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  1. #51
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    Slickrock vs. Slickrock

    As mentioned, there is a commercial Slickrock campground on the outskirts of town on 191, and there are campsites on Sand Flats road near the Slickrock trail.

    My two cents. I actually spent an April night at the commercial Slickrock campground, in a tent. It sucked. The tent spaces are just a few sandboxes in the back of the RV campground. The spaces are tiny, so tiny that your head in your tent will end up about three feet from your neighbors ass on their picnic bench. The RV people run generators. The only, and I mean only, reason to stay in a tent at a commercial campground in Moab is if your girlfriend insists on 'real' toilets and showers. The only commercial tent campground worth staying at is Up The Creek, because they don't allow RVs and it is 1/2 block from downtown.

    If you must stay at a commercial campground, staying in the cabins is a better idea, because you actually have some sound insulation and a little room. Not that much more expensive, and if it rains, you are much better off. Also, you can lock your stuff in there instead of having to pack it in the car every morning.

    If you want to go cheap and tent, stay at one of the many fine BLM campgrounds (the ultimate is Moonflower, good luck), or at Arches, or at Dead Horse, or find one of the more and more rare dispersed areas north of town. You can shower at the Lazy Lizard hostel or Poison Spider bike shop really cheap. The visitor's center is a warm place to poop. Trust me, if you stay commercial, at about 11:00 PM when the idiots in the site next to you come stumbling back from town and proceed to talk and fart loudly three feet from your head, you'll be wishing you took my advice.

    BTW, to stay in the dispersed areas or many of the areas further out on Sand Flats, you must have a porta potty.

  2. #52
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    Monsoon season

    Wanted to add my experience from last summer. I've been hitting Southeastern Utah for about ten years but never in August till last summer. I'll never do that again, and not because of the heat, which isn't that bad and can be escaped, but because of the rain.

    We had originally planned on some day hikes in Escalante but couldn't get into the back country because virtually every wash had flooded and the roads were horrible. Signs of 10 foot deep floods everywhere. We decided to head to Moab going over the Burr trail only to see creek that goes down that valley (not sure of the name) had flooded in spots over 200 feet wide in places. It was crazy. We got to Moab, and it didn't look so bad, so we headed to Bartlett's to camp. As evening came around we were up on the slickrock watching small scattered storms basically everywhere until they seemed to coalesce into a huge storm coming in from the west, with like an approaching curtain of rain that was just scary to say the least. We decided Bartlett's being in a flood plain wouldn't be a good place to be, considering we had seen signs of super deep flooding, so we packed up and booked it out before the storm hit. On the way out that last wash on the mill creek road, about 200 yards from 191, had flashed and stopped flowing again during the 6 hours or so we were at Bartlett. (!!) Not wanting to get trapped back there (with the need to go to work and all) we hit that mud at like 40mph, slid like hell and got through. Weww! Go 4 wheel drive!

    Long story short stay the hell out of there during Monsoon season! It isn't the heaviest overall precip for the area but it happens in super heavy cloudbursts that cause big floods.

  3. #53
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    Since Jailhouse Cafe has only been mentioned twice in this thread, I'm gonna mention it again. Excellent breakfast with fast and friendly service to boot. Get there bright and early though, unless you like waiting.

    Jailhouse Bacon and Cheddar Omelet and coffee + Amasa Back = Heaven.

  4. #54
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    May temps

    How are the temps usually in the middle of May? Say around May 18.

    Some people in this thread mention the 4x4 crowds. Is it usually hard to get a hotel room during this time of May?

    Thanks

  5. #55
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    Around May 18 would be perfect. That's usually when we go. A little earlier and I've been snowed on. Don't worry about the 4x'ers most of them are cool. A buddy of mine had some intestinal distress (must have been that 7-11 hot dog) on Slickrock trail and he got a ride back to the trailhead, which sayed the trip for him.

  6. #56
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by joltz
    How are the temps usually in the middle of May? Say around May 18.

    Some people in this thread mention the 4x4 crowds. Is it usually hard to get a hotel room during this time of May?

    Thanks
    Check the Avg Temp chart posted on the first page, and also understand that 75 degrees feels very different standing in a grassy field vs. standing in an ocean of warm rocks. Moab feels much hotter than the temps might lead you to believe, there have been many days I would have guessed it was in the mid-90s on the trail only to find the high never got past 80.

    Hotel rates are highest this time of year, and inexpensive rooms can be difficult to get. But there are so many hotels and camping cabins in Moab that you should be able to find something.

