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  1. #1
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    Moab Trip Planner

    This thread is designed to assist the uninitiated in planning a trip to the mecca that is Moab, as well as provide the experienced with a variety of new and different views on old favorites. There is a similar thread over on the Arizona forum that has proven very useful.

    Some ground "rules":

    -Keep it productive and on-topic. Respectful disagreement only, please.

    -Try to word your description for someone who has never been, ever. This is not as easy as it would seem.

    -Strive for brevity.

    -Beta on trails, link-ups, bike shops, restaurants, camping, etc. Title posts appropriately.

    -Demonstrative pictures welcome.

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    The Basics

    You've found Moab on a map, and you want to go there. You have time off work and permission from the SO. That's the hard part.

    Moab lives in a valley running north and south, with the Colorado River bookending things to the north. The valley was created by a fault, the most clear example of which can be seen driving by the entrance to Arches NP. The faulting, the river, and the mountains to the east create an amazing variety of riding, why you're going in the first place.

    History
    Moab was settled by Mormons back in the day, though natives were there long, long before. Many examples of rock art, from the pedestrian to the hidden, surround the town. After WWII, once the Cold War began, the US Government had an obvious interest in stockpiling Uranium, and Moab was the center of this monopolistic boom. The vast majority of the roads in the greater Moab area, including many classic rides, were created by the industry of the Uranium prospectors. Some struck it big, and for a brief period in the 50's Moab had more millionares per capita than any other town in the US. Once the government had a 300 year stockpile of Uranium, their subsidies were lifted and the boom collapsed. Moab slumbered until jeepers, bikers (motorized and non), rafters and tourists "discovered" the area in the early 90's. Growth came for good, and new hotels keep sprouting.

    Orientation
    The valley works to your benefit as a visitor, because most everything is on Main Street (aka Highway 191) which runs through the middle of town. Center Street is the main east/west street, and on this intersection is the Moab Information Center, a good place to park, use the bathroom (open buisness hours), and walk around investigating and gathering supplies. The Mormons have a brilliant system for laying out roads, and numbers grid using the cardinal directions. So, 200N 300E is two blocks north and three blocks east of Center and Main. There are some idiosyncracies and exceptions in Moab, but for the most part the system makes navigation easy for the newcomer.

    Weather and Seasons
    A general guide. As always, don't trust the weather.

    Spring (March-May): Begins the influx of spring breakers and Coloradans escaping the snow. Lots of people, earlier every year. Hotels charge full rates again, restaurants reopen. Early March evenings can be cold, and snow is town is a distant possibility. Overall day temps are very nice, staying in the 60s (typically!) during March, getting into the 90s by late May. In any season in the desert, direct radiation makes a huge difference. Full sun and wind protection can raise the temps 20 degrees, and of course the opposite is also true. Beware. Jeep Safari is the week before Easter, and is hell-on-earth crowded.

    Summer (June-September): HOT! It's a desert, and by mid-July 100+ is not uncommon. If you must, go and ride early, then late. Bring tons of water. Alternately, get up early and shuttle up into the mountains, and enjoy singletrack at 10,000'. By mid-September things get a little more reasonable.

    Fall (October-November): Fall break, shoulder season, Cottonwoods and aspens changing, fall in Utah is very nice. October also has the most unstable weather of any month, with a week of sun alternating with a week of overcast, periodic rain. Sun is nice, but rain seldom lasts all day, and it packs down the sand. Post 24 Hours, things begin to settle down and get cold.

    Winter (December-February): My fav. Cheap hotels, empty trails, and always an open pool table at the brewery. It usually doesn't snow in earnest until after Christmas, so warm gloves and a tolerance for shorter days can reward a T-day trip. By the new year evening temps well into the teens are the norm, so camping is for the dedicated.

    Bike Shops
    Bike shops in Moab tend to be good. The usual foibles apply across the board, but they're more likely than most to have a selection of 2.5" tires and new hydro hoses. All have a better-than-average rental fleet. That's all I'm sayin'.
    All should have the Lat 40 "Classic" Moab Trail map, which I think every visitor should buy first thing.

    What Bike?
    Most anything in Moab can and has been ridden on anything, up to and including unicycles. That said, the average rider will want dual suspenion with a fair amount of travel, and large volume tires. 2.5 Nevegals for the more aggressive, 2.4 Mutanoraptors for the more XC inclined (for example). The many rocks and ledges also tend to make pinch-flats somewhat profligate.

    Food
    Yes. Lots, some good, some not. Below are my favorites. At 7pm on a Saturday during the season, everywhere will have a horrendous line.
    Coffee: Mondo's, in the mini-mall thing just south of the Info center.
    Moab Brewery: Nice sit down food. Burgers, good salads. South of Center on the west side of Main.
    La Hacienda: So-so Mexican. On Main near the north end of town.
    Moab Diner: Best breakfast, any time of day. On Main, just south of the main concentration around Center.

    Accomidations
    For hotel/motel I like the Red Stone Inn. A little south of the main action, but cheap, nice, with microwaves, a hot tub, and outdoor bike stand with hose.
    Decent cheap camping can be found down Potash Rd (north and then west of town), or out River Rd (aka 128) north and east of town. The sites at the base of Porcupine Rim (~4 miles east on 128) are nice and only $5, but go fast.

    Water
    North of town, 100 yards down 128, is pipe coming out of the rock on the south side of the road. Matrimony Springs. I've always drank it straight, and filled up a jug there 3 days before I got hitched on the spur of the moment, so in my experience it works. If you're road tripping with your boy/girlfirend, you've been warned.
    South of City Market, Gearheads Outdoor store offers unlimited free filtered water during store hours (usually until 9pm during the season).
    And last, DRINK LOTS. One 100 oz bladder is not enough. Dehydration kills.
    Last edited by ionsmuse; 04-20-2007 at 09:33 AM.

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    Sovereign Singletrack

    One of the great neo-classics of Moab, for me a must-do for any visitor. It combines a good slice of Moab slickrock and ledges with a singletrack vibe with which most visitors will be familiar. As always, I recommend the Lat 40 Classics trail map, though a smaller and cheap guide is available for just this trail. Below is a description for getting to the trailhead, and riding the trail if you don't have a map.

