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  1. #1
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    Lookin for some desert rides outside Moab

    My wife and I are doing 5 days in Utah to ride. Being tourons from out east, of course we want to start in Moab with Slickrock and the Whole Enchilada and/or Porcupine Rim.

    We want to get out of Moab for some riding though and see some different things. Anybody got any tips for what areas to hit? We might not be able to drive all the way to St George, but if folks said it was truly epic, I am sure we could motivate.

    Being from Vermont, we ride through forests a whole ton so being out of the trees is pretty appealing.

    Any tips on high desert riding outside of Moab sure would be appreciated!

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Close by to Moab you have Fruita and Grand Junction. Between the riding in Moab, Fruita, and GJ, you will have no lack of amazing trails to check out. With only 5 days, spending the bulk of an entire day driving to St. George isn't a great use of time if you've never been to Moab; save that for your next visit.

    Don't miss the "new" trails in Moab as well. It would be a pity if you missed the Brand trails or all the great stuff springing up in the Klondike Bluffs area.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  3. #3
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    If you are thinking of going to Zion national park to see some of the stuff in that park, I just rode Gooseberry Mesa this weekend for the first time which is close to (but outside) of Zion. It was a very cool ride with lots of slickrock and fun transitions between the slickrock and singletrack. The whole ride is at the top of a mesa, so not much elevation change during the ride but spectacular views!

    Otherwise, agree with zebrahum above...

  4. #4
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    ... and if we just ...

    You should think about Fruita, Colorado while you are in Moab. There is alot of high desert single track in the Bookcliffs and along the Colorado River that compliment Moab's riding. It is only an hour or so from Moab and the beer selection is better. St. George also has some great riding but you will eat up a lot of riding time getting there.

  5. #5
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    I live in StG and I think the tracks out here are top shelf. But if your coming from the east save yourself almost 11hrs of drive time and stick to the Moab, Fruita, GJ venues, You will not be disappointed.

  6. #6
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    I'll repeat what's been said here already:

    If you only have 5 days, do Moab and Fruita. That'll chew up your days completely and leave you wanting more. Make sure you get the Mag7 trails, Moab Brand Trails, and the new stuff in the Klondike Bluff area, in addition to classics (Whole Enchilada, Slickrock, Amasa Back)

    I enjoy using the Brand Trail area as a second ride of the day after you've done something else. It's easy to access and with the stacked-loop design of the area, it's easy to bike off just what you want to fill your day.

    While the St. George / Hurricane area stuff is outstanding, you will burn the better part of a day traveling and moving camp to get over there from Moab. Save that area for when you have another week vacation.

    If you've never ridden in Moab before, I advise starting with the Mag7, Klondike Bluff or the Brand Trails to get "calibrated" and warmed up to the style of riding the Moab offers. Or stop in Fruita on your way and get a couple rides in there. (18 Road area and then the Loma trails). Jumping out of your car from the east coast and grabbing a shuttle on TWE can make for a very long day if you are not up to the challenge.

    Have a good trip.

  7. #7
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    many thanks to everyone who has pitched in their ideas so far. For what it's worth, we've been to Moab (hit Slickrock and Porc Rim) and Fruita (cleaned TH18 and Kokopelli) before and were looking for new adventures. I am so appreciative of these ideas (Mag7 trails, Moab Brand Trails, and the new stuff in the Klondike Bluff area) that I haven't heard of before.

  8. #8
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    If you haven't hit Amasa Back, then hit that too, and there are some new(er) trails towards the end of Amasa Back that you can use to make a couple loop or lollipop options.

    Some maps respources that are up-to-date:
    Grand County Trail Mix

    The Skid Map

  9. #9
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    As much as I love SW UT, I just couldn't justify the extra travel. There is more trail in Moab then you'll be able to wrap your head around. If for some reason you need a change, the GJ/Fuita area has that much more.

    As far as "Any tips on high desert riding outside of Moab sure would be appreciated!", it's pretty much all high desert riding with the exception of the LaSals. So, that won't be a problem

    The recommendation on using the brad trails as filler or a quick spin is spot on. It's not that it's not good or short on distance, it's just that it's the super close to town and well marked and super easy to taylor ride time and distance.

