Fav Moab Trail??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Occidental Tourist
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    Fav Moab Trail??

    I'm torn....got a great offer to ride in Moab March 11-13 which means I'll miss meeting many of you at the AZSF04 but I've ridden all the proposed trails here so I'm off to Moab. That in mind and never having ridden there I need some insight into your favorite trails. We need one easyish ride and two anything goes (pref. long and technical) rides.
    Oh yea, and I'm too lazy to search thru the archives......
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    Last edited by crash test dummy; 02-25-2004 at 02:15 PM.
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  2. #2
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    Gold Bar Rim to Portal trail

    That ride will kick your ash. Be sure to eat more than a bowl of cereal for breakfast, like I did before bonking all over that trail. Bring food. Route-finding could be tough.

    For the easyish ride I would do the new Soveriegn singletrack

  3. #3
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    Disclaimer, I'll comment on the rides I have done

    The two most popular are Porcupine Rim and SlickRock. Porc Rim is about 13 miles, I believe, if you take a shuttle to the trail head and at the bottom (some do the entire loop, which is 26; most typically get a ride to the trail head and then bike back into town). The actual trail can be done anywhere from 2 to 6 hours (depending on how many breaks you take. It's basically a 2-3 mile grunt up a jeep road, followed by some pretty fun descents, topping off with some tight, semi-technical singletrack. Typically, it can be crowded, but not sure what the crowds are like this time of year.

    Slickrock is more or less a playground. Think Sedona, but 90% is on Slickrock. IMO, this is okay, but not my favorite. The fun part is trying to see how steep of a rock you can climb. For the most part, it's not technical at all.

    My favorite trail is Amassa Back. It's similar to PorcRim, but a bit shorter. I've only do it as an out and back, but I think you can do a loop. Again, this is a Jeep road, but a Moab Jeep road. It is technical in some sections, but the views are awesome (as they are on SlickRock as well as PorcRim).

    Poison Spider/Portal is one we did last year. I hated both. Poison Spider was IMO kind of boring and dull. Lost of sand in some places, very wide trails, and from what I can remember hardly any technical. You can take this to the Portal Trail, which I believe was recently reopened. I think 3 people have died here (there's a sign). The trail for the most part is probably ridable, but there are some exposed sections (you're basically on this cliff). I did it in a pouring rain (and I'm afraid of heights to boot). Others might have a different impression of it, but it really was not high on my list (but it's probably the most technical of the trails I've done there).

    Top of the World is about an hour outside of town, and is an out and back. It's a 1-1.5 hour grunt followed by a 15 minutes descent (if you start at the trail head, you can add more miles if you start at the bridge). The views are incredible, it's challenging in some places, but you spend 2 hours commuting, so if time is precious, I'd skip it.

    None of these I found were overly challenging (except Portal), so I think your experience in AZ will make the trip enjoyable. My first time there, I went to Chili Pepper bikes and asked for some recommendations (what they would ride on their day off). Stick you head in and say hi. It's the best bike shop in town, IMO.

  4. #4
    DSR
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    Obvious, but P-Rim. I gotta hit it every time. Even if it's the day before the 24 hour race! S

  5. #5
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash test dummy
    I'm torn....got a great offer to ride in Moab March 11-13 which mens I'll miss meeting many of you at the AZSF04 but I've ridden all the proposed trail here so I'm off to Moab. That in mind and never having ridden there I need some insight into your favorite trails. We need one easyish ride and two anything goes (pref. long and technical) rides.
    Oh yea, and I'm too lazy to search thru the archives......
    Slickrock is a must. Not for the views, but for the fun.

  6. #6
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    I'll second Amassa Back

    Although I haven't spent enough time in Moab (maybe 7-8 days total riding) to really get to know everything. (I'll be bugging hfly before & hopefully during the next time!) Amassa back is partially a "jeep trail" but of the rock-crawler moab type jeep TRAIL, not a "road", IMO. The rocky technical climb up is a great warm-up / moab primer and a blast to come down. Once "up" the trail a ways, there are lots of options out on the "back" (?) or the big finger of slickrock. I must have ridden around way out there for an hour before re-aquiring the marked trail to begin the return (yee-haw!). Good way finding or a guide would be helpful, and there seemed to be a few exposed areas that unalert riders could find themselves 'base jumping' inadvertantly!

    If hfly responds and reads this, I hope I haven't butchered the memory of the ride.
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  7. #7
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    And more importantly.....

    Do I need to bring my beer or can I get non-near beer in Moab?
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  8. #8
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    Bring Your Beer!!!

    All the Moab beer sucks. I'll be there with a group this year May 12-17 and we are flying into Grand Junction, CO SPECIFICALLY to get good beer. Last year we flew into Salt Lake City. There is one state liquor store that sells non 3.2 beer but the 2 kinds of warm beer they had were terrible.

