Howdy, moab trail selection help- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Powered by ice cream.
    Reputation: Enel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    6,337

    Howdy, moab trail selection help

    Hello to the Utah forum.

    I was wondering if y'all could give me some advice on selecting trails for my upcoming Utah MTB vacation with my best friend. We will have 2 days near Bryce canyon, and 3 days in Moab. I have a tentative schedule to follow. All these trails are basically from guide books and web sites, but I wanted local advice. Let me know if there are any other trails we should consider, or if we might be biting off too much in any one day. We are both fit guys in our thirties, and experienced bikers on solid equipment.

    Oct 2: arrive in Springdale, Virgin river Rim trail
    Oct 3: Gooseberry Mesa in the am, drive to Moab in the afternoon
    Oct 4: Slickrock in am, Amasa Back in pm
    Oct 5: Porcupine rim am, (insert your trail suggestion here for pm) ??? Or is porcupine enough for one day???
    Oct 6: Gold bar rim to Portal trail in am, then drive back to AZ in the evening.

    I'd appreciate any helpful advice you can give me. I think we can fit in one more ride in the afternoon on the 5th, but don't know what to do. Obviously, we are hitting all the "big name" rides, mainly because neither of us have ever been to Utah to ride before.

    Thanks,

    Eric

  2. #2
    Brass Nipples!
    Reputation: Bob the Wheelbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    2,006

    Lots of choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by enelnelson
    Hello to the Utah forum.

    I was wondering if y'all could give me some advice on selecting trails for my upcoming Utah MTB vacation with my best friend. We will have 2 days near Bryce canyon, and 3 days in Moab. I have a tentative schedule to follow. All these trails are basically from guide books and web sites, but I wanted local advice. Let me know if there are any other trails we should consider, or if we might be biting off too much in any one day. We are both fit guys in our thirties, and experienced bikers on solid equipment.

    Oct 2: arrive in Springdale, Virgin river Rim trail
    Oct 3: Gooseberry Mesa in the am, drive to Moab in the afternoon
    Oct 4: Slickrock in am, Amasa Back in pm
    Oct 5: Porcupine rim am, (insert your trail suggestion here for pm) ??? Or is porcupine enough for one day???
    Oct 6: Gold bar rim to Portal trail in am, then drive back to AZ in the evening.

    I'd appreciate any helpful advice you can give me. I think we can fit in one more ride in the afternoon on the 5th, but don't know what to do. Obviously, we are hitting all the "big name" rides, mainly because neither of us have ever been to Utah to ride before.

    Thanks,

    Eric
    Gooseberry is very close to Springdale and the VRR is farther away and more on your way to Moab. You might want to reverse the order of those two. If you do Porcupine as a loop, not a shuttle, it's a long ride. The climb is pretty boring with (usually) loose sand. If you shuttle, you'd probably have the energy for an evening ride if you're trying to do as much as you can.

    You could do the 24H of Moab course at Behind the Rocks. It's interesting just to see what the course looks like, but it does have lots of sand and isn't too interesting technically. The Moab Rim with or without the Hidden Canyon is farily interesting. I have a soft spot for Poison Spider to Portal as it was my first ride in Moab, but others don't like it because of the sand. The arch at the top of the Mesa and the view across to the Moab Rim are pretty cool. There are also some fun short hikes in Arches or a drive to Canyonlands or Dead Horse Point if you want a little break from hiding.

    I haven't done Gold Bar to Portal in many years, but markings were pretty nonexistant, and a GPS really helped on that ride. Take plenty of water and a cell phone.

    Good luck. Any of the local bike shops can help with ride suggestions, too.
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  3. #3
    Dr. Pepper drinker
    Reputation: catch22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,627

    Sounds like a good first trip....

    I think you've picked the right trails for a first trip to Moab, you'll probably hear a lot of different opinions about Slickrock but you really have to do it at least once and personally, I've really enjoyed it, it's a really unique riding experience. If you've never been to Moab before (you mentioned first riding trip in the area) I'd highly recommend going to Arches. I've been there 4 times and it never gets old (at least to me). Last trip we did Porc early one morning, got lunch and then went to Arches and did the hike to Delicate Arch for sunset, it made for a really nice break in a long trip of riding. Best advice I could give is to really enjoy your experience, stay flexible with your schedule, and don't try to cram to much into one trip, I'd be willing to bet you'll be pulling a return trip in the near future. Seems that every year we go we're planning the following years trip before we even leave town.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,990
    My 2 cents would be to start with Gooseberry first by taking the road from Fredonia. Drop down to Springdale and do Red Canyon (Cassidy trail and Thunder Mountain) instead of Virgin Rim. From there its at least a 5 hour drive to Moab by taking Hwy 12 to Hanksville and up to 70. As for Moab, the options are endless but Gold Bar Rim is indeed an awesome ride. But its a long one without a shuttle. A long grind up a busy highway. Poison Spider is easier as a loop and you can avoid just about all of the sand by contouring around on the slickrock to the short section of jeep road up to the southern part of Gold Bar Rim. Porcupine without a shuttle is plenty for one day for most mortals.

