Trade: Park City trail/travel intel for Oregon Beer?!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Good, green, Oregon.
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    Trade: Park City trail/travel intel for Oregon Beer?!

    Alright Utah shredders, myself like many others, are looking to venture to your state to ride some of the pure epic-ness that you have to offer. You’ve certainly seen these threads before, many times, where some tourists are asking for trail intel and direction, yet offer nothing in return. Well, this one is different. How you ask? Well, for one, this is advanced research and I am not in need of it for some time as our road trip is planned for 2016, spring or summer. Second, myself and my fellow road trippers are not opposed to thanking someone for their information with beer. Oregon beer. So, if you are inclined to assist us in our adventure to your seemingly rad state, there are quality brews offered up for your services!

    Who are we? We are three rippers from Oregon that are looking to get out of our awesome state of Oregon and see what else our beautiful country has to offer for our riding pleasure. We are three guys right around 40 years old that are competent riders in our own right. Our normal riding would probably fall into an all-mountain/enduro style, in that we can climb, but mainly do it so we can have fun coming down. If you are familiar with Oregon riding, places like Sandy Ridge, Bend, the McKenzie River Trail, Blackrock are all places we ride. We like technical (rocks, roots, drops) descents, but don’t see ourselves airing out any big jumps or gaps. To put it into IMBA grades, we like to ride (dark) blue to black rated trails. Steeps are great too, and we will all be on mid-travel trail bikes.

    Our goal? 5 solid days of riding a variety of your trails. We figure that at least one day will be spent at a bike park, but the other days we would like to ride the “must ride” singletrack trails in your area. Our area of focus will be the Park City area, as it seems to be the most bang for our buck. The plan is to be up early and on the trails, giving us the most saddle time we can get during the day, and then ready to enjoy a good meal and some quality brews at a local pub or eatery in the evening, recharging for the next day’s riding.

    What am I looking for? Well, just about any info that you want to share. But info that we are curious about, includes……

    - Trails? Riding is the focus of this trip. I would love a quick list of the must rides, and maybe even a sentence on why.
    - Time of year? For the Park City area, what time of year do you find the best trail conditions and overall weather?
    - Any must-hit pubs or restaurants in the area? Good brews, quality food and a cool atmosphere is what we are after.
    - Anything else that is a must down there? A killer bike shop that is worth stopping by, or something similar?
    - Really, being that none of us have been to your state, we would take any kind of information that you feel is worthy of us knowing.

    Again, this trip is a ways out, but we are jacked to have it on the schedule. It sucks when you get 40, have families and lives that can force you to plan a guy’s road trip over a year in advance, but that is life these days! Hey, we’ll take what we can get! Truly, we are happy to trade good intel for good beer! Take us up on that and we’ll make sure to meet up and say a personal thank you to you!
    Last edited by Giant Chachi; 02-07-2015 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Spelling
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  2. #2
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    Definitely check out Wasatch Crest for amazing views, great climbs and descents, and some fun tech (but nothing crazy).

    If you want to check out a park, Deer Valley is a lot of fun. It's in the Park City area. Has a bit of everything... fast and flowy, techy downhill, good for mid travel bikes. Here's a thread comparing the lift-served mountain biking in Park City.

    July - October is prime time for high elevation trails here.

    I'll let others talk about restaurants/pubs as I don't spend much time in PC at night (unless it's on the steed with lights). The nightlife in PC is probably leaps and bounds better than in Salt Lake, though.

    I'm actually going to be planning a trip to Bend with some friends so feel free to pass me the same type of info. Definitely planning on MRT but that's as far as I've gotten.

    For more trails, a good resource is utahmountainbiking.com. They have flagged several trails as must rides that you may be interested in researching.

  3. #3
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    Great post by mkb5150 with the basics. That's about the extent of my knowledge as well. Wasatch Crest and Flying Dog are probably the most "famous" trails up there. I personally have the most "fun" at Deer Valley but there's a lot of good stuff on the mountain at Park City as well....Mid Mountain Trail, Spiro, Dead Tree, Apex, Pinecone, etc.