    And, by the way, do Porcupine Rim for sure. Gemni Bridges is a good easy one with some great scenery.

    Look for the guy drinking Fat Tire or Abbey Dubbel and that'll be me...

  9. #9
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    Good job! Moab -- PRim

    Porcupine Rim

  10. #10
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    Anything led by hfly...

    would qualify as my favorite, and should be on your list for the long & technical rides, assuming he's available & willing. For an easy-ish ride, I'd ditto the recommendation of Gemini Bridges, but would also suggest Klondike Bluff. Have fun,
    - Joe

  11. #11
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    Do you want to get drunk :-)? Can't hurt to bring some, but if I recall, you're a beer snob. Eddie McStiff's is a local brewery, and have some tasty brews (the food on the other hand, sucks IMO). But if want to bring some to the trail head, unless you are fine with 3.2 percent, bring it.

    If I remember, there is a Last Chance bar with packaged beers as you enter Utah (I think, but I might be mixing this up with going to Bryce Canyon).

  12. #12
    Jed Peters
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    I've only done one, but I don't think I'm allowed to talk about it.

  13. #13
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    Drunk, no... Jazzed about good beer after 20 miles, yes!

    Yeah, unfortunately, I am a bit of a beer snob. That cooler full of good beer at the end of the trail is sweet, though. OK, maybe one drunk on the trip...

  14. #14
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    ditto on Portal

    I agree with Skinny-Tire about poison spider /portal. We had fun watching the jeeps during the ride up poison spider (especially seeing their faces when I cleaned a tech uphill section that had them all backed up waiting for each other to roll over) but it's nothing great. The view from the top was nice but the same view could be had from anywhere around Moab (all the views kick but anyway). As for Portal, I don't know what my buddy was thinking when he told my fiance and how how great it is and that we would love it. Yeah, it's technical and I've heard of someone riding the whole thing but it just wasn't fun - maybe a trials rider would enjoy it more but I'd rather do something where I could carry some speed without the constant and very real threat of death (what is it, a 700 ft drop?). The only part of that trail that I enjoyed riding was the last mile or so after you come down from the cliff.

    Other than those I've only done slickrock, porci, and a ride in the La Sals where I got lost. I liked them all but porci might be my fave so far.

  15. #15
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    A nice longish option that combines a few trails that have already been mentioned...

    My favorite combo in Moab (Allison Dunlap's too):
    Get a shuttle ride to the top of the Gemini Bridges trail (the Coyote Shuttle is fantastic and fun). You'll ride downhill for a bit on a fire road - kind of a fun warm up, that takes you to the Gemini Bridges. This is an amazing dual bridge formation with awesome views all around and into the canyon.
    Then continue on down the fire road, it gradually gets a little rougher...it's a fun speed blast over ruts and some ledges. Eventually dumps out onto Goldbar Rim trail (but you skip the long and brutal all fire road climb up from the main higway this way).
    Take Goldbar Rim up to Goldspike and out the Portal Trail - bring a good map, as mentioned earlier route finding can be tricky.
    Once off the Portal trail you've got to huff it back to town unless you've wisely dropped a shuttle vehicle off at the end of the Portal (see my profile for the Death Sign tha marks the beginning of the Portal Trail)
    All totaled without a shuttle at the end is roughly 25 miles...about 5 of which are at the end on the road back into town.
    Be sure that as you top out on Goldbar you go all the way to the rim and take a lunch break something like 800ft above the higway...look accross the highway and down into Arches National Park. A keen eye can pick out some of the arches.

    My favorite trail out there is Amassa - a moderate technicaly buff climb...so much fun to do as an out and back so you can just blast back down the technical stuff you worked so hard to get up.

    A frairly easy 1/2 dayish ride would be Flat Pass - shuttle out to the start. Kinda like the climb up to Porc or Amassa. Typical ledges and stuff, but you're more in and out of canyons and there are some ancient petroglyhps to see too.

    I HATED Top of the World! The view was the most incredible I've EVER seen in my life - truly out of this world. But it was a very long, very steep and loose dirt road for the most part. Not very challenging - just very physically taxing.
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  16. #16
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    Off topic a little

    I bought my FS bike from Poison Spider Bicycles. They were selling their 03 rentals and had a great deal on a Yeti Koko with some good equipment (under $1,200). I was concerned that it had been beaten on but the guy assured me "nah, most people are pretty sketchy about rented bikes and (here's the valid part) most ride Poison Spider which is no big deal". It sticks in my head because I thought it was strange for him to say that about his shop's namesake.

