One Day Trip from Telluride to Moab- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    One Day Trip from Telluride to Moab

    Have a ski trip planned to Telluride, CO during the last week in February and as of right now the snow totals are way below average. Typically, I would do nothing but ski on a trip like this but if the conditions don't improve much from what they are now, myself and another guy on the trip are thinking of renting a car and mountain biking in Moab.

    Moab is a dream mtb trip for me ad I do plan on doing a longer trip in the future but for now would love some trail suggestions for a day trip from Telluride and also where the best place is to rent a bike and associated gear. I probably won't bring any mtb gear like, backpack, spare tubes, etc.

    I'm an advanced rider and friend is a little less experienced. We both ride DH at Northeast bike parks but most of our trail riding is smooth, flowy with little elevation changes. Both of us are in good shape.

    Was thinking Klondike Bluffs but definitely want some sustained DH sections.

    We will drive back to T-ride that night so a 3-4 hour ride would be good

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Thin Man on a Fat bike
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    It kinda depends what time of day you get here..... if your early and have a full day I would ride Mag7 , starting at the top of Gemini Bridges ( regular shuttles) and then ride across Blue dot and down Portal with a lazy ride back into town.
    If you have less than a full day you can weave some loops in the Mag 7 area or do Klondike.
    I would get your rental from Double Down bikes on Williams way. They rent Canfield bikes and are perfect for our riding conditions, you can shuttle directly from there too.

  3. #3
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    It seems like you'll need to rent bikes and then have to find a bike rack. I haven't heard of the rental shops loaning bike racks but maybe.

    For shuttled rides you can probably do Porcupine Rim and maybe as high up as LPS or UPS. Intermediates can ride most of it but there are some thrills. Definitely not much smooth trails.

    Some of the shops shuttle out to the Moab Brand Trails north of town and you ride the paved bike path back to town. That is the best way to get introduced to the Moab terrain. The Brand Trails have something for everyone from vast slick rock to gnarly advanced. North 40 is a good one to warm up on as are EZ and Lazy.

    Mag 7 should be open and shuttles running. However, the lower sections, Gold Bar Rim and Portal, are expert trails. If you aren't used to rocks that would be a bad choice. Ride the Gemini Bridges Road out to the highway then down the bike path back to town. The road has an ugly climb that everyone hates but Gold Bar Rim and Portal take a lot of stamina and rock expertise. Doesn't sound like you are ready for that.

    Navajo Rocks is really fun if you can get there. I see shuttles occasionally.

    All the bike shops are good but my preferences from the past 15 years of riding Moab are Moab Cyclery, Chili Pepper, and maybe Double Down, which is new although the owner worked for years at Poison Spider. I've talked to him but haven't had work done there yet or rented his bikes. Great folks at the shuttle that is based there! (Porcupine Rim shuttle)

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

  4. #4
    Thin Man on a Fat bike
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    If youíre only here for the day and donít want to shuttle you can borrow my bike rack, or maybe Iíll go with you if I recieve spousal blessing. Have a third grand daughter due the end of Feb so I might be in Cali.......

  5. #5
    Yeti SB95c
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    If you can meetup with Sam, a fun technical loop but not overwhelming, by Moab standards, is to drive down Gemini Bridges Road, which is dirt, to the Bull Run Trail crossing and park there. Not good to take a rental car farther. Take Bull Run to Getaway and climb Getaway to the top of Bull Run then descend BR past your car and to Great Escape, one of my favorite trails, then loop back up Little Canyon and if out of energy go up the road to your car or climb Arth's.

    This saves you from going out Gemini to US 191, which is no treat. It is a great ride that will give you the best of everything and the climb isn't difficult compared to the big mountains. Lots of play along the way.

    Klondike has great descents but you have to work for them :-) Not sure you are ready for technical climbing :-)
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  6. #6
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    https://poisonspiderbicycles.com/moa...il-conditions/

    is very important for ride planning non-Summer.

    Also, like ski areas, TRAIL RATINGS ARE LOCAL SPECIFIC.

    A diamond rating in Moab is NOT the same as elsewhere. Be cautious until you get a grip on riding the rock (pun intended).

  7. #7
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    I would highly recommend the Mag 7. That, or spend the day riding Captain Ahab and the surrounding area.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all of the suggestions so far. Sam, I'll pm you as the date gets closer to let you know the exact day we'll be there.

    I should have been more clear about our riding abilities. We ride plenty of Northeast rocks and roots. Ride Mtn Creek in NJ and Thunder Mtn Bike Park in Mass. I can handle climbing and rocks. Most of our local trails are smoother and flatter (Long Island, NY). That said, something like Portal is probably not a good idea this go around especially since we haven't been on a bike for a few months.

    What shuttles can we go with where we can ride back to the bike shop without needing a bike rack for the car? Same question for trail heads. Are there any that are rideable from the bike shops?

