Moab, 3 days, end or july?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Moab, 3 days, end or july?

    I read some threads and it seems like the two best rides in Moab are the whole enchilada and the hymasa/captain ahab/rockstacker/etc area. I also read that mid summer you have to start at 6am and still split TWE enchilada up into two days, saving porcupine rim for day 2. So if I have three early mornings to ride, would my best bet be:

    1. Burro to LPS/sand flats rd
    2. Porcupine rim
    3. Hymasa to pothole arch to rockstacker to captain ahab

    Or would you recommend something different? Also I only had two days which should I drop? And finally what's a ballpark time each day would take the average tourist rider? Thanks!

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    It's November.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    It's November.
    And I'm on paternity leave with abundant free time, I won't be in one more month

  4. #4
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    July is awfully hot, even the locals leave. Winter is the secret best time to be in Moab, I love the red rock with the occasional contrast of snow and ice - it's a special time to be there. If you've never been to Moab, scheduling a trip around one trail is silly. There are dozens of amazing rides that aren't TWE that will be open. The Hymasa stuff is awesome this time of year, Mag 7 can be great, and the klondike / sovereign / brand stuff is wonderful in the winter. Slickrock is a classic and as long as it isn't icy, is great year round. Even Poison Spider, a trail that I HATE in the summer because it is basically an uphill sand pit, is great in the winter - the sand is frozen and it is just super fun.
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    Thanks but I can't go in the winter, I'm going to a wedding the last week of July and will be in the area. I know it's not ideal but it's better than not going at all

    Quote Originally Posted by chuky View Post
    July is awfully hot, even the locals leave. Winter is the secret best time to be in Moab, I love the red rock with the occasional contrast of snow and ice - it's a special time to be there. If you've never been to Moab, scheduling a trip around one trail is silly. There are dozens of amazing rides that aren't TWE that will be open. The Hymasa stuff is awesome this time of year, Mag 7 can be great, and the klondike / sovereign / brand stuff is wonderful in the winter. Slickrock is a classic and as long as it isn't icy, is great year round. Even Poison Spider, a trail that I HATE in the summer because it is basically an uphill sand pit, is great in the winter - the sand is frozen and it is just super fun.

  6. #6
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    TWE can certainly be done in one day. No need to split it into two days. Yes, July will be hot down in the lower part, but still likely nice and cool in the upper part considering you are starting at or near the treeline at 11,250 feet elevation as you cross burro pass.

    Hymasa/Amasa/Pothole Arch then back along Amasa and down Ahab is a great ride, and enough for most people without adding rockstacker in there, which I feel is a bit out of the loop. There is one other option on that ride to head up the mostly slickrock climb to the ridge/cliff that overlooks the potash plant for a cool view.

  7. #7
    YRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by marving View Post
    I read some threads and it seems like the two best rides in Moab are the whole enchilada and the hymasa/captain ahab/rockstacker/etc area. I also read that mid summer you have to start at 6am and still split TWE enchilada up into two days, saving porcupine rim for day 2. So if I have three early mornings to ride, would my best bet be:

    1. Burro to LPS/sand flats rd
    2. Porcupine rim
    3. Hymasa to pothole arch to rockstacker to captain ahab

    Or would you recommend something different? Also I only had two days which should I drop? And finally what's a ballpark time each day would take the average tourist rider? Thanks!
    Average tourist rider does not belong in Moab in July. Wait til you can do it right

