There are some amazing ATV trails near Zion National Park and Coral Pink Sand Dunes.  The ‘East Fork’ of the Virgin River runs through the area know as the Elephant Butte area.  This is a mega out door play ground for ATV Adventures and includes some of the most vibrant nature you can imagine| Gooseberry Mesa, The Cain Beds, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Pipe Springs are all part of this area.  Just a short drive from the St George UT area you can be on the trails in 30-40 minutes.

Elephant Butte Trail - ATV Trails near Zion National Park

Elephant Butte Trail – Near Zion National Park

Friday afternoon my son and I took the short drive from St George out to the Cain Beds turn off with the ATV’s.  (Elephant Butte Trail System) The road is paved most of the way, just the last 4-6 miles are a sandy well groomed road.  The ride from the drop lot to the edge of the canyon took about 20 minutes on winding well marked trails through juniper/pine trees, desert cactus, sage brush and some awesome sand stone structures.  A major rain storm had just rolled through a day or two before so the dust was minimal and we could see fresh animal tracks in the sand.  This time of year the air is cool, the sky is blue and no one was out on the trails but us!

Sand Spire near the Zion NP boarder and the Cain Beds ATV Trail System

Sand Spire near the Zion NP boarder and the Cain Beds ATV Trail System

At one point we stopped and got off the bikes and sat by a sand stone spire overlooking a small valley.  Just below us we could see the small fence that marked the edge of Zion National Park.  We then took our ride east for about 15 minutes and emerged at the edge of the gorge overlooking the east fork of the Virgin River.  The river has cut an impressive path through the valley floor with steep walls coming up to where we were.

The ATV trail system in the area is hundreds of miles of well market trails that boarder Zion National Park and cross back and forth over the Virgin River.  CAUTION:  The Virgin River shifts and is subject to rapid flooding with micro rain busts.  Never ride alone and know your weather before you go.

Driving Directions:

From Exit 16 (Hwy 9/I-15) Head east on Hwy 9 into Hurricane, UT.  Turn right onto Hwy UT 59 towards Colorado City/Hildale.  Just after you cross the AZ/UT boarder you will take a left onto Mojave County Hwy 237 towards Cain Beds AZ.  You will be on paved roads for about 4 miles on this Hwy. then the pavement ends for about 8 miles.  Once you enter back into Utah the pavement returns.  Another 6 miles (Note:  In UT, the road is known as Hwy 43) On google Maps, the drop point is called ‘Elephant Cove Rd’.  (Total trip is about 44 miles by car) The drop lot is well market on the left hand side of the road – about 3 miles once the pavement starts again as you cross the AZ/UT boarder.  At the drop lot there is an area topographical map of the trails.  There are lots of camping areas.  Be mindful of fire restrictions too. Best to bring lots of water for the ride.

If you like to Mountain Bike, you may want to stay at our property the Flying Monkey – just a short hop over the Smithsonian Butte from here and only 9 miles to the main entrance to Zion National Park

Elephant Butte Trail and other ATV adventures via the National Parks website information.  There are several local adventure tour company’s operating in the area.  Let us know if we can help you plan your lodging and adventure.  We like to recommend Kokopelli Adventure Rentals.  (435) 705-3013 – Ask for Ryan.