers of the St. George area used to take wagons up the trail all the way to Pine Valley. Fill the tarred in wagons with water and wait til they froze solid, and then bring them back down so they could have ice for most of the summer.
This trail is still very rough and my hands were aching pretty good by the time I made it down the last pitch into the Green Spring area. The last mile or so is pretty crazy, I have ridden it before on a long travel bike and it was much easier. 
A fully rigid SS should not be your weapon of choice unless that's all you have.

Totals;  saddle time 2:20 -- 24 miles. I was convinced it was going to be more like 30+ so I was a little put out. There was an abundance of interesting things to see and off shoots of the road to explore. I would definitely ride it again.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

not a bad ride... for an old guy.

I miss that scenery. Stop making me homesick!