  8. #8
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    I love riding in the desert and can typically deal with the heat pretty well but doing the whole Amasa/Pothole/Rockstacker/Hymasa/Lower Ahab route anywhere between June and August wouldn't be something I would look forward to. There are just too many "what if" scenarios involved. If you can legitimately be pedaling by 6am (earlier would be better) and you are comfortable riding a good consistent pace in very technical terrain then maybe. You just have to keep in mind you are one mechanical or injury away from a potentially deadly situation. We had a group ride out there last month and one in our group broke his rim on wall ride way out by Pothole. It made for a long hike out for him but it was a mild day in October so outside the bummer of having to hike back out, no big deal. If this happened on a 105 degree day in July it would have been a huge problem. As much as I love Rockstacker I would say plan on just doing Amasa/Hymasa up and Ahab down. Maybe if weather works out and you catch a week with highs in the high 80s and low 90s you could do more but keep in mind that there is little shelter out there and when the heat is reflecting off the rock it will feel hotter than the air temp might indicate. Hell, climb Amasa first then drop Ahab and if you need more climb Hymasa to the Ahab midpoint and drop lower Ahab a second time. This gives you some great riding but keeps you much closer to an escape point. Once you commit to Pothole you're getting really far from a bail out point.

    Burro to Sand Flats is definitely the way to go in the summer and I would still keep an open mind to bailing earlier if heat is becoming an issue. Catch the earliest shuttle you can find and keep in mind that a 7am shuttle won't likely having you on the descent portion of the ride til 9am. Even if you are keeping a pretty good pace you are going to be on trail when the heat hits. I actually prefer dropping the jeep road to Sand Flats over continuing down Porc any time of year so don't let that discourage you. Again though, keep tabs on your alternate and bail out options. UPS and LPS are likely going to be getting pretty hot. Once you hit the bail out point after LPS you still have several miles of high speed, technical jeep road to get to Sand Flats and several miles of cruising on Sand Flats to get out. If temps are favorable hit the new Jimmy Keen singletrack after Hazard for a nice add on loop that will dump you out at the start of UPS.

    I wouldn't even consider wasting time with a shuttle on Porc in the summer. The doubletrack up top is long and washboardy with a few fun moves but they are few and far between on a pretty crappy jeep road. The singletrack down is fun and scenic but it's not very long. If you really want to check it out just park at the bottom and climb it up (early morning again to avoid traffic that might be coming down and hot temperatures). It's actually a fun technical climb and then turn around and enjoy the descent. To me that is a much better use of your time than the shuttle option.

    While riding down there in the summer isn't impossible, it does take a bit more planning and attention. Be pedaling by 6am, plan on rides under 3 hours if you can, really stay on top of your hydration and nutrition for a good week in advance and while you are there, and always keep in mind the consequences of having an unforeseen problem before you choose to add more riding or do something over your head. If this is your one shot to get there I think you almost have to do it, just give the desert the respect it deserves and you should have a good time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    Average tourist rider does not belong in Moab in July. Wait til you can do it right





    tourist doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing, it just means I'm visiting. If you think TWE is a bad idea for a non local in July fine, but to say don't come at all just seems like terrible advice. I'm literally driving through on my way back to SLC so there's no way I'm not going to stop for a couple days, it's just a matter of what to ride given the circumstances.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by marving View Post
    tourist doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing, it just means I'm visiting. If you think TWE is a bad idea for a non local in July fine, but to say don't come at all just seems like terrible advice. I'm literally driving through on my way back to SLC so there's no way I'm not going to stop for a couple days, it's just a matter of what to ride given the circumstances.
    July is a good time to camp and ride in the La Sals. "Don't come in July" wasn't a tourist jab. I would say that to anyone. July is a bad time to ride any of Moab's best trails.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    I love riding in the desert and can typically deal with the heat pretty well but doing the whole Amasa/Pothole/Rockstacker/Hymasa/Lower Ahab route anywhere between June and August wouldn't be something I would look forward to. There are just too many "what if" scenarios involved. If you can legitimately be pedaling by 6am (earlier would be better) and you are comfortable riding a good consistent pace in very technical terrain then maybe. You just have to keep in mind you are one mechanical or injury away from a potentially deadly situation. We had a group ride out there last month and one in our group broke his rim on wall ride way out by Pothole. It made for a long hike out for him but it was a mild day in October so outside the bummer of having to hike back out, no big deal. If this happened on a 105 degree day in July it would have been a huge problem. As much as I love Rockstacker I would say plan on just doing Amasa/Hymasa up and Ahab down. Maybe if weather works out and you catch a week with highs in the high 80s and low 90s you could do more but keep in mind that there is little shelter out there and when the heat is reflecting off the rock it will feel hotter than the air temp might indicate. Hell, climb Amasa first then drop Ahab and if you need more climb Hymasa to the Ahab midpoint and drop lower Ahab a second time. This gives you some great riding but keeps you much closer to an escape point. Once you commit to Pothole you're getting really far from a bail out point.

