Monday, October 27, 2014

Moab, Utah - Mountain Biking

Roger and I took advantage of the perfect autumn weather and made a quick mountain biking trip to Moab this past weekend.  We decided to camp at the convenient Horsethief campground near Dead Horse Point and chose four riding locations that were new to both of us.

The bikes at Horsethief campground

After setting up camp on Friday morning, we were off to Dead Horse Point State Park.  Last year, we rode a portion of the Intrepid Trail system located on the east side of Highway 313.  The trail network has since been expanded to include several trails on the west side of the highway.  We were surprised to see so many  bikers in the parking lot when we arrived, but most people were finishing up their rides for the day by the time we were ready to start.  We did a great 11 mile loop that included Prickly, Twisted Tree, Whiptail, Crossroads, Raven Roll, and Great Pyramid trails.  None of the trails were particularly challenging or technical, but the views were fantastic!

Twisted Tree Trail

Great Pyramid Trail

 Biking at Dead Horse Point

We started our Saturday by riding a loop near Gemini Bridges, not far from our campsite at Horsethief.  There were a lot of bikers in this area as well, but many of them were riding the mostly downhill Magnificent 7 ride from the highway down to Moab.  We chose a short 7 mile loop that included Great Escape, Little Canyon, and Arth's Corner.  The ride was more technical and the views into the Moab slickrock area were fantastic.  We did a short hike to the impressive Gemini Bridges after the ride.

Great Escape Trail

Gemini Bridges

We spent the afternoon riding at Moab Brands Bar-M Loops.  This trail network is located north of Moab on Highway 191 and contains many loop options that range from easy to technical.  We were most interested in riding the Circle-O trail and this was definitely the highlight of this trail network.  The Circle-O trail was nearly all slickrock, but it was not as challenging to ride as the famous Slickrock Trail.  The views into Arches National Park were also excellent.  We finished the day by riding Deadman's Ridge, the most challenging trail of the weekend, before riding the rolling, relaxing Lazy trail back to the car.

Circle-O Trail

Circle-O Trail

 Circle-O Trail

Deadman's Ridge Trail

Sunset at camp

We did a mellow but gorgeous ride through Onion Creek on Sunday morning before returning to Salt Lake.  The trail is actually the 4WD road that follows and crosses Onion Creek numerous times as it travels through the canyon.  This made for a wet ride, but the weather was sunny and mild and all of the mud added to the fun.  We found a great spot to have lunch under an enormous cottonwood tree before turning around and coasting down the canyon.

 Onion Creek

 Roger riding through Onion Creek

Onion Creek

Taking a break in Onion Creek

Onion Creek