The Tom's Canyon trail starts on the edge of Kanab, circling the edge
of Tom's Canyon. The singletrack is 3 miles long and can be done as an
out-and-back or as a loop with a short link on city streets. It's a nice
add-on ride to the nearby Raven and Roadrunner
trails above Hamblin Park.
Eastbound in Tom's Canyon. Photos and trail review by
Bruce on July 29, 2021.
|The trail starts at 5000 feet elevation on the northeast
corner of the city. The trailhead is on Ladera Lane, with a bumpy dirt ramp
leading up to unimproved parking where the street turns 90 degrees.
(Geographically this would be around 400 East and 200 North.) The
trailhead is shared with the K-Hill hiking trail.
Starting out from the Ladera Lane trailhead. There's
no bathroom or water. If your car can't touch the dirt, there's room on
the roadside where the pavement widens as the paved road turns. Just don't block the dirt ramp going uphill!
A second access is at the end of Rain Maker Road. There's
a gate here but no formal parking. In 2021, construction equipment and
supplies littered this area. The trail starts 90 degrees to your left
after going through the smaller of the two gates.
Looking northeast at the gate on Rain Maker Road. The
northern side of the trail is 90 degrees left, right through the pile of
|Tom's Canyon is popular with local trail runners and hikers.
The expected riding season is April through November. The trail can be
done in either direction. Most riders will start from the formal trailhead
off Ladera Lane.
Bruce's bike sits on the only "slickrock"
you'll hit. Otherwise the trail is red dirt.
||The trail runs through undulating skirts of Moenkopi clay at
the base of the Chinle Formation. It hugs the slope just above the small valley
within Tom's Canyon. Above the trail are banded cliffs of the Chinle
The trail would rate intermediate in skill requirement. But because
it's short, experienced beginners can tackle Tom's Canyon.
Eastbound up Tom's Canyon on the counterclockwise
ride. For the first quarter mile, you'll be just uphill from the last
|From the Ladera Lane trailhead, the first trail fork comes
in 0.1 miles. Turn left uphill on the smaller trail. The big flat route
straight ahead is a short hiking-only trail called K-Hill.
Along the southern side of the loop, the trail is constantly twisting,
rolling, climbing and descending. Although the elevation change from
bottom to top is only 100 feet, your overall climbing during a ride around the
loop will be 250 vertical feet.
Here the trail is finishing a loop around a little
||At mile 0.7, you'll come to a four-way fork. The two trails
on the valley side are the entry and exit from a small loop. Go for it. The loop is only 0.2
miles and it will bring you back to this exact spot. Circle around
the little hill. When you get back to the
four-way, take the eastbound uphill trail.
Here the multi-colored Moenkopi formation is obvious.
|As you hit additional forks when riding eastbound, look for
the "biker" symbol on the trail posts. The trail on your left
will be a horse route or a hiking trail and will return back to the main
Tom's Canyon trail. In general, keep uphill and right.
Looking back toward Kanab on the counterclockwise
||When the canyon narrows to cliffs above a sandy wash, the trail
will turn back to the west. This is at mile 2.0 of the counter-clockwise
loop. (The horse trail continues another quarter mile up the wash, and you
wouldn't find it fun.) Dip through the wash and cross over to the cliffs
along the north side of the valley.
Approaching the neck of the valley where the trail
will turn back to the west.
|The westbound trail is flatter and easier. (The clockwise
ride, starting at Rain Maker Road, could be a good choice for beginners.)
At a trail fork at mile 2.4 keep right and uphill. The left option just
cuts across dirt to bypass a section of trail that makes a semi-circle on the edge of a small
canyon. Ignore the left fork and keep right.
||The trail reaches the gate on Rain Maker Road at mile 3.0.
Consider turning around and doing the loop in reverse! To make a road
return, coast down to the four-way where Los Barancos Lane meets Ladera
Lane and turn left. Follow Ladera south and it will turn back west to the trailhead.
The road return is 1/2 mile.
Heading into the small canyon on the northern side of
the ride. You can bypass this section with the short alternate, but why
Go to 100 East in Kanab. (100 East is where US-89 makes a 90-degree turn
in the middle of town, going north-south instead of east-west before
turning again in a few blocks.) Drive north on 100 East to 300 North and
turn right. Drive east three blocks and turn right (south) at the big
traffic circle. You're now on Ladera Lane. When the road turns 120 degrees
to the left, drive up the dirt ramp to the unimproved parking area. (If
your car is tender, park on the road here but don't block the dirt!)
No bathroom at trailhead.
Map: Load map at left for
GPS files (right-click and save): Multi-track area file