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Thread: 4 Days in Moab

  1. #1
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    4 Days in Moab

    Hi Everyone,

    I'll be in Moab for 4 days in late October. I'm with a group that is fit, but of mixed technical ability. A couple folks with many years riding rough terrain on the Canadian Shield (very strong technical riders), and a couple newer people who are very fit, but not big on doing drops, rocks, and anything with a lot of exposure. I've been to Moab before and have done Porcupine and Slickrock, so those are both off the table for various reasons.

    We're staying at a house in town.

    I was thinking Klondike on the first day, but for the remaining 3 I can't decide.

    Any suggestions?

    Thx!

  2. #2
    Thin Man on a Fat bike
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    When I familiarize people to the area and terrain I usually start them in the Navajo Rocks or Mag 7 area. Riding something simple like Getaway down allows people to try the rocks and drops with gravity on their side. The newer Horsethief area has several loops of varying difficulties that can be connected to Navajo Rocks in several ways. Check the Trailforks app as not all trails are on the trailhead maps.

  3. #3
    Yeti SB95c
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    There has been a lot of discussion on the forum recently about the same topic. You may want to mine that knowledge.

    Basically, there is a lot to do in the Klondike Bluffs and the trail systems off Highway 313 which is the road to Canyonlands NP.

    Your group is diverse so if you want to stick together then someone will have to compromise. A couple of you should be on Captain Ahab and the whole Mag 7 from Bull Run to Portal. The less experienced, I assume intermediate, riders will love the big views and technical of Navajo Rocks, Chisholm, Horsethief trails, and the upper Mag 7 such as Getaway, Bull Run, and Great Escape (my favorite as an intermediate).

    What might work for your group is to park at the lower Navajo Rocks trailhead. The intermediates ride the highway up to the top of Chisholm and the advanced riders go up Rocky Tops and drop down to 7 Up then climb the Horsethief trails. You may arrive at the top of Chisholm at roughly the same time.

    Then drop Chisholm, Big Lonely (killer slick rock!), Big Mesa (love the view!), and Ramblin (great slick rock descent, like power skiing!) to the trail head. Something like 22 miles with the highway route.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    What might work for your group is to park at the lower Navajo Rocks trailhead. The intermediates ride the highway
    I'll agree with Navajo Rocks being a great area for multiple skill levels; but I'll disagree with anything that has you going up a highway shoulder. Sure, it's scenic..... but leave 313 to the roadies; no reason to take a trip to Moab to ride uphill on a highway.

    You don't list group size; if you require two cars that opens up a lot of options, where the more gonzo can ride a longer route. If not, then if you park at the middle (main) Navajo Rocks parking, you can do the entire figure-8 if you want more distance, and only a half if you don't.

    For a mixed group, the Brands (aka Bar M) is a good option; it has everything from techy (Deadman's, Long Branch) to a trail literally named EZ. It's also a great place for people to improve their skills; for instance, North 40 is generally easy, but has a few techy bits thrown in to do some learning on.

    If you have a 4WD I'd suggest Klonzo; good mixed area but gnarly road to get there.

    Amasa Back is a good option - you can all ride up Hymasa from the parking lot together; then the more skilled can attempt Ahab and the others can ride back down Hymasa (which is a great trail in either direction).

    4 days: North Klondike, South Klondike, Klonzo, Brands, Navajo Rocks, upper Mag 7, Amasa Back, Horsethief, maybe Pipe Dream. Pick and choose.

  5. #5
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    One item down:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/utah/moab-rou...s-1057675.html

    About a dozen down:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/utah/moab-2-d...g-1055593.html

    Both have useful info.

    My wife (64, has biked 6 years) and I went down there last week. We rode Big Mesa, Coney Island Middle Earth as a quick loop from the second parking area. I like that section counter-clockwise. She had to walk a few places. I am in my lowest gear a fair amount on Slickrock, but didn't need to on this particular loop. We are going down tomorrow and at the end of the drive will ride Rocky Tops, Ramblin' clockwise from the lower lot.
    Day two will be Bull Run down and Getaway back with some possible side loops, so your friends shouldn't have any problems, if she survives.
    There are loops off of 7-up as well.

  6. #6
    trail gnome
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    We are in a similar boat as well (riders from Ottawa/Gatineau; mixed abilities, but a longer stay next spring).

    Navajo Rocks is looking like a good area for the whole gang. From the videos I've watched, it looks less technical than many other trails I've done at Moab, but still scenic and fun. The slickrock is smoother. There is no crazy exposure. There is some side-sloping traverse that is going to unnerve some in our group, but I'll check out the suggestions above and see if there is a route combination that will allow the beginners in our group to avoid that.

    Monitor & Merimac looks like it might also be good. The more advanced riders in our group won't mind an easier ride if the scenery makes up for it.

    Lots of trail combination possibilities in the Mag 7 area. I think a few of us will do the full ride finishing on Portal, and the rest will do it as a loop.

    Lots of trail combination possibilities in the Klondike network to accommodate different skill levels.

    Thanks for the Amasa Back suggestion. It never occurred to me that the less experienced riders could take Hymasa down while the rest of us ride Ahab.

    I didn't like the Brand trails last time we rode in Moab. I found it lacked the scenic views of the other networks and it felt like we were riding out in the wide open most of the time. But maybe I chose the wrong trails there, and it also was blazing hot and our second ride on our last day of a crammed week of riding, so no doubt that colored my experience. But suitable for beginners? Yes.

    I wouldn't take beginners on Pipe Dream. The steep side-slope and rock armouring will intimidate them. Maybe save that one as a second ride of the day for the keeners in the group. It's close to town, so they can pedal there while the rest of you have post ride beers and soak in a hot tub.
    Last edited by ray.vermette; 10-07-2017 at 04:39 AM.

  7. #7
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    Merimac & Monitor access sucks. The only route I found the road is a sand pit to the TH.

    Hymasa is mid-intermediate, not beginners. There is technical and exposure. Big climbs often turn off beginners to MTB.

    Noobs can ride much of Navajo Rocks but they'll get some hiking in. To ease them into it maybe park at the middle TH, go out Middle Earth to Cony Islands and climb that, or the highway, and drop down Big Lonely and Big Mesa back to the TH. If they are still hyped and haven't killed you then drop Ramblin and climb Rocky Tops back to the TH. There are a lot of bailout 4wd roads along the way for those who have had enough.

    There is a fun steep traverse on Rocky Tops / Navajo Rocks that is a great place for lower skilled people to play around and build confidence.

    Locals have long recommended riding Navajo Rocks loops as a figure 8. You have to climb some great slick rock descents if you follow that advice. Ride up the east side and down the west side to have some amazing descents and pity those who are climbing them. You don't want to miss the descents dropping down Big Lonely and the top of Ramblin.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  8. #8
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    I agree with JM...NOT a fan of Monitor/Merrimac. Just as a data point, (at the risk of repeating myself) my wife is 64 and has ridden for 6 years. She's ridden (and walked in spots) all of the figure 8 at Navajo Rocks. Starting in the middle with the figure 8 is the way to do it. Two days ago, we started at the bottom of Bull run, rode up Getaway and down Bull Run. She walked sections of Bull Run but concluded that particular circuit as her favorite. I seriously doubt your friends will have significant trouble on those rides.

  9. #9
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    4 Days in Moab

    Not sure if it has been suggested but the Intrepid trail system at Deadhorse is a lot of fun. Do both sides and it is 15 miles with very little elevation. Amazing views and fun riding. Navajo rocks is great. I also enjoy getaway to great escape.

    Have fun


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatal

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