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  1. #1
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    MOAB in December?

    Hi all

    I wanted to ask you guys in the know if it will be possible to ride MOAB, specifically the whole enchilada, in December? Me and a buddy, from Wisconsin, are on winter break next week and were thinking about heading out west. We're going to camp, We've done plenty of winter backpacking so the cold winter desert won't be a problem, but I've never been to MOAB before so I'm not sure if the trails close down for the winter months.

    Also. If riding is still there, are there any shuttles still running? Well have a car to park at the bottom, but how do people with only one car get to the top again?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Climbs = necessary evil
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    I've ridden slickrock trail at Thanksgiving and got snowed on the last day, but I think it's doable - weather dependent of course. Maybe call one of the local bike shops for more info.

    As for winter camping, the desert is different if you've never camped there. When the temp changes, it changes quickly and can drop 30-40 degrees in a hurry.

  3. #3
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    Not to deter, or squash your plan, but out there it's ALL about elevation.
    Moab sits @ 4300',and is one of the lower spots on the S.E. Plateau.

    Forget about the higher stuff (La Sals) as it'll be under snow, or inaccessible.
    From Dec--> Mar it's a roll of the dice. Snow does melt quickly, yet the dirt turns into an unrideable Gaumboo, and snow covered slickrock is tricky.

  4. #4
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    In addition to the above, the shuttles shut down from Thanksgiving until March.

    As for the Whole Enchilada, not a chance.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  5. #5
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    So what would you guys recommend we ride or where we go? Do you think it's worth the trip from Wisconsin?

  6. #6
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    I've been to Moab a quite a few times in Dec and some years it's pretty good and some years you lose some days and trails to snow. Nights are long and cold. Lately I've been going to the St George/Hurricane area which sees a little snow up on the mesas but the riding has not been affected. It will freeze at night. A motel can be had cheap in St George. Check out the older ones on E 100 N. AZ has some good options as well.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  7. #7
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    No Enchilada. Lucky if you can even ride Porcupine rim. So there's that.

    The thing with the Winter is it can be all over the place. It's been like 50-70 for last month. That's all about to change. You could get a week of 50's or you could get a week of 20's. Average high is high 40's.

    Lastly, the nights are indeed long and cold. I'd Expect lows in the teens and be prepared for much colder.

    If I were you, I'd play it be ear. It would be rough to drive all that distance for freezing temps or snow. Not to mention, you might not even get over the Front Range .

  8. #8
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    I've ridden Moab every month except July and August. There's usually something to ride. It won't be the Enchilada. . . Maybe Amasa back, Gemini area. Portal in the snow is exciting. Poison Spider when the sand traps are frozen is kinda fun. Kinda.

    You could bail over to St George or even down to Sedona if it gets desperate.

    Or, just bring skis as a backup. . . we have pretty good snow, I guess. That's what they say. . .

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    Oh yeah, don't camp.

  10. #10
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    Barring a recent snowfall, Slickrock should be fine. Whole Enchilada is out until late spring, but Porc Rim should be doable. The first three miles uphill may have snow, especially since that section doesn't get sun until noon, but from the overlook on should be OK.

    It gets into the 20s at night (or colder, check the forecast), so if you're equipped well, then camp away. You should have your campsite all to yourself.

    For shuttle, ask around. The guy that Rim Cyclery uses is who I've gone with in the past. He'll follow you to the end of your ride (Negro Bill if you're doing Porc Rim) so you can drop your car, then drive you to the top.

    Have fun!

  11. #11
    I'd rather be biking...
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-townDave View Post
    Oh yeah, don't camp.
    Nice.

  12. #12
    Climbs = necessary evil
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-townDave View Post
    Oh yeah, don't camp.
    In addition to the COLD nights, there have been a lot of reports of locals ram sacking campsites in the last few years. Some of my friends where Jeeping there this summer and had the beer stolen out of their cooler while the slept!

  13. #13
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    Sedona.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingin View Post
    Porc Rim should be doable. The first three miles uphill

    Have fun!
    Not really, even in last years super dry Winter, it had snow and was glazed over in Ice. That time of year. aside from being at a higher elevation, It just doesn't get the sun that other places get.

    I've know lots and lots of people who have camped in Moab in all seasons. I would not worry about my safety or my my site being vandalized. Take the proper precautions as you would camping anywhere and you'll be fine.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diggidy View Post
    So what would you guys recommend we ride or where we go? Do you think it's worth the trip from Wisconsin?
    Phoenix & Sedona

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttrd View Post
    Phoenix & Sedona
    hahaha, ya no doubt. Considerably further from WI tho... Infact, looks like Tucson is the same time-spent-in-car. I'd go there if you're in for a 26 hour ride both ways...

