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  1. #1
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    Moab during Easter Jeep Safari week, are we screwed?

    So we're planning a trip to Moab April 1-8 and we just found out this is the same week as one of Moab's biggest jeep events, the Easter Jeep Safari. I have looked at their schedule and think we can avoid being on the same trails during their planned events, but I'm worried everything will be overrun and we'll be unhappy. Does anyone know what this week is like? Are there jeeps and people everywhere so we won't get a moment's peace on trails like Amasa Back, Porcupine, etc? We have our lodging reserved, so that's not an issue but are all the restaurants going to be packed? Any input anyone can give would be appreciated!

    Also, what is the likelihood that we might be able to do UPS and/or LPS during this first week in April? Does the snow usually clear by then, barring unusual late snowfall like we got last year?

    Thanks.
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  2. #2
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    Can you find some (relative) peace riding singletrack during the dreaded Jeep Extravaganza? Yes.

    Everything else is a complete zoo, however...think New Years in Times Square, except with Coors and sleeveless Larry the Cable Guy t-shirts instead of champagne and dinner attire.

    UPS/LPS depends on the snowpack. So far this year, it's been pretty pathetic. LPS I would venture to guess will be fine; UPS might be, depending on melt and spring precip.

    Have...."fun".

  3. #3
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    I live here part of the year including the time during Jeep Safari. Trail-wise, I don't think it should be a big deal. There are a number of single-track options in Moab now (think Mag 7, Brands trails, Klondike area, Pipe Dream and maybe some others). Definitely don't ride Amasa during a planned jeep ride, but even there you can do single-track (Rock Stacker/Jackson's) on the way back down.

    I'm not a jeep person, but it is kind of interesting to see some of the modified rigs they drive and it is part of the Moab scene after all. I would think that some of the restaurants get crowded so make reservations when you can. LPS might be good to go by then and sometimes you can bike part of the way up UPS and ride it back down. Have fun!

  4. #4
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    I agree with the others

    Trails wise there are lots of places to ride that are not shared use areas with Jeeps. Resturants and traffic are going to be a *****.

    Consider southwest utah. The St george and Hurricane are are beautiful that time of year and the riding is every bit as good if not better then Moab. Check out Utah Mountain Biking - Trails, Information, Repairs and look at the southwest utah area section. I think you will have a much better time that weekend in SW utah and its only about 1 hour further. Also since you are driving through Salt Lake City anyway there is no shortage of nice riding there to check out. Have fun whatever you decide.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info, guys!

    I was trying to refrain from making references to Coors, wifebeater T-shirts, etc. but that is totally what we're afraid of running into, ha ha!! At least we have a cabin with a big kitchen, so we don't have to depend on going to restaurants all the time.

    Pedalfaraway, your suggestion to go to SW Utah is a good one, we did go to St. George / Hurricane two years ago and LOVED it!!! Gooseberry, Barrel Roll, Bearclaw Poppy, JEM, Gould's, OMG they were all so awesome!! But now we are really hankering for Moab in particular. Plus we can't change our lodging at this point, and that area is a good 5 hours away as I recall. Can't wait to go back there though! And Thunder Mountain WILL be ridden by me in the next 2 years!

    For this trip, we will definitely attempt to focus on the non-jeepy trails, as you guys suggest. Here is our tentative plan (feel free to make suggestions for improvement):
    Sunday (arrive early afternoon) - Pipe Dream
    Monday - Sovereign
    Tuesday - Amasa Back/Pothole Arch
    Wednesday - Porcupine
    Thursday - hike/rest
    Friday - Slickrock Trail
    Saturday - Mag 7 trails?
    Then we're off to Fruita for a week.

    So at this point I guess the only one I'm really worried about is Amasa Back. We have picked the one day that week that they don't have an *organized* ride there so I'm hoping it will be OK. I really don't want to miss that one, as we will be riding with friends on that particular day and I want to show them that trail in particular. Hope we don't regret it.
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  6. #6
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    We have, no joke, accidentally scheduled Moab trips during the Jeep safari week three times now. Every time we throw out a (seemingly) random date, all schedule the trip then someone will have the "guys, we did it again" moment. Not to bad for me as I just have to drive down from SLC but with airfare booked we just run with it and have never had a bad time.

