Mountain Biking the Navajo Lake Loop

Categories: Southern Utah Mountain Bike Trails, Things to do in Southern Utah

navajo lake mountain bike trail

Yesterday I had the chance to go biking on the Navajo Lake mountain bike trail that sits along Highway 14 just west of Duck Creek. And oh what a ride it was! One second you’re zipping along the banks of Navajo Lake, the other you’re up in the pines overcoming little hills that will give you birds eye view of the lake. Then you’ll find yourself at the most eastern side of the lake riding through a lava bed trail that’s been built straight through the lava. It really is a great trail.

Here’s a map to the trailhead. The trailhead is at the end of FR369 on this map, but there are signs and is easy to find. Basically drive along the Navajo Lake road to the western side of the lake, where on this map it says Navajo Lake Spring:

Once there you’ll begin at a leisurely pace heading east along the banks of the lake. After awhile you’ll start gaining some altitude and be among the pines a little more, but the climbs are never very difficult on the side of the lake. The trail has been built to have a good variety of ups and downs so you’ll have plenty of times where you’ll be racing down the trail at intermediate speeds.

Then you’ll reach the summit of sorts right about where the dike has been built to keep the water in the lake. This is a good place for a little stop as the view is great and there’s plenty of shade.

Navajo Lake Mountain Bike Loops Lava Trail

Navajo Lake Loop trailSoon after leaving the summit you’ll be at the eastern side of the lake (depending on what time of year you’re riding there may or may not be much water on the east side), this is where you’ll get to ride through the lava bed which is pretty fun. They’ve done a good job making the trail wind through the lava, and it really makes you wonder how hard it was to create this part of the trail.

Up Into the Pines on the Navajo Lake Loop Trail

Mountain Biking Navajo LakeNext you’ll cross over the main road and begin riding along the tree line above the main road. I especially like this part of the trail as it highlights what’s so great about the Navajo Lake Loop, it’s changing scenery. On the lake side of the trail you’ll be riding through a lot of open space and aspens, but on this side of the trail you’ll be riding through thick forest, with the occasional view of the lake.

It really is a fun trail, it isn’t terribly difficult but does offer some challenges to those looking for a happy medium. And the mountain lake views are hard to beat. So if you get the chance and are looking for something to do in southern Utah, the Navajo Lake mountain bike trail is definitely on the list.

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Clay Hunter is an outdoor evangelist. He's spent considerable time in the outdoors cayoneering, hiking, backpacking and river rafting. He counts himself incredibly lucky to have had the chance to experience much of southern and eastern Utah through his travels.

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