    Also, and I'll check with the shops myself but do they typically rent other gear like helmets? I'm going to be on a ski trip and I'll only have so much of my Mtn bike gear. I won't have my backpack so will need water. I can bring some spare tubes, tire levers, glasses or goggles but will need some other stuff.

    Porcupine Rim is definitely one I would like to do if it is possible as a day trip from Colorado.

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Yeti SB95c
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    All the shuttles are to TH's, not from. All such rides end in riding back into Moab to the shop where you left your car.

    Those are TWE / Porky, Moab Brand Trails, and Mag 7. From the drop off at the top of Mag 7 you could ride the Horsethief Trails, Chisholm, Big Lonely, Big Mesa, and Ramblin, then a scenic ride with large paved shoulder down to 191, then the paved bike trail back into town. Probably something like 35 miles, maybe more, and the pavement parts are all downhill and scenic. It would be an epic and I think far more fun than Porky. There is a cafe at the intersection of 313 and 191 for a rest and food.

    Much of Porky is just a rocky jeep road. UPS, LPS, and the single track above the river at the end of Porky are fantastic, but you can get all of that and more on upper Mag 7 or that Chisholm route I just described. The problem with Mag 7 is after Great Escape. You are either riding expert only trails or the un-fun Gemini Bridges Road out to 191.

    Look, there are treats in every direction there. I don't know how you could not have a great ride.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    All the shuttles are to TH's, not from. All such rides end in riding back into Moab to the shop where you left your car.

    Those are TWE / Porky, Moab Brand Trails, and Mag 7. From the drop off at the top of Mag 7 you could ride the Horsethief Trails, Chisholm, Big Lonely, Big Mesa, and Ramblin, then a scenic ride with large paved shoulder down to 191, then the paved bike trail back into town. Probably something like 35 miles, maybe more, and the pavement parts are all downhill and scenic. It would be an epic and I think far more fun than Porky. There is a cafe at the intersection of 313 and 191 for a rest and food.

    Much of Porky is just a rocky jeep road. UPS, LPS, and the single track above the river at the end of Porky are fantastic, but you can get all of that and more on upper Mag 7 or that Chisholm route I just described. The problem with Mag 7 is after Great Escape. You are either riding expert only trails or the un-fun Gemini Bridges Road out to 191.

    Look, there are treats in every direction there. I don't know how you could not have a great ride.
    Thanks! I'm leaning towards getting there early and shuttling to Mag 7. Took a look at some videos of Portal. Most of it we can handle. Just have to dismount on some areas and walk and ride conservatively. I'm sure I'll be used to dismounting by the time I get to Portal anyway.

    About how many miles and how long is the ride back to the bike shop on the paved road after you finish Portal?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hespeler View Post
    Thanks! I'm leaning towards getting there early and shuttling to Mag 7. Took a look at some videos of Portal. Most of it we can handle. Just have to dismount on some areas and walk and ride conservatively. I'm sure I'll be used to dismounting by the time I get to Portal anyway.

    About how many miles and how long is the ride back to the bike shop on the paved road after you finish Portal?

    Portal to the middle of Moab is probably about 4 - 5 miles. You can figure it out on Google Maps by setting a marker at the bottom of Portal.

    Wife and I love Portal and she's intermediate and I'm upper intermediate / low advanced. Neither of us are afraid of heights and that is critical. Those who freak on a narrow ledge above a cliff should ride elsewhere.

    Remember that point of view cameras and cell phone cameras flatten the terrain. It will look more rugged when you are on a bike seat.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    Portal to the middle of Moab is probably about 4 - 5 miles. You can figure it out on Google Maps by setting a marker at the bottom of Portal.

    Wife and I love Portal and she's intermediate and I'm upper intermediate / low advanced. Neither of us are afraid of heights and that is critical. Those who freak on a narrow ledge above a cliff should ride elsewhere.

    Remember that point of view cameras and cell phone cameras flatten the terrain. It will look more rugged when you are on a bike seat.
    Very true about the POV cameras. Thanks. I don't like heights but deal with it all the time when I'm skiing. Even though I don't like heights, I can function through the fear and it would put out a few of the trails I want to ride in Moab.

    I'll probably walk the cliffy part of the trail and look straight ahead.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hespeler View Post
    Very true about the POV cameras. Thanks. I don't like heights but deal with it all the time when I'm skiing. Even though I don't like heights, I can function through the fear and it would put out a few of the trails I want to ride in Moab.

    I'll probably walk the cliffy part of the trail and look straight ahead.
    I've done Portal many times, the first being 25 years ago or so, the last just a few months ago. Like every other unmaintained trail in Moab, it is much worse than it used to be. Yes, you'll want to walk the cliff sections, but be aware that there are some pretty hidden surprise drops on the lower section as well. The YouTube videos you see of people cleaning the trail are by people who have probably ridden it a dozen times just before they filmed, and know all of the surprises.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I've done Portal many times, the first being 25 years ago or so, the last just a few months ago. Like every other unmaintained trail in Moab, it is much worse than it used to be. Yes, you'll want to walk the cliff sections, but be aware that there are some pretty hidden surprise drops on the lower section as well. The YouTube videos you see of people cleaning the trail are by people who have probably ridden it a dozen times just before they filmed, and know all of the surprises.
    No doubt. Just like any gnarly trail I've haven't ridden before, I'll have to scout it out cautiously.

