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  1. #1
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    More Mag 7 Questions

    Sooo, I'm heading up to Moab next weekend to do some riding with some friends from CO and I'm heading up from Sedona (kind of a lil 1/2 way hangout spot). We're planning on doing some riding on Saturday and I have some questions about Mag 7 as I'm a lil confused at the moment. We would be starting out from the Bull Run trail.
    My buddy is bringing his girlfriend so I need to find out how to exit the trail before the crazy last parts because she is not as skilled as us or in shape for the last parts. I heard there was a way to exit on a jeep trail or road or something to cut the last few extreme parts out? If not I'm gonna talk them into the Slickrock trail instead cause I know that's at least a shorter trek. Or else maybe making a loop of the first few trails on Mag 7? Soo confused and soo many options haha.

  2. #2
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    Magnificent 7 Trail

    Basically where Little Canyon ends and meets up with Gold Bar (both ST and Jeep 4x4), you can instead exist out via Gemini Bridges road. Its not the most fun trail, and does have a bit of climbing involved. But it is a 2wd jeep road (clearance issues more than needing 4wd). You end up across Rt-191 from the Brand Trails / Bar M. Can take a tunnel over to those if you want more riding.

    Alternatively, you could ride uphill on Gemini Bridges road back to your car at Bull Run. Or ride up one of the other trails on that half of Mag-7 as well (like Arths or Getaway).

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    So...Your talking about the Portal trail? It can be walked, its pretty short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nord1899 View Post
    Magnificent 7 Trail

    Basically where Little Canyon ends and meets up with Gold Bar (both ST and Jeep 4x4), you can instead exist out via Gemini Bridges road. Its not the most fun trail, and does have a bit of climbing involved. But it is a 2wd jeep road (clearance issues more than needing 4wd). You end up across Rt-191 from the Brand Trails / Bar M. Can take a tunnel over to those if you want more riding.

    Alternatively, you could ride uphill on Gemini Bridges road back to your car at Bull Run. Or ride up one of the other trails on that half of Mag-7 as well (like Arths or Getaway).
    This is the advice you want.

    1) Exit out Gemini.

    2) Do as a loop. Beware. It's a credit card ride that way. Descend first and then climb out.

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    And I would add, exit out Gemini Bridges Road down to Rt 191, is a HUGE let down after the fun you've had doing the first half of Mag 7.

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    You know what's also a huge letdown? Watching your girlfriend (or anybody in your party) run out of food, water, and completely meltdown while you are somewhere halfway through the Golden Spike section.

  7. #7
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    Re: More Mag 7 Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by charcist View Post
    You know what's also a huge letdown? Watching your girlfriend (or anybody in your party) run out of food, water, and completely meltdown while you are somewhere halfway through the Golden Spike section.
    That seems to happen to dozens of people every day all across this state.

    Did this person in your party not realize their consumption rate was going to leave them dry before the end of the ride?
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  8. #8
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    Yea so the Gemini Rd. exit is a big let down so gonna scratch that.
    How would hitting the first few trails and maybe adding in Getaway and returning back to the parking at Bull Run go? Like I said I was a lil confused because MTBProject first listed the Mag 7 as a 14.6mi trail and once I actually sat down to read the description it turned into a 20+ mi with extreme stuff towards the end. I'd definitely be in trouble if I end up having a hand in killing my friends' girl. And we both have cars so not even sure if we could make it down the Gemini Rd. exit either.
    Would Slickrock be too tough for a beginner? When I have more time by myself I'm definitely doing all the epic trails there.

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    I can only comment on the first half, as that is what I have done, exiting out via Gemini Bridges Road down to Rt 191.

    But, you don't have to do the extreme stuff, that is Portal. You can continue onto Poison Spider and exit out that way. Though it is more of a Jeep trail (4wd not 2wd like Gemini Bridges is). With a proper parking lot at the bottom.
    Either way, going down Gemini Bridges or finishing up at Poison Spider, you'll want to leave car at the end.

    Others can comment on which route would be best for an out-n-back from the top.

    Slickrock is IMO, do it once to experience it, but I have no intention of going back.

    Depending on how beginner the people in your group are, might be worth looking at the following, from easy to harder:
    Moab Brand Trails
    Klondike Bluffs Area Trails, Moab Utah
    Sovereign Area Biking Trails in Moab Utah

  10. #10
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    So as far as parking goes I'll follow the directions in the MTBProject app to get to Bull Run trail start but to park the exit shuttle do you come up Gemini Bridges Rd. from hwy 191 or 313 (the way you get to the start of bull run)?

