One day in Utah
I am going to fit in one day in Moab on a short trip 4th of July weekend. Either the 5th or 6th.What ride to ride? I am in my 50s, do OK for an old fart on a bike, will be riding alone. On a 140mm dualie. Staying in Fruita. 15-20 miles is OK.Thanks in advance! B.
Forgot to mention, I've never been.
Unless there's an unseasonably cool weather window, or you start at 5am, there's not much of interest in the desert at that time.
This is what I would do (refer to a map for general layout. Once on the trail this 20 mile ride is easy to follow): Shuttle to the 10400' trailhead to Burro, AKA the Whole Enchilada.
Ride down Burro, Hazard, UPS, part of LPS.
At this point if you want to avoid the incessant July heat and dust of Porcupine then once you see the 7400' campground/picnic area abort to Sand Flats road and cruise right into Moab. This will also cut out most of the really difficult riding.
95% of this entire upper stretch can be ridden by most people of moderate skill. Notable cruxes are the first few switchbacks off Burro, that short rocky up-step on UPS and a few others, all brief.
The 700' climb up to Burro is tough because of the sudden altitude, lack of warm-up and steepness. Just walk.
Other short climbs are encountered, but they are easier.
Last edited by jan_nikolajsen; 05-29-2012 at 09:45 PM.
Agreed. Also maybe Moonlight Meadow would be an option?
Originally Posted by jan_nikolajsen
The Brand trails are exposed and would be hot, but if you don't mind the heat you're on a stacked trail system and are never too far from your vehicle....could easily put in 10-15 miles of decent riding. I like to pedal 4-5, enjoy a beer and some shade....ride a few more, enjoy a beer and some shade....you get the idea.
Have a blast!
The Brand Trails look like they fit the bill. Thanks for the info. I do plan to have fun.
One more question, about The Brands. If I ride the Lazy/Ez to Deadmans and then back up the paved 191? I think??? Is that about 10-12 miles? Thinking 10 miles times a hundred degrees times July=crazy. Seriously though.Thanks GBB
I'm thinking that loop would be in the neighborhood of 7.5-8 miles. You could add the Bar B loop (or do an out-and-back of the more technical section, minus the fire road link-up that completes the loop) for an extra 2-3 if you're feeling good....Longbranch could be a 2 mile out-and-back from Deadman's if you wanted that as well. That's what is awesome about the Brands....lots of options!
Remember, too....even July in Moab is plenty rideable....doesn't get really hot until 12ish, so if you can muster an early start you have plenty of time to get a longer ride in while the air temps are relatively cool. After that, go for a hike or retire for the afternoon to a swimming pool or the brewpub
If you ride early, you can often avoid much of the heat. It often doesn't' get real hot until later in the day. Late afternoon is almost always the high for the day. That being said, it was already 85 at 9am this morning.
Your Brand loop is more like 7-8 miles. Both Lazy and EZ ride real fast. Deadmans is tougher, has more vert and rockier. If you're feeling a bit more frisky, I'd ride Deadmans->Bar B -> Longbranch -> Deadmans DH. The DH to the bike path is one of my favorite sections of that network! That's still under 15 miles I suspect.
That being said, while the brand trails are a nice network, easy to navigate and are unmatched for accessibility, if you have the motivation and confidence, the ride that Jan outlined is really a true taste of what makes Moab unique.
EDIT: Here is a track that is pretty much the LONGER example I described. So, from the main parking area. EZ->Deadmans(1st 1/2)->Bar B -> Long Branch -> Deadmans DH. Notice we flew by Bar B at first. That's the weird out an back section. Rode this in 2hrs at a mellow pace.
<iframe height='405' width='590' frameborder='0' allowtransparency='true' scrolling='no' src='http://app.strava.com/runs/9976005/embed/5d172bbbe2f2ee7d8ea0203d5bf12655129dc145'></iframe>
The other ride I might recommend would be to drive to the top of Gemini Bridges Road, drive down the road roughly 5 miles, park at the bridges, pedal back up the road to the start of Bull Run, and race down Bull Run. You could also combine a loop around Great Escape and Arth's Corner....check a map. I'm thinking you could put together a nice 14-16 mile day here, be again relatively close to your car, and experience one of Moab's better sections of singletrack (Bull Run).
Since you've never been and since it's going to be over 100 as you're trying to finish your ride no matter how early you start, I suggest staying up in the La Sals (8000-10,000') for all your riding then drive down into town (4000') and the heat. Drive up to Slickrock Trail, drive out to Klondike Bluffs. When you get out of your car and the searing heat hits you you'll be glad you're not "struggling" to finish a ride as you're running out of water.
Then you'll have some knowledge of the lay of the land there. Come back in October or late March and ride the lowlands.
A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett
thanks for the advice xcguy. a mission it is. again, thanks.