ATV Riding / Mountain Biking – Hell’s Hole & Velvet Ridge

The Velvet Ridge trail to Hell’s Hole is a combo ATV and mountain bike trail located off Highway 24 between Bicknell and Torrey. The trail is 19 miles round trip from both the Velvet Ridge and Sand Creek staging areas (depending on when and where you stop to play).  This thrill-a-minute trail is moderately difficult, with opportunities for some extreme adventure during the last mile or so to Hell’s Hole.  The rough trail is mainly a colorful mix of ash gray bentonite-rich hills and loose red rock, with rugged sandstone cliffs and rock formations along the way.

Velvet Ridge Capitol Reef Country

The Velvet Ridge staging area is at the northeast end of Bicknell, and opens up to a dramatic, twisting trail. The ridge overlooks the Fremont River, winding through the valley below.   To the south, Boulder Mountain rises to 11,000 feet.   To the east, you’ll get views of Torrey and the Henry Mountains.  An open area further down the ridge is a perfect ATV playground.

Download Velvet Ridge / Hell’s Hole map PDF here

After cresting a hill along the ridge you’ll cross a dry wash before heading into a long canyon lined with vertical sandstone cliffs. ATV’s may pick up some speed in the soft sand as they get ready for some steep inclines heading into Hell’s Hole, the final destination at 8,650 feet.   Before heading back take some time to explore on foot, and climb the craggy red and white sandstone formations.   There’s a view of Thousand Lakes Mountain at the north end of Hell’s Hole.

Mountain bikers will enjoy riding the rim of the Velvet Ridge or working their way through the rough rock and sparse tree lined areas, but be aware that the Hell’s Hole area is a sandy trail, and less ideal for single track explorers.

Inside the Sandy Creek area there is a wide open OHV/ATV recreation area.  This section is perfect for playing and exploring, with marked boundaries but no specific designated trails.  Trail coordinates to different trail-heads and points of interest can be found here.

Trail tips: This is a shared ATV/mountain bike trail, so use good judgment and safe riding practices, along with proper equipment and supplies. Check for weather conditions before heading out. The Velvet Ridge trail can also be accessed from Torrey.

Read more about ATV riding in this area – here.

Learn more about mountain biking opportunities by clicking on the link.

Keep Capitol Reef Country Forever Mighty

What is Forever Mighty? It’s practicing responsible travel while visiting Utah and Capitol Reef Country by following the principles of Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace.

Plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, be considerate of others, support local business and honor community, history and heritage. Help us keep Utah and Capitol Reef Country’s outdoor recreation areas beautiful, healthy, and accessible.



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