    Driving north from town, you'll pass 313 going to Canyonlands NP. About a 1/2 mile north of this and on the east is the Willow Springs Road. This dirt road used to be the entrance to Arches Nation Monument, familiar to any who have read Desert Solitaire. Drive down the road, cross the wash (usually doable with any car) and continue until you see the pumphouse (a small tan shed). On the right will be a large dirt parking area. Park and gear up, then ride up the road and take the first left. This leads up a two-track, into a wash, and eventuall becomes the signed Sovereign singletrack. The full trail goes north for over 20 miles, if you don't have a map ride as far as you like, then return the way you came. It only gets better the further you ride.

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    Non Bike Activity
    For those that might be looking to take some time off from biking, be sure to go up to Arches National Park and do the short hike out to Landscape Arch. Absolutely amazing and certainly possible that it may not remain an arch for many more generations to see(300 foot span and as little as 6 feet thick in spots since the large slab broke off; 1995 I think it was).

    Bike Trails
    Just got back from my first trip to Moab (during Jeep Safari Week, 2007) and was only there for 5 days so didn't get to experience too many trails but Amasa Back was fun and if you do the little extra hike at the end of Klondike Bluffs, there are some amazing views.

    Food
    Also may want to check out Pasta Jays and Zax Pizza makes a pretty good pizza. Plenty of good places to eat though.

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    Small and Friendly

    Check out www.moabworld.com for a Moab website created by locals. Listings of all the shops, plus a forum for moab-related questions.

    MAPS and BOOKS:

    Latitude 40 makes a great Moab map:

    http://latitude40maps.com/moab_classic.html

    And our friends at Utah Mountain Biking have a great selection of guidebooks:

    http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/sh...uidebooks.html

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    Bump... sticky please! Add your helpful Moab info.

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    Gemini-Gold Bar/Spike-BlueDot-Poison Spider

    (Gonna keep trying here, sticky please!)

    One of the classic big rides in Moab is the Gemini-Gold Spike/Bar-Poison Spider loop. This is a big, commiting loop with quite a bit of hard climbing, technical ledges and slickrock, and quite often sand. Route finding can be somewhat tricky for those not familiar with slickrock, and the whole route also offers very little shade anywhere. Bring lots and lots of water.

    My favorite season for this ride is winter; fewer jeeps and motorcycles keep things quiet, you can enjoy the sun, and cold nights keep the sand as rideable as possible. Summer is not recommended.

    Fit riders going at a reasonable pace can probably expect to take between 4-6 hours for this loop.

    To begin, drive north out of town about 9 miles to the Gemini bridges parking area on the right (west), which is well signed. (Alternately ride from town out the bike path and up the old road on the east side of the highway.) Park, gear up, and ride up the dirt road. You'll have a moderate climb with a few steep section up into the broad valley. Enjoy a few miles of moderate cruising. Right before the steep cut up the hill to the right, the signed road for Gold Bar/Spike breaks off to the left. Follow this road. You'll ride sand and ledges for a while until another big intersection (go left) begins the technical climbing in earnest. It's only a few miles to the rim, but it feels like a lot more. Follow the painted markers on the slickrock and the abundant scrapes, tire marks, and oil stains.

    Top out and enjoy the amazing view. The rim trail begins traversing 50 yards back below the lookout, and for the next few miles weaves up and down from the rim and back again. Steep descending and ascending alternates with ledges, cracks, and other technical challenges. Keep an eye out for paint stencils, the ride anywhere nature of slickrock lets you get off route easily.

    Eventually you will be faced with a choice. The jeep road (painted spikes you've been following) goes down off the rim for good, and right as it does a singletrack marked with blue dots heads off the left. I like the singletrack.

    It's only a mile to the juncture with Poison Spider, but following the theme its a long mile. Short, very technical problems abound, along with one section of rather acute exposure. Don't be a hero, getting evaced from up here would really suck, as would falling 500' to your death. Eventually the challenges will ease a bit, and soon you'll pop out on the Poison Spider loop. Consult your map, but I'd suggest turning left up the hill. You'll top out, and soon descend down to the juncture with the Portal trail. You could descend here, or continue away from the rim on the Poison Spider jeep road. You'll descend a steep hill, then turn left sharply and climb back up onto slickrock. From here, follow the painted-on Spider markers over slickrock domes. Eventually you'll end up following sandy roads between rocky sections. These are not so well marked, but most will end up in the same place so don't stress. Rideability varies quite a lot here.

    Eventually you'll find a series of steep slickrock steps, polished black with tires, leading up to a good road on a bench. For a mile this road is the smoothest thing you've ridden in a few hours. It becomes progressively more corrogated before dropping off the mesa top. Sandy sections alternate with technical slickrock drops until the last few miles, primarily sand and dirt meandering down the cliffs to the parking lot and Potash road. Now you'll either pull the beer out of the cooler you wisely stashed in your shuttle vehicle, or hop on the pavement and ride the miles back into town.

    Enjoy.

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    White Rim in a Day

    Not as hard as you think. 100 miles, more or less, if done as a complete loop including the pavement. Doing it in a day engendered feelings of moral superiority, allows more riding on your vacation, and is simpler and cheaper than buying a tour or doing your own.

    First, find a map like the one below. Then decide what direction you'll go. I recommend clockwise. The Shafer descent is easier to go down, the Mineral climb easier to go up. Also, you'll likely be hiting river access around Hardscrabble in the early afternoon, and can refill on water if necessary. The whole loop has a good bit of rocks, sections of sand, and ~6k of climbing. Aside from Shafer and Mineral, Murphy's Hogback and Hardscrabble provide short but steep climbs. Save some juice.

    A hardtail or short-travel full suspension is recommended, fast but fat tires help with the sand. 29" wheels are ideal.

    I don't like doing this ride after the beginning of April; on average it's too hot. Take a cool day in March, haul two full bladders and some bottles, and bring pills or a filter to refill at the river. Plenty of food too. 10-12 hours for the loop is a pretty good time, its a good idea to start with a light and ride the easy pavement in the dark, thus giving you plenty of time to finish before dark.

    As always, be cautious. You can hike out at numerous points, but the difficulties of doing so are best left undiscovered. Also, if you go into the park after 0700, or leave it in the afternoon, have a parks pass or money to pay your fee.
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    Lockhart Basin

    I fine, long shuttle route ~80 miles from near The Needles district of Canyonlands NP to Moab. Easy dirt cruising, some technical descending and tough climbing, and lots in between.

