July, 2016 Edition

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Not-so-hidden secret

Rimview Trail a gem for bikers, hikers

You may not have heard, but Page has a little not-so-secret trail right here within city limits. If you wanted, right now at this very moment, you could set up a quick daypack and be at the trailhead in less than five minutes.
The aptly named Rimview Trail is a favorite destination for hikers, runners, bikers and dog-walkers alike. A 12-mile, single-track band that wraps around Manson Mesa, it is a first-rate hike with first-rate views and all within spitting distance of hotels.
While the “official” trailhead begins on South Navajo Boulevard, an increasingly popular point of entry begins on Sage Avenue, which is on the easternmost side of town. Sage runs the entire length of the airport and the turn to the trailhead begins right across from the Page Middle School fields in an opening in the fence surrounding the airport.
Early morning risers who wish to catch a world-class sunrise or practice their landscape photography should start here. A device that can take some sort of picture is mandatory on this hike anyway.
Taking the trail on a northwest trajectory will provide the most immediate and uninterrupted sightseeing, especially once you pass the airport and get closer to the water’s edge. From here, dusk and dawn lighting can paint some seriously beautiful beams of photons across one of the most unadulterated views of Lake Powell on Earth. Continuing counter clockwise will bring you right along the western edge of Manson Mesa and Page itself. A large portion twists and turns through the Lake Powell National Golf Course where you can get great vantage points of Lake Powell, the Glen Canyon Bridge and the Vermillion Cliffs.
After you pass the Lake Powel National Golf Course, you’re more than three quarters of the way to finishing. This last leg wraps around the southernmost end of Page and is perhaps the most “urban” feeling and least scenic. It’s still an interesting contrast, however, for those committed to finishing the entire trail.
Though completing the Rimview trail will certainly take a good portion of a day for even the speediest of hikers, exits back into town along the way do provide some bailout options. The trail will pass through Lake Powell Boulevard twice and Coppermine Road once so you can hitch a ride to refuel at the nearest eatery.
For a nature trail within city limits, local flora and fauna are (un)surprisingly abundant. Depending on the time of year, you will undoubtedly spot bountiful numbers of bunnies skittering across the desert floor. Cold-blooded lizards and snakes tend to lie dormant during the absolute coldest months of winter but are still out there. Keep an eye out for the latter, as rattlesnakes are among them.
Mormon Tea, a species of the Ephedra plant, can be spotted along the way as well. Historically these wiry and unmistakable natural stimulants have been used by Native Americans and Mormon travelers alike to cure a number of ailments ranging from allergies to the flu.
The Rimview trail is also the perfect relief for those with an itch for something on wheels. Mountain bikes are both allowed and encouraged on the trail, but watch out for ubiquitous goatheads. These devilish looking thorns are prevalent this time of year as they start drying up and wreaking havoc on tires, paws and thin-soled shoes alike. While some sections can be a tad sandy or rough to navigate, the trail is a perfect test for either the experienced rider to bomb through, or the novice to get his or her feet wet. To quote one regular user of the trail, “[It] really caters to hungry mountain bikers looking for that next all-you-can-eat buffet of dirt.”
The trail is also a trail-runner’s paradise and a favorite among locals who get tired of running laps around a track or on gerbil wheels at the gym. The view is free and the inclines pithy, but steady. The sandy sections will have your calves burning in no time and the rocks aren’t too jagged or uneven so that you have to slow your pace. Just be sure to wear well-treaded shoes with lots of support as Navajo Sandstone can be slippery.
Four-legged and furry friends are permitted to join you on your journey, but only as long as they are of the canine variety. Leaping rabbits and the unique smells and sounds of the desert can be a major distraction for dogs on a trail that has sudden drop-offs and slick sandstone. A leash is needed to keep you and your partner safe. And as always, keep Leave No Trace in mind and be prepared to ship out whatever your best friend may leave behind.
As with any desert hike, no matter the weather or time of year, wear sunscreen, bring more water than you think you’ll need (especially if you’ve brought along dogs or friends) and be aware of your surroundings. There is little to no shade along the entirety of the trail so plan accordingly. Phone service tends to be fine throughout the majority of the trail, so be sure you bring one.