  11. #11
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    Gonna try to end the trip after doing Little Canyon. So start @ Bull Run on Gemini Bridges Rd. and Hwy 313. Then exit off after completing Little Canyon if that's possible, and have the shuttle parked there?

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    Another moderate loop option is to park at the junction of hwy 191 and 313. Ride up 313 4.1 miles until you hit the 7-Up trail which takes you to the top of Gemini bridges. Start at Bull Run then exit out to Gemini Bridges Rd where Little Canyon ends as described above. Take 191 north (trail by hwy?) back to your car.
    7-Up is a little difficult to find but is described very well in utahmountainbiking.com

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    Does the end of Little Canyon connect to Gemini Bridges Rd.? Or do I need to take a left on Gold Bar Rim 4x4 rd to Gemini Bridges Rd where I can park the shuttle?

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    First, just to let you know, depending on the day of the week, you may be able to get a shuttle like Porcupine Shuttle or Coyote to drop your party off at the top of Gemini Bridges Road. Typically you follow the van out of town and park (leave a car) at the Brands trail head. Then, you bike out of the bottom of Gemini Bridges Rd at the end of your run and grab your vehicle. You can do the same yourself with 2 cars but then you have the drive at the end. The bike out the Bridges Rd isn't that bad - it is 5 miles.

    If you prefer to do a loop, I would park the car at Gemini Bridges coming in from the top. It is mostly smooth dirt road down to the Bridges parking lot. From there, bike a 1/4 mile down the road to the 4 way trail intersection. If you want the grand tour, go down Great Escape, up Little Canyon to Arth's. Then, you can climb up Getaway to Gemini Bridges Rd. Go right up the road, catch a small bit of 7-Up on your left to Bull Run trail head. Go down Bull Run to the car. I think it is like 18 to 20 miles doing that. If that is too much, skip the lower loops although they are fun. Either way, you end on a downhill run. Enjoy!

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    Is it possible to just do Bull Run, Bridges, Arth's Corner, and Little Canyon? I think even that distance may be pushing it for my friends girl but I really wanna do part of the Mag 7 and next time do the full run and Great Escape and Getaway also. But the beginning of Mag 7 (Bull,Bridges,Arth,Little) sounds like it's super easy and fun.

  16. #16
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    Oh and we will have 2 vehicles to shuttle, my friends' want to make it as cheap as possible so can't hire a van unfortunately.

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    Slickrock is not a beginner trail.

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    You probably should have a high clearance vehicle to park at the end of Little Canyon/Gold Bar Rim intersection. The roughest section for a vehicle is coming in from the bottom of the Bridges Road (from highway 191). Can you get your vehicle in from the top of the Bridges Rd all the way down there? I'm just not sure - there are a few rough spots. Basically, the Bridges Rd hits the start of Gold Bar Rim and the end of Little Canyon ST right after a steep down, which I believe is now a hard asphalt-like surface. There is some deepish sand at the bottom of this. May be a little confusing.

    Also, just bear in mind that Bull Run may throw in a few sections that a novice rider may not enjoy very much.

  19. #19
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    Yea planning is not my forte and Im driving myself nuts trying to plan this. If it was just me and my male friends this would be a no brainer smh

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clunacy View Post
    Yea planning is not my forte and Im driving myself nuts trying to plan this. If it was just me and my male friends this would be a no brainer smh
    Here is a good sight with some useful information: Moab Mountain Biking Trails - Moab mountain bike trail information and maps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glesoine View Post
    You probably should have a high clearance vehicle to park at the end of Little Canyon/Gold Bar Rim intersection. The roughest section for a vehicle is coming in from the bottom of the Bridges Road (from highway 191). Can you get your vehicle in from the top of the Bridges Rd all the way down there? I'm just not sure - there are a few rough spots. Basically, the Bridges Rd hits the start of Gold Bar Rim and the end of Little Canyon ST right after a steep down, which I believe is now a hard asphalt-like surface. There is some deepish sand at the bottom of this. May be a little confusing.

