Smith Mesa

Total Miles
30.5

Elevation

1,783.24 ft

Duration

--

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

This trail starts out as a paved road from either end but turns to dirt road for the 20 miles around the Smith Mesa plateau. The West entrance snakes its way up the Hurricane Mesa. This section of road is narrow and steep with warning signs against trailers. Once on top of the mesa, the dirt road is predominantly easy (2WD) and wide enough for two vehicles to pass. There were a few washboard sections and a couple of water erosion ruts on the trail. There are warning signs of the road being impassable during wet or winter conditions. Please be respectful of any and all posted Private Property signs. The views from atop the plateau go on for miles and miles, including some of the impressive and dramatic features along the West side of Zion's National Park. There is BLM camping along the first three miles of the trail's eastern end. Popular area for mountain biking and hiking. Summer months will reach triple-digit temperatures - plan accordingly with plenty of water.

Photos of Smith Mesa

Smith Mesa
Smith Mesa
Smith Mesa

Difficulty

Once on top of the mesa, the dirt road is predominantly easy (2WD) and wide enough for two vehicles to pass. A few washboard sections and a couple water erosion ruts on trail. There are warning signs of the road being impassable during wet or winter conditions.

History

THE FLYING ROCKET APES OF HURRICANE MESA : Testing and standardizing aircraft ejection systems. The Air Force contracted with the Coleman Engineering Company to build the Supersonic Military Air Research Track on top of Hurricane Mesa.. Essentially, they built a 2.25 mile long continuously-welded track to carry a rocket-propelled sled that could reach speeds of 1,050 miles per hour (Mach 1.3). The track ran right up to the edge of the mesa's cliff. The track and related facilities were constructed from 1954-1955 and the first test took place on July 8, 1955. Over the next six years, the Air Force and Coleman undertook around 334 tests to standardize ejection seats.

Technical Rating

2

Status Reports

Cement Tacoma
Jun 11, 2024
2020 Toyota Tacoma
Open
Dusty
Just a dirt road along side ranch land. Great views. Took about an hour to complete. Not technical at all.
Dean Dearing
Apr 29, 2024
2012 Toyota 4Runner
Open
Camped in mid-June. Easy trail. Several dispersed campsites with amazing views along the trail overlooking Zion NP. Stayed overnight & was noone.
Kim Debettencourt
Feb 18, 2024
4x4
Open
Muddy/Wet
melting snow, muddy
Taco With Tires
Nov 25, 2023
4x4
Open
Muddy/Wet

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