Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moab, Utah - Mountain Biking

Despite having my mountain bike for several months and traveling to numerous locations for bike adventures, the most obvious destination was still on my to-do list until last weekend.  The weather was as good as it gets for November in Utah so Keith, Melissa, Roger, and I headed to Moab to check out some of the most famous single track in the world.

Ready to ride at Klondike Bluffs

I can't figure Moab out.  Roger and I couldn't find a hotel room anywhere in town last month while waiting for our camping and river gear to be rescued from the Colorado River on a late-season Sunday night.  With perfect weather and a holiday (Veterans' Day) weekend, I was expecting a lot of people to be camping and adventuring around the area.  We pulled into Horsethief Campground around 8pm on Friday night to find only one other site occupied.

Camping at Horsethief near Moab

We spent the entire day Saturday riding at the Klondike Bluffs trail network located several miles north of Moab.  The desert scenery reminded me of Fruita, Colorado and wasn't the classic red slickrock that most people think of when they think of riding Moab.  The trails, however, were fantastic.  We made our first loop by starting with Agate and Jasper Loops and connecting to Jurassic Trail before returning back to the parking area on Dino-Flow.  This was an easy, flowing loop and a great warm up for the weekend.

Tonic the Dog herding Keith and Melissa

Riding on Jurassic Trail

Roger on Jurassic Trail

Our second loop at Klondike Bluffs was a little spicier.  We took the Mega Steps Trail to the top of the bluffs and then over to Baby Steps, descended on Little Salty, and connected back to the parking area on the EKG Trail.  Little Salty was particularly fun, while EKG forced me to walk my bike a few time times.  We finished the loop and made it back to town for a shower and dinner at the Brewery before an eveing of stargazing at camp.

Keith on Mega Steps

With Roger on Little Salty

Bike malfunction on Little Salty

We spent Sunday morning biking at the Klonzo trail network located a few miles south of the Klondike Bluffs area.  The scenery was similar to Klondike Bluffs and the trail network was smaller, but the riding was fun and non-technical.  We rode most of the trails at the network including Dunestone, Boondocks, Secret Passage, Wahoo, and Cross Canyon.

 Roger at Klonzo Bike Trails

Roger at Klonzo Bike Trails

Keith enjoying a beverage break at Klonzo

Keith and Melissa headed back to Salt Lake on Sunday afternoon while Roger and I spent the rest of the day riding at one of Moab's most famous mountain biking trails, the Slickrock Trail at Sand Flats Recreation Area.  The scenery was spectacular with great views of the snow covered La Sal Mountains and the Colorado River.  The trail was difficult for me and I found the short but extremely steep climbs and drops to be quite intimidating.  The beautiful red rock made up for the frustration.  Roger was perfectly patient with my minor tantrums.

The La Sal Mountains from Slickrock Trail

 Roger on the Slickrock Trail

My bike taking a break on Slickrock

I bought several bundles of firewood and enjoyed a big fire and a growler from Moab Brewery on Sunday night.  Despite an increasingly bright moon, the stars were beautiful and I managed to see quite a few meteors before finally turning in to bed.

Reward after biking

After enjoying the late season sunshine and packing up camp on Monday morning, Roger and I headed to Dead Horse Point State Park to ride the Intrepid Potash Trail.  We decided to ride the medium length Great Pyramid Loop and enjoyed the leisurely riding with occasional viewpoints looking into the canyon.  The longer Big Chief Loop looked nice as well, and the views of the canyon would have been particularly spectacular with evening light.

Overlook on the Intrepid Trail
Roger at Intrepid Trail

 Enjoying the views on the Intrepid Trail

We were canoeing down there two months ago