    Also, just bear in mind that Bull Run may throw in a few sections that a novice rider may not enjoy very much.
    I wouldn't ride any of Mag7 With a novice. Especially since you have to climb out. I've driven my subaru in Gemini. It's a little hair at the top. Sand is also an issue when you get further in. Would not drive a 2 wheel drive vehicle in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clunacy View Post
    Is it possible to just do Bull Run, Bridges, Arth's Corner, and Little Canyon? I think even that distance may be pushing it for my friends girl but I really wanna do part of the Mag 7 and next time do the full run and Great Escape and Getaway also. But the beginning of Mag 7 (Bull,Bridges,Arth,Little) sounds like it's super easy and fun.
    This is possible, although imo using Great Escape and skipping Arths is a better option. There is a sign at the bottom of Little Canyon that says something to the effect of "need and exit?" with directions out to gemini road and the brands. For effort, this would be a LOT easier than backtracking all the way back up the road to the top.

    Agree on taking a novice on mag 7. We can't diagnose how advanced your riders are. I will say that, while not as scenic, Getaway is a little easier than Bull Run. Getaway, Great Escape, Little Canyon out gemini would be the easiest way to do it, short of taking the road the whole way down.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyspoke View Post
    This is possible, although imo using Great Escape and skipping Arths is a better option. There is a sign at the bottom of Little Canyon that says something to the effect of "need and exit?" with directions out to gemini road and the brands. For effort, this would be a LOT easier than backtracking all the way back up the road to the top.

    Agree on taking a novice on mag 7. We can't diagnose how advanced your riders are. I will say that, while not as scenic, Getaway is a little easier than Bull Run. Getaway, Great Escape, Little Canyon out gemini would be the easiest way to do it, short of taking the road the whole way down.
    Okay so say I do your variation starting with Getaway, Great Escape Little Canyon to Rd, after exiting little canyon to Gemini Rd, would I ride back to the car at Great Escape down/up the road (not sure which way elevation goes) or do I park a car at the exit of little canyon? Some people were saying it might be a little rough to park a car in that area?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    I wouldn't ride any of Mag7 With a novice. Especially since you have to climb out. I've driven my subaru in Gemini. It's a little hair at the top. Sand is also an issue when you get further in. Would not drive a 2 wheel drive vehicle in there.
    Agree on this. If you're hauling any beginnerish folks out there I'd be sure they are experienced outdoorsy/hiker types that aren't going to get overwhelmed with the terrain and be cool just enjoying a day out in he desert potentially hiking lots of stuff. Much of early Mag 7 is very rolling terrain where having a lot of experience carrying momentum, dumping gears, using a dropper post, etc is a huge benefit. It's tough to put a beginner in those spots and not expect them to get frustrated. Between ledges, sand, and cactus, there are plenty of things to catch people off guard out there and inflict some pain. And honestly, the best parts of Mag7 are Blue Dot and Portal. The rest is really fun but it's all pretty typical Moab riding that you can get in a lot of other places. If cost of getting a shuttle is a concern I don't know that I'd want to be running two cars all over the place out there just to ride upper Mag stuff. I'd honestly say just go hit some of the great new Klondike or Brand trail stuff that allows easier bail out options and doesn't necessitate a bunch of shuttling. Save the full Mag experience for another time, it's worth it.
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clunacy View Post
    Okay so say I do your variation starting with Getaway, Great Escape Little Canyon to Rd, after exiting little canyon to Gemini Rd, would I ride back to the car at Great Escape down/up the road (not sure which way elevation goes) or do I park a car at the exit of little canyon? Some people were saying it might be a little rough to park a car in that area?
    Assuming you're using a shuttle, leave a car at the Brands trail head. When you get to Gemini road after Little canyon (you'll have some sandy jeep road to negotiate for a couple hundred yards out to Gemini) turn right (not left-a big hill immediately) and it's pretty easy pedaling for 2-3 miles. Then you have the climb and descent out. The climb as climbs go isn't bad, but it has about 4 false summits, is fairly boring, and comes at the end of lots of fun downhill, so is pretty anti-climatic.

    I wouldn't try getting a typical car to the exit of Little canyon unless it was a beater I didn't care about and was prepared to pay a lot of money for it to possibly be towed out. You CAN drive nearly anything from the top down to the bridges themselves. From there you could hop on Getaway and climb up to Bull Run. If folks are struggling here, you could turn around and call it a day, as Getaway is probably the easiest trail in the area. If they're doing good, head down Bull Run, Great escape, then climb Little canyon and Gemini (easier) or Arth's back to the car. That also means if someone is worked at the end of Bull run, the car is right there. If you go to utahmountainbiking.com and look at the trail descriptions (mostly the maps) I think you'll get the gist of what I'm suggesting.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  26. #26
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    I'm in Moab now and have been here for over a week. My wife and I produce the "Trail Analysis For Intermediates" MTB series on YouTube.

