No doubt, Moab is the world’s most famous mountain bike spot. It is the mountain bike mecca. 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 – Magnificent Flow on the Rocks
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. The combination with the Moab Brands (Bar M) Trails makes it an epic but throughout pleasurable ride.
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!
Whole Enchilada is the most raved about MTB-ride in and outside of Moab. And as the name suggests, it has it all: high-altitude alpine riding, smooth slalom berms, slickrock, views, technical challenges, etc. It can be ridden as an epic loop with a length of 61 miles/100 km and a total elevation gain of 8300 feet/2500 meters.
For some reason we chose the shuttle ride option (like almost everybody else) that saved us almost about 1800 meters of climbing and costed only 25$. There is still a climbing part at the beginning up to Burro Pass that made us gasp and feel a bit dizzy due to the high altitude of 11.150 ft/3.400 m.
The trail from Burro Pass down is steep with some switchbacks and loose rocks, but all rideable. As the vegetation changes from alpine firs to birch trees the trail gets faster. In Hazzard County the trail is zippy and fun as it is winding through wide open plains. The Kokopelli Trail which is more a road than a trail leads to UPS and LPS, the upper and lower Porcupine Singletrack. This is the best section: the trail goes up and down slickrock with fast and flowy sections on packed sand surface. Views are stunning as the trail runs along the Porcupine Rim. At the intersection with the Sandflats Rd the Porcupine Rim Trail starts, a gnarly Jeep track that beats you up. Hard to enjoy.
Eventually, when you are well shaken, the Porcupine Rim Trail becomes a singletrack again. This is where the fun comes back. The trail turns towards the Colorado River Gorge and comes up with some tricky technical challenges and spits you finally out at a parking lot at the river. The paved bike path along the Colorado River brings you back into town with sore wrists from the hundreds of drops that you did on this 35 mile/56 km ride and a big, big smile on your face.
The Moab ride on top of my must-ride list had been the HyMasa/Captain Ahab. For good reason as I know by now. This ride is truly outstanding. Mostly on slickrock, it is technically challenging with lots of drops and climbs up and down ledges, yet, it has great flow (if you can master the challenging spots). Moreover, the scenery you ride in and you look upon is already breathtaking – and the climb will let you gasp for air even more. Much alike The Whole Enchilada, Captain Ahab is one of the greatest rides anywhere. Already, I am longing to do this ride again…