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  1. #1
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    Seeking input and trail advise for April Moab trip

    3 of us from Northeast Wyoming are planning a trip to Moab the second week of April. We will be linking up with my brother from the Denver area and the 4 of us will be in Moab 2 full days.

    None of us have ridden in Moab before, so I am seeking some advise. Here the low down.

    I am 47 years old, in decent physical condition and probably best described as solid intermediate level rider, maybe bumping the bottom of the advanced level on occasion.

    One guy is mid 30's and pretty solid physically and about the same level rider as me. He had neck surgery about a year ago and really doesn't want to tackle anything very aggressive since he was off the bike all last summer and doesn't want to take any chances of hurting his neck again.

    My brother and the 4th rider are both early 30's, good physical condition. My brother is a strong experienced rider, but is more into single track touring / bikpacking. The 4th guy is a new rider with only a handful of singletrack rides under his belt, but is a natural and a good rider.

    We will be meeting up in Grand Junction and spending the night there. I see a trail called the Overlook Trail in the reviews section here. Looks like it is just across the state line on the Utah side. Can any of you give me any input on this trail? I am figuring leave GJ in the morning and hitting it on the drive over since we can't check into the condo until 3 PM anyway.

    Overlook Trail Utah Trail Reviews

    I am figuring we should look for some rides that aren't very aggressive, but we don't want bike paths or stuff suited for the family with a trail-a-bike either. The guy babying his neck will hike a bike some stuff if it isn't real long sections. The rest of us will ride it, or try to. Like to find something that will give us at least a little flavor of riding the stuff the area is famous for, and take in some of that awesome desert scenery. Have to figure that we have all been holding the couch down more than riding over the winter, and we have no illusions that we are going to tackle the tough stuff or be able to ride a couple of epics.

    I have a handful of trails picked out, but I want to see what you guys suggest for us. I wrote down some trails in Dead Horse SP, the Sovereign Trail, the Brand Trails and a couple of others. I need to thin that down and keep it realistic, but I want to hear your suggestions too.

    Looking for input on beer and food too since the screwing around, chilling out will be as high on the list as riding.
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  2. #2
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    The Brands Trails and Dead Horse State Park are solid bets. There is a lot of new stuff in the Klondike Bluffs area that would be good as well. Something a bit tougher without serious exposure would be the new Pipe Dream trail in town. I personally think that the Slickrock Trail can be fun and isn't all that technical unless steep ups/downs freak you out. Just try the Practice Loop first and bail if it isn't looking like the right fit. (It is a physical workout.) Finally, I would say the new Mag 7 trail might be a good fit - intermediate single-track decent. Take Gemini Bridges road out of Little Canyon and avoid Gold Bar Rim/Portal (advanced). There is a state liquor store in town that has interesting beers, etc. Have fun!

  3. #3
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    Second on Brand Trails. Dead Horse is good, but does have an entry fee being a State Park. Sovereign might be another place to try.

    Moab Area Trails

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input. I knew that the state park has a fee and we are cool with it.
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  5. #5
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    Dead Horse, Brand Trails and Klondike Bluffs are all areas I ride with my kids (ages 11 and 14) that I can have fun on too. I've taken several beginners out to Dead Horse and gotten them hooked. Its a great sample of Moab that just about anyone could ride. Deadman's Ridge at Brand trails is a blast. The hike at the end of Klondike Bluffs has some of the best scenery around.

    I live in GJ and ride in Rabbit Valley a lot too. Not sure which trail is the Overlook Trail. Might be a different name now. Most locals will tell you there are much better rides if you're in town for just one day. If you're spending the night in GJ or Fruita, I'd hit something at the Kokopelli area before you leave town. Rabbit Valley is OK, but you should really do one of the classics like Horsethief Bench or Mary's Loop.

    Again, these are all rides I do with my kids. They're strong riders but sounds like you could easily handle anything they can do. Good luck and have fun!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterBanning View Post
    Dead Horse, Brand Trails and Klondike Bluffs are all areas I ride with my kids (ages 11 and 14) that I can have fun on too. I've taken several beginners out to Dead Horse and gotten them hooked. Its a great sample of Moab that just about anyone could ride. Deadman's Ridge at Brand trails is a blast. The hike at the end of Klondike Bluffs has some of the best scenery around.

    I live in GJ and ride in Rabbit Valley a lot too. Not sure which trail is the Overlook Trail. Might be a different name now. Most locals will tell you there are much better rides if you're in town for just one day. If you're spending the night in GJ or Fruita, I'd hit something at the Kokopelli area before you leave town. Rabbit Valley is OK, but you should really do one of the classics like Horsethief Bench or Mary's Loop.

    Again, these are all rides I do with my kids. They're strong riders but sounds like you could easily handle anything they can do. Good luck and have fun!
    Thanks Peter. We were planning on hitting Horse Thief Friday afternoon and then spending the night in GJ. The overlook trail that I linked to looks to be across the the state line on the Utah side. I happened across it and was wondering if it had that classic dessert scenery where trails overlook those expanses of dessert. Looking at our time hack and allowing that I can't really find out much about it, we will probably skip it this time anyway.

    Thanks again for the input.
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  7. #7
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    I'd agree with the Brand trails, and perhaps a trip over to Sovereign (sp) also being quite worthwhile.. Later in the year, there is good stuff in the aspens up in the La Salles.
    "i'll brazilian when YOU do boy, right around the ol' rusty star. Actually, whole fruit bowl. Get on it!" NicoleB

  8. #8
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    May I suggest hiring a shuttle (or doing it yourself) to take you to the top by the Gemini bridges road and do the First few sections of Mag-7 and bail out before Gold Bar? Bull Run, Little Canyon, Arth's corner are an excellent addition to Moab. You can park at the junction of HWY 191 and 313 and bail out before Gold Bar rim. Or you can bail and ride to town since from 313, it's pretty much DH to the town. There is a small hill on the road when you bail, but that is about it. The entire ride has basically no climbing but does have a few intermediate short moves. The scenery is outstanding.

    PS: I see glesoine recommended the same.

    Overlook is great. Actually all those trails near westwater are great and it;s easy to knock out western rim or the outlook trail and still get to Moab. That said, I really like west rim.

    Food in moab is interesting. I hear they have a new steakhouse. I like the brewpub food and I like Baja's. Eddy's is a classic there but I think overrated and Pasta Jays, albeit expensive is pretty good. Beer is 3.2 as the brewpubs. If you happen to bring your own booze, be aware it's bootlegging in Utah, but BYOB (whatever that means) if possible.

    The state liquor store does have good stuff and ok prices---for the hard stuff. The beer is kinda limited IMO.

    Enjoy your trip.

    Last edited by lidarman; 02-26-2012 at 07:20 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input RandyBoy and lidarman. I think a couple of us are going to get together and start hammering together a plan over a couple of beers this weekend.
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  10. #10
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    Western Rim is a great loop. Accessible from either the Rabbit Valley exit in CO or Westwater in UT. Sounds like it might even be the same trail?

    If you will be in GJ for a day, definitely hit Mary's/Horesthief/Steve's. Or if you want an easy warm up day maybe hit 18rd in Fruita and do Primecut/Joe's/Kessel's or Zippity Do Dah. Or hit em' all!

    You can't hardly go wrong on Sovereign & the Brand trails. There will be plenty of fun for all in the group. I have done Klondike Bluffs in a Jeep but not on a bike yet. Supposed to be a lot of fun trails there to.

    We are going next weekend and will be looping up some of the Brand Trails Friday, then doing Porcupine Saturday.

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