Ride Report: Burro Down aka the Whole Enchilada- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ride Report: Burro Down aka the Whole Enchilada

    I always enjoy reading these, so now it's my turn to contribute.

    Last Thursday I finally had the opportunity to ride Burro Down with a good friend of mine, John (JPE182 on these forums). John's been living in Moab for two years, and has a second job working part time as a mountain bike tour guide for Rim Tours. He tells me the locals call this ride Burro Down, so I refer to it as that. He and I go several years back - we met in college and worked to grow a fledgling mountain bike club - Oneonta state mountain Biking in Upstate NY. Since he lives in Moab and I have another year of school in NY, we don't see each other often and we get to ride together even less. Even riding a crappy trail with John is fun, but fortunately that wasn't the case here. Anyway, enough of the namby pamby crap. On to the goods!

    I rode LPS/Porcupine Rim last year and loved it, so I knew a little bit of what I was in for. Our day started at 6am. We loaded the bikes up and dropped my car off at the bottom of Porc Rim. Then we headed north out of town and drove up into the lush La Sal mountains. We unloaded our gear, and hit the trail at 8am. It was a chilly 53 degrees in the mountains.



    Burro Down starts at about 10,000ft with a couple miles of fireroad. The fireroad quickly gives way to singletrack and you climb a little more until you peak at 11,200ft. It had rained the night before which left the trails nice and tacky. Maybe too tacky in some spots. We rode through pines, aspens and lush green meadows until we hit the top and stopped to gear up for the downhill.







    Once the initial climb is over, the rest of the ride is mostly downhill. There's some climbing interspersed, but not much. There are some switchbacks at the top that are rather tight, steep and loose. We rode a couple, and walked several on account of how wet it was. We ripped downhill on pure narrow singletrack, weaving in and out of the woods and meadows, through stream crossings, rolling over rocks and roots, some still slick from the previous night's rain. This is my favorite type of riding, reminiscent of the trails back east but on a much grander scale. The clouds that were present when we started soon gave way to midmorning sun and as we rode down, the temperatures rose up.

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    We soon entered Hazard County, passed Warner Lake and emerged into fields that seemed situated on the top of the world. There are numerous jumps and kickers here - be careful, some of the landings are less than ideal and the penalty for coming up short could leave you in a bad place. The trail gnomes had been at work as we blasted through fresh berms of loose soft dirt. Once these are ridden and get some more sun, they will be even FASTER!



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    As we descended further and further the picture taking became more scarce. It was warming up rapidly and we were having too much fun to stop. We reached Kokopelli soon after and the terrain changed from mostly buff singletrack to dry, dusty fireroad. Surprisingly, this was just as entertaining. You pick up speed really quickly and there are constant undulations you can jump off of. Before I even knew it we had reached UPS.

    From here, you continue descending and the terrain changes back to full on desert conditions. We got into a great rhythm - part of the reason I like riding with John - our riding abilities are closely matched. We would trade off leading, each of us picking a line and the other following it. We cleaned most sections, with the notable exception of the notch bypass, which is almost as gnarly as the notch itself! I noticed how much my skills had improved from the year before when I played hike a bike on sections that I didn't even think about this time around. That revelation built my confidence and put me in a great mood. Riding my own bike (instead of a rental) certainly helped too.



    As we continued on, we didn't stop at all. It was HOT and we wanted to finish up as quickly as possible. We did stop briefly to session a couple drops, and managed to make up for a lack of photos with some helmet cam footage. I need to find a good video editing program to process them a bit, but they're not bad as-is.





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    The end of the ride saw a trip to Milt's for burgers (I had the Western BBQ Bacon cheeseburger ) before picking up the shuttle car. The GPS data says 26.5 miles of riding, with 2,410ft of climbing and 8,468ft of descending (sounds about right). Max elevation = 11,126ft, min elevation = 4,041ft. End temperature? 95 degrees easily, probably closer to 100.

    If you mountain bike and you have a pulse, this is pretty much a must do ride. I hear it's awesome in May or September, but July wasn't all that bad if you get an early start. Bikes? We bombed it on big 6" rigs (me, a Chumba XCL; John, an Intense Tracer VP) and IMO, that's the way to do it. Check the elevation numbers again and you'll see why. Some sort of armor is recommended, especially given the conditions we dealt with. There are a lot of rocks...everywhere. Fortunately we didn't have any real crashes, or mechanicals - one flat tire....*ahem*...not mine!