  4. #4
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    Nice! Thank you guys for the info for sure. mkb5150, thank you for the info, and I would be happy to share some info on Oregon, and Bend. For details on Bend though, I may put you in touch with some additional contacts for info, as I am about 2.5 hours away from Bend in Corvallis, OR. But there are some must-hit places around the state for you to ride. Definitely ride the MRT, even just for the scenery, and if you can, Sandy Ridge by Portland is an awesome place to play, as is Blackrock, which is by Salem. If you get near Corvallis or Eugene, Mary's Peak is amazing, and our new trail system that just opened last summer, Alsea Falls, is fun and flowy, with a new trail opening soon too. But I would be glad to share anything I can for you to come check out Oregon. Heck, if you get over my way, I'll ride with you too! I am always proud to show off Alsea Falls and the work that Team Dirt has done out there!

    If there is more from the community at large, post away! Thanks all!
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  5. #5
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    For me, if you're riding 5 full days, I would probably look to ride at least one just outside of PC ... you will cover the best trails there in less time than that. Look at the trails around Snowbasin or in American Fork for one or two of your days. (again, utahmountainbiking.com for details) A bit of driving, but worth it in my mind.

    If you go to Snowbasin/Huntsville, you can visit the shooting star saloon. Pretty interesting biker bar feel in a small town- i think they claim to be one of the longer running bars in Utah too. ( If you're vegan/vegatarian etc, then take a pass on that suggestion )

    October can be the best, but be aware the first storms of the year may close out the highest trails. ( really depends ). September is probably slightly safer with most of the benefits ( cooler weather, some rain to tack up the trails, golden aspens etc )

    Ride the crest at the middle of a day on a weekday to avoid the madness. ( weekends and evenings are fairly busy, due to the easy shuttle factor ) For your purposes, take it into the Canyons instead of Millcreek, although if you want it all, you should go down and back up big water because its pretty high quality. you might even consider trying down to desolation lake, over/up to dog lake, then back to the crest. ( this will be clear if you look at any map ).

    use VRBO etc to find a nice condo or something in old town - that way you can walk/stumble from main street at the end of your night. you shouldn't need to get in your car while you're in PC proper.

  6. #6
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    Another good resource for trails is Park City, Utah Mountain Bike Trails | Trailforks formerly skidmap.com. That will give you an idea of how things flow in the area, how close things are and how relatively difficult some of the trails will be. You won't find too much tech difficulty but there's a lot of nice trail all around. A trail combo I enjoy if I don't have a ton of time is to ride up to Mid Mountain in the PCMR area (usually up Spiro or Armstrong) then ride over to John's 99, link up with Moosehouse, and ride out on Gravedigger. It's a pretty fun set of kinda old-school trails for the area, nice way to keep you on your toes through Moosehouse and Gravedigger.

    My absolute favorite time to ride in PC is fall, but any time from June through October is a good bet. If you're flexible keep an eye out on the weather and make sure you don't come too early (high elevation might not be dry yet).

    Pubs in PC? Well don't miss the breweries of Wasatch and Squatters, Redrock is a little farther out of town but is worth a visit. We're no PNW but there's a few choice brews the locals (including Uinta and Epic from SLC) are crafting these days. Come to think of it, you probably already get the best ones distributed your way. I also think High West is worth a stop and I've always had a soft spot for the buffalo burgers at No Name Saloon.

    For window shopping White Pine Touring is my favorite shop in town, though I'm admittedly biased. If you need work done head over to Endurance Cycles. None of the shops are bad, to be fair.

    If you want to ride lifts then DV or Canyons are your good options. Canyons has more air time and DV has more technical terrain, though Canyons is expanding rather quickly so that may change even next spring. Don't overlook the free "freeride" park areas in Trailside and Road to Arcylon. They won't keep you busy all day but they'll entertain for an hour or so.

