Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers
Length: 1.7 miles
Sub-Area: South Hills
Managing Agency: BLM
Access: Cove Wash Trailhead – From I-15 Exit 6 turn north on Bluff St. Turn left on Sunset Blvd. Continue on Sunset Blvd as it turns into Santa Clara Drive. Turn left on Gates Lane (just before reaching the Jacob Hamblin Home on the right). Cross the river and at 0.4 miles turn left (leaving the pavement). Note that the road from this point is steep and rocky, and can be eroded. At 0.7 miles turn right (at sign for Reserve). Pass the water tank, and at 1.3 miles turn right (at sign for reserve). Follow the road around to the left and park in the trailhead at 1.5 miles.
Sidewinder can be reached from two trails: Barrel Roll
. As its name implies it gently winds up a narrow little mesa through a series of switchbacks. At the top of the mesa the trail forms a small loop to take advantage of the terrain and spectacular views. Although the plant community is a typical black brush desert, there are some interesting eroded rock features and views of Santa Clara River and surrounding mesas that are hard to beat.
While it may be tempting to ride or hike off trail, particularly straight up or straight down, don’t. This mesa, like the other mesas nearby, has substantial areas of cryptobiotic soils. Many of the desert’s smallest wildflowers also find a home on the mesa’s slopes, but can’t be seen until bloom time in Spring.