N. Klondike Bluffs route options???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    N. Klondike Bluffs route options???

    Our group has never ridden Klondike Bluffs. We will take an afternoon on our trip in mid-March to explore the north area of Klondike.

    Can someone suggest route options? We love technical and downhill but struggle with extended climbing. From what I've read I think we are interested in stuff like Mega Steps, Alaska, Nome, Homer, etc.

    Where should we park? Which one is the easiest "up" route? How should we link the trails to maximize our enjoyment?

    Thanks for any assistance!

  2. #2
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    Good parking at the trailhead right at the bottom of Megasteps. (funny they show the whole trail as black, when that first straight half mile or so is an easy pedal up a dead flat doubletrack now turned single.

    One of my favorite loops there is to go up Megasteps from there to the top/ridgeline of Alaska. This Megasteps portion would be the longest mostly sustained climb you would do on the loop.
    Then take Alaska across the ridge and down. (I believe this downhill section is a part of an Enduro race that is there. ) Nothing super gnarly on the down, but just fun and chunky.
    I'd stay on Alaska over to Nome and take Nome up and around it's "arc". It's a little bit of a climb up but it turns down pretty soon and that section is a fair bit more technical than what you just came down on Alaska.
    Depending on your energy level at this point you could either continue down alaska to Megasteps and complete your "lollipop" loop or head back up on Alaska again to go down the other leg of Nome or a little farther and down Homer then across Dino Flow back to where it meets Megasteps.

    Lots of fun to be had in that area. If you have time and don't mind a 10 minute walk to the "dino stomping grounds" there is a up on Alaska where you do this.
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  3. #3
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    Here's an overview that may give you some ideas:
    Klondike Bluffs Area Trails, Moab Utah
    I've always started at the south end and gone up and down such as:
    Klondike Bluffs north to EKG to go up Sidestep/Baby Steps, across UFO, Up Little Salty, north on Baby Steps to go down Megasteps and then up Nome, to Alaska, back south to go down Baby Steps to Dinoflow and back to the car....or some variation. If you don't go up and down a few times, there's really not that much climbing.

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  5. #5
    Yeti SB95c
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    The basic advice for N. Klondike is climb whatever and descend whatever. There are no generally preferred routes because it is all interesting and the descents are amazing whichever one you take.

    The only common advice is to ride the ridge line at the top of Alaska and enjoy the great view of Salt Valley! How you get there? Flip a coin. I've climbed and descended them all and can't find a preferred route even for me, and I'm picky.

    I'm a senior, overweight, slow, live at sea level, something like upper intermediate with occasional bouts of advanced, and don't get as much exercise as I should. I find the climbs to be interesting and not all that challenging. I don't recall ever stopping to rest there. I screw up a few technical sections sometimes and have to walk maybe 15'. So judge the climbs based on that.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  6. #6
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    Really helpful. Thanks a bunch!

    I have a map that shows multiple parking spots near the north end of Klondike. Does it matter if I park near the bottom of Homer or Mega Steps? Are both easy to access with an SUV?

  7. #7
    Yeti SB95c
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    It just doesn't matter :-) The farthest north has a toilet. Other than that there are no benefits to any of them. Riding Dino Flow is a good experience either way.

    The only real issue is mud. If it rained much recently you won't get to any of the TH's without a big 4WD. If you get past the first swamp then park at the first TH. From there take those easy trails to go where you want. Rather nice to start on those trails anyway.

    Primitive camping is close to the north TH.

    Bring your water. You won't find trout out there.

    I can't think of a bad trail anywhere in the Klondike Bluffs system. Just ride around until your legs can't take any more or you really need to get to the Moab Brewery for a burger and beer.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

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    If you have the need for more warm up on easier terrain, starting at Chilkoot (the first lot) might be better. If not, starting at the second one will cut out some flatter riding.

