Mountain Biking the Prospector Trail

The diversity in mountain biking trails in Southern Utah continues to astonish.  

The combination of Prospector and Church Rocks trail is stunning to say the least. The two trails together make a short, six-mile lollipop-style loop, but can also be extended to include the Cottonwood Trail. Regardless, you will see some of the most vibrant red rock scenery anywhere.  A simple mountain bike trail map shows the basics out-and-back Prospector Trail and also the add-on loops on which to extend your ride.

Desert trail with mountains in background.

The Cottonwood Trail head starts you out just southwest of the Red Cliffs Reserve. Most of this ride is fairly flat with some rollers and a little climbing in the lollipop of the loop. There is great mixture of slick rock, “crocodiles,” single track with small berms, and some technical sand climbs that will likely have you hoofing it a few yards. You might find that a fat tire bike is a better bet for this ride. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, anyone can ride this trail. On any style bike.

This is one of the more family friendly trails in the area, as you never venture too far into the wilderness and always have an option to cut short or turn around. if needed. That being said, do your best to not turn around or you might miss some of the prettiest territory in the Greater Zion area.

Mountain biker on desert trail.

The beauty of the Prospector Trail is it can be as difficult or easy as you want to make it. The terrain is a soft-pack dirt in parts, some sandy trails, and some amazing slick rock.

Be sure that you don’t forget a camera. This is one trail for the books, and you are sure to love the sites along the way!

Need a rental bike or more info on the trail systems in the area? Visit our mountain biking activities page for a list of guides and outfitters.