June 25, 2017

Mountain Biking Moab

mountain-biking-moabImagine the most epic ride ever, and you can find it in the Mountain Bike Mecca of the world, Moab. What makes riding here so good? Moab has trails for every rider. How did it happen? The world-renowned Slickrock Trail, which started off as an ATV trail that was rediscovered by mountain bikers.  Twenty years and lots of back-breaking hours of trail building later, Moab now has a much more diverse array of trail options to offer. Word has spread, and Moab now attracts explorers from all over the world seeking adventure.

In more recent years, there has been significant trail building throughout the area, offering a broad range of options for riders of all skill levels. Here are some highlights below:

Moab Mountain Biking

Beginner

Bike Path/Bar M – Family Friendly! The Moab Canyon Pathway is a smoothly paved path that connects from Moab approximately 8 miles to Highway 313.  Right before that is a turn off to the MOAB Brand Trails. The family friendly loop is Bar M, an 8 mile double track, suitable for kids of all ages!

Deadhorse Point/ Intrepid Trail System - Hands down the BEST SUNRISE TOUR for a beginner to the art of mountain biking in Moab. With views of the Colorado River from the span of the edge of Deadhorse State Park, this beginner trail has three optional loops. This is a fun flowy single track, nothing too technical, but with some short drops and fun climbs to practice shifting on.

Intermediate

Circle O and Rockin A – Sections of the MOAB Brand Trail System, with a lot of fun sandstone to practice flow and technical skills. Great views of windows in Arches National Park.

Lazy EZ – Enjoy some Fun Flowy single track on the Lazy side of EZ. EZ has some ledgy features that are fun to practice your bunny hops on!

Klondike Bluffs – Sandstone fins, Dinosaur tracks, miles of trails in a system that winds up and down relentlessly through an astonishing array of wilderness that is truly unique to Moab. A fun and satisfying challenge for novice riders, this area also offers fun training miles for seasoned riders. Designated as a Mountain Biking Focus Area, Klondike Bluffs has a LOT of new trails to offer, and… they. are. AWESOME.

Bartlett Wash – Naturally formed half-pipes of steep smooth, yet grippy, sandstone?! Definitely better with a guide, this is a huge playground with opportunities galore to build skills on. There is no marked trail once you are on top of the formation, so you could turn into Moses in a hurry if you don’t know where you are headed. Need a guide?

Advanced

Slickrock Trail – Responsible for the birth of the Mecca of Mountain Biking, Slickrock Trail is definitely worth the pilgrimage. Think you were born to be a Roadie? Slickrock may convert you, my friend. Learn the meaning of flow traversing fins of super-steep and super-grippy sandstone, similar to riding on sandpaper. Bring lots of water; at least 3 liters per person in the summer. Be prepared to sweat out all your sins.

Amasa Back/ Captain Ahab – Like so many trails in Moab, this started as an ATV trail, and is full of gnarly, rocky climbs. But, oh so worth it once you get to the top!! New single-track additions to the trail make it worth another visit for those that think they already conquered this one. Options to visit an arch at the top, test the skills of pro riders

Porcupine Rim/ The Whole EnchiladaPorcupine Rim trail is the bottom section of a larger system of trails, and starts at the base of the La Sal Mountains and ends at the Colorado River (with a 5 mile pedal back to town on the new bike path!). This is flowy single-track through mostly desert, and can get HOT in the summer. Shuttles to the trailhead are highly recommended, and will take you to the top-most trailhead point of the entire “Whole Enhilada” trail system. The top-most point is determined by the snow line. The higher the snow line, the higher the starting point. If you like more technical descents and don’t mind the 200 ft vertical climb the first 1/2 mile, Hazard County and UPS/LPS will rock your world! Bring some spare tubes, carbs, 3 liters of H2O and a camera :)

But, nothing beats the Whole Enchilada for an epic day of 30+ miles of a a very “pedal-ly” downhill.  Just half an Enchy is more than enough for most, but if you like to embrace pain…be sure to arrive after the snow has completely melted. This trail system starts off with a grueling climb up to the start of Burro Pass, which is packed with super-steep descents and technical drops all the way back down to the Colorado River. Shuttle companies have to wait for the National Forest to open up the campgrounds, which dictates how far up the mountain they drop.

For more trail info, maps and more visit Moab Trail Mix!