    Definitely will be doing this ride again.

    EDIT: This report is now hosted on my website as well: Ride Report: Burro Down aka the Whole Enchilada
    Last edited by Berkley; 07-24-2014 at 12:06 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Nice report and photos. None of the Utards (self included) usually take the time to document this. Thanks for the stoke.

  3. #3
    Singlespeed Enduro Poser
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    Thanks for the report! The videos were great!

    Having done the Kokopelli down to LPS, now i know what i've missed!!! The pictures of Burro down going through the forest and aspens are awesome!!

    You mentioned that there is an alternate route to avoid the notch? I didn't see this route last year. But from what i have seen in recent pics, it looks like the notch have been sanitized quite a bit? i want to ride the notch when i get there

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott forty G.
    Thanks for the report! The videos were great!

    Having done the Kokopelli down to LPS, now i know what i've missed!!! The pictures of Burro down going through the forest and aspens are awesome!!

    You mentioned that there is an alternate route to avoid the notch? I didn't see this route last year. But from what i have seen in recent pics, it looks like the notch have been sanitized quite a bit? i want to ride the notch when i get there
    Conditions should be good. Rode the UPS, LPS and Upper Porcky to the Cattle Tanks on Sunday and Tuesday. It rained hard up there yesterday and maybe today. Lightening would have been a concern yesterday.

    Here is my wife on the UPS:

  5. #5
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    Nice trip report. How long did the ride take you?
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  6. #6
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    The Notch bypass is pretty new from what John told me. It certainly was not there last April, and to be honest I couldn't tell you exactly where it is.

    5.5 hours elapsed time, ~3.5 hours rolling. We took a bunch of breaks towards the top, and a couple near the bottom when it got really hot and we found a nice big rock to sit under.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    The Notch bypass is pretty new from what John told me. It certainly was not there last April, and to be honest I couldn't tell you exactly where it is.

    5.5 hours elapsed time, ~3.5 hours rolling. We took a bunch of breaks towards the top, and a couple near the bottom when it got really hot and we found a nice big rock to sit under.
    The Snotch is signed LPS ----->. You can blow by it if you aren't looking for it. So if you want a more flowy ride keep you eyes peeled for a steep trail to your right everytime you have to negotiate an abrupt three foot drop in the trail elevation on the LPS.

    The Snotch isn't easy and needs some trail improvement to make it more rideable by advanced riders. Maybe someone will put in some volunteer time to make it more user friendly.

    The new section below the Snotch is pretty junked up with all kinds of dead fall and it would be nice if some of that material could be used to make the upper section of the Snotch more sustainable.

    On the UPS it looks like someone went in and dumbed down the trail, you probably will clean all those difficult uphill sections if you are an advanced rider, if you don't clean those sections easily be careful on the Snotch.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the report. We'll be hitting this same route in late Sept. I've done LPS/Porc before, (have a picture of me on that same 3' ledge drop) so these pictures from the top are very cool. Now I just have to wait 4 more weeks.....
    Last edited by bvoutdoorz; 08-27-2010 at 10:08 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvoutdoorz
    Thanks for the report. We'll be hitting this same route in late Sept. I've done LPS/Porc before, (have a picture of me on that same 3' ledge drop) so these pictures from the top are very cool. Now I just have to wait 4 more weeks.....
    I'm leaving early Sunday for this ride as well. It will be my first Burro Down ride. The weather is looking great for early next week. Highs in the uppper 80's in Moab? We'll see Bound to be plenty cold at Warner Lake, where we are staying.

  10. #10
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    Ride report please:

    Also never done TWE but trying to make it happen OCT.ish. Please post a ride report. Jealous sitting in SLC.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by castnblastut
    . Jealous sitting in SLC.
    Come on down with my buddy Ben...he's driving down from SLC to meet us.

  12. #12
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    Temping...

    Tempting but my wife long ago started counting my bikes to see if one was missing when I suddenly leave town "for work." But that's what I get for marrying someone smarter than myself.

  13. #13
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    great report! i can't wait to do this ride.

  14. #14
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    How long is the shuttle ride from town?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker1973
    How long is the shuttle ride from town?
    Between 53 min and 23 seconds and 49 min and 49 seconds.

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