    Find the Needles on your map. You'll see the Lockhart Basin road crossing Indian Creek as it heads north. Driving down from Moab takes a bit over an hour. Drop the shuttle at the end of the pavement and head north. The first hour or so is fast and fun. Once you get to the northern end of Lockhart Basin itself the road deteriorates in a long gradual climb to the left. Progress will now slow dramatically, as you round the point ahead with many trips in and out and up and down out of washes. Short and rocky descents and climbs abound. As you round the point, enjoy the views to the west. The descent down towards the river provides the most technical riding of the day, and is the main reason why going south to north is recommended. If you want a sag for the route, it'll need serious clearance and a good driver to make this section. Not recommended.

    The road along the river can be sandy, and provides a short detour to get river water, which might necessitate a nasty bushwack in the Tamarisk. I recall the climb up to Hurrah Pass as tough and gravelly, but the descent to Kane Creek is fast and fun. Enjoy several creek crossings and one more grunt of a climb await before pavement is reached.

    Another long ride, a sort of baby White Rim. Bring plenty of water and food, eat and drink, and avoid the heat to make life easier.

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    Wonderful posts. I'm planning a Moab trip next March and your info is giving me some good ideas. Do any of the camping areas have showers/laundry facilities? Still debating over to bring our bikes (hardtails) down on the plane from Alaska or just renting a couple of FS bikes there. Do the bike shops rent racks to haul your bikes around with a rental car?

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    Do any of the camping areas have showers/laundry facilities?
    When we camped in Moab we would go to Poison Spider bike shop and they have a shower where you put in some money and we would get washed off there.

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    Thanks for the shower info. Good to clean body every so often. Is Jeep week to be avoided at all costs? We'd probably be looking at later March for our trip. Should be good temps for Alaskans seeking sun.
    Last edited by AleutianMTB; 04-25-2007 at 04:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AleutianMTB
    Thanks for the shower info. Good to clean body every so often. Is Jeep week to be avoided at all costs? We'd probably be looking at later March for our trip. Should be good temps for Alaskans seeking sun.
    Generally the biggest problems are waiting for a table at the restaurants and finding lodging, aside from that, Jeep week is a fine time to MTB in Moab. The bike-only trails will have fewer people and it is always fun to watch a Jeep or two get stuck or roll over on the motorized trails . Typically Jeepers are friendly and will usually yield to MTBers. I find that on most technical trails, MTB are faster both up and down than Jeeps. It is a good idea to avoid the sandier/dustier dual-use trails such as Poison Spider due to the chance of getting a lot of dust kicked up on you.
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

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    Camping and Jeep Week

    Agreed that the biggest problem with Jeep Week is mostly the overcrowding in town. The Jeepers DO tend to be pretty fun folks, and it is fun to watch them on tricky sections. They often have beer. Most of the Moab bike trails are on established 4x or Moto trails, so you will occasionally encounter traffic anyway.

    ACTIVITIES: Moabworld has a good list of links to other activities like rafting and kayaking:

    http://www.moabworld.com/links.html

    CAMPING:

    Tons of camping in and around Moab, ranging from in-town facilities like RV hook-ups, bathrooms, showers and cabins to hike-in beauties just outside of town. My favorites are Sand Flats in the cold months, because you get early and late sunshine, and Kane Creek Road in the summer for the opposite reasons. The camping in Kane Creek, along the river and in Moonflower Cyn is really nice. Pit toilets only.

    Poison Spider and Moab Cyclery both have showers for a small fee.

    Some camping links:

    http://www.moabworld.com/links.html
    http://www.discovermoab.com/campgrounds.htm
    http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/l...ampgrounds.php

    JMH
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    I've been there the same week as Jeep week and it wasn't too bad. These are mostly hard core jeepers that have respect for others and follow the rules. It's also fun to watch these guys when you need a rest from the biking. Traffic is a little worse and it's more crowded as was already mentioned.

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    Another long, scenic XC ride

    Another good 36 miler is the Jug Handle Loop. Great views of the Colorado and unreal terrain, joins up with the White Rim trail for a few miles, and you are finished by lunch.

    Head towards Potash and park in the dirt lot by Jug Handle Arch at the bottom of Long Canyon. Ride Potash Road to the Shaffer Switchbacks in Canyonlands, head North out of the park on the main road, turn right towards Dead Horse Point park but after a few miles you bear left on the dirt road to Long Canyon.

    The nice thing about this ride is that all the climbing is in the first 18 miles when you are fresh. The return along the highway and then the descent through Long Canyon back to the car is pleasant if it's not too windy and hot.

    JMH

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    Moab for Thanksgiving?

    Thanks for all of those who have added info to this thread - very helpful.

    GF and I are planning our annual avoid the family and go on mtn bike vacation during Thanksgiving week trip. Last year we went to western North Carolina and had a great time, enjoyed the solitude on the trails.

    We are considering Moab this year. Does anybody have any first hand knowledge about what type of weather we should expect? We are from Maine and don't mind cold. Snow and ice is what we are concerned about.

    Any other beta about what to expect in Moab in late November is much appreciated!

    - Nate

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    Moab Average Monthly Temps and Precipitation

    What does this mean? Basically if you go to Moab during one of the "rainy" months (over .75 inches of precip) you probably run 50/50 chance of getting rained on at least once if you are in town for a few days. This is grossly un-scientific, but it seems to work out in my experience. Spring and Fall are still the best times to go.
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    Just back from 10 days in S. Utah including the Moab area. I have been visiting Moab since 1984. It will probably be a while before I return, mainly due to too many other places to visit.

    Started in the area around Panguitch (wow! what a cool place!!!) and then headed to the Moab area to meet friends and do a 3 nite White Rim trip.

    It was an in between week with no special events to speak of. Town wasn't overly crowded but as busy as any weekend in late April.

    Dining:
    Hacienda, the food has gotten worse, service was o.k.
    Pasta Jays, weak food, expensive for pasta, decent service.
    Mcstiffs, well, you can screw up a hamburger.

    Mondo is still a great place for a cup of coffee.

    Camping was not the usual trial, found a great spot on the river road by the Porky trail head.

    Weather was there for sure. Riding the Soveriegn, we experienced 50 mph crosswinds and a bit of rain, very refreshing.

    White Rim. 8th or 9th time for this classic.

