Moab, Utah, is one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit during your lifetime. There is almost any outdoor activity imaginable: hiking, rafting, off-road tours, and more. In this specific instance, there are many fantastic mountain bike trails you can go to. So, what are they?
The best Moab mountain bike trails are as follows:
- Klondike Bluffs: 13 miles (easy to advance)
- Slickrock: 5-mile loop (advanced)
- Mag 7: 21-mile point-to-point trail (intermediate)
- Navajo Rocks: 17-mile loop (intermediate)
One of the many things to consider before going on your journey is where you stand. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced rider? If you are a beginner, riding The Whole Enchilada would be unwise, but riding on Slickrock might be better.
Another thing to take into consideration is how fit you are. For example, you would not want to ride a 20-mile trail if you knew you would tire after a few miles. However, you can work your way up to it.
For example, if you know you will travel to that location within a year, prepare your body for said adventures. We encourage you to continue reading for more information without further ado.
Why Mountain Bike in Moab?
There are multiple reasons why you should mountain bike in Moab, Utah. Firstly, there is a little bit of everything for everyone, as mentioned above. On top of that, Moab was the first place that drew mountain bikers back in the 1980’s. It was known as “the place to go” back then. In some cases, it still is.
More specifically, in 1983, Moab drew a father and his sons to this location to open up Rim Cyclery, Moab’s first bike shop. This small shop turned the area’s focus from mining to mountain biking.
Not only that, but the beautiful red and slickrock riding was much different than other mountain bike terrains in the country. In return, the fantastic weather and beautiful scenery captured the hearts of many, which makes it a great place to visit.
If you have a style for rough terrain, rock gardens, and punchy climbs with fantastic views, then Moab is the place to go.
What Are the Best Moab Mountain Bike Trails?
There are over 435 mountain bike trails in Moab. However, we have chosen to write about the four best mountain bike trails. Note that some are easy, whereas others are hard. However, there will be some details of each one below.
1. Klondike Bluffs
Klondike Bluffs is an excellent choice if you want a technical ride. Some parts of this ride are easy, whereas others are intermediate or advanced.
However, we consider it easy because a beginner can do certain parts of this trail. This trail is best for group rides and is 13 miles long, but the Klondike Bluff contains more than 50 miles of singletrack for diverse mountain biking. Some technical loops exist, but you can also go on smoother rides.
If you go to this link here, you will quickly find some popular loops that are easy (green circle), intermediate (blue square) or advanced (black diamond). In that case, pick a loop that your body can handle.
Some Quick Notes:
- If you want an easy and short route, climb Baby Steps North instead of Little Salty.
- You can make the trail longer in many ways, as Klondike Bluffs is made of a network of trails. However, one way you can do so is by continuing to the end of Dino Flow, climbing up Baby Steps South to make your way over to UFO and rejoin the route.
- Another way is taking Mega Steps downward instead of Alaska, as many people have reviewed great things.
- Wearing good pants for climbing (check Amazon) is best, mainly because of all the tough-ups you will have.
- As you are initially going down the lower Dino Flow, it is fun and rolls quickly. However, the climb up might be tricky for some, but they will be rewarded with a fantastic descent down Alaska.
- Make sure to hike up to see the dinosaur tracks after riding. You can use TrailForks for the map or GPS.
Despite the name, the Slickrock trail is not necessarily slick, but it contains a lot of gripping and tacky rides. Some people claim that they ride their bike sideways without realizing they must fix it half the time. Slickrock is one of the most popular among them all. This is because it contains a lot of fantastic red rock scenery. It is best if you want a classic desert ride.
According to utah.com, this specific trail is about 12 miles long, and bikers should plan for a 4-hour round trip if all the side trails are being explored. Although many parts of this trail are complex, it may help gain confidence with beginner and intermediate riders. However, Trailforks rates the entire trail as Black Diamond, which may be difficult for some people.
Some Quick Notes:
- If you want to get to Slickrock, drive through the town and up to the Sand Flats Recreation area. You can get a whole week pass (for $10) or a day pass (for $5) for a private vehicle. The week’s pass will give you much time to go on mountain bike tours in Moab.
- While steering, stay loose, keep your legs moving, and do not oversteer in sand.
- It is best to ride from March to May or September through November.
- Look for white dashes on the Slickrock trail. These will help you navigate the trail better because it is mostly rock and not a traditional single-track.