    You've already taken care of the hard part which is lodging so sit back and relax. Yes town is a zoo, but it's only in relative terms; normally Moab is a really quiet town. The crowd gets loud and stupid at the bars and has always been respectful on the trails even when we come across the organized group drives. Last year we ascended Amasa Back as the jeeps were coming down to the stream crossing. They move oh so slowly so most of the jeeps will be at a complete standstill any time you come across one.

    Treat them like any other trail user; if they were there first give them a chance to either clear the object or acknowledge you and give you direction. I'm sure they're not all great but I have yet to have a bad encounter with a jeeper during the safari.

    UPS/LPS is sort of hit or miss that time of year. With the weather we're having so far I wouldn't be surprised if you could ride them now. But if the spring storms kick up then you might be stuck at the original shuttle drop like we were last year. Play it by ear and make sure you show up that morning with enough cash for the full ride no matter what the day before had been ok'd to ride.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  7. #7
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    Ditch slickrock for UPS/LPS - or higher if you can. Best part of TWE if you ask me... Guess you could do both. UPS/LPS > right on down to SR or even fins.

    Mag 7 is not to miss either IMO...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    Ditch slickrock for UPS/LPS - or higher if you can. Best part of TWE if you ask me... Guess you could do both. UPS/LPS > right on down to SR or even fins.

    Mag 7 is not to miss either IMO...
    Man you really don't like slickrock.....have you been on the middle routes? I know you live there you need to ride it with locals who know it and connect to fins.....so much good stuff out there. But everyone likes different kinds of riding....I love slickrock, but will say the standard route isn't as good as some of the other routes out there.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadyflow View Post
    Man you really don't like slickrock.....have you been on the middle routes? I know you live there you need to ride it with locals who know it and connect to fins.....so much good stuff out there. But everyone likes different kinds of riding....I love slickrock, but will say the standard route isn't as good as some of the other routes out there.
    Rode it a whole bunch, think that's 1/2 the problem. I agree, the middle stuff more fun, as is swiss cheese ridge and of course the stuff that shoots down into town, but that's not really SR at all...

    I also prefer rides that climb and then descend. Rather then rolling terrain.

  10. #10
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    You guys have put my mind considerably more at ease, so thanks. It's awesome that I can be all "OH NOES!" and then via the glory of the internet be reassured by total strangers who are in the know. Zebrahum, that is hilarious that you have accidentally coincided with Jeep week 3 times!! Ha ha ha! Glad to know it's not a total deal-breaker.

    I know tons of folks don't care for the Slickrock Trail, but I really like it for some reason. I can totally understand the viewpoint because it's not as "fun" as some of the other trails in the area, but it just feels like such a classic. It wouldn't feel right to go to Moab and not do it. So that's going to stay on the agenda, but on yall's advice we will definitely do Mag 7 and will hope for the best weather-wise so we can do UPS and LPS, which I am dying to check out. Wish we could just do TWE but we picked the wrong time of year for that. Next time!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  11. #11
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    Biking during Jeep Safari in Moab has changed significantly in the last several years, for three big reasons:

    1) As mentioned above, there are many more non-motorized STs that have been developed.

    2) The Red Rock Four Wheelers maintain exclusive use of certain trails on certain days. That means there are "bouncers" set up at the trailhead for an exclusive use trail. They don't bounce bikers or hikers, only other motorized vehicles (motos, ATVs, jeeps) that are not with the Red Rock Four Wheelers line of vehicles. This is an amazing development for bikers, especially with Amasa Back (called Cliffhanger by jeepers). That trail has exactly one jeep entrance and it is guarded by bouncers on the Red Rock Four Wheelers' exclusive use days. If you set out before the set Safari time, or well after they are up the trail, you will see no (as in, zero) other motorized vehicles on the trail. Ironically, the exclusive use days for Cliffhanger are the best possible days to ride Amasa Back all spring. Certainly the quietest. Especially with the ST options (Pothole, Rockstacker, Jacksons, etc.)

    3) Jeep Safari is busy, busy in town. But the free-for-all, alcohol-fueled frenzy of ten years ago has been seriously curtailed by the sheer number of law enforcement personnel that have been brought in. The exclusive use thing mentioned in #2 above has curtailed the non-Safari registered element which had the reputation of being the biggest part of the problem.

