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Non-Motorized Trails

Trail Difficulty Descriptions

 

Hiking

The rating descriptions described here take into account the local conditions that will be experienced in Washington County, Utah, meaning everything is relative.  Ratings are based on topography, trail conditions, and the physical exertion required.  This includes such factors as elevation, grades, trail surfacing, exposure, drop-offs, water crossings, signage, route finding, and length.

 

Easy:         Two miles or less round trip.

Grade is 5% or less with minimal elevation changes. 

Well defined trail with directional signage. 

Surfacing provides secure footing.

 

Moderate:  Four miles or less round trip.

Grade is between 2-8%, but short, steeper sections may be encountered.

Elevation changes 500 feet or less.

Defined trail with directional signage.

Surfacing presents some footing challenges such as sand, gravel, rocks, or slickrock.

May encounter other challenges, but most obstacles are short and generally avoidable.

 

Strenuous: Between four and eight miles round trip.

Grade is between 2 to 8 %, but long, steeper sections may be encountered.

Elevation changes may be over 500 feet, but less than 1000 feet.

Route finding may be required and directional signage may not be present.  Surfacing is highly variable including sand, gravel, rocks, or slickrock.

May encounter other challenges such as boulders, short sections of steep, exposed rock, and narrow water crossings.

Some scrambling may be required.

 

Extreme:    Eight miles or more round trip.

Grade is extremely steep at 15% or greater.

Elevation changes are 1000 feet or greater.

Route finding required and no directional signage present.

Surfacing is highly variable including sand, gravel, rocks, or slickrock.

Will encounter other challenges such as boulders, long sections of steep, exposed rock, and fast or high water crossings.

Scrambling will be required.

 

Mountain Biking

The trail difficulty ratings described here are based on the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Difficulty Rating System.  This system focuses on rating the technical challenge of a trail versus the physical exertion required to ride it.  The physical exertion required by a certain trail or loop should be judged by its length and accumulated elevation changes.

 

Easiest:                     Width is 36” or more.

Gravel or natural surface that is generally firm and stable.

Trail grades average 5% or less with a maximum trail grade of 15%.

May have unavoidable obstacles 2” tall or less and taller avoidable obstacles.

 

More Difficult:          Width is 24” or more.

Natural surface with some variability, but is generally stable.

Trail grades average 10% or less with a maximum trail grade of 15% or greater.

May have unavoidable obstacles 8” tall or less and taller avoidable obstacles.

May have unavoidable bridges of 24” or wider.

 

Most Difficult:           Width is 12” or more.

Natural surface that is widely variable.

Trail grades average 15% or less with a maximum trail grade of 15% or greater.

May have unavoidable obstacles 15” tall or less, and taller avoidable obstacles.

Steep drop-offs, tight turns, low over-hangs, and other conditions may exist.

May have unavoidable bridges of 24” or wider.

Short sections may exceed criteria listed.

 

Extremely Difficult:  Width is 6” or more.

Natural surface that is widely variable and unpredictable.

Trail grades average 20% or more with a maximum trail grade of 15% or greater.

May have unavoidable obstacles 15” tall or greater, and taller avoidable obstacles.

Steep drop-offs, tight turns, low over-hangs, and other conditions may exist.

May have unavoidable bridges of 24” or narrower.

Many sections may exceed criteria listed.