Moab – Mountain Bike Mecca

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No doubt, Moab is the world’s most famous mountain bike spot.  The classic ride in Moab is the Slickrock Trail – an about 18 km long dotted line on pale red rock and still a unique experience.  The moderate total elevation gain and length may let the ride look easy, yet, it is a challenging ride, due to the many short, steep climbs.  Even if there are rides with more fun, flow or adrenaline in Moab, the Slickrock Trail is the one you just have to do.

MAG7

The “Mag7” name’s origin comes from 7 magnificent trails in the upper area of Gemini Bridges Road.  And I fully agree that they are indeed magnificent.   This is the sort of Moab-ride you dream of:  views of Arches N.P. and other bizarre rock formations, tight turns, slickrock and red dirt, flow and fun.

Mag7 is best done as a shuttle ride starting from the upper end of the Gemini Bridges Rd.   Bull Run is the first Mag7 trail you hit.  After Bull Run you have the option to go back up the dirt road to do the Getaway Trail for extended fun and even more flow.  Continue on Arth’s and Cyn Trail to get either to the Gold Bar Rim Jeep Trail that climbs up again to the Portal Trail or take Gemini Bridges Rd to connect to the Moab Brand / Bar M trail system.  We decided for less climbing and exposure and did the nice and rather easy trails Lazy EZ, Rusty Spur and Sidewinder that brought us back in direction Moab.  A paved bike path brings you back to Moab.  Total length of the ride is about 50 km (30 miles).  One of the best rides anywhere!

 

Fruita, Colorado

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Dinosaurs and mountain biking are the two things that make Fruita so special.  In fact, there is a dinosaur-on-bike sculpture in downtown.

The two main mountain bike trail systems are the Kokopelli Trails above the Colorado River and the 18 Road Trails in the North Fruita Desert.

The Kokopelli Trails that consist of several loop trails (Mary’s, Horsethief’s, Wrangler’s) are mostly rocky or sandy and quite technical in some spots.  The trail down to the Horsethief loop in particular, is where you better carry the bike (which can be still challenging and painful, as I can tell from own experience).  The ride at the edge of cliffs is awesome due to the spectacular views.  Either way you go, there are rock steps to go up or down.  As I struggled to overcome some of the rock steps I couldn’t get into the flow in some sections.  All in all, the Kokopelli Trails offer a great and challenging experience.

The 18 Road trails on the opposite side of town are quite different.  The lunarlike landscape, but as well, the smooth and zippy trails are fantastic.  The Prime Cut trail is the best uphill trail to access most other trails, e.g. Zippity, PBR, Chutes & Ladders, etc.

After going down the fast and smooth PBR Trail with some jumps and berms, we went up Prime Cut again to hit Zippity Do Da via Frontside Trail.   What an outstanding ride!  Zippy and fun on Frontside and then the smooth ride up and down the ridge in a peculiar landscape.  Stunning and awesome. The double loop added up to 20 km and much more pictures that we took during the ride.

Thunder Mountain Trail, Utah (nearby Bryce Canyon)

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The Bryce Canyon Nation Park is spectacular.  On the close by Thunder Mountain Trail you ride through a similarly stunning landscape with red sandstone pillars and hoodoos.  When I was riding across the one of the ridges my senses just got overwhelmed by the views and the effort of keeping the balance on the exposed trail with wind gusts.

The trail is mostly smooth with packed sand and gravel surface and can be done as a loop or as out back.  As a loop it is best done in clockwise direction, so a part of the climb is on a paved bike path from the Red Rock Visitor Center and on a forest road that ends on the Coyote Hollow Parking Lot.  Because of the scenery, I recommend to ride the trail as out and back starting from the lower trailhead.  Thus, you can enjoy the stunning views from different angles and have fun on the downhill with some demanding steep switchbacks.  If you are in the Bryce Canyon area this trail is an absolute must.

Tahoe Rim Trail & Flume Trail, Nevada

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The Tahoe Rim & Flume Trail is a legendary MTB-ride through fascinating nature with stunning views.  It is best done as shuttle ride starting at Tahoe Meadows on the Tahoe Rim Trail (shuttle services are available in Incline Village).

The trails are mostly smooth and easy, but the rocks and boulders add spice, particularly on the TRT.  Jumping down boulders is fun, but in the uphill sections the rocks cause some challenges.  Perhaps the biggest challenge on the Flume Trail is to keep the eyes on the trail despite the stunning views.

The Tahoe Rim Trail circles the Lake Tahoe but not the entire trail is open for bikes. The part of the TRT in this ride is open to bikes only on even numbered days and quite some traffic (hikers and mountain bikers) should be expected during the summer months.

I loved the ride on the Rim Trail with all the rock steps up and down providing little kicks to the smooth trail.  The ride on the Flume Trail was to me a sort of nature theatre.  The lower half of the Flume Trail and the section around Marlette Lake is on dual-track and less exciting.  Altogether the 40 km / 25 miles long ride is experience no mountain biker should miss.