    Camp at Airport A. 1st nite. 60 mph winds and hard rain in the evening, the storm broke up enough to cook dinner. Then at about 3:30 a.m. we had a downpour, .40 " of rain that continued until about 8:00 the next morning. Snow on the upper rim when the clouds lifted. 2 other groups bailed and drove out Potash rd. We decided to continue and hope the winds would be kind at Murphys.

    Riding on a cool cloudy day with fresh damp sand was a nice change. Flowers were amazing.

    Murphys was kind to us that nite with light winds and cloudy skies, a brief showing by the sun late allowed us to dry tents etc.

    The ride to Hardscrabble was coolish and cloudy with threatening skies and brief showers more awesome flowers and firm sand..

    The last morning at Hardscrabble was glorious with blue skies and sunshine.

    Out by 13:00, a quick burger at Rays in Green River and by 3:00 the next morning, back home in Montana.

    For those thinking about doing a White Rim trip, multi day. We took a fullsized ford F-350 diesel crew cab.

    Wayyyy too big!

    Pain in the arse to get up and down the technical sections (they are usually easy!)

    The Toyotas (Tacoma/Tundra) are the way to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crooker
    Thanks for all of those who have added info to this thread - very helpful.

    GF and I are planning our annual avoid the family and go on mtn bike vacation during Thanksgiving week trip. Last year we went to western North Carolina and had a great time, enjoyed the solitude on the trails.

    We are considering Moab this year. Does anybody have any first hand knowledge about what type of weather we should expect? We are from Maine and don't mind cold. Snow and ice is what we are concerned about.

    Any other beta about what to expect in Moab in late November is much appreciated!

    - Nate
    Just a shamless self benefiting bump...still wondering if anybody has some firsthand experience with Moab area over Thanksgiving. Any knowledge would be much appreciated!

  21. #21
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by crooker
    Just a shamless self benefiting bump...still wondering if anybody has some firsthand experience with Moab area over Thanksgiving. Any knowledge would be much appreciated!
    Um, yeah. I posted about an hour after your OP with a weather chart showing average temps and precip (that is directly related to what you asked about, no?)

    If you spend time in Moab that time of year (winter), you run a decent chance (I guessed 50/50) of getting rain/snow for a day or two over a several day visit. Of course, it's all guesses and averages. Maybe it will be 65, but I doubt it. And it might snow 12" daily. But I doubt that too. The higher trails (porcupine rim and up) will probably be under snow or very muddy if they got their first winter storms in October. Almost ALL the other classics are rideable all winter unless you are there during the actual weather. Slickrock is dangerous when icy.

    All of that said, it's the desert. If Southern Utah sees a mild and sunny spell for a week at any time during the winter, it could be the most beautiful escape possible. It's hard to know until it's time to go.

    The trails will be mostly empty, and finding a hotel will be easy. Camping grounds and cabins within town will mostly be closed. There are other seasonal businesses (some restaurants, etc.) that close for the winter as well.

    But there really isn't a BAD time to visit.

    JMH

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    Camping?

    Quote Originally Posted by crooker
    Just a shamless self benefiting bump...still wondering if anybody has some firsthand experience with Moab area over Thanksgiving. Any knowledge would be much appreciated!
    You'll have no problem finding a campsite, but be prepared for possible low 20's and wind.

    If you are hotelling it, and you plan on actually being there across Thanksgiving, you might want to make reservations, as half of Denver now shows up for one last ride before breaking out the skis.

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    thanks for the additional info, while weather charts and the like are helpful, the first hand experience is what I was really hoping for

    I'm pretty sure we are going to go for it...

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    top for this thread. I am just a little farther north and make it down there a few times a year. No real trail recommendations but but food. BY FAR, the best breakfast is actually the Jailhouse Cafe right on main street and something like 200N on the NE corner. Killer food, good and healthy and light nnd not too expensive. The Moab Diner is a tourist trap and the green chili is absolutely not 100% "the best green chili in the state" at all...

    Second, if you make if down in fall. there is a killer place in Castle Valley (about 15 minutes out of town) called the Red Rock Winery (wine is awful but accommodations are killer - you can also pack them in because they are small condos).

    Also great camping places. Along Kane Creek Road to the south (down the road that McDonalds is on on the south side of twon). Up the Colorado twoards Castle Valley. Quite a few miles south off the Behind the Rocks trail. Cheers

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    Jailhouse Cafe is closed in the winter, as are many of the other restaurants.

    C
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

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    Not in my experience in March and November but things may have changed? Usually the outside patio is closed in the winter but was not aware that the whole restaurant was...

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    Great thread and also great forum for that matter. So happy I found you guys. And thanks for everyone's participation.

    Regarding Moab, I am planning a trip either this October or next May. Which month would be your pick for the best weather? My camper has no air, so am trying to pick a month that would not cook me too much.

    Also how is the boondocking in Moab or the local vicinity? Is boondocking allowed or do you get hassled by the rangers?

  28. #28
    JMH
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    Another Satisfied Customer

    This guy had a ton of Moab questions earlier this year... wasn't sure if he should come out by himself, etc. His thread received a ton of replies from peeps here, he made the trip, had a great time and wrote a brilliant thread on Passion:

    My trip to Moab (Tons of Pics!)

    JMH

  29. #29
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    Get the map before you come to study trails, 2nd the big tires, add pasta jays to the menu, camp out if you can(great experience), and start drinking water NOW. Enjoy mtb heaven

  30. #30
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by w1000w

    Also how is the boondocking in Moab or the local vicinity? Is boondocking allowed or do you get hassled by the rangers?

    Boondocking?

    FW

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    Quote Originally Posted by frejwilk
    Boondocking?

    I can only presume this means camping for free, wherever. This is increasingly difficult, and basically impossible (legally) close to town. Up in the mountains in your best bet.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by w1000w
    Great thread and also great forum for that matter. So happy I found you guys. And thanks for everyone's participation.

    Regarding Moab, I am planning a trip either this October or next May. Which month would be your pick for the best weather? My camper has no air, so am trying to pick a month that would not cook me too much.

    Also how is the boondocking in Moab or the local vicinity? Is boondocking allowed or do you get hassled by the rangers?

    Sorry man looks like no one replied. Both are awesome times to go. I personally like the fall a little more as there is a lot of activity and 4 wheelers and such in May and less so in the fall. But both are great and you'll have a blast regardless...