    You'd be hard pressed to run out of trail options in Park City, I'd stay up there if you can but even down in the valley you have a few nice rides available too.
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  7. #7
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    Ok, come see me and I will guide you in exchange for beer. Here's the hit list. Some have already been mentioned:
    -Wasatch Crest. The climb is easy but long, IMO shuttling it is pretty lame. Nothing technical but a long, fun most downhill XC ride. Finish via Robs/Collins or Robs/UOP rather than going down Mill Creek. Mill Creek is lame. Plus that way you don't have to spend 90 minutes in the stupid car, since you end up only 3 miles from the PC parking lot.
    -Flying Dog/Glenwild. 2-3 hour ride depending on how you do it. Non technical but super nice flow. Go on a weekday, it should be a directional trail but it isn't so 2 way traffic can suck.
    -Pinecone/MM/John's DH from the Crest. Could shuttle, could ride up. Pinecone is an awesome descent that most people only ride up to access the Crest. Ride up Guardsman or find a shuttle. Awesome downhill ride. Not technical, though, except for some fun root-ball kickers and rooty/twisty John's singletrack.
    -East Canyon/GWT/Lookout peak stuff. Hard, hard climbing. But if you want awesome backcountry riding without a soul in sight... hard to beat. If you don't like to climb, avoid this one. Many loops possible.
    -Shoreline/Bobsled. Lots of possible variations but the Bobsled is worth stopping in SLC for. The best natural flow trail I've ever ridden. Nothing super tech but plenty of opportunities for getting silly sideways and/or airtime if you want to.
    -Deer Valley DH. Fully rideable on trail bikes, the best lift served in the basin, enough fun for a day.

    There's plenty more to do but those would be my hit list. You are planning way ahead but I'll be around in 2016 so bring me some beer and I'll show you around.

    -Walt

  8. #8
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    Walt, zebrahum and SLCPunk, thank you guys greatly for the info! Huge help for sure! Your information has certainly upped the excitment for us, which is rough being that we are quite a ways out from this trip. I know, the advanced planning is annoying, but we all had to plan in advance, as other olbigations can get in the way quickly.

    Truly, we will have plenty of good Oregon brews in our cooler with us, and we'd be happy to share like I've offered above. The trail lists are awesome for sure, and allows us to somewhat get a schedule down as far as what we are going to ride and do.

    Thank you guys! Park City sounds like a rad place! If any of you are heading to Oregon and need some info, let me know. Thank you again!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    Thank you guys! Park City sounds like a rad place! If any of you are heading to Oregon and need some info, let me know. Thank you again!
    PC is great, but it also has some of the most poorly designed, poorly built trails I've ever seen. With some notable exceptions.
    The most glaring defects are:
    1. Switchbacks are the norm instead of the exception
    2. inbetween switchbacks you will often find straight grade
    3. Overall PC is a cobweb of connections without good master planning
    4. Whoever has been building at pcmr lately should not build trails

    The rides you have been given are some good ones. The list I would give you would include:
    1. DV - Thieves
    2. DV- Fire Swamp
    3. DV- Payroll
    4. Canyons - all the park stuff is fun, but the park is tiny (some high consequence)
    5. Wasatch Crest (deserves bombing but it is a high use, multi user trail)
    6. Arcylon - fun stuff
    7. Trailside bike park - free fun stuff and small
    8. Bob's basin - good fun
    9. Pinecone is fun (but could be so much better)

    The xc stuff is nice to spend time outside and pretty, but far from quality trails. If you want views and scenery, get out of pc and ride Uintah's and Big and Little Cottonwood.
    In general northern Utah is not really a mountain bike destination (yet). I would say ride southern Utah because the place is magical and the quality of riding is much better. The caveat is the riding can be genuinely hard but great.
    In general the types of riders who love PC are:
    1. XC guys (old school when fitness was everything)
    2. Riders without bike skills
    3. Anyone who thinks the ride is over at the top

    Since you call yourselves "rippers" I would say don't come here for good riding. We are trying to be worthy, but have a long way to go.
    Cheers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    Thank you guys! Park City sounds like a rad place! If any of you are heading to Oregon and need some info, let me know. Thank you again!
    Well, I think YRG might be a lil' harsh on his critique but I would agree in principle that as far as the riding goes, it's not as great as it's made out to be. While me friends love it, I just don't understand how the Mid-Mountain Trail became an IMBA Epic selection. As far as I'm concerned, they greased some palms for that one. To summarize, IT'S NO OREGON!!

