Nestled in the heart of Payson, Utah, the Blackhawk Loop promises a biking experience unlike any other. Known to offer miles of pristine singletrack set against the breathtaking backdrop of Utah's mountainous terrain, it's no surprise that this trail remains a favorite among avid mountain bikers.
Journey through the Blackhawk
Encompassing over 8.1 miles, the Blackhawk Loop serves as an ideal location for those in search of:
- Premier singletrack rides.
- A true test of stamina, bike handling skills, and route finding abilities.
- Over 14 miles of unadulterated singletrack bliss.
While Blackhawk Loop comprises several trails, often leading to changes in names, it’s recommended to bring along a topographical map and a trusty guidebook, with many riders praising Greg Bromka's Mountain Biking Utah as a valuable resource.
Setting Off: Navigating to the Trailhead
For those eager to embark on this adventure, reaching the starting point is simple:
- Take the Payson exit off I-15.
- Follow the signs leading to the Nebo Scenic Loop and Payson Canyon.
- The trailhead awaits approximately 3/4 mile past mile marker 10. Look out for a sign that says "Loafer Mountain Trail".
Trail Highlights and Precautions
- The Scenic Route: Recent travelers embarked on a mesmerizing journey, which began at the Loafer Mountain Trailhead. Guided by endless yellow wildflowers and amazing views, they opted to take the right on Blackhawk, heading down to the Blackhawk Campground.
- Beware the Overgrown: It's crucial to be cautious around Holman Canyon. The section of Blackhawk leading to it is notorious for being overgrown and hard to navigate, with Holman Canyon posing as an almost unrideable uphill challenge. Instead, consider following the Nebo Loop road and head towards the Frank Young Canyon Trail for a more pleasant experience.
- Natural Beauty: Blackhawk Loop excels in offering serene views of overlooks, pine forests, cow grass fields, and aspen trees, ensuring riders feel one with nature.
Tips for a Smooth Ride
- Preparation: Given the trail's remoteness, it's essential to be self-reliant. Riders are advised to:
- Carry a sufficient amount of water.
- Pack energy-rich food.
- Bring a detailed trail map and familiarize oneself with it.
- Have essential bike repair tools on hand.
- Mindset: While the trail presents intermediate-level challenges, the beauty it offers is unparalleled. Rather than speeding through, consider soaking in the magnificent views, making it a ride to remember.
With its unique combination of challenge and scenic beauty, the Blackhawk Loop stands out as a must-visit trail in Utah. Whether it's the allure of riding through vast stretches of singletrack or the promise of a true backcountry experience, one thing's for sure: Blackhawk is a trail that promises an unforgettable adventure.