  33. #33
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    "Boondocking"

    Quote Originally Posted by w1000w
    Great thread and also great forum for that matter. So happy I found you guys. And thanks for everyone's participation.

    Regarding Moab, I am planning a trip either this October or next May. Which month would be your pick for the best weather? My camper has no air, so am trying to pick a month that would not cook me too much.

    Also how is the boondocking in Moab or the local vicinity? Is boondocking allowed or do you get hassled by the rangers?
    There is camping on BLM all over the place around Moab. The fees are 8-10 as I recall, but no services at all other than a pit toilet. You bring your own water. If you mean free camping, they have put fees on everything within about 10 miles of town. The closest free camping is probably out Kane Creek road at the base of Hurrah Pass. It is a graded dirt road to get to the camping. Just last year they banned the free camping down south by Ken's Lake which was a lot easier to get to (paved). I haven't been down there to see if it is still open, but just off of 191 about 10 miles south of town a lot of people used to camp by the 24 Hours of Moab course at Behind The Rocks.

    Your best bet is to go to the Visitor's Center at Main and Center and ask them. I guarantee the people working in there get this question 10 times a week, and they will know the closest free camping.

  34. #34
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    I just got back from a trip to Moab. The weather was great the whole time we were there. Barlett Wash was my favorite riding area. There is free camping at the trailhead and even though the riding area isn't that big, you can spend as much time as you want playing on all the slickrock. Here's a sample of the some of the awesome riding at Barlett.

    Sovereign Singletrack was also lots of fun. Some good flowing sections with lots of rock features to make it interesting.

    We didn't find Poison Spider to be that much fun. It had good views but I'm not a big fan of jeep roads and sand. We turned around before we got to the Portal trail since it was getting dark. The ride turned into more of an adventure on the way back when we missed a turn (which wasn't very evident). After some backtracking we found the route down and rode the last few miles in the dark.

  35. #35
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    Thanksgiving Snow

    Day after Thanksgiving, 2007. Three inches of snow in Moab. It can happen.

    If you are planning on coming to Moab anytime in November through early March, be prepared for nighttime temps down to high teens and possible snow.

  36. #36
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    Great thread.

    Commendable to have such an effort to help those of us planning trips to the "Mecca of Mountain Biking." That said, I think it's over-rated! Not really, it is a spectacular place to ride--wholly different, but I love the riding I have in my own backyard here in Oregon. The first time I came to Moab, in 1990, I was blown away by the unique quality of the riding and the other-worldly aspect of the scenery and in-your-face geology.

    Problem with riding in the Pacific NorthWET is that for much of the year the riding is Slim Pickens (or how I learned to love the Mud). So every couple of years I make a pilgrimmage to Tucson and ride in circles in the Old Pueblo in February. In 2004 we came back via Moab and spent 5 days riding and had the whole place to ourselves. It was great. Except a snow storm had come through the area prior to our arrival and some of the higher stuff was inaccessible. Notably Porcupine Rim. We spent a very arduous day riding from our camp along the road to Castle Valley (yes we are hearty souls) into town and up to Slickrock and then after a loop on the "World Famous" trail, continued on up to Porc rim only to slog through heavy snow for about 6 miles until we got low enough to actually enjoy some riding. We didn't enjoy it for very long though since it got dark and we picked our way down with feeble lights. 3.2 never tasted so good at the brewery washing down burgers a couple hours later.

    This year we are planning another trip to Tucson and contemplating a swing through Moab on the way there, spending at least four days. We fully understand that weather can be questionable at this time of year and have determined to make no absolute plans. We will be flexible up to the day of departure as to our destination. If Moab looks crappy, we will head directly to southern Arizona. But another caveat that was proposed (partly due to our bad experience, err . . . adventure) is that Porcupine Rim must be clear.

    So my question to the wise bikers lurking on the Utah board: is Porcupine Rim high enough to be snow-bound throughout the winter? On our February '04 trip we found plenty to ride, but of the 3 times I have been to Moab I have been shut out on that ride 3 times and one of these times I've got to complete it proper!

    Any other advice or admonitions concerning coming to Moab in February would be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    -Charlie B

  37. #37
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Muesl

    So my question to the wise bikers lurking on the Utah board: is Porcupine Rim high enough to be snow-bound throughout the winter? On our February '04 trip we found plenty to ride, but of the 3 times I have been to Moab I have been shut out on that ride 3 times and one of these times I've got to complete it proper!

    Any other advice or admonitions concerning coming to Moab in February would be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    -Charlie B
    The simple answer is yes, Porcupine Rim is high enough to be snow bound throughout the winter.

    You do realize there are other rides in Moab? Your post mentions your group having ridden Slickrock and Porcupine Rim. There are other rides which are usually open in February that offer similar terrain to Porcupine Rim. There are also other rides that are rewarding, and completely different from Porcupine Rim.

    I would recommend checking weather in Moab as your dates approach, and basing your travel around that. If Porcupine Rim is the decision maker, plan between April and November for another trip.

    FW

  38. #38
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    Thanks for the feedback.
    Yes I do realize there are other rides and I have ridden a few of them even. I am also aware that there are plenty of rides I haven't. I do harbor a slight level of frustration however, at having tasted Porcupine, but not getting to sup on the whole meal. Perhaps I was hasty in making the accessability of Porcupine Rim the make or break deal. That is why I posed the question. I want to know if that is reasonable expectation. Sounds like no, yet plenty of other options abound.

    Three of us have been to Moab at least a couple times, three others have never been. If weather cooperates we hope to introduce them.

    I also have to admit that when we attempted Porcupine Rim in February '04 we continued on up the canyon in blind determination despite heavier and heavier snow on the ground. Foolhardy and even dangerous perhaps. On the other hand we did abort an attempt on the White Rim because of uncertain conditions. A few years older and hopefully wiser, I hope to be better prepared.

  39. #39
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Muesl
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Three of us have been to Moab at least a couple times, three others have never been. If weather cooperates we hope to introduce them.
    I hope my previous post didn't come across with too much attitude. You're from Oregon, so you're familiar with elevation and seasons.. The high point of Porcupine Rim is almost 7000'. Obviously not the best place to be in February. This is a general thread aimed at riders planning trips to Moab, so I'm answering with that in mind.

    The following rides are usually rideable year round.

