These days we've been hiking a lot more than riding, in fact we hadn't taken the bikes off the back of the RV for months. We also hadn't ridden any really technical mountain bike trails in years, maybe not since May 2013 when we rode the incredible Phil's World in Cortez, CO.
So...we knew we had get those bikes dirty, we're in Moab after all, but we (well really, I) didn't want to get in over our heads either. A couple of people suggested Dead Horse Point as a good "easy" ride and an experienced rider here at Portal RV Park (thanks Bill!) gave us all the detail we needed to feel confident about this ride.
Dead Horse Point State Park sits atop a mesa overlooking Canyonlands National Park and the Colorado River. It has a well-signed trail system with trails designated as easy, moderate or difficult. We rode the entire outer loop, a 15 mile mix of easy/moderate trails with breathtaking views into the canyons below. It was a great way to get back into the saddle and I only had to hike-a-bike on a few brief sections!
|I think this is a young long nosed leopard lizard, it was about 6 inches long.|
|Believe me, not all of the trail was this smooth!|
|View from Dead Horse Point after the ride.|
Since we both survived Dead Horse Point, a few days later we again took Bill at the RV parks advice and rode out at Klondike Bluffs. Hans had ridden here in 2002 with his friend Martin, today there many more miles of trails to enjoy, for a wide variety of experience levels.
There are excellent trail signs at every intersection, including information on level of difficulty for each trail so you can customize your ride to your ability or energy level. We put together a fun 12 mile loop of Easy and Intermediate level trails that gave us a taste of what was possible here.
It had rained the morning we rode and Klondike Bluffs Rd has a nasty sandy mud section when it's wet...we headed directly to the do-it-yourself car wash after the ride...that stuff was caked on like glue! There were a few mucky sections on the lower trails too, I wish I had taken a photo of my bike loaded up with mud at one point, I don't know how the wheels were able to turn! Fortunately by the end of the ride the mud had hardened and dropped off the bikes due to all the bumpy slickrock sections!
|Excellent maps at every intersection.|
|Agate East Trail.|
|Crossing slickrock on Dino Flow Trail.|