    What I like about Park City, whether in the Summer or Winter, is the variety it offers. It has some terrain features at DV and The Canyons, it has the maze of XC oriented trails at PC resort and there are longer rides when you venture out. But more than than, you can zip line, spend a day rafting, Jordanelle Reservoir is within striking distance if you want to spend a day on the lake. While they may not interest all, there's also horseback riding, the Alpine Slide and the bowling alley over at Kimball Junction is a great late night diversion. We go at least once every trip.

    I think you'll have a great time, especially if you hook up with some of the locals on her that have offered to show you the goods when you come to town. If nothing else, it will be a nice change of pace from your perfect Oregon dirt.

  11. #11
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    Pretty much nailed everything already. If you can extend the trip at all, southern Utah would be worth an extra 4 hours of drive time or another trip altogether. The contrast between Moab/Fruita and your local OR trails will blow your minds.

    In PC, I strongly recommend Crest and Pinecone, but they're nothing crazy, just super fun long flowy rides. We're lacking technical stuff besides what is in Deer Valley. Around Canyon's Resort definitely do Ambush and Insurgent. They're usually stages in our Enduro race and always earn some grins.

    I'm actually headed to the PNW this July, and I've got 10 days planned in Oregon with about 6-7 of them biking before heading to BC. I'm definitely hitting up Bend, Oakridge, Sandy Ridge, Post Canyon and maybe Black Rock on the return trip. Any other recommendations?

  12. #12
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    yboc, you have a good list started for Oregon for sure. The only others that I would mention would be Mary's Peak or the McKenzie River Trail. A good thread on the Oregon board is here: http://forums.mtbr.com/oregon/top-5-rides-939289.html There is some good discussion in that thread on specific trails within those riding destinations that could help as well.

    Also, thank you for the info too! These posts are why I started the thread and it has been extremely helpful in thinking about our trip. It certainly has us thinking hard as to where to go, what to ride and all that good stuff that comes along with road trip planning. Keep them coming if any additional details come to mind. Thank you all! I love mtbr for this community we have here!
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  13. #13
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    The most obvious thing to add is considering a southern Utah trip. The time of year would have to be early spring or fall (very hot in summer) but if you truly want a unique experience (and you've never been there) then Moab, Grand Junction, and St. George are absolute must-ride areas. The nightlife ranges from meh to non-existent (GJ>M>SG) but if you still have energy left after stacking up multiple rides per day in any of those locations then that's on you!

    Park City is fine, like everyone said there are some must-rides here, but if you and your crew have only one trip to take I would drive on past and go to Moab. Rides like TWE and Mag 7 make Wasatch Crest look like amateur hour (though the scenery into Big Cottonwood is hard to beat on the crest). Rockstacker to Jacksons or Hymasa to Ahab in the Amasa Back area will test your skills and, in the case of Jacksons, your fear of heights. That's just a taste of the trails in Moab not to say anything of what's less than 2 hours away over in Grand Junction with Fruita in the middle or what's a longer drive over to St. George (probably not practical in a 5 day trip).

    If you've been there then disregard but if you haven't it's not known to be a MTB Mecca for nothing.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    The most obvious thing to add is considering a southern Utah trip. The time of year would have to be early spring or fall (very hot in summer) but if you truly want a unique experience (and you've never been there) then Moab, Grand Junction, and St. George are absolute must-ride areas. The nightlife ranges from meh to non-existent (GJ>M>SG) but if you still have energy left after stacking up multiple rides per day in any of those locations then that's on you!