  7. #57
    JMH
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    Which Bike Should I Bring

    I have ridden quite a few different types of bikes in Moab, starting with Cannondale hardtails in 1991 all the way to a full-on freeride bike last year. My experiences tends to mirror others who have been coming here for a while. We all rode what were probably the best bikes available at the time and by embracing suspension technology our ride times decreased, our enjoyment and efficiency increased.

    I think the ultimate Moab bike is a 5-6" travel full-suspension bike with big tires and mid-priced (XT/X9) parts. A bike like this will not hold you back too much on the long climbs and it makes the descents more enjoyable. You might cry when you break your rear derailleur but at least it will be because you have to walk or ride a ghetto SS, not because you are out $250. Leave the light weight tires at home, 2.35 or larger tires will float through the sand and better resist pinch flats on the millions of rock ledges. Carbon works great here, but if you are unsure of any of your components, replace them before you arrive. Things that are held together particularly by bolts and nuts have a way of coming apart: pedals, derailleurs, frames. I have seen countless component failures in Moab directly attributable to the chattering terrain. One jarring trip down Porcupine Rim in the late nineties had me rigging a lame replacement for a lost derailleur pulley, of all things.

    There are trails that are more fun on smaller bikes or hardtails, Slickrock, Gemini Bridges and Klondike being notable. I have ridden slickrock on all sorts of rigs but I have only ever ridden it dab-free on a hardtail. The extremely steep climbs are friendly to the short travel forks and XC position. The decents aren't as fun, but they are so short it's hardly an issue. Gemini and Klondike just aren't rough enough to have you reaching for the Advil, they are great easy-day rides. The White Rim is another trail that puts an emphasis on efficiency and might be ideal for a hardtail bike, although I just finished WR and wished the whole time I had a really light FS to smooth the endless washboard.

    The opposite could be said for Porc. Porcupine Rim is fun on anything, but it gets more fun the faster you go. A full-on DH bike is not out of the question on this trail, and I have done it twice on a 42lb freeride bike and it was fantastic, if not a bit of overkill in the pedaling sections. It's also a trade-off when the slower techy singletrack arrives at the end. Again, back to the 5-6" Moab bike described above.

    There are DH bike and full-face helmet trails in Moab. Currently none of these appear on the maps or in guidebooks, so you will have to ask the bike shops in town for more information.

    Where would I suggest you ride a rigid titanium singlespeed? Honestly, I wouldn't even consider bringing a rigid or SS bike down here. Not because you can't, and not because I don't own/enjoy a rigid SS (I do), but because I just wouldn't like knowing what I was missing. There is certainly a purity to riding simple bikes, you make that call on your own. If SS is your standard means of riding bikes, you will still find plenty to enjoy about riding in Moab.

    JMH
    Last edited by JMH; 04-08-2008 at 07:22 AM.

  8. #58
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    Singlespeeding in Moab

    It's fun. Really.

    Everything in Moab has been ridden on a singlespeed, likely a rigid singlespeed. That doesn't mean you would or should want to do the same. If you're asking, the answer is probably no. With that in mind, some general thoughts for the more cautious or sensible singlespeeding Moab newbie:

    -Gear down a bit. There aren't that many truly long climbs, but much of the climbing is sandy, ledgy, loose, or all of the above. In other words, anaerobic. Gear inches in the mid to low 40's is likely a good idea for non-heros.

    -Grippy tires. In particular, a nice fat, aggressive rear tire will help with the above.

    -Suspension. Yes, it's good. Saves the hands and makes that last 2' ledge easier. Blahblahblah.

    -Some trails that are vaguely singlespeed friendly, or at least loads of fun on a single. (IMO!):

    Slickrock: powering up the infinite traction climbs is fun as he!!. Not to be missed!
    Sovereign: All the climbs are doable (yes, even going north), though some are darn tough. Not massively chunky and in general succombs well to sprinting attacks.
    Circle O-Rockin A: New slickrock trails off the Bar M loop. Gooseberry lite riding, with absurd views. A bit corrugated, and this rougher than the above on a rigid bike.
    Hazard-LPS: Note that I am NOT including Porc Rim proper!

    Good luck.

  9. #59
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    I'll be out there on the 18th too, and I can second the cool four wheelers talk... Had one give my friend 2 liters of water when we were way the hell out there. Pretty sweet! And I get a kick out of them seeing us 20 miles from a trailhead. Always a look of surprise. They think they're hardcore and way in the backcountry and then you pass them on a bike...

