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Desert Mound Rd s(u)

The summit on Desert Mound Rd is a gravel biker's alternative to the Ut56 Summit Cedar City -New Castle. The route is part of an official "gravel trail" system. This summit is just slightly lower than the Ut56 summit, but the traversal of "neck of the dessert", as the valley on the east side is called on maps, is  much more satisfying for a healthy hunger after dessert scenery. The road surface is excellent, because the roads are also used by commercial mining trucks. Sounds scary, but it is not. There are very few and in my experience they were all extremely considerate ... unless one has a fear of dust vanes from a distance. There are plenty of those.

1.START-END WEST: jct Ut56 - Main St, Newcastle
2.profile turns left onto Dessert Mound Rd
4.low point on road, just before railroad crossing, 5600ft
5.Eight Mile Pass: 6040ft
6.profile turns right on Iron Springs Rd
7.START-END EAST: jct Iron Springs SRd - Ut56


From West.
The profile starts out on quiet dessert pavement in the collection of trailers, houses and cars labeled "New Castle". By the time this gentle climb meets the labeled turnoff onto Desert Mound Rd, a good part of the climbing is already past.

What remains is a straight run through the cedar forest on good hard gravel surface till the view shed changes.

From East. And this side is actually far more impressive in my mind. But there is a thin difference between spectacular vastness and monotony. Downhill it's very mesmerizing. Uphill against the prevailing winds I imagine could be different. This road is as closest to a straight line, one can imagine. There is one slight change in direction, so that the line can negotiate another summit. It is labeled Eightmile Pass on my map, and it is included in the profile. On this side the climb to Eightmile Pass is just a little above 300ft (100m). The other side is larger than 500ft, and you could connect to that via a valley route from the west also. Therefor I am counting it as a separate summit.

A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Ut56 Cedar City - New Castle Summit