  17. #17
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    All the Bar-M trails, mag 7 likely, sovereign, any of the lower desert stuff. Just keep an eye out for whether snow hits the desert floor. Plenty to ride in the winter if snow stays off of lower desert or if it does snow in the lower desert, then whether it will melt fast. Right now the lower desert is looking good.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punta Lobos View Post
    All the Bar-M trails, mag 7 likely, sovereign, any of the lower desert stuff. Just keep an eye out for whether snow hits the desert floor. Plenty to ride in the winter if snow stays off of lower desert or if it does snow in the lower desert, then whether it will melt fast. Right now the lower desert is looking good.
    So the storm that just moved through didn't leave much or any snow down low? There's another storm moving in tomorrow I hear. I may drive out there from durango tomorrow? You guys have a winter storm warning for tomorrow but maybe I can get in a ride before it piles up? Probably a bad call on my part but we are covered up here and I really want to ride.

  19. #19
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    No snow down low. Weather doesn't look awesome for the next couple days tho.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    No snow down low. Weather doesn't look awesome for the next couple days tho.
    Yeah, looks like snow is moving in for most of the 4 corners starting tomorrow.

  21. #21
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  22. #22
    I'd rather be biking...
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    judging by all the comments on this thread, I would say it's probably a gamble. If a debate opens up then I'd look into somewhere else

  23. #23
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    Go to St george/hurricane.

    St george is warmer and the riding is every bit as good if not better.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

    PM me

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    No snow down low. Weather doesn't look awesome for the next couple days tho.
    Did you guys get much snow?

  25. #25
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    2-3 inches in town. Providing there is now more weather, I suspect it'll be back to dirt on the low and sunny trails by Friday. Maybe even tomorrow.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    2-3 inches in town. Providing there is now more weather, I suspect it'll be back to dirt on the low and sunny trails by Friday. Maybe even tomorrow.
    Seems like it's been much colder than predicted--here and there. Nothing melting here yet--not enough to matter.

    Things getting back to rideable there yet, or still a few more days?

  27. #27
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    MOAB in December?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1356191396.573915.jpg

    I wouldn't make any trips down to ride at this point. It has indeed been colder than predicted. Attached is from our ride outta town this morning.

    It just hasn't been all that sunny and like you've said, Colder than predicted!
    Last edited by Jwind; 12-22-2012 at 08:06 AM.

  28. #28
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    bummer. Do you think the slick rock on amasa, and rock stacker will be clear? I'm assuming most of jackson's is snow packed and or glazed over in ice.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    It just hasn't been all that sunny and like you've said, Colder than predicted!
    The norm for mid December to mid January, if we get any moisture whatsoever, is for the actual highs to be 20-ish degrees below the predicted highs. Those 40s you see for the next few days on wunderground or weather.com are not to be believed. They always fail to take into account the inversion effect that is so common, provided we get significant moisture as we did early this week.

    The ski areas of Colorado are routinely warmer than Moab from mid-December to mid-January, again, provided we get moisture (hence the exception of last winter). Of course, we make up for it with our warm up beginning in February, while Colorado still gets dumped on.

    If you ever wake up and see a layer of very low "clouds" obscuring the rim above your house, or there is fog freezing out of the air, do yourself a favor, grab a camera, and drive to I-Sky or Deadhorse, where it will be much warmer and, well...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MOAB in December?-inversion-b.jpg  


  30. #30
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    Cool photo.
    Rolling on 29", 650b, 8.3" and 23mm

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by hfly View Post
    The norm for mid December to mid January, if we get any moisture whatsoever, is for the actual highs to be 20-ish degrees below the predicted highs. Those 40s you see for the next few days on wunderground or weather.com are not to be believed. They always fail to take into account the inversion effect that is so common, provided we get significant moisture as we did early this week.

    The ski areas of Colorado are routinely warmer than Moab from mid-December to mid-January, again, provided we get moisture (hence the exception of last winter). Of course, we make up for it with our warm up beginning in February, while Colorado still gets dumped on.

    If you ever wake up and see a layer of very low "clouds" obscuring the rim above your house, or there is fog freezing out of the air, do yourself a favor, grab a camera, and drive to I-Sky or Deadhorse, where it will be much warmer and, well...
    Awesome picture!

  32. #32
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    It was cold today with mixed conditions on amasa, rock stacker, jackson's.

    Amasa: dry rock with intermittent tracked out snow sections

    Rock stacker: mostly snow covered with intermittent dry rock, some glazed ice

    Jackson's: totally snow covered, but no ice, just dry powder about 1 to 2"

    No mud because it was so cold.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MOAB in December?-screen-shot-2012-12-23-10.20.22-pm.jpg  


  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    It was cold today with mixed conditions on amasa, rock stacker, jackson's.

    Amasa: dry rock with intermittent tracked out snow sections

    Rock stacker: mostly snow covered with intermittent dry rock, some glazed ice

    Jackson's: totally snow covered, but no ice, just dry powder about 1 to 2"

    No mud because it was so cold.
    Nice Thinking of heading there this week for a day or so, but would like to see less snow...
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard – website

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