    By the way, he was right - the bike was nearly brand new so I made out like a bandit. Poison Spider was also very good to deal with (obviously)

  17. #17

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    similar to bikeColorado

    my current fave is like bike Colorado's, but a longer w/ more asphalt version. Because, why get in a vehicle for the day when you don't have to? ....... so I will describe it, but basically second Colorado's .....
    Start in Town
    North on 191
    cut off on the "old highway" just past Arches Entrance.
    take the left when you see Gemini Bridges Trailhead, crossing 191
    Gemini Bridges to Gold Bar Rim
    stay high and follow the cairns and tracks so you get that great view in the collapsed salt anticline Moab Valley
    option to stay high toward Portal or drop down and ziggy zag on Golden Spike
    follow either until you connect to Poison Spider / Mesa Trail
    some sand, but I like sand, sand shows how good you are or aren't in funny ways.
    past the dino tracks (really!) and out on Potash Rd. to 191 and south to town.

    Have a shake and a beer, you deserve it!
    I like this ride, because it is long, and SO varied, from road to sand, to rocks, to climbing, to ... just like everything except a soft forest floor ... it feels like a trek across a mtn. range or something ... a big journey.

  18. #18
    Lone Wolf
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    I need to get out there again!

    I haven't ridden Porcupine Rim yet but...
    I have ridden Slickrock, Amassa Back and Sovereign and out of those, Sovereign was my favorite. This could be because I'm used to fast single track and thats what I love. It seemed that the trail just had great flow. Lots up obstacles and minor 1-3 foot drops, uphills ,downhills, just a great mix of everything. We did it as an out and back and logged in like 14-15 miles. I know we are going back out there with the intention of riding Sovereign and Porcupine Rim for sure, then Amassa and Slickrock if we have time.
    I had a heck of a good time on Slickrock and Amassa and would recomend those too but Sovereign is where its at for me.

  19. #19
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    its all fun

    Quote Originally Posted by crash test dummy
    I'm torn....got a great offer to ride in Moab March 11-13 which means I'll miss meeting many of you at the AZSF04 but I've ridden all the proposed trails here so I'm off to Moab. That in mind and never having ridden there I need some insight into your favorite trails. We need one easyish ride and two anything goes (pref. long and technical) rides.
    Oh yea, and I'm too lazy to search thru the archives......
    Porcupine is a must do if you've never done it before. Ditto for Slickrock. Flat Pass and Amasa Back are also really good - but beware of the water/sand crossings on Flat Pass - be sure to bring some lube and a rag with you on that ride. I've also done PSM and Portal, neither of which I cared for much, but that was 6 years ago when my skills weren't great and I don't like heights. When I go back, I'll do Gemini Bridges, Sovereign, and maybe Gold Bar Rim. I've heard that the Moab Rim trail is also a fun technical option.

  20. #20
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash test dummy
    Do I need to bring my beer or can I get non-near beer in Moab?

    No, the cops called that "transporting alcohol over state lines"...I have intimate knowledge.

  21. #21
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    Gold Bar with a portal finish

    If it is warm enought go jump in the muddy colorado at the end!
    Live to ride!
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  22. #22
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    There seems to be a lot of good advice above. The variations of Gold Bar Rim to Portal seem to have emerged as a consistent (and solid) recommendation. Wasatch Walt's version is known as "The Church Ride" by some. The Alison Dunlap/bikecolorado version has a MUCH better option that I've been calling Knoll to Portal and involves plenty of DH singletrack. Can't tell, though -- only show.

    Porcupine is a must do and is apparently now almost clear of snow. Slickrock is worthwhile just to see it. You can do the first 2 miles of the MAIN trail and then turn around if it isn't thrilling you. Bartlett is an Entrada Sandstone playground that many prefer to Slickrock. Freeform bowls, pipes, drops, etc. Sovereign is a new legal singletrack that is about #46 on my list of top 50 Moab rides. Not mind-blowing in my opinion but straightforward and easy to follow. Lots of people really like it though.

    Everyone always suspects and some people know that the best Moab riding is not in the guidebooks. This is true. Unfortunately the weekend you are going to be here is my weekend of work, otherwise I'd love to hook up for a ride, provided my ankle (sprained yesterday on Wildstyle -- which is why I'm laid up here typing this) would allow it. It's a big no-no as well as in some cases impossible to explain how to navigate these routes. We can show, but we don't tell.

    Hope that helps. Email me if you want more detailed info regarding any of these rides.

    hfly
    email: moabdublab AT citlink DOT net

  23. #23

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    question

    does the Moab Centurion still exist?

    I want to become a Centurion!!

  24. #24
    cask conditioned
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    What's with all this 3.2 beer talk?

    Just to set the record straight, Utah beer is measured by weight, not by volume. This means 3.2% is really 4% if we use the more common method of measurement that micro's use. Most Utah micro's have the same (and sometimes higher) alcohol content as English ales. You still might want to bring a few big bottles of Arrogant [email protected] with you anyway.

