FEATURE — A bit of a misnomer, Stucki “Springs” conjures visions of warm water pools begging you to take a dip. Truth is, there once was a spring, but all that remains is a dusty cement trough built for cows, in the middle of a whole lot of very dry desert. The trough sits amongst tamarisk trees, so most people ride right by without giving it much notice.
That being said, the absence of a Shangri-La is no reason not to experience this fantastic trail. Yet another prime trail departing from the Bear Claw Poppy Trailhead at the end of Navajo Drive in the Bloomington suburb of St. George.
Start out hanging close to the fence after your first left. This will drop you into the easy climbing wash heading west, and paralleling the Green Valley Loop. The wash will exit at a junction. Looking up the right trail, you’ll see Clavicle Hill, (the bottom of the Acid Drops on the Green Valley Loop). Continue straight ahead a couple hundred yards to another split; stay left.
From the top (you’ll know you’re there when you’re faced with a barbed wire fence), if you hook right you will head toward Santa Clara, passing turn-offs to the top of Jay’s Wash, Redux, the remains of Stucki Springs itself, Cove Wash, the Rim Runner Complex, and Barrel Roll Complex. As you can imagine, the options for loops and connectors are vast. However, once you get into this part of the desert, actual trail markers get rare so a sense of adventure (and some navigation skills) are a must.
Let’s treat Stucki Springs as something it truly is: one of the best out-and-backs anywhere. Take a breather, turn around, and get ready for some high speed, kicker (small jumps) infested, smile-inducing trail. Imagine: that climb you just puffed up for six and a half miles is now pointed downward, with only a few short ups, all the way back to Navajo Drive. Go ahead and open it up and have fun.
Please be cool and give the uphill riders the right of way … you just climbed it, you know what they’re going through. Besides, it’s easy to get back to “full gas” and the pleasure that is an extended descent.
Once you get to the bottom, high five your friends, comment on how much you love to ride your bike, try to wipe that silly grin off your face, and head out for a burrito. You’ve earned it!
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Written by Jay Bartlett for St. George Health & Wellness Magazine and St. George News.
Bartlett is an avid mountain biker currently working as a mechanic and salesman at Bicycles Unlimited. He has extensive experience with all the local trails and offers a wealth of information.
Email: [email protected]
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