Is Moab Mountain Biking “The End-All-Be-All” of mountain biking like everyone claims?
We’ll I don’t about that but it’s pretty awesome I can say. I’ve ridden on trails with grand views like the Monarch Crest, 401 and Wasatch Crest Trails and I’ve ridden on trails berms, jumps and lots of other hand made or machine made features. The downside with all those trails is that they either had one or the other but not both……Until now! Moab mountain biking gives you views and terrain that rivals anywhere else all rolled into one. Sure some trails will have more of one than another but you should be able to find a trail somewhere in Moab that has everything YOU want. Another thing Moab does is it breaks trails down into 2 categories for you. So a Blue Square followed by a Black Diamond means you are riding an intermediate trail with some advanced features. Rating the trails like this lets you know that it’s not going to all be intermediate so you won’t be surprised. They also rate trails the opposite with a Blue Square and a Green Circle. Most of that trail is intermediate with some easier sections.
Moab Mountain Biking – Beginner Trails
Yes Moab has stuff for everyone, even the little ones and newer riders. The Bar M Trails located right off HWY 191, 9 miles north of Moab is the perfect place for beginners AND intermediates. There are several miles of trails making smaller and larger loops so you can take off in one direction and have several turn back options. The “Lazy” and “Easy” loop is a great intro ride; smooth, flow with some features for those that want to ride them and ride arounds for those that don’t. We rode this a few times as it was just “Fun”. The sign at the beginning says “Not to Lazy, Not to Easy” lol. After this we rode “North 40” a Blue/Black; nice larger loop with some definite black features. Enough to give a good rider what they want without overwhelming an intermediate.
Klondike Bluffs also has some easier loops all the way up to Black Diamonds if you get tired of riding Bar M. Klondike Bluffs is further off the why though and the easy Bar M trails are much better in my opinion.
Moab Mountain Biking – Intermediate Trails
Several of the trail systems have mostly a mixture of intermediate to advanced options. Dead Horse Point is probably the best solid Blue trail system in Moab. It’s $10 a car load to get into the state park but the trails are fast and flowing and you are on top of a Mesa with spectacular views! Next on the list is Navajo Rocks; here you are getting into those Blue Black trails. These trails have some exposure and some very solid Black Diamond features. All walkable and well worth the ride even if you have to walk. Fantastic views of Monitor and Merrimack Rocks as well as some smaller canyons.
Moab Mountain Biking – Advanced Trails
So I wasn’t sure where to put Mag 7, we only rode the top section but it was still a step up from Navajo Rocks, not much but enough. Bull Run is a fantastic rolling downhill with some short steep ups, and optional smaller jumps. Everything is rollable but there is a good amount of exposure and really no warm up. Right off the bat you are on the side of a cliff with a technical area. We hit Great Escape (technically not Mag 7) down to Little Canyon (Mag 7) and back up to Getaway (not Mag 7). This is a great 17-18 mile loop and Getaway is one of the best uphills I’ve ever ridded (shuttle van not included). The views here are jaw dropping! There are several small canyons you ride the edges of and just off Great Escape are the “Gemini Bridges”. Continuing on down Mag 7 vs doing the loop commits you to several Double Diamond Sections including the Portal Trail which has had several fatalities. Ride with Caution.
The Whole Enchilada (Porcupine Rim) is absolutely amazing! This was probably our favorite trail. We grabbed a shuttle from Moab Cyclery up to the Kokopelli drop off, The Hazard County and Burro Pass areas were still under snow and don’t usually open until July 1st. This trail serves it all up from Intermediate to Whoa Nelly! Amazing views, exposure, double diamond features, crazy cliff riding. Sound exciting? It is! Sound Scary? It can be! We got off our bikes several times around the sketchy or super hard stuff and still had a blast.
The Infamous Slickrock Trail. If you’re a biker or ever read anything on Moab chances are you’ve heard of this one. If you’ve read about the Slickrock Trail you’ve probably seen people say it’s not a favorite, very physically demanding, not much fun, etc etc. They are ALL RIGHT. We rode it because “Why Not Right?” The views are fantastic but it’s super steep up and down, not a ton of flow and you better be in REALLY GOOD SHAPE. One of the guys we ran into the day before on Mag 7 (who was ringing the whole thing including the Portal Trail) said the 10 mile Slickrock trail is way harder (physically) than the 25 or so miles of Mag 7. if you have time to kill ride it, if not pick a better option.
Moab Mountain Biking – Expert Trails
We didn’t ride any of these, lol. You’re going to need a serous bike with serious skills to tackle these bad boys. We did read the trail description at Amasa Back, home of the Notorious Captain Ahab Trail. The trail description read something like “Big Drops”, showing a picture of a guy dropping a 6’ drop – yeah that’s solid. “Cliff Exposure”, again a picture of a guy riding a 18” wide trail next to a huge cliff. “Super Technical” another picture of something crazy. I almost had Kelly talked into it, lol. She was like “I can walk my bike 7 miles to do 1 trail.” The scenery here those was just as awesome and I can’t wait to get back here. Poison Spider is another expert riding area just outside town if you and you’re bike are up to it but we didn’t check this out at all.
Our favorites were The Whole Enchilada (Porcupine Rim), and the Mag 7 Loop, Bull Run to Great Escape and back up Little Canyon & Getaway.