Mountain Biking in Moab
Moab, Utah is one of the most interesting towns to visit. The surrounding landscape is unlike anything else! Deep canyons intermingled with hoodoos and arches run as far as the eye can see. Arches National Park is a quick 15 minute drive from the town, and is well worth a visit.
Because of the landscape, Moab has become a popular place for a variety of activities. These include mountain biking, jeeping, side-by-side trips, and hiking. If you don’t have any of the gear but would like to try, there are a number of rentals or tour companies that operate out of the town.
The purpose of our visit was to see Arches Nation Park (look at how beautiful it is!!), and to do some mountain biking.
The mountain bike trails are labelled similar to a ski hill, with green, blue and black runs. However that doesn’t mean the terrain is the same within the same level. For instance, one black-rated trail could have lots of drops, and rocks to go over, and another black-rated trail could just be a steep rock trail that goes up and down. We used the app “Trail Forks” to check distances, parking, and ratings for the trails.
The trails have something to offer for everyone. There are options with very little inclines or declines, and few rocks. There are also trails with lots of technical spots. Multiple times we saw families of four out riding the trails. I think the youngest kid I saw was about 6, which is pretty crazy when you think about it. The distances for the trails can range from 2km to 15km, or you can also combine trails together and go much longer. There are lots of accessible trails by shuttle as well as full loops where you earn all of your elevation gain.
Most of the riding we did would be classified as “trail”, although some areas were more cross-country (XC) oriented and some were more endurance oriented. Any bike in this range is great for Moab. The only kinds of bikes you wouldn’t want to bring are hardtail XC bikes and downhill bikes. I was riding a Giant Reign which is a 160 mm travel bike. I had to work a little harder on the uphill sections but for the downs this bike had plenty of travel for anything we rode. My boyfriend rode a Scott Genius 140 mm so his bike was more suited to both climbing and descending.
Our trip went off without any hitches. No one got any injuries, and our bikes survived – minus a flat tire or two. Overall it was an incredibly fun trip. For those that know the area, we did Mustang, Bull Run, Getaway, Slickrock, Porcupine Rim (the boys did this), Jurassic, and Dino Flow. We didn’t even get close to doing most of the trails while we were there. One could easily spend 2 weeks there biking all the different trails.
Each trail has something unique to offer as well because they cover different types of landscapes. For instance, during Bull Run, we were able to stop near a small canyon and have lunch. Whereas during Getaway, we had fantastic views of the La Sal mountains.
Camping in the area is busy, and requires you to book well in advance. We went in the month of April and it was fairly busy. The temperatures fluctuated from 5 degrees to 25 degrees, and were decent biking temperatures. I expect biking in July or August would be much harder due to the heat.
Moab is an interesting place for weather. We went the last week of April and expected it to be a little warmer than it was. So if you were planning to go around this time of year, I would recommend bringing a puffy jacket, a rain jacket, and some other layers. Generally each day started out fairly cold, but then warmed up pretty quick. So it was nice to have a couple of layers to take off as the day went on. The weather seemed pretty unpredictable, so it is good to have clothes for all types of weather.
Overall, this was one of the best vacations I have been on! I definitely want to go back to do some more exploring and biking. Utah has a lot to offer, and I highly recommend people getting down there and checking out the national parks, and possibly doing some of the mountain biking mentioned above.
For more information on Road Trip Essentials, check out my post!