Mountain Bike! Southern Utah
by Michael McCoy (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Michael McCoy/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
Hardest ride I've ever done... We tacked this ride on to the end of our Telluride to Moab hut to hut bike trip. I wasn't quite expecting the ascent at the beginning, but once we saw the views at the top, it made it all worth it... and then the real fun kicked in. The downhill that followed was by far one of the most fun rides I've ever done. Stair-like steps, some quite bigger than others, make it daunting at times, but the fear-factor just adds to the fun. When you get to the single track, the dynamic changes a bit - equally as technically challenging, yet at about 1/4 (possibly less) of the width of the beginning of the trail. Overall... amazingly fun and challenging... words just won't do justice.
This could be the signature trail of the southwest. A don't miss. In Moab, be careful if the map says to be careful.
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.
Each time I come back I know why when I do this trail. It is awesome. We were encouraged to add a trail by the shuttle. Just after you start,(aprox 1 to 2 miles in) look for the trail on your right, follow it up to the road, then stay on the road until the cattle gaurd, turn left on to the single track "real Single track". It will be Fantastic. It adds to the normal ride a awesome section of true single track that is incredible. The climb to get to this trail is tuff, however the reward is worth it.
The visual appeal of this trail makes it one of the best.
This is the funnest trails in Moab. The views and trail are great with lots of diversity. There''s a spectacular view after a sweet moderate climb at the top where you can overlook Castle Valley. A friend of mine commented that it is one place where you can see two totaly different ecosystems right next to each other(desert and the snow capped La Sal mountains). After you grab a few snapshots and a snack comes a GREAT downhill! If you don''t like to use your brakes much like me, this is it. There''s a little bit of everything in this section - hard pack, loose, singletrack, doubletrack, jumps, bumps, and drops. For the not so "speed dependent" rider there are easier routs around the drops. Be sure to have your camera ready at end for some action shots, there is a perfect mound of dirt right at the end of the trail to catch plenty of air off of. From novice to expert this trail is sure to bring you back evrytime.
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