Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Good Water Rim run report

The company I work for (Rocky Mountain Power) gave us MLK day off last Monday.  I thought only banks, schools and government institutions got that day off.  Needless to say, I took advantage and scored a nice long run.
I had a couple of criteria for this run.  First, I wanted out of the foul air we've been breathing for most of the winter, second, I didn't want to spend most of my time on snow, third, I wanted to go someplace I hadn't been to.
I saw a post from some SLC runners about the Good Water Rim Trail and I remembered thinking that they did this run in the winter and the ground was dry.  The scenery was pretty cool as well.  Now I just had to figure out where it was.  After a bit of searching, I found that it was down south near Castle Dale, Utah.
Knowing this was about 3.5 hours away, I resolved to get an early start, do the run and get home all in one day.  Well, I didn't get as early a start as I wanted due to medical issues with one of our horses (he's fine, just a bad laceration), but I did get started at about 7am and made it down there by about 11:00am.  This drive does include 20 miles on a gravel road.  By the time I got there, I realized I was way out in the middle of nowhere.  I think I saw two vehicles on the gravel road and three vehicles while I was out there.

Elevation Profile

I started my run at a road junction, ran about 2-3 miles to the edge of the Little Grand Canyon, ran along the rim on the road, then hit the trail.  About 2 miles in on the trail I came across the only people I would see on that trail the entire time.  The rest of the run I had the place to myself.
Most of the trail was pretty easy to follow.  I did get off trail just a bit a couple of times primarily because snow was obscuring the trail.  The trail itself looks like it doesn't see much use.  If there had been no snow on the ground it would have been easy to follow, but generally it's pretty lightly traveled.  Fine with me.  I knew that as long as I kept the canyon on my right, I'd be fine.  In many places the trail goes right next to the rim.  Sometimes with a several hundred foot drop.
The weather was crystal clear, about 35 when I started warming up to about 50 degrees.  Bright sunshine, perfect day for this.  I guessed that the trail was about 25% snow covered with 4"-6", about 25% was pretty muddy, and the rest was dry.
As far as the trail goes, I ended up with just a bit over 1000' of gain, so a pretty flat trail, but it has to be one of the most convoluted trails I have ever been on.  In and out of every little canyon finger, small drainage, etc.  After the last of the trail, I ended up running about 2 miles back to my car along the dirt road. 
I ended up running abut 20.5 miles total, of which about 14-15 miles were actually trail, nice sweet single track trail.  After stopping for dinner in Price, I headed for home and managed to get back well before my bedtime.  All in all a great day for a run in a great place.  I definitely want to revisit here and do this run again.

Dirt road leading to the trail

Overlooking the Little Grand Canyon

Looking south down the Good Water Canyon

Ooops, fingers in the way

My start point


  1. This looks so inviting! Makes me want to travel south for a nice long run!

  2. Nice way to spend the day! Thanks for doing some recon for the Presidents Day run! :)

  3. That sounds awesome. I've got to do that. Great report.