With sweeping desert views and a variety of challenging terrain, the Cryptobionic Trail is perfect for more experienced beginners and intermediate mountain bikers. The trail begins at the Virgin Dam Trailhead and travels 3.0 miles through rolling terrain before ending at the Goosebumps Trail. While it is a great stand alone ride itself, it is often used in conjunction with other trails in the area to form a larger loop. This trail also open to hiking.


The Cryptobionic Trail is accessed from the Virgin Dam Trailhead in the Hurricane Cliffs Trail System. Many of the dirt roads in the area are not marked so a GPS and map can be helpful to find your way. To reach the trailhead from Main Street in Hurricane, UT:

  1. Drive East on UT-59 for 3.2 miles to the dirt road on the left, usually known as Sheep Bridge Road.
  2. Turn left onto the dirt road and continue 1.9 miles to the junction on the left.
  3. Turn left and continue 0.2 miles to the junction on the right.
  4. Turn right and continue 1.3 miles to the Virgin Dam Trailhead at the end of the road.

The dirt roads used to access the trailhead are usually passable to passenger cars in dry conditions but may become impassable when wet.

The Route

From the trailhead, locate the Cryptobionic Trail at the south end of the parking area and begin riding south as it winds through the hilly terrain. As you continue up the trail, an impressive view of Gooseberry Mesa unfolds to the south. The grade is generally uphill but a few dips and turns keeps things moving fairly quickly as you make your way through the desert.

After approximately 1.8 miles, the trail crosses Sheep Bridge Road and arrives at a small parking area. Proceed to the parking area and continue riding on the marked Cryptobionic Trail. The upper section of the trail is slightly more difficult with more climbing and more rocky, technical sections. Some sections provide short, alternate trails for those wanting more or less of a challenge. After 3.0 miles, the trail ends at the junction with the Goosebumps Trail. Turn around a for a fast flowing ride back to the trailhead, or turn onto the Goosebumps Trail to experience more of the Hurricane Cliffs Trail System.

Rules & Regulations

Stay on designated trails.

Clean up after pets.

Pack out all trash.

Special Considerations

Mountain biking can be a dangerous activity. Ensure your equipment is properly maintained and appropriate for the terrain. Be sure to wear appropriate safety gear including a helmet.


This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.