    Hidden Valley on the Moab Rim ride is pretty darn enchanting when it's filled with flowers.

  25. #25
    Jm.
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    by that same logic, "regular" beer is 6% and not 5.whatever.

  26. #26
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    this post has me super stoked for my trip in a month! Yee haw!
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  27. #27
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    And Canadian beer would be like, what, 20%?

  28. #28
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    Answer To Walt

    Yes it The Centurion still exists. First full moon in September. It was finished by handful of people last year. I might try it myself this year.

    hfly

  29. #29
    cask conditioned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    by that same logic, "regular" beer is 6% and not 5.whatever.
    Um, no. More like 5% by vol. By that same logic, for example, Guiness is 3.3.% by weight, (according to the Guinness Web site).

  30. #30
    DOH!
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    Geez, sounds like a broken record around here!

    UPS/LPS/Porc, then into town for beer and food. Epic! Need a single shuttler to get you to the top; after that, you're golden. Note I'm unsure of the legal status of parts of UPS/LPS....there's been some issues with the NFS.

    Fisher's Mesa. Find the dino tracks!

    Rim Trail. In my book the amount of effort to get to the top wouldn't justify the wild ride down - as fun as it is - but if you have an fairly efficient trail bike with 5+ inches of travel, you could conceivable pedal to the top and follow the DH course down (minus the section in the freeride park, which is - as I understand the rumor - closed becasue of no lift service). Sans Cedric's 8' drop (there a route-around) and the infamous Staircase, there's nothing on the course that's not do-able on a longish-legged trail bike or burly hartail.

    ...Oh, and I guess you could always pedal the Behind the Rocks Trail, where the 24 Hours is held. Pretty fun in spots (Nosedive). 'Bout 12-13 miles; loop. The sandy spots should have settled by now into something less problematic than during the race.

    Note the higher elevation trails (UPS, LPS, perhaps Fishers) might (probably?!) will still have snow. Lower routes should be fine, though Moab has been very cold, and more snowy than normal this year.

    Have fun!

  31. #31

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    UPS/LPS is closed down and a very sensitive subject among local riders and authorities. Both BLM and USFS are aware of routes and entrances/exits. Please don't reccommend or mention these trails on the web.
    I'm not trying to be a dick, that was my favorite route, particularly when linked with some stuff above the loop road that got closed as well, but loose lips sank ships and we all lost.
    If we behave in regards to those routes it betters our chances of getting them or other trails approved in the future. More singletrack...good.

  32. #32
    DOH!
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    UPS/LPS weren't/aren't secret rides; I'm revealing nothing sacred. The trails have been known about for a very long time. The only thing new is the Bike Nazi-esque policies within the hallowed halls of the the Bureau of Logging and Mining and US Forest Scorchers. Those guys really need to get up off the rusty spike they've been sitting on and pay attention to more damaging and flagrant misuse of public (note: PUBLIC) lands. I'd love to see an assessment of how much environmental damage one thump from the recent army of thumper trucks the BLM blessed to search for oil just outside the Canyonlands does in comparison to 5 years of riding an established singletrack....

    ...Anyhow, as I said, I was unsure of their access status (this year); I certainly didn't advocate poaching a ride regardless of legality. Mere offhand mention of the routes on the Great Evil Web isn't going to affect negotiations to re-open the trails either way. Nothing I said constituted "loose lips". I was merely pointing out one of my favorite Moab trails, which just happened to have been deemed off-limits in the recent past.

    ...Now, as for "secret" North Shore trails built somewhere in the Park City resorts area...I know nothing!

    Cheers.

  33. #33
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    I Learned

    I learned my lesson posting pictures of UPS and Hazard and within the next year witnessing their demise. I learned my lesson erecting too many cairns on Rockstacker to lead those people "in the know" along; those few people have now become the whole town. Now everything good & new is stealthily subtle and counterintuitive to a fault.

    I've spent weeks up there where they thumped and the damage is far more rampant than is apparent from the major roads or travel corridors (eg, Gemini Bridges). But the problem is larger than the BLM, with its impossible mandate to try to please all parties via underfunding and short-staffing. Don't blame them; I think they are merely the perennial default scapegoat. The irony is that most all of the classic trails you come down here to ride were constructed by the widcat capitalist urges of the uranium boom. No boom, no trails.

    That's not a defense of big industry, just an attempt to render the debate over land use more nuanced and inherently ironic than its typically polarized advocates (from either side) often care to acknowledge.

    I love this place, at this exact point in time. Its controversies are as enlivening and endless as the crenulations of its terrain.

    hfly





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  34. #34
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    Thanks

    for the input. I think we're going to hit slickrock tomorrow to stretch our legs and get the manditory yokel pics and then porc rim friday and some variation of poison spider on sat. Heading up tonight WOOOOHOOOO
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

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