Salt Valley Road

Moab, Utah

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This 9.5-mile one-way ride (19 miles total) approaches the area known as Klondike Bluffs from the “back,” or east side. En route it pokes through the little-visited northwestern reaches of Arches National Park. The two-wheel-drive roads followed offer easy cycling, although there’s a good chance of encountering substantial stretches of sand and washboard. The latter can sometimes be avoided by sticking close to the edge of the road; still, a full-suspension bike would be most useful and appreciated. It can be hot and quite dusty on the route in the middle of the day, when car traffic often picks up; therefore, this is highly recommended as a sunrise ride. At that time of day expect to hear curlews calling from the damp spots along Salt Valley Wash and to watch ravens catching early morning currents above. The riding is rather mundane, but the setting is unforgettable. It’s a big empty you’ll pedal through—an empty proffering remarkably diverse, long-range vistas of the canyon country. On the way out you’ll get ever closer to the castlelike Klondike Bluffs, composed of mellow, salmon-hued Entrada sandstone.General location: Arches National Park. The park entrance station is 4 miles northwest of Moab.
Mountain Bike! Southern Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Bike! Southern Utah

by Michael McCoy (Menasha Ridge Press)

This 9.5-mile one-way ride (19 miles total) approaches the area known as Klondike Bluffs from the “back,” or east side. En route it pokes through the little-visited northwestern reaches of Arches National Park. The two-wheel-drive roads followed offer easy cycling, although there’s a good chance of encountering substantial stretches of sand and washboard. The latter can sometimes be avoided by sticking close to the edge of the road; still, a full-suspension bike would be most useful and appreciated.

It can be hot and quite dusty on the route in the middle of the day, when car traffic often picks up; therefore, this is highly recommended as a sunrise ride. At that time of day expect to hear curlews calling from the damp spots along Salt Valley Wash and to watch ravens catching early morning currents above. The riding is rather mundane, but the setting is unforgettable. It’s a big empty you’ll pedal through—an empty proffering remarkably diverse, long-range vistas of the canyon country. On the way out you’ll get ever closer to the castlelike Klondike Bluffs, composed of mellow, salmon-hued Entrada sandstone.General location: Arches National Park. The park entrance station is 4 miles northwest of Moab.

©  Michael McCoy/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Moab
Distance: 19
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Technical Difficulty: Easy
Physical Difficulty: Easy
Season: March through mid-May; September through November
Local Contacts: Moab Multi-Agency Information Center, 435-259-8825
Local Maps: Arches National Park Official Map and Guide; DeLorme Utah & Atlas Gazetteer, page 40
Driving Directions: Directions to Salt Valley Road

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Apr 2018