    Amasa Back / Jackson trail is a nice loop with similar terrain to the Porcupine Rim trail. Sovereign Trail, Flat Pass, and Gold Bar Rim would be progressively harder options if you like Porcupine style ledges. Bartlett Wash might be of interest if you like rock, but need something 'different'.

    Since your group has ridden here before, you may be familiar with these options. I'm simply suggesting them as others might share your questions.

    Moab can be very nice in February. That's not guaranteed though. Any of the shops in Moab can give you excellent recommendations on what rides are good seasonally. Check with them. Don't assume anything will be open at any given time during winter months.

    That said, and generally speaking, Moab riding is a nice surprise during the 'off season'.

    Have fun,

    FW

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by frejwilk
    I hope my previous post didn't come across with too much attitude.

    . . . Since your group has ridden here before, you may be familiar with these options. I'm simply suggesting them as others might share your questions. . . .

    Have fun,

    FW
    Hey, no worries, FW.
    After reading this thread and browsing some others, I didn't see anything specific to the "off season" opportunities, so I figured this was the appropriate place to inquire.

    This is exactly one of the great benefits of these regional forums.

    I may open another thread for other questions, especially concerning weather once we get closer to February.

    Thanks again,
    CB

  41. #41
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    Trip Advice

    Guys:

    I've been checking out this thread and others to plan for an April Moab trip.
    We're from NY and will be flying from there (JFK, Laguardia) with our bikes.

    I remember seeing something about NOT flying into the small Moab airport but I can't find the thread.

    I was also wondering about places to stay. I've done the Expedia search and what not but I was wondering about real life experiences!

    Any links, pics, PM's, e-mail would really be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    KAT
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  42. #42
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    Great Lakes Airlines, etc.

    The air carrier into Moab changed just this week (again). The airport in Moab is really small, and the only scheduled commercial is now two flights per day to/from from Denver on Great Lakes Airline (flygreatlakes.com). The last few years it has been coming from SLC on another airline, and I heard some horror stories about people being stranded out there. It looks like the airfare is $99 each way. Not bad, considering. Whether you feel comfortable crossing the mountains in a prop job is your call. Also, since there are only two flights a day, if you miss your connection you can be stranded.

    The next closest airport is Grand Junction, CO, 1.5 hours away, and it has regular passenger jet service, but it tends to be really expensive. SLC is about four hours away, and Denver is about seven.

    You can get a shuttle from Grand Junction or SLC to Moab, or rent a car. Once in Moab, you can get shuttles to and from most trailheads, and you can ride to Slickrock, Amasa Back, Moab RIm and Poison Spider easily. Personally I would rent a car just to be able to drive around and see the sights in between rides.

    As for motels, everyone has their favorites, and it depends on your budget. The Gonzo Inn is cool and has a great location, the Moab Valley Inn is nice, the Redstone Inn is cheap but the rooms are small, if you bleed money there is a high end resort about fifteen miles up the river (Sorrel River Ranch) and the Red Cliffs Lodge just down from that that is not as expensive. Then there are the usual chain suspects, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort, Super 8 and a bunch of non-chain of varying quality. Hunt around through the archives here. A lot depends on how much you are willing to spend. Even the cheap chain motels are close to $100 a night in April.

    If you are planning on April, I would get reservations ASAP.

  43. #43
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    Camping spots for a travel trailer

    What a great source of information. Thank you to everybody that has posted here. I have been coming to mtbr for years but just discovered the forum last night. This is awesome!

    My wife and I are starting to plan a mountain bike trip and we are thinking about a week in the Moab area. Dates are not firm yet. We are thinking maybe late April early May. We will be "camping" in our travel trailer (I know we are wooses). I was just wondering about some cool spots to set up base camp. We don't need hookups, in fact we would prefer to stay away from RV parks. We would like something that feels remote and natural and riding distance to some trails would be cool. The trailer is 26' total length and we tow it with a 4wd diesel truck. We have taken it on many a dirt road and had to use the 4wd on many ocassions to make it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    When we camp close to home I first go scout it out on my dual sport motorcycle. This is a little too far for a scout trip first.

    Thanks alot everyone

  44. #44
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    Sand Flats campground is riding distance to Slickrock, Porcupine, Fins n Things (n things = sand pits). A, B, and C are all really great loops for RV camping. You will see coyotes, lizards and owls if your site is quiet at night, and during the day, there is a beautiful view of the LaSals.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  45. #45
    JMH
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    Winter Riding Opportunities

    There is certainly some great riding to be had in Moab during the winter. If you are coming from someplace REALLY cold, the sunny 35 degree days might feel like paradise to you.

    Usually the lower trails (pretty much anything besides Porcupine) are ridable all winter, but there has been a lot of snow this year. Just a bit of snow or ice is enough to make the sandstone treacherous, so it's best to avoid trails with cliffs and exposure if you aren't sure. Here are some pics from a recent "no bikes" trip: Snowab, UT

    But during a normal winter we usually get in at least one satisfying trip. February has been good to us in the past.

    JMH

  46. #46
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    Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    There is certainly some great riding to be had in Moab during the winter. If you are coming from someplace REALLY cold, the sunny 35 degree days might feel like paradise to you.

    Usually the lower trails (pretty much anything besides Porcupine) are ridable all winter, but there has been a lot of snow this year. Just a bit of snow or ice is enough to make the sandstone treacherous, so it's best to avoid trails with cliffs and exposure if you aren't sure. Here are some pics from a recent "no bikes" trip: Snowab, UT

    But during a normal winter we usually get in at least one satisfying trip. February has been good to us in the past.

    JMH
    I am hoping to make Moab a destination on our way to Tucson next month (just a couple weeks away!) for the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. Interesting what you say about the winter conditions this year. We won't make a final decision until right up to our departure on February 9th, so I'm hoping for some local feedback concerning current conditions.
    February '04 was the last time I got to Moab and it was pretty excellent

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky
    Sand Flats campground is riding distance to Slickrock, Porcupine, Fins n Things (n things = sand pits). A, B, and C are all really great loops for RV camping. You will see coyotes, lizards and owls if your site is quiet at night, and during the day, there is a beautiful view of the LaSals.

    Thanks a bunch for the info!

