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Great Mountain Bikers Bringing Beginners to Moab

May 21, 2015 Destination North America No Comments Print Print Email Email

Whether traveling with a significant other or the kids here are a few tips to help plan a remarkable trip for beginners.


This trip is not about biking with the experienced buddies, so slow it down. Spend some time at home before your trip on skills.  Then plan your trip to do some beginner trails together and include other activities for the beginners to enjoy, while the advanced bicyclists takes that time to ride a tougher trail.

Prior to the trip some skills to work on to avoid a tender bottom while on vacation and to understand the bicycle features and your limits are:  put some time on the saddle, get everyone familiar with how the shifters work, ride around some obstacles, cones or cone pairs, and be aerobically strong.  Knowing what kind of shifters your bike will have, whether your own bike or one you will rent in Moab is very helpful.

A Good Place to Start

Trails: Chilkoot Pass, Agate West 

Chilkoot Pass and Agate West are accessed on the north end of the Klondike Bluff Area. Spend some time stooping over the ground looking at the pretty rocks along the Agate trail. Bring along the book, Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor. Read it after dinner. Have yarn or string and wire tucked away to make a necklace out of a rock that was sure to be pocketed from the Agate Trail. From this same Klondike parking lot, there is a hike to the Dinosaur Stomping Grounds. This pedestrian trail parallels the Mega Steps bike trail. Could be an opportunity to pedal a difficult bike trail, if your companion is willing to explore solo or there is a second adult to supervise the kids on the walk.

Trails: Rusty Spur, Bar M 

In the BRANDS trail system, the Rusty Spur has a climb at the south most point at the switchback. Often beginners will push up this slope. This trail is short and sweet. Most of the riding is on the paved pathway. If a shuttle can be arranged to be dropped at the Brands and bike back toward town. Gauge how far is appropriate for the youth. There is a trail head to pictographs just south of the Arches National Park entrance. Park there or across the Colorado River at the intersection with Hwy 128 at the Transit Hub parking lot. Possibly plan to stop at Arches, if the road is clear cross Hwy 191 to play on the sand hill. Be sure children can grasp hand brakes for this LONG downhill. Rest frequently, little hands will tire out.

The Bar M, counter clockwise is a wide trail, some riders have difficulty with narrower singletrack like the Lazy and EZ sections. There is a cut off on a 4WD road back to the parking lot.  The north end of Bar M has a steep hill and a sandy patch.  Sometimes pushing a bike through these tears down confidence.

Trails: Zephr, Gypsy, and Magician 

Use the Midway parking lot for the KlonZo mountain bike trail system. The Midway will have to be used to get out to the Zephr, Gypsy and Magician pool.  The Carousel might be worth a try too. Exit to navigate to the junction of Roller Coaster and Midway to split for the return to the parking lot. Better riders can get in this challenging section since the beginner rider has already ridden Midway in and knows what to expect.

If all of the above trails worked out in the Klondikes and Brands, while in KlonZo , the Hotdog and the Edge could be the next level to tackle and enjoy.

Continue on the Willow Springs Road to enter Arches National Park near Balanced Rock. Look for a stop to see dinosaur tracks along the way. There will be a low informational sign off along the side to the south of the road. Just before reaching the Arches pavement a cluster of picnic tables are available for a snack or meal break.

The Moab Trail Mix has added two mountain bike loops around the Bureau of Land Management Horsethief Campground. These are first-come-first-served-$15-a-night primitive campsites off of Hwy 313. New in 2015! The Rowdy Trail is a low intermediate one and the Wrangler is for beginners. It might prove purposeful to walk along with your bicycling counterpart to provide pointers and support. The Chisholm Trail is a connector to the Magnificent 7 in Gemini Bridges should your situation be such to take a twirl from camp. OR…

It might be worthwhile to arrange to have accommodations with a hot tub to counter tired muscles for beginner adults. Kids always love water. A pool will cool them off after exercising biking. During the evening, take a restful car jaunt out to see Rock Art or if adults, live music at one of the night spots.

Set up a river rafting trip for the beginners. It includes lunch. Many of the companies provide complimentary hotel pick up from downtown locations. It will allow a whole day for the advance mountain biker to blast onto the trails requiring greater skills and strength. Do it right and your significant other or kids will be begging you to return.

For more detailed information visit our website at www.discovermoab.com or call us at 1-800-635-6622.

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