JEM is one of the older mountain bike trails in Utah's Hurricane Cliffs Trail System, and it is a classic ride for the area. It is easily and quickly accessed, offers beautiful views, and it is a good ride for beginners.
Although it is possible to ride this trail as an out-and-back, it is super easy to shuttle on the dirt road that cuts across the desert from the lower parking area. Even when shuttled, the descent is mellow enough to still require a considerable amount of pedaling. The trail begins as a downhill-only section starting immediately to the right after the gate at the trailhead. After a couple of steeper descents, you’ll hit the More Cowbell Trail junction. Hang a sharp right onto the marked JEM Trail. Here is a semi-technical steep descent that will drop you into the gully below. Feel free to walk this section if you need to. From there on out, it’s a relatively straight shot across the open desert before you drop down to the cliffs along the Virgin River. There are several intersecting trails, some marked and some not, but if you continue straight ahead you shouldn’t have any problems. The exposure on the cliff edges makes some riders nervous. However, the trail is mellow enough that it does not provide any real technical challenge through these areas; the main challenge is the psychological effect of such a steep drop-off. You’ll follow the rim until it leads you up to the lower parking area where you’ve left your chase vehicle.
Be aware that the temperatures in this area can get dangerously high. Be sure to take plenty of water whatever time of year you hit it, and be very cautious in the warmer months. It is not uncommon for people to die from dehydration in this desert.