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  1. #1
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    Ca, Sacramento to UT (St George or Moab Brand)

    Hello guys, first I am a pro rider, but me and my friends like photography and Mtb! We want to take some time off from work to do something fun when we can...
    So, we have a idea, we picked St George (Dino Cliff) & Moab Brand Trail (Bar M Loop) that are more suitable for newist folks to ride "hardtail".
    My questions are:
    Driving from Sacramento, do-able?
    Can you please recommend more easy ride for "hardtail + newish riders"?
    TIA happy riding...

  2. #2
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    It's 14 hours to Moab and about 11 to Hurricane. Hurricane is a one day deal, Moab is a bit harder to blow out in a day if solo, if you're in a group then it will be easier. Pro rider doesn't mean much in Moab unless you stay down low, you have to have pretty good skills to avoid walking once you get up into the black and double black diamond stuff. St George has a lot more easy trails spread out over a variety of terrain.
    The views and photo ops are better in Moab IMO, but you need to get up out of the river bottom to see it.
    I don't really ride easy-ish stuff in either location so I can't help you much there. I did do the White Rim in a day (100 miles below Canyonlands NP) this last trip and it would be a good ride for a fit cyclist and the views are world class. You will need a free day use permit. Both will be getting warm in the next month and both have world class photo ops.

  3. #3
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    thanks Sean

  4. #4
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    I drove from Sonoma County to Moab two and a half years ago. I was towing an 8000 lb travel trailer, so we took it a little easy. We stayed in the Walmart parking lot in Winnemucca one night and drove into Moab the following day. Did the same thing on the way back.
    Last edited by chuckha62; 04-17-2018 at 08:06 AM.
    One gear is all you need.

  5. #5
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    First of all, you meant "I am not a pro rider", right?! If you or your friends are beginners you'll run out of options in Moab or St. George really fast. How long are you planning on going for?

    A little closer to home I would suggest the Flume trail in Tahoe for easy--but visually spectacular--riding. Sedona also has a few fairly easy trails with beautiful views. Check out MtbProject or Trailforks for details and options. Good luck!
    Nice e-bike! (sorry about your penis)

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  6. #6
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    You could, but I wouldn't. We've generally stayed in the Mojave desert overnight after leaving in the evening from the bay.

    For newer riders, JEM trail is great in Hurricane. Church Rocks is also a fun one between Hurricane and St. George. That's good for a first time slickrock experience.

    Parts of Gooseberry Mesa (Practice, Bowls & Ledges & Windmill) are good for newer riders. Wire Mesa (next one over from Gooseberry toward Grafton) is good for intermediates. Very similar to the Windmill trail.

    You can dispersed camp nearly anywhere you want, including right at the trailheads.

    The views from the mesas are amazing. The guys at Over the Edge do Saturday morning shop rides that are usually going to be more than a beginner can handle, but talking to them when you get there will improve your trip a ton. Very friendly, and they have showers you can use for around $5.

  7. #7
    190lbs of climber
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    I highly recommend the new-ish Boyscout Trail area outside St George. There is a full weekend or more of beginner-friendly rides in the St George/Hurricane area. Moab isn't super beginner friendly unless you ride some of the newer trails outside of town, but those aren't as special as the more difficult classic trails. I suggest cutting down on the driving and making one trip to St George and then go to Moab for a separate trip.

    Some ride ideas for St George:

    Boy Scout. There are more trails now that are not yet on the map. This area is good for 1-3 hours of nonstop fun.

    Bear Claw Poppy A gradual climb and gradual flowy descent. Perfect for beginners on hardtails.

    Prospector. Very little elevation but a good intro to Utah-style riding.

    Goosebumps and Hurricane Rim. Click around on the map. All these trails are hardtail friendly.

    If you want to break up the drive by stopping near Vegas, try out the Blue Diamond trails near Red Rock.
    ye' old trailblog: www.most-excellent-adventures.com THE BAY AREA... WHERE IF IT'S FUN, IT'S ILLEGAL

  8. #8
    Yeti SB95c
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    Good advice above. I drive from San Jose to / from Hurricane and Moab several times a year. I take the I-5 to CA-58 to I-15 to I-70 route, although US 50 and even I-80 will give you the same travel time. For me Hurricane is 10 hours, an easy drive unless the Mojave has strong winds, and Moab is 15. I find that Google Maps' time estimate is quite good.

    Great scenery starts just before St George in the Virgin River Gorge all the way to Moab but my favorite, other than the parks, is the San Rafael Swell and the Reef section west of Green River on I-70. I never travel through the Swell at night unless there is a full moon. Amazing place! Many vista points for photog.

    Some of the best views for photography from a mountain bike are:

    1) Guacamole Mesa near Virgin, UT. Those rock formations on the trail with the cliffs of Zion behind them is a favorite. You have to ride out the stem to the loop for the rock formations.

    2) Wire Mesa near Rockville, UT. It is on the other side of the Virgin River Valley from The Guac and you access it from Hurricane and Apple Valley, not Rockville, unless you have a 4WD. Amazing views into Zion Canyon. You'll use a lot of pixels.

    3) Amasa Back trails, Moab. I never tire of the amazing views from Amasa Back, especially from Hymasa or Ahab looking toward the La Sal Mountains over the red rock formations between Amasa and Moab. Extra credit when the La Sals are full of snow as they are now and you have a clear day.

    4) Big Mesa Trail, Navajo Rocks system, Moab. You bike next to a massive red cliff!

    All of these are intermediate but a short hike on the trails would work fine.

    There are five national parks in south Utah along with national monuments and state parks that are full of great scenery. One you may not be aware of is Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument on the very scenic SR 12. The Escalante Canyon isn't really open to MTB but worth driving through and take a short hike or two. Again, amazing rock formations! Best in the fall with the cottonwoods in color. Stop by the Kiva Coffee House for photog and treats.

    I did part of a conference in Vegas last Thursday morning and then drove home in the afternoon. Normally an 8 hour drive. We had some of the worst wind I've encountered in the Mojave. A really exhausting drive from around Baker to Tehachapi Pass. It was a battle for every foot of progress. The same can happen around Green River. If you have a camper or motorhome it can be hell or the highway may be closed to you, mostly in the spring. I have van.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  9. #9
    Formerly dvo
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    I drove straight through to Moab from Cupertino with a crew this time last year. Best trip ever.








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  10. #10
    Yeti SB95c
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    A few more thoughts.

    1) Intermediate trails usually have long sections that are beginner friendly. Tell the noobs to bring the bikes and ride what works.

    2) The KlonZo and Klondike Bluffs areas north of Moab have some excellent beginner trails. Klondike is quite scenic. Bar M at the Brand Trails has already been mentioned but head to the north end of Circle O and let noobs play on the slick rock there. Also, there is some good trail for noobs a few hundred yards out the Slick Rock Bike Trail. I taught my wife to ride there long ago when most MTB trails around Moab were Jeep roads and rather chewed up tread.

    3) There are huge scenic views from the landing on the Portal Trail. Hike up about 1.5 miles from Potash Road NW of Moab. The noobs can leave the bikes behind, it is almost all technical.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  11. #11
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    Hey you guys are wonderful, thank you very much. The info here is super detailed and useful...

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