Mountain Biking Moab
by Lee Bridgers (Falcon Guides)
© Lee Bridgers/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Wow!! I had such a great time in Moab and riding Porcupine Rime was the highlight of the trip for me. I have been looking forward to riding this trail for along time and it did not disappoint. The views of the La Salles and the surrounding area were spectacular. Now to the trail, the trail is uber awesome. The climb in the beginning is a nice warm up if you take the shuttle from town. The down hill was a blast! There were so many drops and fast sections that I thought my teeth were going to fall out of my head from laughing and smiling through the gnarliest sections. Beware though there are many 3 plus foot drops and if you don’t commit fully to them you will get slammed. The top and middle section of the trail are fantastic the lower section as it drops off to the road is more technical and sketchy we all managed to ride the first 12 miles with no problems and then we all managed to do some carnage to our self and our bikes in the last mile or so. I loved the trail it ranks in my top 5 rides. Keep the rubber side down….
Most people take a shuttle to the trailhead from town (contact any local bike shop about shuttle schedules). Even taking out the significant distance and elevation to the trailhead, this is still a technically and physically challenging ride. But the effort is well worth it. The views at the top of the rim overlooking castle valley are phenominal. The descent down to the Colorado river is fantastic, but will challenge your bike handling ability. The road ride back into town is only a few miles, but not a great way to end the ride, so try to leave a car at the bottom to avoid this boring stretch back into town. Otherwise, be careful as the road is narrow and dangerous due to car and RV traffic.
I've ridden this trail twice now - I absolutely love it, but it is the most physically demanding trail I've ever done. Like Slickrock, it's easy to underestimate. You look at the trailmap and think "It's less than 15 miles, and we shuttled up the hill to the trailhead (VERY WORTHWHILE), so it shouldn't be too bad..." The first 3 miles from the trailhead up to the overlook into Castle Valley is rough. The combination of heat, altitude, and technical ledges make it a workout. It's not all that steep, but the broken, ledgy surface prevents you from getting any momentum going, or enjoying a steady pace. The first time I rode this was in late August, and I was sweating like never before and wondering if this trail was worth it - but once I got to the overlook point I changed my mind. Totally amazing views. The ride down is quite challenging (and long), but a lot of fun. I've done bigger dropoffs on this trail than I ever have before - and totally loved them. But especially your first time - always be prepared to walk! Especially once you reach the singletrack and Jackass Canyon. I've been told the whole thing is rideable without even putting a foot down- probably true, but all I have to say is that I'd like to see it. The singletrack has some of everything - steep spots, tight passes between boulders, ledges, gravel, exposure, and a couple big step-ups that, unless you're a trials rider, you'll be carrying your bike up. Overall, a beautiful, challenging, and fun trail. You'll want a full suspension bike for this one - probably a downhill bike if you want to do all the biggest drops. Don't forget a good tool kit - your bike and body will be rattled beyond belief - and lots of water and food.
I have simply two words, Absolutely stunning.
Not casual, If you like to go hard I would recomend riding with a partner.
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