Luke's Trail

Price, UT is usually one of those places I visit for work and bureaucratic errands.  We're talking exciting activities like taking in water samples, getting a driver's license, and meeting with the BLM.  Riveting.  It's not a terrible town, it's just sort of utilitarian and unimaginative. But if you dig a little deeper, there are really enjoyable places to visit, (isn't that always true?)  Price has a brewing company, a museum, and access to Nine Mile Canyon.  All good stuff.  This weekend, Jordan and I had to run a couple bureaucratic/utilitarian errands (e.g. getting a marriage license!,)  so we decided to try out some mountain bike trails in the area.

We drove just 0.5 mile north of town to the trailhead for Luke's Trails.  This area used to be totally trashed, because people would drive to the mesa and illegally dump their garbage.  A few years ago, a local mountain biker started cleaning up the mess and building unofficial guerrilla trails.  At first the BLM balked ("no environmental impact study?!") but they got on board once they saw how these volunteers had turned a trash heap into a great recreation area.

We started on Luke's Trail, which is a twisting singletrack on the mesa on the north edge of Price.  This intermediate-level trail winds through sage meadows and pinyon-juniper forests.  It also skirts the edge of the mesa for some great views of the Book Cliffs and the Roan Mountains. 

The gray slopes sometimes look bleak, but when the sun hits them just right they have their own kind of subtle beauty.  We rode along Luke's Trail, took a short detour to Alan Alley, then looped back to the parking lot via the Cattleguard Cuttoff, S'mo Joes, and Knott Petes Rim.  The trail was fun, but it definitely has room for improvement.  Sometimes the trail surface was composed of big round rocks imbedded in soft tuft soil, so it was tough to keep a constant speed.  The trails also got closer to the cliff edge than it needed to be in some spots.  But for a volunteer-built trail so close to town, it was totally enjoyable.  I wouldn't plan my vacation around it, but it was a great way to polish off an errand-y weekend in Price.

The trailhead for Luke's Trail is just 1/2 mile from the north edge of town.  If you're eastbound on Highway 6, take the first Price exit.  Turn left (north) on 300 East. Drive to 900 North and turn left. The road will turn to dirt and/or narrow asphalt, and will veer right and climb the mesa.  0.5 mile later at the top of the mesa, fork left (west) and proceed 0.1 mile to the Lukes parking area.

map credit:  www.utahmountainbiking.com