    If it was me and you only had 5 days with travel (from Phoenix?) I'd pick one place or the other so you had some time to explore places like the National Parks or the innumerable slot canyons in either area. Southwest and Southeast Utah are not as close to each other as they seem-there's a pretty big lake in the way.

  5. #5
    Powered by ice cream.
    Reputation: Enel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    6,337

    Thanks everyone

    I appreciate the comments.

    As far as Springdale goes, we have a guided tour of the Virgin rim scheduled for that day, so I can't really change the order of things. Everything else, we are self guiding.

    I have heard from some folks that Poison Spider is a drag, that is why we were planning the Gold bar rim. A loop would be nicer though.

    Unfortunately, this will be a fast trip. I look at it as "fact finding" I know I will be back, and will probably focus on just one area. I am from Prescott, and my friend is from Kentucky, and has never been to Utah, so I want to show him around a little.

    As far as the big lake and hole between UT and AZ goes, we will be hiking the Grand Canyon on the last day of the trip as a finale.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,990
    Well, Virgin Rim is indeed cool. It should have your Kentucky friend sucking wind. A couple of the overlooks are as awesome as Bryce and you can see out over Zion. And your probable route to Moab (hwy12?) passes through some amazing country. You really can't go wrong wherever you go. More singletrack in sw Utah and more canyon/slickrock riding in se Utah.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CrashTheDOG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,513
    Quote Originally Posted by enelnelson
    I'd appreciate any helpful advice you can give me. I think we can fit in one more ride in the afternoon on the 5th, but don't know what to do.
    I've heard good things about the Sovereign Singletrack.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    909

    Be careful trying to connect Goldbar to Portal

    I got lost up on Goldbar a couple of years ago and had a very tedious time trying to retrace my way back down Goldbar after losing site of the painted squares multilple times. This is after sucessfully conncecting Goldbar to Poison Spider previously.

    Goldbar is still my second favorite Moab ride after Porcupine Rim.

    Have fun!!!

  9. #9

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    14

    Your ambitous

    You said:

    Oct 4: Slickrock in am, Amasa Back in pm
    Oct 5: Porcupine rim am, (insert your trail suggestion here for pm) ??? Or is porcupine enough for one day???


    One thing a lot of people don't realize when the come to Moab is how physically challenging the rides are. You've picked some of the most strengeous trails you'll probably ever ride. If you ride Slickrock and Amassa in the same day -- then follow it up the next day and ride Porcupine Rim and another ride in the same day Moab ride -- I will take my hat off to you.

    Trust me, what you say is easier said than done.

  10. #10
    Powered by ice cream.
    Reputation: Enel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    6,337

    Thanks for the warning

    Quote Originally Posted by BriOCon
    One thing a lot of people don't realize when the come to Moab is how physically challenging the rides are. You've picked some of the most strengeous trails you'll probably ever ride.
    I appreciate the heads up. I don't take the riding lightly or flippantly. I have been training diligently for this trip for the last 10 months, with lengthy rides that include lots of climbing at my local elevation of 5500 ft. I hope I'm ready, but that is what I am going to Moab to find out. If I get tired, I'll just hang out.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,990
    Quote Originally Posted by BriOCon
    You said:

    Oct 4: Slickrock in am, Amasa Back in pm
    Oct 5: Porcupine rim am, (insert your trail suggestion here for pm) ??? Or is porcupine enough for one day???


    One thing a lot of people don't realize when the come to Moab is how physically challenging the rides are. You've picked some of the most strengeous trails you'll probably ever ride. If you ride Slickrock and Amassa in the same day -- then follow it up the next day and ride Porcupine Rim and another ride in the same day Moab ride -- I will take my hat off to you.

