Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Little Mountain Biking in Moab

Moab, UT is considered one of the best places for mountain biking in the world, and we did our share when we visited the area in 2007. Back then I was a lot more confident on the mountain bike and even completed the world famous Slickrock Trail...the hardest trail I have ever ridden, and I can honestly say I will never ride it again...it kicked my butt!

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.

Jurassic Trail.
Agate East Trail.

Crossing slickrock on Dino Flow Trail.


  1. WOW! Is all I can say. I love the views at Dead Horse, but only hiked it. And, can you be believe we have never done the Klondike Bluffs? So happy the rain hasn't interfered with your fun! You are awesome!

    1. It looks like there could be some neat hiking in the upper sections of Klondike. We walked a little of the dino tracks area but did not see any obvious dinosaur tracks.

    2. Good to know...always looking for new places to explore.

  2. I'm glad to see you shaking some of that rust off the bikes :)

  3. Have only been to Deadhorse once with mom and my sister. It was almost dark so we didn't hike.

  4. Beautiful country for a ride, glad you both enjoyed getting back on the bikes. Love the pic of Hans along the ridgeline - what a view from there! I've been expecting to see lizards here in the eastern Sierras too, but they have been elusive so far. Your guy was very handsome :-))

  5. Good to see you out there biking! Not sure we would care for some of those rocky trails but the scenery is gorgeous.

  6. Oh how fun!! We've biked trails at Klondike Bluffs and had a blast, but I never thought about biking at Dead Horse Point. Looks like something we would really enjoy (and I'm not too proud to hike my bike when needed, hehe.) We love having our bikes along with us in our travels.

  7. Boy you went through some beautiful scenery. That picture from Dead Horse Point is fabulous. Looks like you two are still in bikin' shape. My biking is like my kayaking, no white water! LOL

  8. Love the mountain biking. It gets your heart pumping. I thought Phil's world was pretty technical. Mike loved it.

  9. Another perfect way to see all this beauty:) That mud is wicked!!

  10. So envious! We had planned to do a lot of riding in Moab, but it was 100 degrees very early in the day. Your pictures are great. We'll be putting Moab on the list of places to try again.