Rainy Moab question....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rainy Moab question....

    So we're heading out to Fruita tomorrow for the Fat Tire Festival and the prediction for this weekend in Fruita is calling for rain. It was suggested by someone on Facebook that Moab's trail system handles the rain better. I've never had rain on my Moab visits so I'm clueless.

    The *current* forecast for Moab is still sunny for saturday and rain in Fruita. Is it normal for one area to get rain and the other be sunny?

    If it does rain in Moab as well, what trails handle the moisture the best? Are there any that soak up the water enough that you can ride when it's wet (like Church Rocks in St George if you're familiar with that)?

    If it rains in Fruita and we drive over to Moab, assuming NO rain, what's the best intermediate trail to take some newbies to Moab? I did Amasa Back, Ahab and TWE but we'll be on day 4 and will have some guys that can't handle that type of chunk. I was thinking the Sovereign singletrack?

  2. #2
    beater
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    Amasa Back is my 1st choice in rain. Pipe Dream handles it well, too. Basically, you want any trail that's on solid rock, or if it's loosely consolidated sedimentary rock it's sandstone. From my memories of Sovereign it might be OK, but it's not my favorite. If you need easier trail, some of the Brand trails stay mostly on rock.

    As far as where it's raining, it just depends on the size of the system.

  3. #3
    Thin Man on a Fat bike
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    The only trails that are bad in the rain are in the mountains where it gets muddy. All the desert trails are ideal because the sand gets firm and riding heavy sand trails is ideal either during or a day after the rain. We get weird storm systems, sometimes it's raining in town and sunny five miles north at trails so it's certainly possible for Fruita to have rain and not us, I think I saw it was a 10% chance, which essentially means it's not going to happen.........
    If you've got tired people Klondike might be an option because you can ride different loops of varying size and difficulty .

  4. #4
    Yeti SB95c
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    Avoid Amasa Back if there has been significant rain in that drainage system. I arrived in Moab just after the big storm at the end of last Sept, the one that delayed Rampage on the other side of UT, and met the riders who self-rescued across the creek at the bottom of Amasa. That crossing can get ugly.

    Circle O and Rock'n A on the Brand Trails are rain-proof. Watch the lightning situation though. Riders are usually the tallest pointy object out there.

    Sovereign gets washed out with significant rain but would be fine in a light rain. It and Poison Spider aren't popular rides anymore. Many more better designed trails now.

    Max at Over The Edge (OTE) bike shop in Fruita gives daily trail condition updates on Facebook. He is the short friendly guy running around the shop and festival often with a huge hat. Ask Max in the morning for his prediction.

    While I'm still tempted to make a run for the festival I don't think I'll be done with some work in time. I would have to leave San Jose this afternoon. Damn. Really fun event!! I'm wearing my 2013 Fruita Fat Tire Festival shirt today.

    BTW, this is OTE's 20th year in Fruita and the owner Troy may have something special planned. He was hinting at that in Hurricane recently.

    I stumbled into the Hurricane MTB Festival a few weeks ago. It is organized by OTE Hurricane but is nothing compared to what their Fruita shop does. However, organizing an MTB festival in Hurricane, UT is far more complicated than Fruita, CO. We did have a beer garden though and closed a street through the park so that is some progress with the town fathers.

  5. #5
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    If it rains in Moab, a good intermediate trail system is Navajo Rocks off of 313. It is mostly slickrock and sand. Avoid Klondike Bluffs - lots of clay out there. As suggested, Pipe Dream and Amasa Back are good choices (short of heavy flooding rain). You could also try the west-side trails at Dead Horse Point State Park. They are sandy and and will just be firmer if wet.

  6. #6
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    forecast does look like a washout in GJ or Fruita this weekend, moab forecast doesn't look too bad though still a good chance Saturday/Sunday for rain though.

  7. #7
    pedlr
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    Quote Originally Posted by glesoine View Post
    If it rains in Moab, a good intermediate trail system is Navajo Rocks off of 313. It is mostly slickrock and sand. Avoid Klondike Bluffs - lots of clay out there. As suggested, Pipe Dream and Amasa Back are good choices (short of heavy flooding rain). You could also try the west-side trails at Dead Horse Point State Park. They are sandy and and will just be firmer if wet.
    +1 When it's wet the sand at navajo rocks turns to hero sand, very cool.
    Avoid Barm, at least the clay singletrack like Lazy, EZ and North 40. Besides being treacherously slick clay when wet, the clay has these little aggregates in it that bungs up the drive train like you wouldnt believe and sticks like glue, requires a steel brush to get off your frame. Seriously it's world class.

    Ditto Klonzo and Sovereign in spots. Salt wash is fun when wet cause the sand firms up, other times it has sandy hell stretches.

    For what it's worth we ride bull run in rain, ice and snow, it flows fine. Ditto the rest of mag 7.

    Back in the day, before these cool new trails existed, we advised riders to try poison spider when conditions were wet, cause there's a long annoying stretch of sand that firms up when wet. Not a very popular trail anymore with bicyclists, but very, very scenic,
    classic Moab riding.

  8. #8
    pedlr
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    Quote Originally Posted by glesoine View Post
    If it rains in Moab, a good intermediate trail system is Navajo Rocks off of 313. It is mostly slickrock and sand. Avoid Klondike Bluffs - lots of clay out there. As suggested, Pipe Dream and Amasa Back are good choices (short of heavy flooding rain). You could also try the west-side trails at Dead Horse Point State Park. They are sandy and and will just be firmer if wet.
    +1 When it's wet the sand at navajo rocks turns to hero sand, very cool.
    Avoid Barm, at least the clay singletrack like Lazy, EZ and North 40. Besides being treacherously slick clay when wet, the clay has these little aggregates in it that bungs up the drive train like you wouldnt believe and sticks like glue, requires a steel brush to get off your frame. Seriously it's world class.

    Ditto Klonzo and Sovereign in spots. Salt wash is fun when wet cause the sand firms up, other times it has sandy hell stretches.

    For what it's worth we ride bull run in rain, ice and snow, it flows fine. Ditto the rest of mag 7.

    Back in the day, before these cool new trails existed, we advised riders to try poison spider when conditions were wet, cause there's a long annoying stretch of sand that firms up when wet. Not a very popular trail anymore with bicyclists, but very, very scenic,
    classic Moab riding.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the info. We still MAY go to Moab but it's likelier that since we live in San Diego that we'll go 1/2 way home and ride in Hurricane instead. We're coming back to Moab in Late September anyway.

  10. #10
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    We were in Moab this week and agree Klondike, klonzo and bar M should be avoided when wet because of clay. Things are otherwise dusty dry today so depending on how much rain actually happens the conditions all over may be fine. Rode Fruita today which is also dusty after being a wet mess about a week ago. Our plan is to ride tomorrow early and split as soon as any significant rain hits so will hopefully get in a decent day. We w I'll be driving to Denver tomorrow afternoon so are actually more concerned about snow at the higher elevations but so far it sounds warm enough that we will be ok. Enjoy whatever time you can in Utah, our family had an amazing trip and can't wait to come back again.

  11. #11
    Perpetual n00b
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    Rainy indeed!

    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the tips. We snuck in an early morning shuttle ride in Fruita before the rain hit and then hit the road for San Diego.

  13. #13
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    x3 on Navajo Rocks. Rode there last weekend after a big rain storm. That trail system is only good after rain I would gather. It's gonna be a while (if ever) before that sand gets packed down.

    They just finished some new trails there too. You can do a nice 19mile loop now!

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