    Yesterday we took the Porcupine Shuttle ($25 each) from Poison Spider bike shop to the top of Gemini Bridges Road and rode Bull Run, Great Escape, Little Canyon (canyon abbreviated cyn on the map which some on the trail didn't understand) and returned to Moab via Gemini Bridges Road and the paved bike path. 24 miles, 1,300 ascent, 3,300 descent, to Moab Valley Resort on the Colorado River. Add 2 miles if you leave your vehicle at Poison Spider.

    1) Bull Run and Great Escape involve a lot of ledges. These are perfect intermediate trails because they are challenging at that level. One to two foot drops are so common that they seem endless. My wife is a careful and slow biker and can do most of them but if girlfriend isn't experienced in ledges then put her on the Moab Brand Trails 9 miles north of Moab.

    2) My wife loved the trails but I had to wait for her often. She agreed that this ride was a great way to experience her 19th wedding anniversary. We saw two other women on this ride so I suspect that most women would not agree. (We saw maybe 2 dozen riders and one severe injury that required rescue.)

    3) The many miles back to Highway 191 on Gemini Bridges Road is scenic but an effort that a beginner would probably hate. The sand is significant and the loose rock is not fun for anyone. The climb near the end isn't that steep but by then most riders are running low on energy. Pretty much everyone thinks that this part of the ride sucks.

    4) Bikes with > 5" of travel are preferred. We met a guy with a hard tail and he was ready to throw the bike off a cliff. This is a jarring series of trails that requires big squish bikes. We were riding on our cross country 4" travel 26" wheel bikes and they suck compared to the trail bikes with 29" we demoed at Outerbike here last weekend.

    5) Slick Rock Trail can be done by experienced intermediates with some hike-a-bike and beginners can enjoy the first few hundred yards. There is 3,800 feet of elevation gain in 10.5 miles and it is a lot more strenuous than 3,800" would be most places. I taught my wife to bike in that first few hundred yards over a decade ago but there were no other options here then.

    6) Moab Brand Trails / Bar M is a great system of trails that includes family / beginner trails on slick rock to advanced. This area is 9 miles north of Moab on Highway 191 and a perfect place to get started. Start here with girlfriend. Move on to Klonzo for intermediate biking.

    For local advice the staff at Poison Spider bike shop is the best. There are four bike shops in Moab and all are very good.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    5) Slick Rock Trail can be done by experienced intermediates with some hike-a-bike and beginners can enjoy the first few hundred yards. There is 3,800 feet of elevation gain in 10.5 miles and it is a lot more strenuous than 3,800" would be most places. I taught my wife to bike in that first few hundred yards over a decade ago but there were no other options here then.
    No where near that elevation gain. Even from Town. It is, however, a great workout. Sort of like interval training!

    <iframe height='405' width='590' frameborder='0' allowtransparency='true' scrolling='no' src='http://www.strava.com/activities/54271456/embed/1c47530faeddc845c8dd001f450ed554e33cd926'></iframe>

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    As a person often required to give trail advice I can see visitors confusion when the talk comes to Mag 7 logistics. Much simpler, and possibly with greater rewards for the tourist, is to channel them to the Brands or Klondike.

    While originally conceived as a complete ride, today the system is practically divided into two sections, technically, physically and emotionally very diffirent: Bull Run/Great Escape and all their connectors and variations. And then the demanding Blue Dot/Portal.

    By far the most common way of executing a Mag 7 ride is to shuttle to the top via 191/313, then bail out on the Gemini road to the Brands trails or actually do the complete Mag 7. The latter is a ride similar in scope to the Whole Enchilada, although a notch up in technical difficulty.

    A really good option for folks with capable vehicles is to drive to a point within the trail system and ride loops or figure eights, omitting the rim/portal. Others with pedaling legs get creative using 7 Up, Long Canyon, Poison Spider.