    Trust me, what you say is easier said than done.
    I don't quite agree with this for a reasonably fit rider. Yea sure, Porcupine as a loop will pretty much eat up the day but with a shuttle its a very short climb and about 19 miles and 2 hours riding time to the picnic area by the Colorado River. Same with Gold Bar Rim but a bit slower going with contouring around on slickrock. With a shuttle its ~17 miles and 2:45 riding time. Poison Spider as a loop is 13 miles and less than 2 hours riding time. If you don't monkey around too much on the Slickrock trail its a 12 mile loop that you can do in 2 hours. And whats so hard about Amasa Back? Its an easy albeit rocky and ledgy climb up a jeep/mining road. If you mix in the easier rides for the afternoon like Flat Pass or Gemini Bridges you could knock off 2 rides a day with a lunch and a beer. Its Oct and not like its 95 degrees out. My 2 cents.
    Last edited by rockman; 09-26-2004 at 08:17 AM.

  12. #12

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    14

    Keeping it real

    First timers to Moab should be aware that "most" people that ride Slickrock or Porkupine Rim don't usually ride another ride the same day. In my experience, I would say 80% of riders call it a day after one of those big rides. On the other hand, it is more common to see people ride easier rides like Gemini Bridges and Klondike bluffs in the same day.

    More power to the 20% who do ride the big rides twice. I admire the fitness level. I personally want to get to that level. But it all needs to be kept in perspective.

    Sometimes in these forums people get infected with over-the-toposis. It's a nasty infliction that results in blurred vision and temporary loss of contact with reality.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,990
    Its all good. To each his own. It all depends on how you want to spend your day. Have some chill time and admire the views, hang out in a nice spot, or practice tricky moves on slickrock. On the other hand, some get off on White Rim in a day.

  14. #14
    user-created
    Reputation: singletrack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    3,174
    Quote Originally Posted by enelnelson
    Oct 5: Porcupine rim am, (insert your trail suggestion here for pm) ??? Or is porcupine enough for one day???
    LPS to Porky from town gives you a hellish 40ish mile loop. I highly reccomend it.

    Just don't plan on moving after you finish it.

    If it rains (or even better, snows), Poison Spider->Portal or Back of Behind->Pritchett Canyon are a special treat, otherwise, they're a trip to the beach.

  15. #15
    Powered by ice cream.
    Reputation: Enel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    6,337

    Update

    Thanks for all the advice. Just finished the trip and thought I'd give an update:

    Oct 2: arrive in Springdale, Virgin river Rim trail

    This trail was awesome with lots of fall color changes in the Aspen's. This was our only guided tour, and I have to say The guide was quite a disappointment. Our guides were Springdale Cycle tours and I really couldn't recommend them in any way. We would have been better off self guiding. The ride was a strenuous 33 miles at altitude with great views and singletrack throughout.

    Oct 3: Gooseberry Mesa in the am, drive to Moab in the afternoon

    Did the Mesa at dawn next day. Really enjoyed the tight singletrack. Fun technical riding, not too strenuous, but lots of rocks, etc that were fairly hard on equipment. Unbelievable views. Could easily spend all day here.

    Beautiful drive to Moab

    Oct 4: Slickrock in am, Amasa Back in pm

    Probably our toughest day. We were getting tired. Slickrock was a blast, but not to be underestimated in how strenuous it is. Fun, smooth rock with killer climbs. We were able to clean everything on the rocks, but did get stuck in some of the sand traps.

    Amasa back following this was brutal. Lots of climbing with very rewarding views and a fun, pounding downhill at the end. Slept well that night.

    Oct 5: Porcupine rim am, (insert your trail suggestion here for pm) ??? Or is porcupine enough for one day???

    Porcupine was definitely enough for one day at this point. We thought the trail was highly over-rated except for the singletrack at the end. Great views, but the riding was punishingly rocky, and not particularly fun. It begs for a downhill rig.

    Oct 6: Gold bar rim to Portal trail in am, then drive back to AZ in the evening.

    We needed to get out of town by noon, and didn't think we could do the Gold bar ride in time, so we opted to do slickrock again. Started before dawn with lights and did the main and practice loops in the opposite direction of our last ride. A really good time. Driving out to AZ by 10:30.

    Thanks again for the advice. Moab was extremely strenuous and demanding on both bodies and equipment. Views were unbeatable.

Similar Threads

  1. what is sierra club's stance on wilderness?
    By head in forum Riding Passion
    Replies: 67
    Last Post: 03-01-2005, 07:03 AM
  2. Trail Rage - Jogger pepper sprays two cyclists..
    By Fixeyfreeride in forum Riding Passion
    Replies: 124
    Last Post: 12-23-2004, 06:48 PM
  3. Shelving Rock Falls Big Loop info?
    By Adirondack Blues in forum New York - New Jersey
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-11-2004, 12:35 PM
  4. Proposed Skeggs Trail Management Plan
    By font9a in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-04-2004, 08:35 AM
  5. RR: Jeep Safari Week in Moab
    By bock in forum Utah
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-13-2004, 11:52 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.