Bicycling Magazine Zion National Park: Navajo Lake Loop 

Slice through aspen groves and alpine meadows, passing lava flows and wildflowers on this 10-mile non-technical singletrack loop around Navajo Lake.

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Author: Bicycling Magazine
Date: 18 Sep 2008 3:49:56 PM
Activity: Mountain Biking
State: Utah (UT)
Distance: 9.8 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1185 ft
Total Loss: 1177 ft
Net Change: 7 ft
Difficulty: 3 / 10
USGS Topo Map: Navajo Lake
Tags: Duck Creek Village, Utah, Zion National Park
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

The loop around Navajo Lake is a great beginner route that offers big scenic payoffs along an easygoing singletrack without arduous climbs or gnarly technical sections. From the trailhead on the lake’s west corner, follow the dirt service road east. The trail immediately turns into hard-packed singletrack and cuts through a thick aspen grove. Continuing along Navajo’s eastern edge, ride through jagged lava flow rocks on a slow, gravelly doubletrack. The trail flattens, and then makes a short ascent to Navajo Lake Road. Cross the road and continue on the singletrack as it meanders and dips through coniferous forests. To the left, five connector trails (Dike, Spruce, Navajo, Lodge, and Te-ah) offer sustained intermediate climbs and access to the Virgin River Rim Trail’s 32-mile network. To head back to the trailhead, ignore the connector trails and bear right on Navajo Lake Road. 

-Mapped by Heidi Sackreuter and Color Country Cycling


TO TRAILHEAD: From Las Vegas, head east on I-15 to Cedar City, Utah. Exit in Cedar City, take Highway 14 east. Turn right 0.5 mile after mile marker 25 at the Navajo Lake junction (Forest Service Road 30053). Follow dirt road west to end of lake; the trailhead is 0.25 mile east of Te-Ah campground.

Position Format: Datum:

Nav Lake Loop

Distance: 9.80 mi Points: 445
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 37.531345, -112.814398
Southwest shore trailhead: Start riding north along dirt service road. Water and restrooms are available at nearby Te-ah Campground.


Location: 37.532569, -112.813164
Go right @ Y-junction on dirt service road.


Location: 37.532223, -112.812507
Go right @ Y-junction on dirt service road.


Location: 37.529864, -112.808877
Trailhead parking lot: Continue heading east on trail @ sign in parking lot.


Location: 37.528321, -112.804686
Go right @ T-junction. Meadows of pink penstamon, red Indian paintbrush, blue lupine and yellow asters provide beautiful backdrop for landscape pictures.


Location: 37.526508, -112.780240
View of Navajo Lake and Spruces Campground (across the lake) @ 1.8 miles.


Location: 37.525268, -112.761164
Stay left @ Y-junction. The spur trail to the right leads to a dike across the lake (which acts as a possible shortcut back to the trailhead). Note: you can't ride the dike, but you can walk across it.


Location: 37.526088, -112.750127
Go right @ Y-junction, at the beginning of lava flow. Here, the trail winds through lava rock and boulders. Don't come into this corner too hot; the gravel surface is very slow. Bunches of white columbine grow in the volcanic soil. Underground lava tubes provide release of lake water into Kolob Valley, keeping Navajo Lake at a constant level and providing headwaters for the Virgin River in Zion National Park.


Location: 37.517647, -112.750027
Here the trail intersects with the dirt entrance road to Navajo Lake. Cross the road and continue on trail directly on the other side.


Location: 37.518304, -112.764702
Dike Connector Trail is to the left, the first of five connector trails that access the Virgin River Rim Trail.


Location: 37.517754, -112.773161
Trail accesses Spruces Campground (restroom available) to the right. Continue heading west on the trail above the campground through pine trees. Taking Spruce Connector Trail to the left brings you to the Virgin River Rim Trail.


Location: 37.519530, -112.789249
Option: Bear left to access Navajo Connector Trail.


Location: 37.519956, -112.803598
Go right @ T-junction. Option: Bear left to access Lodge Connector Trail.


Location: 37.520918, -112.802793
Go left @ dirt road junction (heading west). This is the service road to lake campgrounds.


Location: 37.525520, -112.810879
Option: Bear left to access Te-ah Connector Trail.


Location: 37.531326, -112.814434
End of loop at the trailhead.

North Side of Navajo

Location: 37.527698, -112.783585
© Color Country Cycling,

Lava Section

Location: 37.519393, -112.749596
© Color Country Cycling,

Under Cloud Cover

Location: 37.528243, -112.812939
© Color Country Cycling,

From the Handlebars

Location: 37.525520, -112.771225
© Color Country Cycling,

Singletrack through Trees

Location: 37.520142, -112.785130
© Color Country Cycling,

The West End

Location: 37.529740, -112.813454
© Color Country Cycling,

East Side under Clouds

Location: 37.522253, -112.750626
© Color Country Cycling,


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