    Burro to Sand Flats is definitely the way to go in the summer and I would still keep an open mind to bailing earlier if heat is becoming an issue. Catch the earliest shuttle you can find and keep in mind that a 7am shuttle won't likely having you on the descent portion of the ride til 9am. Even if you are keeping a pretty good pace you are going to be on trail when the heat hits. I actually prefer dropping the jeep road to Sand Flats over continuing down Porc any time of year so don't let that discourage you. Again though, keep tabs on your alternate and bail out options. UPS and LPS are likely going to be getting pretty hot. Once you hit the bail out point after LPS you still have several miles of high speed, technical jeep road to get to Sand Flats and several miles of cruising on Sand Flats to get out. If temps are favorable hit the new Jimmy Keen singletrack after Hazard for a nice add on loop that will dump you out at the start of UPS.

    I wouldn't even consider wasting time with a shuttle on Porc in the summer. The doubletrack up top is long and washboardy with a few fun moves but they are few and far between on a pretty crappy jeep road. The singletrack down is fun and scenic but it's not very long. If you really want to check it out just park at the bottom and climb it up (early morning again to avoid traffic that might be coming down and hot temperatures). It's actually a fun technical climb and then turn around and enjoy the descent. To me that is a much better use of your time than the shuttle option.

    While riding down there in the summer isn't impossible, it does take a bit more planning and attention. Be pedaling by 6am, plan on rides under 3 hours if you can, really stay on top of your hydration and nutrition for a good week in advance and while you are there, and always keep in mind the consequences of having an unforeseen problem before you choose to add more riding or do something over your head. If this is your one shot to get there I think you almost have to do it, just give the desert the respect it deserves and you should have a good time.
    thanks, you sound like you know what you're talking about, appreciate all the details. interesting mix of opinions, one says don't come at all, another says do TWE in one shot, you say come but only do small bites at a time.

    any idea why shuttles wouldn't leave at 5am so people can be on the trails for sunrise at 6am and make the most of the cooler mornings?

    and would it really be faster/cooler to bike up/down porcupine singletrack rather than just shuttle to the top and go down the doubletrack? i'm assuming the doubletrack section is not uphill.. right? does it suck that bad that it's worth skipping altogether?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by marving View Post
    thanks, you sound like you know what you're talking about, appreciate all the details. interesting mix of opinions, one says don't come at all, another says do TWE in one shot, you say come but only do small bites at a time.

    any idea why shuttles wouldn't leave at 5am so people can be on the trails for sunrise at 6am and make the most of the cooler mornings?

    and would it really be faster/cooler to bike up/down porcupine singletrack rather than just shuttle to the top and go down the doubletrack? i'm assuming the doubletrack section is not uphill.. right? does it suck that bad that it's worth skipping altogether?
    The doubletrack section between LPS and Porky Rim propper is a mix of up and down as you go.
    For the most part "doubletrack" is a little misleading as it is truly built on a doubletrack road and you can in fact ride anywhere on it in sections, but most of it is a relatively well worn commonly followed singletrack trail through the doubletrack, if that makes sense.
    Sorry, I can't answer on the early shuttles since I have always done TWE in September or October, but they will schedule a shuttle just about any time as long as there are enough people to pay the way for it.

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