Bearclaw Poppy Trail System
Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers and Hikers
Bearclaw Poppy is a single-track that can be ridden in either direction, but the trail is most enjoyable when starting from the Gap Trailhead. This direction allows the rider to begin riding downhill - taking full advantage of the rolling terrain. The trail can be ridden as an out-and-back or riders can take advantage of city streets to make a loop.
This trail is rated as easy, however, riders should exercise caution due to steep hills named Acid Drops, Clavicle Hill, and the 3 Fingers of Death. Easier routes are marked so bikers can ride around the more challenging sections.
This area is part of the Red Bluff Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), which was designated for the protection of the Dwarf Bearclaw-Poppy (Arctomecon humilis). Federally listed as endangered, the Dwarf Bearclaw-Poppy is found only in Washington County, Utah. As such, the protection of its habitat is critical to its survival.
Before the development of the trail system, motorized and non-motorized users were contributing to an astounding proliferation of trails, threatening the existence of the poppy. Now, a large portion of the ACEC is closed to motorized use and all users are restricted to designated roads and trails. Previous users created illegal trails that will take years to rehabilitate. Stay off illegal trails and stay on designated trails to protect this area’s cryptobiotic soils and poppy-loving gypsiferous clay soils - which are extremely soft, and easily damaged.
Bloomington Trailhead: From Interstate 15 take Exit 6 into St. George. Turn north on Bluff Street. Turn left on Black Ridge Drive. Turn right on Hilton Drive. Turn left on Tonaquint Drive just on the other side of the river bridge. Turn right on Bloomington Drive. Turn right on Navajo Drive and to continue until it turns to a gravel road. Just past the cattle guard, park in the open area on the right.
Gap Trailhead: From Interstate 15 take Exit 6 into St. George. Turn north on Bluff Street. Turn left on Black Ridge Drive. Turn right on Hilton Drive and continue as it turns into Dixie Drive. Turn left on Canyon View Drive (just before the Green Valley Market) and continue until it turns into a gravel road. Turn right and head north .15 miles. Turn left to drop down off the mesa. Continue .3 miles to where the road crosses a wash. Continue uphill for .6 miles to the parking area on the right.
Tukupetsi Trailhead: From I-15 Exit 6 turn north on Bluff Street. Turn left on Sunset Blvd. Continue on Sunset Blvd as it turns into Santa Clara Drive. Continue 0.5 miles past the Jacob Hamblin Home and turn left onto a gravel road that leads to the Tukupetsi Trailhead.