    Last time in Moab I rode with some locals on DH type stuff and they had more gear than I usually bring (but will from now on...):

    -a few extra spokes in each size
    -extra spoke nipples
    -an extra rear derailleur
    -an extra rear derailleur hanger
    -water bladder patch kit
    -spare brake pads

    We went through some mud that just effed a couple of bikes up. It got on the chains and two of my bros were dumb and tried to pedal it off. This is the bentonite/clay-type evil goo - it wouldn't pass through the derailleur pulleys so the whole derailleur just rips up there as the chain moves - on one bike the rear derailleur was ripped in half and the hanger was torn off. On the other bike the derailleur got sucked into the spokes, got bent to all hell and broke two spokes on the rear wheel. (First ride on an xt shadow too ) We were fifteen miles out and lemme tell you, riding a SS full suspension in Moab with nothing to tension the chain does not work!! I will always have these things on me from now on, and I'm glad I didn't try to ride the mud out there. Carry your bike in that stuff!

    As for which bike, any bike will be fun, but if you freeride at all you only want your big rig I would say. All the locals pretty much ride DH bikes and for good reason - there's awesome hits everywhere you look, even right beside the mellow trails. I'd ride a hardtail on the slickrock trail but that's about it.

  10. #60
    dvo
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    I am still debating whether or not to go to Black Rock in Oregon for a 4 day trip or if the weather stays rainy up there head to Moab next week. Are shuttles running up to Porcupine Rim? How high up is the snow? I have been to Moab a few times and am not unfamiliar with the area but would love some info on where 3 guys on some big bikes can have some fun.

  11. #61
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    Call Coyote shuttle at (435) 259-8656 and they will know exactly what the conditions are. The weather looks awesome, but if their winter has had precip like CO it'll be muddy way up high. I would guess that at least LPS should be fine (one stop higher than the "official" porc rim stop, and there's less uphill riding that way.) UPS will probably have mud and you'll wanna stay out of that. Other than that you're looking at 70's and sun all next week. Doesn't get much better...

    Other than porc I like Bartlett wash for big bike fun. The wash itself isn't a long ride although the area has plenty of riding in it. Bartlett will have drops of all sizes up to as big as you probably want to go so you can just session the hell out of it all day. Free camping all over the place there too.

  12. #62
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    Just a quick question about Moab, what is the crime rate like. I want to know how safe my bike will be locked outside on my campsite (I am staying at Slick Rock Campground). I was thinking of locking the bikes to my bike rack which will be locked to the spoiler of my car, is that safe? Just want to be cautious since my trip depends on me having a bike.
    Cheers,

    Seb

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  13. #63
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    Moab Crime?

    The crime rate in Moab is low overall, but bikes have been stolen. They seem to be opportunistic thefts rather than organized pickings. It would be very unlikely for a locked bike to be messed with at the Slick Rock campground, or any campground for that matter.

    Let's face it, people come from all over the world to ride Moab. There is always the possibility. I read where a good bike at Whistler won't last long, even with a good lock.

  14. #64
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    yeah Whistler is terrible for bike theft, I actually know a guy who told me that his roommate stole bikes for a living. My buddy would come home and there would be 6 DH rigs in the living room valued at $5000+ a piece, this guy would swap parts, shave the serial number and then sell the bikes. Of course my buddy does not know this guy anymore and has not been out west for years now. But it made me angry when I heard this and also a little scared for my bike at any bike resort/park.
    Cheers,

    Seb

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  15. #65
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    Just got back from a week of riding. Here are my comments: We rented bikes from Posion Spider and were extremely happy. Great shop and very friendly employees. We rode Sovereign, Amassa Back, Klondike, Gemini Bridges, Flat Pass, Porcupine Rim and one I can't remember. All were great. We did try to ride one of the trails higher up but encountered too much snow still. Food: Lots of decent places to eat. Jail House is good but expensive. Moab Brewery was good but not great. Most of the shops and food are on the main drag through the middle of town. Have never seen so many bikes, atv's, dirt bikes and jeeps in my life. Very cool vibe. Everyone is here to have fun and get a little dirty. Overall we had a blast. Scenery is breath taking!!!

  16. #66
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    What did you try to ride up high? I'll be down there in three weeks and I'm planning on riding Hazard county through porc rim down to town... It looks like Hazard tops out at 9500. Hoping it's snow free by then!

  17. #67
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    Fisher Mesa. We tried it very short way but found the snow to be above the knee on the first downhill. Decided to turn back instead of pushing forward.

  18. #68
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    Summer Riding

    I'm going with some friends for a week in July. I know that it will be 100 degrees. Any thoughts on how we can make this as fun as possible? The best trails that we can complete before it gets too hot? I'm an intermediate rider but I do all my riding at sea level. What is the best kind of clothing? I'm coming from Florida where humidity is high, so I might not dress correctly.