  29. #29
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    Alright so upon further consideration I'm gonna save Mag 7 for when I'm up there by myself and have no beginners with. For the Klondike area I'm only seeing a super easy loop and a blackdiamond loop on mtbproject same with the brands area. Couple other trails I've seen which I'm hoping may be easier but not too easy are Dead Horse Point Tour and Monitor Merrimac. I'm trying to keep the difficulty in the intermediate range that's why when Mag 7 popped up on the top of the list with a blue square I was like score!

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    Try skidmap.com instead for Utah trail maps. Also, both Klondike and Brand area are *very* well signed, with maps at just about every intersection, so you can easily piece together rides on the fly, depending on how things are going. Klonzo area is very beginner oriented (more beginner trails than at Brand or Klondike), with extensive trail map signage. There is also a newer network of trails at Klonzo south of the Willow Flats road that doesn't show on Skidmap. For beginners, your best bet will definitely be Klonzo or Dead Horse, Klondike, Brand - in that order. For a more intermediate rider, Klonzo is likely a bit boring - you can find more challenging trails at Klondike and Brand, or you can easily hit Sovereign from the Klonzo parking lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clunacy View Post
    Alright so upon further consideration I'm gonna save Mag 7 for when I'm up there by myself and have no beginners with. For the Klondike area I'm only seeing a super easy loop and a blackdiamond loop on mtbproject same with the brands area. Couple other trails I've seen which I'm hoping may be easier but not too easy are Dead Horse Point Tour and Monitor Merrimac. I'm trying to keep the difficulty in the intermediate range that's why when Mag 7 popped up on the top of the list with a blue square I was like score!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clunacy View Post
    Alright so upon further consideration I'm gonna save Mag 7 for when I'm up there by myself and have no beginners with. For the Klondike area I'm only seeing a super easy loop and a blackdiamond loop on mtbproject same with the brands area. Couple other trails I've seen which I'm hoping may be easier but not too easy are Dead Horse Point Tour and Monitor Merrimac. I'm trying to keep the difficulty in the intermediate range that's why when Mag 7 popped up on the top of the list with a blue square I was like score!
    Use local websites like Skidmap.com or Utahmountainbiking.com.

    Moab Area Trails
    Klondike Bluffs Area Trails, Moab Utah
    Sovereign Area Biking Trails in Moab Utah

    I like the Klondike trail system, preferring the north entrance over the south. Your beginner should do okay for an out-n-back on Dino Flow. But the more advanced folks could go up Alaska and down whatever they want, playing on pretty much the rest of the trails.

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    Jwind, I've rode it with a Garmin 60 CSX which is a pro grade GPS and the result was 3,800' of ascent. Many riders have agreed with me on this metric for years. However, I'm highly suspicious of this measurement. Strava metrics are well-known to have significant errors due to the use of cell phones and low-end GPS units.

    Whatever, this thread is about Mag 7. I didn't use my Garmin on this route. I used my iPhone 5s with MotionX. The tracking is pretty good but ascent and descent can be off as much as 15% from the 60 CSX.

    Jim

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    So I've printed out the following
    Klondike System: Dino-Flow (round trip on it from N Entrance), connect mega steps to Alaska

    Dead Horse Point Tour

    and some other misc. trails Sovereign and Monitor Merrimac and Great Escape/Getaway

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    Dead Horse is good for a beginner or for "I'm tired and want an easy day" ride. At least the older, east side, Intrepid system is. I've not been there to ride the new west side trails.

    Biggest thing is, it costs money to enter Dead Horse. I believe its like $10 per car.

    Rest of the trail systems have no charge: Klondike, Sovereign, Brand, Monitor/Merrimac, etc.

    Though on that note, Slickrock has a charge as well.

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    @Clunacy We haven't rode Dead Horse but it is highly recommended for beginners and low intermediates. I'm hearing about it daily on the trails here in Moab but we don't have time to ride it on this trip. We're getting too many rain / lightning days.

    If the rain threat backs off we'll try the new Klonzo system today which is all intermediate. We'll be on Klondike tomorrow (Friday).

    Do not ride Sovereign with a beginner / low intermediate. It is a challenging trail due to sand and some rock situations. Too much walking for them compared to other trails. I'm also hearing that the Salt Wash / Sovereign trails are a mess from the rains a week ago.

    There are great maps available in all the bike shops in Moab for $2 - $3 and the money goes to trail building. They show the general difficulty levels with the usual green, blue, and black markers and are better than what I've seen on the Web. The bike shop people will draw recommendations on the map just for your needs. My preference for that is Poison Spider bikes on the north end of Moab but I also use Chili Pepper and Moab Cyclery.