    " Northern Klondike Trailheads: On Highway 191 8.5 miles south of I-70 and 6.5 miles north of the southern Klondike Bluffs road (about 5 miles north of the airport), watch for a "Northern Klondike" sign at N38 49.504 W109 46.893. Turn east (toward the sandstone bluff). Keep to the right as the road winds south around a small hill. 1.2 miles from the highway as the road is heading east toward the bluff, the first parking zone is on your right. This is the Chilkoot Pass trailhead. Fork right on a fainter jeep road N38 49.103 W109 46.061, as the main road continues to the dinosaur tracks. At mile 1.6, you'll come to the trailhead for the Jasper and Agate loops (N38 49.087 W109 45.625) on your right. At 2.0 miles, you're at the bottom of Mega Steps at a larger parking area N38 49.179 W109 45.417."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    The only real issue is mud. If it rained much recently you won't get to any of the TH's without a big 4WD.
    In 2017 the entire north entrance road was graded, *two* very large parking lots installed, and a toilet added; should be accessible even in a 2wd sedan in a rainstorm. It's by far the best place to park, since there's never a lack of space, and it has a toilet. Singletrack starts right at the lot, less than a mile to the good stuff.

  10. #10
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    If you love technical, don't leave out EKG. It's the most technical trail there. And no sustained climbing, just up and down the whole way from one end of Klondike to the other.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ger View Post
    If you love technical, don't leave out EKG. It's the most technical trail there. And no sustained climbing, just up and down the whole way from one end of Klondike to the other.
    Oooohh. Very helpful.

  12. #12
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    Additional questions.

    When looking at Megasteps/ Alaska as a loop how do I maximize downhill and technical enjoyment? Counter clockwise?

    And, if I want to add the upper part of Nome to that loop, do I ride Nome clockwise?

  13. #13
    Yeti SB95c
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    As I mentioned earlier, it just doesn't matter. Dropping Alaska and Nome is different than the more slick rock intensive Mega and Baby Steps but all of those are equally as fun to descend. You'll see riders going up and down them.

    I haven't heard of a preferred direction for riding Nome and I don't have one.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  14. #14
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    Last ride went up Mega Steps to Alaska (CCW) then hit Nome (CW).

    Then I think we took EKG over to the south side and up Baby Steps, UFO then down Little Salty. (+- a few trails.) As other said you can ride as far or short as you like. Lots of loops, lots of fun.

    I'll be heading down there next time we have a warmer dry weekend.

  15. #15
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    The Nome loop(it's a horsehoe I guess) is signed clockwise. Its short but fun with some great tech spots on top and a nice downhill run after.
    Most of the trails are up and down to some extent. The exception is one called baby steps north. It's a short but fast downhill segment that can scream. Starts out gradual but keep the speed up and its a blast. I 'm smiling the whole way down. Careful, at high speeds some potholes and crevises come up fast. I would ride up megasteps to access it.
    And check out miner's loop, the downhill part of it is riotous.

    I like EKG but dang its a workout. It may not be extended climbing, but it is definitely climbing. It is split into 5 sections, and parallels Dynaflow as a bailout or return trail.
    I think Alaska is a must do, altho it's a longer harder ascent than Megasteps. So Alaska up,with a side trip on nome loop, back on alaska to babysteps north down to ekg and then a few segments of ekg and back on dynaflow would be a possibility.

  16. #16
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    @moabman, you're brutal :-)

    Yeah, I think dropping Baby Steps is better than climbing it. If you do the whole ride that @moabman suggests and live through it you are very fit. EKG has that name for a reason.

    :-)
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  17. #17
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    You all have me feeling excited and very comfortable with just winging it and exploring as we see fit.

    Again, thanks!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    You all have me feeling excited and very comfortable with just winging it and exploring as we see fit.
    Yep, you got it! Start somewhere, ride until you drop. KB is an amazing MTB playground!

    Riding that technical area along the bluff at the top of Alaska is spiritual.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ger View Post
    If you love technical, don't leave out EKG. It's the most technical trail there. And no sustained climbing, just up and down the whole way from one end of Klondike to the other.
    Yep, up and down.

    If you look at the elevation profile, you can see where the name comes from .

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