Out in the desert of Northern Arizona is an old abandoned gypsum mine site that glitters in the morning sun. The wall of crystal stones is easily accessible and provides a fun adventure for families and explorers alike.
A short drive out to Warner Valley and a bit of off-raod travel is all it takes to arrive at this fun spot and I highly recommend it as an afternoon trip to enjoy the desert sunset while filling your bucket with the gems scattered about.
Some blogs recommend bringing a hammer. pick axe or screwdriver to break apart the rocks, however a look around the area suggests that making too many disturbances to the wall could result in falling rocks from above; so I recommend simply gathering the gypsum that is scattered around the ground in the area.
Here is a handy Google Maps link to find your way. However, Maps typically will send you on the highway, ignore that and make sure to follow the dirt road just East of the highway.
This is one of St. George’s most common rides; combining beginner technical riding with some breathtaking views. The trail starts at the Chuckwalla trail head just north of Sunset Boulevard and heads west until it reaches the rim, hundreds of feet above Santa Clara providing an amazing view of the landscape and lava rock.
The trail is a single track loop once you drop down past Turtle Wall. The drop consists of a sandy wash and then a very technical climb up the wall then follows the rock face until the rim. There are many dips, climbs and small challenges along the way.
Many rides and runners simply return the same way, but for a rocky adventure, continue along the loop heading south at the rim. This will lead to about a 1/4 mile of very technical riding. It’s easy to carry your ride if it looks to sketchy, just set goals to tackle the trail next time.
The loops completes at the wash just before Turtle wall and, after climbing out of the sand, continues with a fun downhill run before a grueling climb back to the trail head.
Paradise Challenge: Two Laps
Challenge level 2: Beck Hill to Paradise overlook.
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