    Come here and plan your trip. In 20 minutes you'll have everything sorted out.

    Jim

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    Forgot I also printed out Klonzo upper loop too. And on the Dead Horse Tour Trail it has almost 5 star reviews on mtbproject.com but looking at the videos on Youtube it looks to be a fairly flat tame trail, it's gonna be the backup plan if the rest are too hard. Can't wait to actually get up there and start riding, even if it's a little less technical than I'm used to in Sedona. Thanks for all the pointers, think my friends rented bikes at Chili Peppers so definitely gonna bring my stack of papers and get some more feedback when I roll in.
    Is the town busy right now? I'll be getting into Moab around 8-9pm tomorrow night (friday). Gonna hunt down a camping spot and hit the trails first thing Sat. morning : )

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    @nord1899 I met many good riders at Outerbike last weekend who said that the new trails on Dead Horse are fun to ride. We like at least some technical challenges, not just flow through junipers, and I'm being told that this exists now at Dead Horse. If the lightning threat backs off today we may ride them along with Klonzo. We're not into riding exposed terrain with lightning but many riders do it anyway.

    Jim

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    It will be busy, this is Moab prime time. Note that there is a 3 day race going on this weekend - Porcupine Saturday, Klondike trails Sunday, Mag 7 on Monday will have racers.

    Moab Rocks - TransRockies Race Series by TransRockies Events

    Quote Originally Posted by Clunacy View Post
    Forgot I also printed out Klonzo upper loop too. And on the Dead Horse Tour Trail it has almost 5 star reviews on mtbproject.com but looking at the videos on Youtube it looks to be a fairly flat tame trail, it's gonna be the backup plan if the rest are too hard. Can't wait to actually get up there and start riding, even if it's a little less technical than I'm used to in Sedona. Thanks for all the pointers, think my friends rented bikes at Chili Peppers so definitely gonna bring my stack of papers and get some more feedback when I roll in.
    Is the town busy right now? I'll be getting into Moab around 8-9pm tomorrow night (friday). Gonna hunt down a camping spot and hit the trails first thing Sat. morning : )

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    @Clunacy

    We spent too much money at Chili Pepper this trip :-) My wife converted to flats from SPD pedals.

    I would suggest trying to get lodging / camping sites here now instead of walking in. I think there is an event here. This is a busy time of year. I just asked the reservations folks at Moab Valley Resort and they said no cabins this weekend and only a few tent sites left.

    Weather should improve Friday.

    Jim

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    I really want to stay at a BLM site, thinking either down 128 or Kane Creek. But yea if it's busy I may rethink this especially since I'm arriving after dark on friday.

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    So I checked out mtbproject.com and not so sure I agree with their green-blue-black ratings on stuff.

    For others, here is the Moab link: Mountain Bike Trails near Moab, Utah

    Like others have said, check out local resources more. And don't just rely on this one website.

  42. #42
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    More Mag 7 Questions

    MTBProject isn't a map. It's an IMBA ride guide. It's nowhere near comprehensive, and doesn't pretend to be. For what it is, it's pretty decent, but you have to understand what the resource you're using actually is.

    Skidmap is by far the best internet map resource for Moab and quite a few other places. It has also been folded into TrailForks, and the Skidmap URL will be defunct in the future (per their FB). Utahmountainbiking.com is the best source of detailed descriptions of trails, but not always 100% on.

    I agree with the advice re: not taking beginners to Sovereign. There are a couple pretty stiff climbs, and a lot of sand in spots. And if it's seen recent moto traffic, it can be pretty loose. Sovereign's reputation hasn't kept up with the times, IMO. It seemed awesome back in the 2000s when Moab had relatively little singletrack, but that's not the case anymore. I don't bother with it anymore.

    If you want to ride on rock with beginners, skip Slickrock and go to Bartlett's Wash. You won't see as many people, there's no admission charge, the views are great, and it's a lot of fun for all abilities. The area is loaded with ledges and steeps if you look for them, but offers big broad sweeping rock expanses for beginners.

  43. #43
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    The Klondike stuff is pretty great for all levels. I haven't ridden some of the newer trails that I've heard some really good things about but I really enjoyed Mega Steps, EKG, etc. There's a few nice tech bits in the main lines and several open areas where you can play around and find challenging ledges to climb and drop.