    That leads me to another thought. As epic as it would be, is the Mag 7 ride very physically demanding? Myself and the other rider are both in very good shape but we will be on a ski trip, probably skiing hard the days before and after the ride.

    Most of my riding is typically in the 4-8 mile range of quick ups and downs and then also lift served DH bike park laps.

    We'll be driving 3 hours each way from Telluride so we'll be getting up real early and getting back late and will most likely be skiing the next day. May need to consider a more moderate ride if this sounds too aggressive.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hespeler View Post
    No doubt. Just like any gnarly trail I've haven't ridden before, I'll have to scout it out cautiously.

    That leads me to another thought. As epic as it would be, is the Mag 7 ride very physically demanding? Myself and the other rider are both in very good shape but we will be on a ski trip, probably skiing hard the days before and after the ride.

    Most of my riding is typically in the 4-8 mile range of quick ups and downs and then also lift served DH bike park laps.

    We'll be driving 3 hours each way from Telluride so we'll be getting up real early and getting back late and will most likely be skiing the next day. May need to consider a more moderate ride if this sounds too aggressive.
    Mag 7 is only physically demanding towards the end in my opinion. And this is coming from a pretty out of shape guy who weighs 250+ (but I do ride a lot)! The drop from the top down to the jeep road where you start your climb to Blue dot is fun and not very demanding from what I remember. The climb up to blue dot is no fiesta but just take a few breaks or walk the steepest parts. It honestly wasn't as bad as I thought people made it out to be. BUT.... when you do get to the top, Blue Dot has a lot of little up/down/up/down and tech so I started getting tired there, felt like forever until we hit portal! Also my dropper post failed so I was stopping to mess with it, and eventually riding without being able to adjust so I was struggling a bit going back to riding in the stone ages!

    If you don't like heights, Portal is scary... also riding along the edge of Blue Dot is sketchy, I personally stayed well away from the edge. But I don't care for heights and I got through it just fine, just get off and walk bad sections and look straight ahead like you mentioned. After all that the bottom half of portal is technical, and you'll probably be pretty beat up by then especially if you haven't been riding.... I struggled on some stuff I felt was totally rideable. Took a few bad lines, a few close calls (no crashes thankfully). As mentioned above.... the videos hide how hard some sections are... plus it's guys like Nate Hills/Kyle Mears doing the riding. But take it easy and you'll be fine. After finishing you get the 5 mile or so ride back into town... mostly flat/downhill but if you're pooped already (like I was) it will feel longer.

    Personally not sure I'd recommend Mag7 for someones first trip to Moab, that has been off the bike for months and on rentals they aren't used to. But I'm overly cautious about that kind of stuff.

    Navajo Rocks is a great intro to Moab riding, fantastic views, enough tech to have some fun/challenge but won't kill you (literally).... just interesting trails overall. We drove over and rode them yesterday. Hadn't ridden them in two years and had a great time.

    I also really enjoy the Klonzo and Klondike trail systems but a shuttle is probably not happening for those so you'd have to take the car out there (could be a bad idea depending on your vehicle). Horsethief trail system was fun and overall pretty mellow, better for more beginners/intermediates though probably. Not something you'll brag to your buddies about when you get home.

    Hymassa/Ahab is a favorite as well, but again if you've been off the bike a while and haven't experienced Moab tech yet, it isn't the first trail I'd normally recommend. Then again if you're reasonable and willing to walk when needed..... not charging blindly into bad lines..... it's hard to beat. Keep in mind, when you finish the Hymassa climb.... it's not all downhill.... top half of Ahab wears me out! But I guarantee you're in better shape then me (by a lot). So probably not a big deal for you guys.

    Ahab loop is not terribly long though (a little over 9 miles). I'm slow.... and I can do it in under 2 hours (parking lot to parking lot). My faster friends do it in like 1:15 or so. So if you're looking for 3-4 hours you'd have to add something else in. Could always do a second half loop of the bottom half of Ahab (the best part) or go back up and finish with Rockstacker/Jackson's (I haven't ridden this....) or go out to Pothole Arch and back to finish with Ahab.

    Have fun.....

  16. #16
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    Ahab is amazing. If it were me planning such a long day I might be inclined to spend the day there really enjoying the ride rather than rushing through a bigger, epic style ride. Two laps of Hymasa/Ahab would be super fun!

  17. #17
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    I've stayed in Moab, driven to Telluride to ski and back to Moab that night. It's not a bad drive at all. It would be an easy day trip from Telluride to ride Moab for a few hours then back to Telluride.

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