  19. #69
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    I would say defintely ride as early as possible or late in the day. Lots of sunscreen and water. Most of the rides are in the 3-5 hour range depending on your fitness level and length of trail. Some trails you can certainly do in less trhan 2 hours. When I rode some of the trails are higher elevations I did notice shortness of breath from the altitude but as long as you take it easy should be fine. Moab is at around 3500 ' and there are lots of trails that are up quite a bit higher. Porcupine Rim is a great trail since if you start at the water tanks you climb up around 900' reaching around 7000 ' then decending all the way back to the Colorado River. Simply one of the best rides I've ever done! Shuttle from town to the trailhead cost us $10 plus 2 $ ahead for the entry permit. The paved road up to the trailhead is quite steep and busy so was definitely worth it in my opinion.

  20. #70
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    Well..I did try reading thru all this...who do I call to schedule shuttles? Porc & upper Porc in particular. Any pointers are appreciated.

    I rode Porc a few years back and DID NOT shuttle. Rode from town up, down and back to town. Never really got over suffering up the fire road on my 40lb pig bike.

  21. #71
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    I like Coyote shuttle myself just cuz the dude who drives (probably owns it too) is awesome and has some pointers for where to go. He'll take you as far up the road as you want, and might do a little wheeling on the way if you're lucky. I think it's $15 for normal porc, 20 for LPS (much better and very little climbing that way), 25 for UPS. There are cheaper shuttles I think. With Coyote there are set times that he hits the bike shops. We always leave from Slickrock Cycles, and we always call the day before to reserve a spot. I've seen people not be able to get on so I would call.

    I ride a 40lb bike too and honestly the 4 mile road ride at the end is hard enough! I would never ride up to porc on that thing...

  22. #72
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    There is a shuttle out of Poison Spider Bike shop that runs at 8:30 and 10am. Its first come served so be there early cuz it may be full. Nice folks.

  23. #73
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    Hey Guys,
    I am moving across the country this summer and thought it would be prudent to ride as much as possible along the way, so obviously Fruita and Moab (see x-post in CO) are on my list. I will most likely be traveling alone, with most of my worldly possessions in or on my car, which raises several questions:

    1) trailhead/ campground safety... I realize that I am taking a huge risk, but are the campgrounds and trail heads around Moab known for being particularly prone to break ins?

    2) trail selection... I ride mostly rocky, rooty, xc single track in and around the Boston, MA area. I will be on a geared hardtail with 100mm up front, and like I said, I will probably be riding alone. Based on this, are there any loops I definitely should or should not do?

    Thanks for your help, I really appreciate your input.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by rip420tide
    Hey Guys,
    I am moving across the country this summer and thought it would be prudent to ride as much as possible along the way, so obviously Fruita and Moab (see x-post in CO) are on my list. I will most likely be traveling alone, with most of my worldly possessions in or on my car, which raises several questions:

    2) trail selection... I ride mostly rocky, rooty, xc single track in and around the Boston, MA area. I will be on a geared hardtail with 100mm up front, and like I said, I will probably be riding alone. Based on this, are there any loops I definitely should or should not do?

    Thanks for your help, I really appreciate your input.
    I just got back from a week and Moab and I saw people on hardtails so absolutely I don't think this should limit you on which trails to ride. I'm from New England also and had no problems with the trails. For sure there is lots of really hairy stuff to try if you want to, but that depends on the individual more than the bike. have fun and enjoy. The place is so different than where we're from it seem like another planet. The views will blow you away also.

  25. #75
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by rip420tide
    1) trailhead/ campground safety... I realize that I am taking a huge risk, but are the campgrounds and trail heads around Moab known for being particularly prone to break ins?

    2) trail selection... I ride mostly rocky, rooty, xc single track in and around the Boston, MA area. I will be on a geared hardtail with 100mm up front, and like I said, I will probably be riding alone. Based on this, are there any loops I definitely should or should not do?
    Keep your bike locked up and you will be fine. Utah is not exactly crime-ridden. As stated before, the few thefts that occur are almost certainly opportunistic: you left your bike leaning against your car and disappeared for 20 minutes to use the restroom... I always leave cars, tents, stoves, coolers unattended during my rides and have never had an incident.

    All the trails in Moab are fun on a hardtail, there is good reason that it's been the Mecca of MTB for over 15 years. You don't go as fast, your butt isn't as happy as if you were riding a squishy, but the trails still rock. I highly recommend Slickrock, it's extremely enjoyable on a hardtail.

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