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October 10, 2010

Brian Head: Navajo Lake

Filed under: 2010, MTB Travel, Southern Utah — anotherheader @ 10:30 pm

Navajo Lake is twenty miles from Brian Head.  On Ross’s departure day, the easily accessible Navajo Lake Loop was our choice.  The 10-mile loop around the lake with minimal climbing makes for good short ride.

The Navajo Lake Loop rolls on smooth singletrack through constantly changing scenery.  We rode the trail in clockwise direction starting from the Te-Ah campground.  In this direction, the tread first passes through groves of September’s florescent aspens.  Eventually the path reaches a lava flow at the closed off end of the lake.  Navajo Lake is naturally dammed by a rugged 2,000 year-old (or so) A’a flow.  As the trail crosses the lava dam, the aspens thin and give way as the smooth pulverized rock path transits the black lava outcrop.  Once on the other side of the dam, the loop continues on a hillside and the trees return.  On this side of the lake the aspens are less frequent.  Here the forest is predominantly made up of evergreens many of which that have been left dead as a consequence of a bark beetle infestation.

The trail has undeniable flow.  There are no big climbs.  That’s a good thing for us.  At 9,200 feet, even short climbs constrict our pupils and leave us trying to breath through our navels.

Even with frequent picture stops and birth date-challenged riders, the loop is easily completed in a couple of hours.  No real technical challenge is presented.  There’s just one problem.  Navajo Lake Loop is full on trail candy.  Your dentist will surely disapprove. has more practical information about the Navajo Lake Loop ride.

More pictures.

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