    I'd be curious to hear other's opinions on this but I'd say don't discount Pipe Dream right in town as a cool bonus ride if part of your crew wants to relax or shop and you want to pedal for an hour or two. I had a lot of fun on it but I love tight twisty slow speed tech riding. There's no crazy moves but it's definitely a ride that keeps you active on the bike. Definitely beats just walking around on Main Street if you're not in the mood to do that.

    For camping, be prepared to have some challenges finding a spot. Rolling in Friday night this time of year is a recipe for trouble if you're expecting just to pull into an easy to access spot. Maybe just go right up to Sand Flats and see if there's a decent amount of room at one of the overflow camping areas and setup shop? $10 per night per car is cheap and it beats driving down the river looking for spots and getting shutout or heading way out Kane Creek trying to get to the dispersed stuff. I suspect all the loop sites at Sand Flats will be full and there's a chance the overflow may be as well. The sites on loop G are amazing if you can get one and sometimes people are scared off by the 4x4 recommended signs. I can vouch for it being fine with cars if you take it slow-ish.
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    I'd be curious to hear other's opinions on this but I'd say don't discount Pipe Dream right in town as a cool bonus ride if part of your crew wants to relax or shop and you want to pedal for an hour or two. I had a lot of fun on it but I love tight twisty slow speed tech riding. There's no crazy moves but it's definitely a ride that keeps you active on the bike. Definitely beats just walking around on Main Street if you're not in the mood to do that.
    Agreed.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    I'd honestly say just go hit some of the great new Klondike or Brand trail stuff that allows easier bail out options and doesn't necessitate a bunch of shuttling. Save the full Mag experience for another time, it's worth it.
    This. There's lots of fun beginner to intermediate trails at both of those trail heads that you all can enjoy. If you want something with more of a view, try the Intrepid trails up at Dead Horse Point. Nice loop. Safe distance from the edge for beginners. Lots of bailouts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    Jwind, I've rode it with a Garmin 60 CSX which is a pro grade GPS and the result was 3,800' of ascent. Many riders have agreed with me on this metric for years. However, I'm highly suspicious of this measurement. Strava metrics are well-known to have significant errors due to the use of cell phones and low-end GPS units.
    I just looked at my 7 catalogued rides on Slickrock on Strava and Garmin Connect (using a Garmin unit). They are all between 9 and 10 miles for the entire lollipop loop and are all under 2000'. Though it does feel like more climbing than that due to the punchy nature of all the climbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nord1899 View Post
    But, you don't have to do the extreme stuff, that is Portal. You can continue onto Poison Spider and exit out that way.
    Do not do this. It may be technically easier than Portal, but it's about 10 times longer and a bajillion times sandier.

    The first time I rode Blue Dot, I was skeered of Portal, so we did this alternate exit out Poison Spider. The rest of our group that went down Portal waited for us for an hour at the Poison Spider Parking Lot.

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    If you want a beginner to have a great 1st riding experience, Dead Horse is THE place to do it. Not so flat that it's boring, there are small "challenges" every minute or so. Views are tops too. If you are an experienced rider, you won't be bored there either. Those trails are fantastic, and your newb will get some miles under their belt, and have fun while doing it. This will ensure they'll be eager for a 2nd ride, instead of being turned off of MTB.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahJohn View Post
    If you want a beginner to have a great 1st riding experience, Dead Horse is THE place to do it. Not so flat that it's boring, there are small "challenges" every minute or so. Views are tops too. If you are an experienced rider, you won't be bored there either. Those trails are fantastic, and your newb will get some miles under their belt, and have fun while doing it. This will ensure they'll be eager for a 2nd ride, instead of being turned off of MTB.
    Seconded. Taking the wife to Dead Horse Point in a couple weeks.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

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    There's not a medium or large rental bike available for walk-in folks at our shop this weekend. Most hotels show no vacancy. Sand Flats camping filled up at 3pm today, Wednesday.

    It's high season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    I2) My wife loved the trails but I had to wait for her often. She agreed that this ride was a great way to experience her 19th wedding anniversary. We saw two other women on this ride so I suspect that most women would not agree. (We saw maybe 2 dozen riders and one severe injury that required rescue.)


    Jim
    I'll have to disagree with you on that...