    Hope this helps. As everyone else has mentioned, yes town will be busy, but so is every weekend in season in Moab. Plan your rides right, and coordinate with the Red Rock Four Wheelers daily Safari routes, and you'll be set.

    hfly <-- loves riding during Jeep Safari

  12. #12
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    Wow, so you think we should actually PLAN to do Amasa on the same day they're doing it? Interesting concept! Makes sense though. Thanks!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by A girl from Seattle View Post
    Wow, so you think we should actually PLAN to do Amasa on the same day they're doing it? Interesting concept! Makes sense though. Thanks!
    If you were planning on taking Jacksons down instead of riding back on Amasa then planning on starting the trail just before or even while the jeeps are just starting the trail would be a fantastic way to have the entire trail to yourself. They take so much time on the first 100 yards of the trail that you won't see a jeep the entire time you're there. Also, watching them crawl that section of trail is kinda fun to watch for a while then you ride it and all the jeepers get jealous.

    If you're planning on riding up then down Amasa, I'd probably still avoid it as the jeeps will be ascending through the narrower trail while you're descending Amasa.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by A girl from Seattle View Post
    Wow, so you think we should actually PLAN to do Amasa on the same day they're doing it? Interesting concept! Makes sense though. Thanks!
    Counterintuitive, yes. But that's exactly what I'm saying. The Safari group for Cliffhanger (Amasa) leaves from their meeting place in town at 9:00 AM. That gives you until about 9:30 to beat them to the trail. Even if you are a little late, they'll all be congregated near the initial stair steps that begin Amasa. Not sure what time the exclusive use bouncers (remember, they don't bounce bikes) show up at the trailhead, though I imagine it's a little before then.

    Here's the Safari schedule. Most days Cliffhanger is exclusive use:

    Trail Availability | Red Rock 4-Wheeler, Inc.

    A few other points:

    What bikers now know as Porcupine differs significantly from what jeepers generally call Porcupine. The biker version involves a no-jeep intro (LPS/UPS), followed by a long dirt road descent for which jeepers have no outlet. The jeeper version involves mainly what used to be known by bikers as the climb up to Porcupine, but is now mostly irrelevant to bikers. In other words, Jeep Safari has little effect on riding Porcupine What's more, pick an exclusive use day, and there won't be any jeeps anywhere near the rim (where the bike trail runs)_ until at least 11:00 AM.

    The first section of Mag 7 is ST that crosses (but does not really follow) jeep roads. The Gold Bar Rim (second section) will be a zoo, but of course not the Portal.

    Thus. what most experienced riders would call the big three rides of Moab:

    -- Porcupine from as high as possible
    -- Mag 7
    -- Amasa / Pothole / Rockstacker / Jacksons

    ... are all eminently do-able.

    Of course, Pipedream, Moab Brands, Sovereign, North Klondike Area and all the other sort of second-tier, newer singletracks are not near prime jeeping areas ,and will all be fine.

    Blah, blah, blah. Let me know if you have ay other questions.

    hfly

  15. #15
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    Like others have said, it probably wont be that big of a deal, although it is probably less than ideal just due to the large amount of people who will be in town. I've been there during Jeep week for the Jeeping, instead of riding, and had a pretty good time. Yes, there's a redneck element to the event, but since it is actually a pretty expensive hobby, it is a fairly affluent crowd in large part (at least that was my experience -- my dad is a doctor, and we went with several other md's who happen to be in to Jeeps, so maybe we were just hanging with a different crowd, but it didn't seem too "Larry the Cable Guy" to me.).

    My only $.02 is, you'll have fun if you go with a non-judgmental attitude about the environmental issues. Without expressing a political/environmental view one way or the other, I'll just say that if you disagree with people driving Jeeps on rocks, and you are unable to avoid expressing your views, or it makes you sick to see Jeeps "out in the wild," you're gonna have a long week! Kinda like an animal activist going to a rodeo or an anti-gun person hanging out at the gun show. But if you approach it with a "live and let live" attitude, you'll probably have a great week of riding, with only a few interruptions and a very crowded City Market to deal with, and I'll bet you'll see some stuff you've never seen before.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  16. #16
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    Awesome, I now feel like I can make educated decisions here. We plan to come back down Amasa Back rather than Rockstacker/Jackson's because we will have a couple of less experienced riders with us, and we're not exactly experts ourselves. So I think I'm going to aim for the one day all week when there's no planned Jeep outing there. I wasn't aware that Gold Bar Rim will be Jeepy, so that's good to know too. You guys rock.