    Park City is fine, like everyone said there are some must-rides here, but if you and your crew have only one trip to take I would drive on past and go to Moab. Rides like TWE and Mag 7 make Wasatch Crest look like amateur hour (though the scenery into Big Cottonwood is hard to beat on the crest). Rockstacker to Jacksons or Hymasa to Ahab in the Amasa Back area will test your skills and, in the case of Jacksons, your fear of heights. That's just a taste of the trails in Moab not to say anything of what's less than 2 hours away over in Grand Junction with Fruita in the middle or what's a longer drive over to St. George (probably not practical in a 5 day trip).

    If you've been there then disregard but if you haven't it's not known to be a MTB Mecca for nothing.
    Agreed with what was said here. As great as PC is, I'd ride in Moab, Fruita/GJ, Hurricane 100 out of 100 times given the choice. If you've done that and want a nice higher country trip PC is still s solid option. If time of year falls June-August I'd likely go with PC as well. My biggest beef with PC is the lack of technical trails.

    There's already been some solid routes suggested but this is one of my favorite rides I've put together up there. Frontloaded climbing with a few breaks, some new trails, some of the older technical PC trails, a couple places where you can enjoy the views or go check out some old mine buildings, and a couple extended descents to finish. List of trails is Armstrong, MidMountain, CMG, Thanes Road, Three Candles, Keystone, Fat Lip, Black Forrest, TG2,MidMountain, Tommy Two Step, Mojave, CMG.
    Here's the route in map format:
    Mountain Trails Foundation - Map


    One other thing that I think is worth noting. PC has a free bus system that you can take from town to some of the higher lodges on the mountain. There's still plenty of places to pedal to once at the midmountain lodges and it can be a great way to make a mellow day or a really big day with 3-4k feet of climbing and 6-8k in descending on trails that might not naturally link together as a loop.
    Bus Laps for Trail Riders - Free 1,000' Descents in Park City | Jans.com
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    Park City is everybody's favorite place to hate-on for whatever reason. Yea, there could be more technical riding, or longer downhills, etc... but how many places in the world can you literally ride 300+ miles of singletrack pretty much out the door from anywhere in town. While the majority of the trails are moderate XC style, there is no shortage of tech, jump, and flow that's sure to leave you grinning, if you know where to look. Fortunately for locals, these trails are still somewhat undisclosed, and it's going to take riding with someone who knows the route to find them.

    Another good resource is is Park City Mountain Biking. Enjoy your trip, Park City is an amazing spot to ride in the summer, and if you need someone to show you around, don't hesitate to ask!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by a.d.85 View Post
    Park City is everybody's favorite place to hate-on for whatever reason. Yea, there could be more technical riding, or longer downhills, etc... but how many places in the world can you literally ride 300+ miles of singletrack pretty much out the door from anywhere in town. While the majority of the trails are moderate XC style, there is no shortage of tech, jump, and flow that's sure to leave you grinning, if you know where to look. Fortunately for locals, these trails are still somewhat undisclosed, and it's going to take riding with someone who knows the route to find them.
    1st pc has about 300 miles of trails including paved trails, dirt roads, sidewalks, and single track

    2nd there is a dramatic lack of tech, flow, and other fun trails built with a riders eye

    3rd if it is everyone's favorite place to hate on, maybe by consensus there is some valid reasons

    Also, there isn't really much in pc off the grid that is undisclosed

    Lastly, I don't hate on pc, I work many hour to make it better and share my honest opinion about it.

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    Hey Giant Chachi,

    Utah is a pretty unique place, it offers a great variety of riding.

    I have also spent quite a bit of time riding in Oregon at places like Bend, Hood River, Oakridge, Sandy Ridge, the MRT trail, North Umpqua trail etc.

    IMO the Salt Lake City and Park City areas is going to offer a "somewhat" similar experience to Oregon trail riding. So I would say maybe do one day in Park City and put a loop together that includes the Wasatch Crest Trail.

    After that if you want to have a memorable experience that you cannot have anywhere else in North America head to Moab!! Not sayin SLC and PC doesn't have good riding but Moab and southern Utah is going to be unlike anything you have ever ridden before. If you can squeeze in a day check out Fruita too.

    If Utah is a must id say go straight to Southern Utah like Moab, Fruita(Colorado), Virgin, Hurricane.

    ok, where can I pick up my beer? Do I have to wait until 2016?

