Living just four hours away, Moab is more than doable for a weekend trip. It’s my second-year mountain biking and I’ve been wanting to make it down to the infamous tacky rocks all season. With ample vacation time to use before the end of the year, I planned a three-day weekend and made it happen!
Heading south in late November means it still warms up to 45-50 during the day, perfect riding weather. I was comfortable with shorts, t-shirt and a long sleeve on Friday and Saturday. For the morning ride on Sunday, I added tights and a base layer.
As far as choosing trails, I mainly ride intermediate, with some blacks mixed in. My true skill level is more like advanced beginner, but it’s good to push yourself : )
Ride 1: Navajo Trail System, Rocky Top
Trail rating: Blue/Black
The first 1/2 mile of this, I was NERVOUS. I had never ridden on rocks before and I did not trust the grip at all. Once I finally felt comfortable and used to the rolling hills, it was SO much fun. I quickly learned how important it is to trust the bike and the tires.
This trail is pretty choppy compared to the flowy downhills you find at resorts (where i’m used to riding.) I was surprised at how exhausting the constant up and downs were. Make sure to bring lots of water!
Trail ratings: Blue, Blue/Black, Black/Blue
Dino Flow was a perfect warm up for the rest of the loop. As soon as you hit Little Salty, the trail turns uphill and you begin climbing up a rocky trail. I felt comfortable the majority of the time, until we hit Mega Steps and Alaska. This is when I learned the important lesson of keeping your chain clean. My chain was dirty, and a hard fall bent my derailleur hanger, forcing my chain to skip a few gears and not work correctly. The silver lining here being we took an awesome shortcut (Homer) back to the car, that ended up being a super fun downhill where I didn’t even have to worry about shifting. Lesson learned, take care of your bike!
Trail ratings: Green/Blue, Blue/Black
After pushing myself the past two days with more technical trails, I wanted to take it easier before heading home. This loop was super fun, mainly dirt trail for the first three miles on EZ/Lazy before heading out to North 40. North 40 was again a bit more challenging, but doable besides a few steep stairs.
I’m already looking forward to my next bike trip to Moab. I’d love to hear your recommendations for your favorite intermediate trails!