    I would NOT recommend riding Mag7 first. There seems to be a good deal of confusion surrounding that trail system. There is a whole mess of new trail in the area, but Mag7 was originally named after the 7 trails it took to complete. Bull Run > Arths > Little Canyon >* Gold bar single track > Gold Bar > Golden Spike > Portal.

    *Many people ride the Gemini jeep road back out to 313. Bull Run > Arths > Little Canyon is some of the more intermediate terrain in the Moab area and there is all sorts of new trials there for extra distance. The later part, Gold bar single track > Gold Bar > Golden Spike > Portal, is considerably harder, longer and makes for one of, if not the most challenging ride in the area - both physically and technically. I've come across more than one biker up there who is lost, out of water or both.

    Amasa>Rockstacker>Jacksons is an old classic ridden to death, but still one of my favorites. Ommit Rockstacker/Jacksons if the technical stuff with a splash of exposure bothers you or your wife.

    Up on Goldbar/Golden Spike


    Rockstacker

  10. #10
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    If you're feeling really ambitious, I'd suggest using a down day to travel to St. George via a long-day scenic route. Google Map Link

    Yes, this is an 8-hour day of driving (probably more like 12 if you stop to take in sites), but this driving route will blow your mind. And then when in St. George, ride Gooseberry, JEM, Prospector/Church Rocks or Bearclaw Poppy and you should certainly get your desert riding fix. Keep in mind though that these trails aren't as tough nor as techy as what you'll find min Moab and Fruita.

  11. #11
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    Go do the Goodwater Rim Trail.
    It's not too far from Moab-it's worth the day trip.

    Utah Mountain Biking - Trails, Information, Repairs Goodwater Rim is in the Price/San Rafael area. The site listed has the info.

  12. #12
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    wow, that good water rim trail seems incredible for views. Thanks so much to everyone for the great suggestions!

  13. #13
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    I'll second the Good Water Canyon option. Plus there are some really cool sites to be seen in nearby Buckhorn Wash.

  14. #14
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    I think the short of it has already been said: No need to leave the greater Moab/Fruita area. Unless you've done all the trails in Moab/GJ/Fruita, there should be more than enough new adventures for 5 days. Just get a guidebook or visit the Moab section of Utahmountainbiking.com, and you'll find plenty of options. The San Rafael Swell is a nearby option, but has limited trails. Price might be worth considering, but Fruita is closer with more to offer.

    If you do Good Water, which is part of the Swell, I'd recommend camping there. There are existing primitive sites a stone's throw from the rim of the canyon - some right on the canyon. It's dispersed camping (free) but there are bathrooms at the Wedge day use area next to the campsites. Incredible place to camp that will save some money.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersterling View Post
    many thanks to everyone who has pitched in their ideas so far. For what it's worth, we've been to Moab (hit Slickrock and Porc Rim) and Fruita (cleaned TH18 and Kokopelli) before and were looking for new adventures. I am so appreciative of these ideas (Mag7 trails, Moab Brand Trails, and the new stuff in the Klondike Bluff area) that I haven't heard of before.
    Sounds like you haven't been to the lunch loops yet. You are missing out on arguably the best riding near Fruita

    Grand Junction Mountain Biking - YouTube

  16. #16
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    As mentioned, utahmountainbiking dot com is a great source, with gpx files that you can download to a GPS to take the guesswork out of the experience. If you haven't done The Whole Enchilada, it's time! Even with a previous trip to Moab, I'd think 5 days would still leave trails undone by the time you leave. All the previous advice seems spot on. Enjoy Utah. Also, if you have a recovery day, I'd recommend hiking in the Fiery Furnace....keep track of where you are, it's a pretty neat labyrinth of fins in the desert.

  17. #17
    chukarhntr1
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    You could try the Price area trails if you are just looking for something different from Moab.

    Or try the trails out on the Swell. You can check out the trails here.

    Utah Mountain Biking - Trails, Information, Repairs

    You probably could spend the whole five days in Moab/Fruita area though.

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