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    Dont know if anyone has mentioned it but June July August the free PC town bus runs that gains you about 1000' vert. 7 days a week from about 8-5 in the summer. A couple good DH runs but If youre not affraid to pedal/climb from the bus you can get just about anywhere.

  19. #19
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    I ride PC and love it, but I'd have to agree with YRG, et al. Given what YOU seem to like, I'd bypass it entirely and hit Moab. If you're at the center of the bell shaped curve, PC can't be beat, though.

  20. #20
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    Having lived in both spots (Oregon and now Utah), I'm kinda agreeing that you should head south. I head back to ride in OR w/ my brothers at least once a year, and I don't know that we have anything that compares to Sandy Ridge in the SLC area. Certainly nothing that compares to Blackrock.

    There are some great pedal rides in the PC area, but I wouldn't call it destination riding, at least based on the Oregon trails you've described. You'll be pretty bored from a downhill/tech standpoint with Glenwild/Flying Dog/Mid-Mountain. Good exercise rides that are entertaining enough, but ... Canyons is kinda fun for an afternoon, Deer Valley also, but you wouldn't travel here to ride them IMO. Arcylon may be our most "Blackrock-like" trail, but it is short. Bobsled is 5 minutes of a whole lotta fun, but it's only 5 minutes ...

    My Oregon relatives do love Wasatch Crest, though. Yeah, we shuttle it. Fun to ride mostly downhill for 15 miles. I prefer the Guardsman to Mill D route (Big Cottonwood canyon). Kinda like MRT from a tech standpoint (pretty smooth trail w/ some rocky sections worked in), but a lot faster. Beautiful views and such, too. Great trail, despite how hectic it can get.

    Don't get me wrong -- the local riding is great for local riding. Tons of variety, all within a pretty close area (30 min drives). But I don't know if its worth the trip. Moab, on the other hand, is probably not like anything you've ridden, unless you've ridden Moab! TWE, Ahab, Amasa, those will get your heart rate going, and not just due to physical exertion. That's where I'd be headed if you're gonna drive this far, at least based on the description of trails you like to ride in Oregon.

    Incidentally, I'm headed out in late March to ride in the PDX area (yeah, I know, March isn't great to ride in Oregon, but it coordinates with my brother's spring break, so ...). We usually hit Sandy Ridge, Black Rock, maybe MRT if the snow is gone (how's it looking this year?). What is this Alsea Falls? Is it in the Corvallis area? Any other 'new stuff' that must be explored? (or, I can just google, I guess!).
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    Going to Utah and not hitting Moab=fail.

    After some more thought I would strongly urge you to go to Moab, if not for the sole purpose of riding the Whole Enchilada. The vertical, views, and variety of terrain you cover is insane.

    Make sure you get a shuttle that takes you to the top most drop off(geyser pass) which accesses the Burro Pass section. Lots of people get dropped at lower sections and claim they have ridden TWE...they have not. The Burro pass section is one of the best parts of the trail starting high up in the alpine.

    A lot of times especially early season and late October shuttles will only be running to Lower sections due to snow and mud. It is worth it to hold out till the upper sections are clear in order to ride the whole thing.

    I would go as far as to say The Whole Enchilada (the whole thing, pedaling from Geyser pass up and over Burro pass) is IMO one of the best if not THE best trail in North America...thats taking into account trails in Colorado,California,Oregon,Washington, BC, and Alberta.

    I would suggest coming out in September when temps start to cool.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmar123 View Post
    I would go as far as to say The Whole Enchilada (the whole thing, pedaling from Geyser pass up and over Burro pass) is IMO one of the best if not THE best trail in North America...thats taking into account trails in Colorado,California,Oregon,Washington, BC, and Alberta.

    I would suggest coming out in September when temps start to cool.
    I haven't ridden every trail, but TWE is my favorite trail in all of existence as well. Such an incredible variety of terrain, combined with the length, natural obstacles, and the fact that it is mostly all downhill. Agreed it would be a shame to come to Utah and not ride it.
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