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Vegas/Blue Diamond/Cottonwood Valley plateau "The Hurl"

Hey bump junkies -
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One great technical climb, and a very good downhill. This trail is for the intermediate-of-heart or better.  Perhaps the best views in Cottonwood Valley.
Elevation total: 951
Distance total: 4.92 miles
Average climb: 6.6%
Steepest climb: 23.6%
Lots of technical climbing. Bring your knee pads if you're going to go for it and you're not confident.

The Details
Discussion with the excellent Las Vegas Mountain Bike Meetup group tells me that this is called "The Hurl". 

I parked at the McGhie's bike shop in Blue Diamond and headed up the pass to Cottonwood Valley.  Once I got over the saddle, stay right and you'll start to head up to the top of the mountain that looks over Blue Diamond. 

This is where the going gets tough - this is a rather technical climb. On my GPX route you'll note a few times that I had to stop and catch my breath. The climb is definitely doable without taking any breaks (and this is a goal I'll carry).

The trail is good and rocky up to the top of the hill. There are a ton of little 1 foot boulders and ledges you'll bump up to the top of as you climb. Everything is rather low-penalty, don't be afraid to get into it on the way up. 

Once you get to the top, you'll ride a beautiful meandering rather easy single-track.  You have absolutely amazing views of Blue Diamond and of Cottonwood valley - it's not to be missed. 

The downhill is not as tough as the uphill (maybe I rode it in reverse?).  There are a few steep spots but definitely all ridable.  When I got to the bottom of the valley I was presented with a number of different single-track options to explore my way back to Blue Diamond. I picked one at random, circled a water tank, and made my way back through town.

Here's the trail map and the elevation plot (click for larger):

This is an amazing climbing ride, and it's reminiscent of good climbing trails in California.  I took a quick day/loop - if you have more time, consider paring this with another loop from Blue Diamond.

So again, if you liked what you learned and you want to say "thanks", click through the banner below and buy something from Amazon. They sell pretty much everything, I'm certain you'll find something you like. 

Chris Hall,
Jun 8, 2011, 5:06 PM