  48. #48
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    Has anyone ever stayed at Slickrock Campground? I have a site booked there for April. And also how is it camping in a tent in Moab at the end of April?
    Cheers,

    Seb

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  49. #49
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    It can go either way weather wise. I've seen 90 and 30 dry and wet. Slickrock is a nice campground. My favorite spot is the last campground before porcupine. Quite serene up there and clean pristine camp site's as long as you leave them that way.

  50. #50
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    There are two Slickrock campgrounds. The one up there by the Slickrock trail that is a good campground, and the actual Slick Rock camp ground which is a privately owned pay/RV campground. I've stayed a both a bunch of times. The one you have the res at is the one on Main Street just north of town that is the RV camp ground. Probably the best of all of them in town. Has decent showers, it "snows" there IE the cottonwood trees produce a lot of seelings that build up on everything. It drives some people nuts but is not a bad place at all. It is nice with the showers and toilets and good for socializing. Not sure what the crowd there is like this time of year, probably a couple MTBers there. I personally prefer actually camping out in the Moab area, on Kane Creek Road, on River road up the Colorado, or north or south of town. There are some amazing natural campgrounds out there. A lot/most are BLM campgrounds that pay I think $3 a night. Either way you'll be fine but I prefer more rural.. But this time of year things should warm up a little and you can take some nice incredibly cold dips in the river and this will clean you up a little...

  51. #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.

  52. #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.

  53. #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.

  54. #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

  55. #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.

  56. #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.

  57. #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.

  58. #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.

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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.

  60. #60
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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.

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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.

  62. #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,

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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.

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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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  65. #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!!!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

  70. #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.

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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...

  72. #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.

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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.

  74. #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.

  75. #75
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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.

  76. #76
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    Trip

    Here's a link to some pics of the trip.
    I can't believe I got sick. I'm still kind of mad about it.
    If anyone needs any advice or has questions just PM me.

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    Updated restaurant list

    As of 5/19/08, a few things have changed (both ways) on the food and drink scene in Moab:

    Shingha Thai
    Just west of Center and Main. Darn good food, reasonable prices, nice desserts, lots of veggie options. Perfect addition to town.

    The Love Muffin
    Yet another bakery. Good baked goods, nice place, well lit. It's about ~50 yards north of Jailhouse.

    Mondo's goes downhill
    The service has become consistently crappy, and coffee average, and the food too expensive. See the above, or go across the street to the Red Rock Bakery. Arches Book Co. has good coffee, too.

  78. #78
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    Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    As of 5/19/08, a few things have changed (both ways) on the food and drink scene in Moab:

    Shingha Thai
    Just west of Center and Main. Darn good food, reasonable prices, nice desserts, lots of veggie options. Perfect addition to town.

    The Love Muffin
    Yet another bakery. Good baked goods, nice place, well lit. It's about ~50 yards north of Jailhouse.

    Mondo's goes downhill
    The service has become consistently crappy, and coffee average, and the food too expensive. See the above, or go across the street to the Red Rock Bakery. Arches Book Co. has good coffee, too.
    The Thai place is good, but $12-15 entrees are a little steep to me. $60 for a family a four kind of hurts.

    I don't like muffins, so I haven't hit the muffin place yet.

    I would say both Mondo's and the bookstore have gone downhill. Mondo's is a good study in how someone can take over a place and ruin it in a very short period of time. Pretty amazing. Over at the bookstore, the resident coffee roaster has moved on, and the coffee has taken a dive. Another good study, this one in the art of coffee roasting. It now tastes generally burnt.

    I second the Red Rock recommendation, if you can squeeze in there between crowds.

    A secret: Dave's Corner Market sells bagels from the Red Rock Bakery, and has killer coffee for 79 cents. The best convenience store coffee you'll get anywhere, and they have an espresso setup too, if you need that.

    Other changes: Poplar Place is now an Italian restaurant.

    Wicked Brew (drive up shack next to the old Poplar Place) is great. In fact the other drive-up coffee shack on the south end is good, too.

    The Moab Diner is looking a lot better, but since it is closed on Sundays, you can't eat there every day. I think a simple fast burrito cart would do great business in Moab, just like Mondo's did when it was a kiosk in front of City Market.

    I know it is a chain, but Chipotle would make a killing in Moab, and I would welcome it. After a long ride, you just want to be filled up, and that place does it for me. There is one in Grand Junction now, so maybe they'll land in Moab someday.

  79. #79
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    Motels and mountainbikes

    Sorry if this has been posted before, but I did try looking!

    I will be going to Moab with my 2 sons (11 and 14) who are not beginner mountain bikers. My question is mainly on motels in Moab. Is there a Motel that allows bikes in the room?

    I looked up hotels on the web, but without calling each one I was hoping someone would know. Thanks in advance!

  80. #80
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    Silver Sage Inn. There is even a hose out front so you can wash your bikes. I just stayed there a about 2 weeks ago. Its not fancy but the guy that runs it is super nice and the rooms prices are pretty reasonable. Hey what more do you need other than clean room with bed, shower and TV.

  81. #81
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    Got a shake and a hotdog at the re-opened Milt's... EXCELLENT diner grub!

    Tracy at Chile Pepper pulls a great espresso, definitely worth a stop. I third the Red Rock Bakery.

  82. #82
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    A slightly different question which I haven't seen addressed on this thread: Is there anything in Moab that won't kill my cyclocross bike?

    I'll be passing through the area early in the fall, but won't have a true MTB with me. My bike fits 700x45s, and I've successfully ridden mild singletrack and jeep road with it before. The main limitation is where there are lots of ledges or baby heads.

    If there isn't much to ride, no worries. I'll slap the road tires on and ride through Arches or something.

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    Moab trip ? (yes I have read the stream)

    We are experienced X-country riders from back east (Cape Cod). We are planning on riding the slickrock trail and one other trail on day 2 (July 4+5, 2008).

    What trail would you recommend for day 2? What order should we ride? Slickrock on day one and your trail choice on day 2 or the other way around.......

    We are renting Yetti 575's from Poison Spider in Moab.

    Any info is appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Adam & JP

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Tracy at Chile Pepper pulls a great espresso, definitely worth a stop.
    I second this reco. And I believe that the beans are even roasted down the street by an actual coffee drinking human...
    "yer all a bunch of god damned *************, damn it."

  85. #85
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    We are experienced X-country riders from back east (Cape Cod). We are planning on riding the slickrock trail and one other trail on day 2 (July 4+5, 2008).

