Best driving route from Moab to Flagstaff ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Best driving route from Moab to Flagstaff ?

    Hi All,

    I liked the riding I did in Arizona so much last December that i'm coming over from the UK again at the end of April, but this time to mix things up a bit I'm flying into Denver, then I'm going to spend a few days riding at Frutia and then Moab before heading down to Flagstaff and then to Phoenix

    I've done a mapblast and i've got a suggested route from Moab of
    US-191 -> US-160 -> US-89

    Is this the quickest way to get to Flagstaff from Moab, do I need to worry about any police hotspots for speeding along the way ?, is there anything worth stopping for on the way down ? i.e. cool slot canyons for a quick hike etc

    Thanks for any answers in advance

    zinger
    http://www.mtb-hol.com

  2. #2
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    your route is correct

    South of Moab you'll encounter numerous beautiful rock formations and a large natural arch. Then the Manti Mountains which have MTB trails. Have not ridden there. Further south Bluff, UT has a large area of slickrock the highway travels over so you can't miss it. Eat in Moab, there's not much for quality food between Moab and Flagstaff.
    Utah highway patrol is strict and frequent on 191. Also south of Flagstaff there's almost always an officer on Intersate 17.
    Do not ride on the beautiful Navajo indian reservation slickrock. The locals will have you arrested.
    Flagstaff's temps will be great but Phoenix very hot. Coming from England means a large temprature adjustment, ride early.
    I am leading a small group thru southwestern Utah April 29-May 4. My route will include several trails near St. George, Utah. Gooseberry Mesa is a fabulous trail, my second favorite, ever. Other rides in the area we may ride include Slickrock Swamp Trail just outside beautiful Zion National Park, Bear Claw Popply Trail, Broken Mesa and Little Creek Mesa. Thunder Mountain is a classic near Bryce National Park, loved it.
    The journey's previous rides will be on the Rainbow Rim Trail on the northern rim of the Grand Canyon, camping at Locust Point, in the middle of the trail. North Timp Point, on the trail is the most beautiful Grand Canyon vista I have seen. The trip will start with 3 sections of the Arizona Trail from another part of the North rim to the Utah border in 3 rides.
    Interested? [email protected]. Abe

  3. #3
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    DO NOT SPEED IN ANY OF THOSE STUPID LITTLE TOWNS BETWEEN MOAB AND AZ!!!!! 2 tickets, 7 warnings and counting...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtybiker
    DO NOT SPEED IN ANY OF THOSE STUPID LITTLE TOWNS BETWEEN MOAB AND AZ!!!!! 2 tickets, 7 warnings and counting...

    Stupid little towns? That's a little harsh

  5. #5
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    yeah that was harsh...only because i was the stupid little man that couldn't remember the names of the towns (Montecello & Blanding) and I'm still a little bitter from having my car searched.
    My appologies to my southern UT brethren

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    My bad! I though you were talking about Northern AZ towns. Say all you want about Utah and their polygomy ways.

  7. #7
    Meatbomb
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    while your in the area and if you have never done it before .. take a cruise on lake powell....

  8. #8
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    You're not harsh........

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtybiker
    yeah that was harsh...only because i was the stupid little man that couldn't remember the names of the towns (Montecello & Blanding) and I'm still a little bitter from having my car searched.
    My appologies to my southern UT brethren
    Live in Idaho.....started going to Moab in 1985.........learned the hard way that driving with bikes on top through Utah makes you a target and if you're speeding you may end up getting your rig searched too.

    Utah is a beautiful state.......great riding and skiing.....just try to be low key while you're there.

    BTW......I've been to Arizona on at least seven fall/winter biking trips.....Sedona and South Mtn are two of my favorite areas to ride in the West!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by abegold
    My route will include several trails near St. George, Utah. Gooseberry Mesa is a fabulous trail, my second favorite, ever. Other rides in the area we may ride include Slickrock Swamp Trail just outside beautiful Zion National Park, Bear Claw Popply Trail, Broken Mesa and Little Creek Mesa. Thunder Mountain is a classic near Bryce National Park, loved it.
    Hi Abe,

    Thanks for the useful info , I took a look at some of the trails you mentioned on http://www.utahmountainbiking.com and have decided not to go to Moab - I'm going to drive to St George instead of Moab and stay there 3 nights - unfortunately i'll miss your group as i'll be there on 27th Apr ->29th Apr before heading down to flagstaff on the 30th Apr

  10. #10
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    Changed my mind route is now going to be from St George to Flagstaff

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the very helpful suggestions

    But I've now decided to go to St George - and ride the trails around there instead of Moab which i've been to several times before anyway.

    If you will indulge me yet again, which way is the quickest / best way to go, as there appears to be two routes you can take until you get onto the 89 south

    via Colorado City -> Fredonia ->Marble Canyon on the Alt 89

    or springdale -> Kanab -> Page on the 89 which looks like a more major route


    thanks

  11. #11

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    I'd go Springdale to see Zion and a visit to Gooseberry Mesa out of Springdale is a must. It is close and it is perfect.

  12. #12
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    We went to the St. George/Zion area in March and I have to say our decision to stay in Springdale was a good one. It's a little touristy, but laid back. Cliffrose Garden motel is great. Rode only Bearclaw/Stuki in St.George but the really good stuff imo is near Springdale, Gooseberry, Little Creek, Guacamole, Slickrock Swamp, Hurricane Cliff/JEM. I really wanted to go to Thunder Mountain but it was still snowed in. So many rides so little time on these trips.