    My boyfriend and I recently rode the mag 7 trails to blue dot to portal as part of a 9 day mtb trip. It was our favorite ride of the trip mostly due to the technical and backcountry feel of the blue dot to portal section of the ride. I personally didn't think the mag 7 trails were hard. Everthing was rollable. They were fun and fast and I honestly don't know why people would want to ride out the gemini bridges trail when you could just ride back on Great Escape and Getaway. The climbing in that area is pretty minimal.
    Blue dot was awesome b/c it really tests your technical riding skills… plus there was no one else on the trail, which is always a bonus when riding out in Moab.

  52. #52
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    Did Mag 7 route last week ending with Blue Dot/Portal.

    That ride is legit. No way, no how would I recommend any beginner/intermediate taking that route. Gnar and tech aside, route finding, exposure, and fitness level are the coveted attributes when on this ride.

    Wow.

    2 years ago we did the Gemini Bridges bailout over to the Brand Trails and it nearly turned into a death march.

    The Blue Dot/Portal route is, IMO, a much better way to finish off the ride.

  53. #53
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    @kinsler OK, so you are one of the rare women who would celebrate a wedding anniversary on Mag 7 :-) Such women are in high demand!

    I doubt we would ride out Gemini Bridges again. We would park our truck at the bottom of the trail system and climb to the top of Bull Run and then ride it. Gemini and the bike path back to Moab are too boring and a waste of time.

    From what I was hearing from riders who did Blue Dot it is probably too strenuous for us. We've rode most of Portal before. Nice adventure!

    Jim

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    We rode the Deadhorse trails on both sides of the mesa a few days ago and the many recommendations are spot on. While the tread is mostly beginner with some ledgy intermediate they are flowy and fun to ride and there were many advanced riders on them. We never saw a beginner out of the couple dozen riders we encountered.

    The trails are something like Lazy and EZ with a few more intermediate ledges and some nice overlooks with big views.

    My wife was happy for the break from the more technical trails.

    $10 to get into the park but nice visitor center with a coffee shop and food. The parking lot was almost full on a weekday but it being enlarged now. No roadside parking so parking could be an issue for a few more weeks. Most of the vehicles in the parking lot were MTBers.

    Jim

  55. #55
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    I don't care what you are GPSing with. You have to be delusional to think Slickrock is 3800 feet of climbing!

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilether View Post
    I just looked at my 7 catalogued rides on Slickrock on Strava and Garmin Connect (using a Garmin unit). They are all between 9 and 10 miles for the entire lollipop loop and are all under 2000'. Though it does feel like more climbing than that due to the punchy nature of all the climbs.
    Same here.

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    Mag 5

    Just got back from Moab and we rode what I'll call Mag 5. Bull Run to Great Escape to Little Canyon then climbed back to the truck via Arths Corners and Getaway.
    This was about 18 miles and 1500 feet of climbing. We were a group of advanced but White Haired riders. Take your time and this is quite an enjoyable route.
    It shouldn't be a problem for Intermediate riders. It's in the desert, be prepared.

  58. #58
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    @Roy Miller,

    1,500' is rather gentle climbing. We used more energy to pedal out Gemini Bridges Road and then coast down the paved bike path 26 miles to the river. Next year we'll use your suggestion.

    I'm trying to recover from two weeks of Moab MTB heaven but struggling. The local trails in the SF South Bay Area just aren't that exciting. Looking forward to the Fruita Fat Tire Festival next April.

    Jim

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    So the trip went relatively well, and in retrospect if I would have tried the Mag 7 or Slickrock it would have been a very very bad trip. Ended up going to the Klondike area and pedaling up Jurassic and some of the easy loops, which even those were too much for our beginner. She ended up walking back down Jurassic while me and a buddy hit Dino-Flow and inadvertently joined a race that was happening that day haha. I was doing good then on a little tech climb I turned around to see my buddy 4 ft in the air parallel to the ground facing the sky and BLAM! He hit, landed on his back and ruined my unofficial race place : P . Camping was full everywhere in town too was definitely busy but the weather was perfect. Planning on going by myself next time and doing Mag 7 and Porcupine Rim, and I honestly can't wait. Until then I'll be pedaling around Sedona for the winter : )

  60. #60
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    I'll pile on the Dead Horse Point Intrepid Trail recommendations. Wife & I rode there last weekend & had a blast. Big outer loop is super flowy ridden counter clockwise, views are epic, and although not super technically challenging, we had a blast!


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