    What trail would you recommend for day 2? What order should we ride? Slickrock on day one and your trail choice on day 2 or the other way around.......

    We are renting Yetti 575's from Poison Spider in Moab.

    Any info is appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Adam & JP
    Porcupine Rim or White Rim are my suggestions. I think riding Slickrock Day 1 is a fine idea depending on your stamina. Check in with the local shops when you get to town and remember your sunscreen!
    Last edited by shmooove; 07-03-2008 at 09:54 AM.
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  86. #86
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    so i am going out to moab at the end september and looking to rent a bike for the trails out there. my hardtail wont be able to keep up.

    where do i call or is there anywhere to call??

    thanks
    -gimpy
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  87. #87
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by gimpy
    so i am going out to moab at the end september and looking to rent a bike for the trails out there. my hardtail wont be able to keep up.

    where do i call or is there anywhere to call??

    thanks
    -gimpy
    We rented from Poison Spider and they were extremely friendly and knowledgeable. I highly recommend them.

  88. #88
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    This post has a lot of very good information!

    Thanks to all!

    Last edited by Climber25; 08-29-2008 at 08:43 AM.

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    Hello!!
    I'm going to Moab in November and will be biking w/Solfun! I hope the weather is ok!
    We're going to be doing Monitor & Merrimac trails I believe. We need a beginner/intermediate type run.
    Can't wait!

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    Moab November 2008

    Yes, yes, yes... I've read about the weather...

    A group of us are heading out there the weekend of the 14th...

    Are there still a fair amount of restaurants, camp grounds, etc open that time of year?

    Going rigid, 29er, SS.... any thoughts???

    Is there a Golf course in town? How is it? I know, its the mtn bike mecca, but some of the peeps i'm rolling with, wanna play.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropholof
    Yes, yes, yes... I've read about the weather...

    A group of us are heading out there the weekend of the 14th...

    Are there still a fair amount of restaurants, camp grounds, etc open that time of year?
    Yes. Most everything will be open then. If you're planning to camp in a tent, bring warm clothes and bags, and good lanterns.

    Quote Originally Posted by ropholof
    Going rigid, 29er, SS.... any thoughts???
    If you're used to riding 29er SS on rough, steep trails then you shouldn't even have to ask. If not....

    Quote Originally Posted by ropholof
    Is there a Golf course in town? How is it? I know, its the mtn bike mecca, but some of the peeps i'm rolling with, wanna play.
    There is a golf course and apparently it's pretty good. Googling Moab golf course would probably find more info.

    It can be a very nice time to ride in Moab. Have fun.

    FW

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    Thanks for the info....

    And yes... I am...

    Four!

  93. #93
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    Hello, Iím heading to Moab 10/18/08 for a week long trip with a big group,
    most will camp/tent, but some of us want a hotel/motel for at least part
    of that week. Will there be any trouble getting a room or two on a day or
    so notice ?

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    The Whole Enchilada

    Aka Burro and Hazard. To try to stem the tide of when to go and why.

    This is a kicka$$ ride. 30+ miles of descending, four distinct zones. Full points for not shuttling.

    -Burro is alpine singletrack in a north facing ravine/canyon, starting at 11,600'. Tight switchbacks, skinny track, root gardens, Aspens. Big fun.

    -Hazard is twisty through the scrub oak with lots of optional jumps and stunts. High speeds, great views, big fun.

    -Porcupine singletracks. Technical rock and juniper singletrack, in "Upper Body Bag" the technical crux (and dumbest name) of the whole ride. Most walk, for good reason. Check the legal status of the trails, and don't be a snoid if you get caught breaking the law! It's yo own fault, willis!

    -Porc proper. The classic, without the less than classic climb. Big fun.

    Access depends on snowfall and meltoff, and can vary widely. As noted above, the whole deal generally faces north and is thus late in melting off. For real.

    A safe bet for Hazard is late May. It could be rideable a month earlier, or a month later. Call a local bike shop or shuttle service and make them earn their pay by annoying the crap out of them. A safe bet for Burro is August.

    Thus, the best time to plan to do this ride is late August or early September. It's an alpine ride, and could snow any day of the year.

    Have fun, and bring lots of supplies. When you get sick of descending and nothing but, savor the novelty of such a feeling.

  95. #95
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    The spring at 191 and 128 is CLOSED

    Matrimony Spring, the awesome spring near the corner of Highway 128 and 191, is closed.

    Apparently some government reg about miniscule contamination kicked in. The water is no longer accessible.

    This sucks. I've filled up hundreds of times there.

    There is city water available at Lion's Park, right across the road by the new pedestrian bridge across the river.

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    hmm looks like our family spring break trip is during jeep week...should be fine i think.

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    Moab Cell Coverage

    What is the cell phone coverage like in Moab? was thinking of bringing some motorolla walky talkies to keep connected with a big group, but if we can do it via cell that is even easier.
    we will probably be camping at the Bartlett Wash campground, riding a variety of trails, and having some people in the group climbing at wall street, ice cream, and big bend.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfoot_mt
    What is the cell phone coverage like in Moab? was thinking of bringing some motorolla walky talkies to keep connected with a big group, but if we can do it via cell that is even easier.
    we will probably be camping at the Bartlett Wash campground, riding a variety of trails, and having some people in the group climbing at wall street, ice cream, and big bend.
    Cel- Usually not very good, IMO. The terrain usually places you in ravines or canyons, and even up high on Porcupine Rim it's not always 100% reliable.

    JMH

  99. #99
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    Great info but I am surprised there is not one mention of tour operators other than shuttles. It would lead me to think that no one uses them? Which assuming you are not familiar with the area or are bringing a less expierienced rider(s) with you you still wing it?
    Anyone care to share on this point?

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    bike + gear rental

    I'm going to Moab around the 20th-21th of april. I'll probably arrive in the afternoon and then have one or two full days before we have to move on.
    I think that I'll go with a guide on 2 day tours (it's always more fun to ride with someone, than riding alone + i wanna ride the best trails).

    My questions are:
    - should I reserve a bike and make and appointment in advance?
    - should I reserve hotel/motel in advance?
    - Is it possible to rent helmet, shoes etc?

    Ps: I'm from Denmark and have been dreaming of this since I started mountainbiking many years ago, and now I have the chance! Can't wait to go

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