  13. #13
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    There are a few cool biking options and many, many cool hiking options along that route, esp. if you like archeology. Send me a private message and I can flesh out some options for you.

    hfly

    Where in the UK do you live?

    Then again, I just saw that you are planning on doing Southwest instead of Southeast Utah. Also a good choice.

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    Hey buddy, you still flying in to Denver? There was some folks from that area that discussed an IMBA "epic" ride in the front range near Littleton the last week of May. Don't know if it's too early to ride in that area. It might be worth looking ito.

    My plans have changed some and I might not have to leave Flagstaff until Monday, the 1st, so I could drive up to join you in Utah. I've never ridden Gooseberry but hear it's a lot of fun. I think from there you might want to drive through Zion and drive east to Thunder Mountain. It is unforgetable. You'll want to take lot's of pictures.

    I met some mountain bikers from Sweden and Belgium here in Flagstaff that I took riding last week. They would love a road trip if they could get the time off between projects.

    The weather here is near perfect. We've had jusy enough rain to delay the closure the Forest Service was discussing. We might make it through May before they get serious about it again. Everything facing the south is dry and rideable. I don't know about Little Bear trail. I suspect it is very wet up there in the shade. I'll do some recon in the coming week.

    Your drive from Fruita to Hurricane, Utah (Gooseberry Mesa) should be an easy one. I might get there ahead of you and have the pop-up all set up. You can figure about two hours from Zion to Thunder Mountain, if you decide to ride there, and then four hours from there to Flagstaff. Stopping at the north rim to ride the Rainbow Rim trail adds a bit more driving and might delay your arrival into Flagstaff. But it might be worth it.

  15. #15
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    You just described my classic October trip. N Rim, Gooseberry, Little Creek area, Thunder Mt and I have to ad in Brian's Head for DH runs and Moab
    AKA: G-wat

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayfaring Stranger

    Your drive from Fruita to Hurricane, Utah (Gooseberry Mesa) should be an easy one. I might get there ahead of you and have the pop-up all set up. You can figure about two hours from Zion to Thunder Mountain, if you decide to ride there, and then four hours from there to Flagstaff. Stopping at the north rim to ride the Rainbow Rim trail adds a bit more driving and might delay your arrival into Flagstaff. But it might be worth it.
    Hi

    My Bags are packed in a couple of hours i'll be catching my plane to Denver - i'll give you a ring when i get there

    Meeting up at St George / Zion sounds like a good plan - i've already got several rides in mind to do goosebury, bearclaw, slick rock swamp

    Cheers

    Zinger

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinger-uk
    via Colorado City -> Fredonia ->Marble Canyon on the Alt 89

    or springdale -> Kanab -> Page on the 89 which looks like a more major route

    Driving through Zion (your second route) is much slower then your first route. However, if you haven't been to Zion, then you better go that way, and plan on spending at least half a day in the park seeing the sights, it's really one of the most beautiful places in the world.

    The fastest route is from Hurricane to Colorado City (Hwy 59) to Fredonia (389), over the Kiabab Plateau (Jacob's Lake) to Lee's Ferry (89A) and then Hwy 89 to Flagstaff. There are, however, almost no services on this route, save a few gas stations with meager convience stores. Whatever you do, don't buy gas at Jacob's Lake, it is about $1 a gallon more then anywhere else. Oh, and FYI, Colorado City and Hildale are home of the Fundimentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, ie a poligomist cult (not to be confused with the regular Church of Latter Day Saints)... it's a little weird there. However, this route is absolutely gorgeous, so I would recommend doing it in the daytime. Also, it's not a bad idea to go visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon since very few people get up there. There's supposed to be a SWEET trail up there just outside of the park on the national forest, and if I was driving through there at that time I would definiltly stop for a ride.

    You could also follow this route to Fredonia and then divert north to Kanab and take 89 over to Page and then eventually down to Flagstaff. This route is also gorgeous, just not quite as gorgeous as the first. Kanab and Page are real towns with restaruants and auto shops of you have car trouble, however, there is prettymuch nothing in between them. This route will take you perhaps 15 minutes longer then the first. It's a wash really.

    Often I'll take a detour up to Kanab to get lunch then head back south to Fedonia to follow the first route.

    For St. George riding, I'd recommend Gooseberry on day 1 when you are fresh (cause it's technical) and then Green Valley/Bearclaw Poppy, etc. on day two for two days of awsome trails that are TOTALLY different. Then, well hit whatever else you want, you can't go wrong up there.

    Have fun!
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  18. #18
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    I'd have to agree with Fishman on the fastest route. I've taken all three at one time or another. The drive through Zion can be Looooong. I had to wait a half hour or so for a tractor to get through the mile long tunnel one time. Can't complain about the views though. Check out the bike shop in Springdale super nice people they can direct you where to go. As for lodging on a budget check out the Terrace Brook Lodge/Inn. Have fun!

  19. #19
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    AZMountainbiker, That was a little harsh. AZ towns boast just as many polygamous families as Utah.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 86004 View Post
    AZMountainbiker, That was a little harsh. AZ towns boast just as many polygamous families as Utah.
    You're calling someone out on a quote made over 6 years ago...

  21. #21
    Meatbomb
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    no ****... my 3 wives are wondering why that happened too.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 86004 View Post
    AZMountainbiker, That was a little harsh. AZ towns boast just as many polygamous families as Utah.



    Oh no freakin way, eastern AZ has far more than Utah.

  23. #23
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    Just read it so I thought I'd point out your bigotrous statement.

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