- If something looks fun, you can go off the track a bit, but if you get too far, you may get lost or have difficulty finding your way back.
- Watch out for the sand traps; your tires will go shallow.
3. Mag 7
There are many popular bike trails on Mag 7, also known as Horsethief. Some people believe it does not flow as well as others, but it is still a popular trail nevertheless.
This specific trail has roughly seven linkup downhill trails and is roughly 21 miles. It runs 3300 feet upwards of the Colorado River and Highway 313. During this ride, you will see some of the most gorgeous canyon-rim views. The best trails to ride are the Gateway, Bull Run, Gold Bar Rim, and Portal.
Some Quick Notes:
- Be prepared to take a lot of water, especially since this is a big, figure-eight loop and ride. We recommend taking more water than you need.
- This specific route does not have as much flow as others. However, many people rant and rave about it, so it is worth checking out.
- Cut over on the connector trail to skip the descent down and the top part of Getaway.
- For experienced riders, you can shuttle to one of the most classic descents in Moab.
4. Navajo Rocks
Most Navajo Rocks are not for beginners but for intermediates and pros. However, some beginners can go on specific trails, like EZ and Lazy. It is roughly 17 miles long.
This trail contains a little something for everyone, as it provides a challenge for intermediates but keeps pros busy. Not only is it an excellent trail for those who have ridden for a while, but the Navajo Rocks contains beautiful scenery for those looking to have a view on their mountain biking journey.
If you want to find a place to have a snack or eat a meal, go to some of the higher points where you can see La Sals. If you are lucky enough to go during the springtime, you can still see some snow at the top of the mountains. Talk about gorgeous views!
Some Quick Notes:
- Do not underestimate the ride, as your legs will feel it at the end of the day. Take breaks if need be. It might be best ridden clockwise for a fun downhill experience.
- Navajo Rocks is divided into two smaller loops. If you want your ride to be shorter, there are two ways you can do so. The first is by riding the Western loop and climbing up Coney Island. Afterward, you will descend Big Lonely to Big Mesa.
- Another way to keep your ride short is by taking the Eastern loop. This might be the best choice since you will climb up Rocky Tops and descend down Ramblin.
- This specific trail has multiple experiences, like flowy descents, techy climbs, gorgeous views, and many slickrock riding.
What Are Some Important Things to Know Before You Go?
Before going on your journey, there are a few things you need to be prepared for. It would be unwise to expect to do something without being prepared or lacking knowledge. So, here are five essential things to know before starting.
1. Moab Gets Snow in Winter
When you visit Moab during winter, check the forecast, as it can sometimes get snow. Snow will hinder you from riding the higher-elevation trails if recent storms occur.
2. E-bikes are Not Allowed on Most Trails
Currently, e-bikes are not allowed on many trails in Moab. Most trails have a “no motorized vehicles” sign labeled on them. Due to the technology change, this may change, but for now, it is wise to follow the standards.
3. Moab Gets Hot in the Summer
Utah is primarily a desert state, so it would make sense for it to get hot during the summertime. It can get up to 100 degrees or more during the summer months. In that case, ensure you are fully prepared: bring plenty of water, have sunscreen, wear the correct clothing, and do not drink anything specific that might cause you to throw up.
For example, if you drink coffee or a protein shake, ensure it does not have dairy. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the side of the road trying to eliminate those heavy drinks or foods. Another thing to consider is not to wear black or dark clothing.
4. Be Careful of the Exposure
Mountain bikers have died on specific trails, especially the Porter Trail, which is known to be one of the most dangerous trails in the USA. According to Mountain Zone, at least one person has died in the last four years. If you are unsure about a specific trail, walk, especially since most trails have cliffside singletracks.
5. There May Be Quite a Bit of Crowds
Since Moab is famous in many aspects, there may be a lot of crowds, especially during the summertime when people travel the most. Be prepared for long restaurant wait times, busy campsites and campgrounds, sold-out hotels, and crowds on and off the trails.
Not to mention, Moab is the gateway town of three different National Parks, which are the following:
- Arches National Park
- Canyon Land
- Manti-La Sal National Forrest Park
Overall, we want you to have fun on your Moab journey! We hope this article was helpful to you and whoever you will be going with. We wish you the best of luck, but most importantly, we hope that you are safe during this time! Remember never to do anything you know your body cannot handle. We recommend checking out our other articles if you have any more questions about mountain biking.