    And some good points have been brought up about having a good attitude about it and that it can be interesting to see how the Jeeps do it and whatnot. I can live with the fact that they're out there -- far be it from me to judge their motorized sport when I ride dirt bikes myself, ha ha! I just don't like crowds in general, especially while on vacation in Utah, and also I admit I am kind of mystified about why the hell you would do anything on 4 wheels when you can do it on 2! But maybe this will clear up the mystery! Anyway, this is all very helpful and I think we will be able to all just get along. Thanks again! Now I just have to wait 7 weeks and hope the snow holds off.
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  17. #17
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    Jeep week is fun, but the issue may be lodging and camping availability. If you have a place to stay then you are solid. The hotels sell out and the camp sites can be full as well. There are tons of condos etc to choose from. check out vrbo.com Jeep week is great for biking because bikers are always freaked out that jeep week is a bad time to come to Moab. However, jeeps do not drive on singletrack, hence you may have bike trails to yourself. Definitely do Mag 7 for downhill singletrack. This is a trail not to be missed. UPS and LPS will likely be running, more singletrack! Moab is building more singletrack everyday, so you will not be disappointed. You may want to include Bartlett wash in you schedule as well. Ask a local the best way to ride this trail if you like surfing slickrock.

    You will have a great trip as long as you stay off the jeep roads. This is not hard to do because the best Moab riding has nothing to do with jeep roads. Locals do not ride jeep roads, but they ride the singletrack. The only jeep road that you may ride is the Amasa Back climb, but the descent is all singletrack.

  18. #18
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    We usually try and fit two rides a day when we're not riding the long rides so I would say that the Bar trails are great for a quick (or not so quick) few loops. Definitely worth a pedal if you're bored.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punta Lobos View Post
    The issue may be lodging and camping availability.
    Fortunately we have our lodging, we're staying in a cabin on Sand Flats Rd not too far from Porcupine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Punta Lobos View Post
    Definitely do Mag 7 for downhill singletrack. This is a trail not to be missed. UPS and LPS will likely be running, more singletrack! You may want to include Bartlett wash in your schedule as well.
    Mag 7 = yes!
    UPS/LPS = yes!
    Bartlett Wash is super fun, we did it a couple of years ago, but probably won't be able to fit it in this time... thanks though!


    Zebrahum, I've done a couple of the Bar trails in the past and liked them... would kind of like to check them out again but I think we may have an ambitious schedule as it is. Unlike you, 2 rides a day are probably a bit much for us! We'll be doing well to get through one ride per day, most days, for a week in Moab and then a week in Fruita. Wish we could just move down there and ride every trail there is!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  20. #20
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    Amen

    I'll just add another amen here. My family and I go down pretty much every week during jeep week because it coincides with our spring break most years. Never really had a problem at all either on the trail or downtown in the evenings. Have fun.

  21. #21
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    Do you think we will have any luck finding a camping spot if we show up sunday? I'm kinda a newbie to moab, so if any body has any tips as far as places to camp or ride it would be appreciated. I'm bringing my two boys 8 and 12 so kid friendly areas are a must, they do ride well for there age.
    Thanks

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishpoop View Post
    Do you think we will have any luck finding a camping spot if we show up sunday? I'm kinda a newbie to moab, so if any body has any tips as far as places to camp or ride it would be appreciated. I'm bringing my two boys 8 and 12 so kid friendly areas are a must, they do ride well for there age.
    Thanks
    Sunday; people might be heading back home after a short weekend trip so maybe. I would have a backup plan in mind though. It's busy down there.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  23. #23
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    I think the biggest problem where the LESS desirable camping is. I live here so my knowledge of "fullness" isn't as sharp as others. I will say last weekend everything in town, all of sandflats and pretty much anything 25mins or closer on 128 and Kane creek were full. If you don't mind rougher and more remote camping, there is often space out Dalton Wells and Willow Springs.

  24. #24
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    Have to disagree on last weekend at least for pay sites. We camped at portal RV park and I doubt it was more than about 1/4 full. Riverside Oasis looked like they had plenty of spots too.

    Driving up sand flats it did look pretty full though. And I agree with checking out Dalton Wells and Willow Springs for boondocking.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobi View Post
    Have to disagree on last weekend at least for pay sites. We camped at portal RV park and I doubt it was more than about 1/4 full. Riverside Oasis looked like they had plenty of spots too.

    Driving up sand flats it did look pretty full though. And I agree with checking out Dalton Wells and Willow Springs for boondocking.
    I was referring to Kane Creek / 128. For whatever reason, Potash road always seems to have more space.

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