Hidden amidst the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, the Benchmark/Perma Grin Trail offers a dose of natural beauty and technical challenges that mountain bikers crave. Clocking in at 9 miles with an intermediate difficulty level, this point-to-point trail provides an ideal setting for a quick 30-40 minute adrenaline-pumping ride.
Starting Point: Summerlin Mesa Park, by Flamingo and Town Center Drive, West Side of Las VegasGetting to the trail can be a mini-adventure in itself. For the uninitiated, finding the Benchmark/Perma Grin trail can be tricky. To avoid running afoul of gated communities and disgruntled guards, the best point of departure is Summerlin Mesa Park. From the park's northwest corner, you'll bike north on a sidewalk for about half a mile before coming upon a fenced drainage culvert. A dirt road just beside this culvert leads to the actual trailhead after another half-mile.
With new sections under construction, it's easy to get lost. As per local bike shop advice, always take the right at every Y-shaped fork to stay on the main trail. However, expect some unmarked dead-ends, especially in the under-construction zones.
Riders hail the Benchmark/Perma Grin Trail for its fun and challenge but lament the lack of proper signage and parking. If you're new or visiting from out-of-town, the navigation issues can be a serious drawback. Nevertheless, once the tires hit the dirt, the trail delivers a highly satisfying, fast-paced ride with several noteworthy technical sections.
The Benchmark/Perma Grin Trail is undoubtedly one of the more interesting trails in the Las Vegas vicinity, especially for those looking to squeeze in a quick but challenging ride. While the lack of signage is a noteworthy inconvenience, those who find their way will be rewarded with a captivating experience that mixes natural beauty with technical challenges. Given its unique setting and features, this trail is definitely worth the extra effort to find.