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Moab Adventure
Trip Report

Moab Adventure

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Moab Adventure

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.84000°N / 113.91°W

Date Ridden: Mar 24, 2007 12:00 am

Activities: Mountain, Trials

Season: Spring


Page By: Dan Leonhard

Created/Edited: Oct 11, 2007 / Oct 14, 2007

Object ID: 262230

Hits: 3428 

Page Score: 79.78%  - 11 Votes 

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The Trip

Moab is a second home to me. Moreover, I feel privileged to live in a state that even borders Utah. I have been out to the desert many times, this time however was the first to be dedicated only to mountain biking.
The Desert

At the spur of the moment, passing of a thought and a sudden urge my brother and I loaded the rack, hopped in the car, and fled Denver. The plan was just 3 days to ride 3 awesome trails. Though the trails weren't defined, we knew slickrock would be included.

After 5hrs of palm-sweating anticipation, we arrived in Moab, had a bite to eat and hit up a bike shop to research the trails. We knew we needed a warm-up day so we quickly settled with the Klondike Bluffs trail, then decided to ride Gold Bar Rim, and Slickrock preceding that. Somewhere in between we hoped to squeeze Sovereign in there as well.
Slick Rock
Colorado River from GBR

We camped that night in Castle Valley- damn I love that camping area! Drinking beer on the shores of the Colorado River is a favorite pastime.

In the morning we hit the Bluffs trail. The trail is a 15 mile out and back with more single track than dirt road. After passing through some rolling hills, the trail got more technical and a lot steeper. Enjoying temperatures rising past the 80s, the steep slickrock section drained some energy. I found myself sucking in some air and spilling out some sweat. The fight in the end was well worth it. The Bluffs trail leads visitors into a spectacular area of Arches National Park. After a short rest, we hit the trail and headed back. I truly enjoyed this one!
Gold Bar Rim

Day number two we upped the ante. Gold Bar is no joke but we felt very confident after riding the Bluffs. In fact, we thought this would be the day we could throw in Sovereign as our double-header...well we were mistaken. Gold Bar kicked my ass. After biking the Gemini Bridges Rd for 2 flat miles, it changed abruptly to a solid 11% grade incline. My warm-up was more of a struggle as I pumped my legs to oblivion. The top of that hill was bliss. I could see I had plenty of downhill to come, and I thoroughly enjoyed that long descent. The feeling of the breeze drying the drool on my face was terrific.
Gold Bar

Next I battled sand and small steps. Easy, no problems there, but shortly after I saw the real steps. Wow! They get big! I made it up a few but for some I had to throw out the white flag. The final section until I reached the rim was all slickrock. It wasn't too technical and was very fun.

After taking in the views, we headed back. I really wanted to hit some of those steps again but this time hit'em with style. Sadly my wish didn't come true. My first line looked great. The step dropped about 6 or 7 feet- mostly vertical with a small bulge. I took it a little too slow, caught the bulge with the front wheel and the back one lifted too fast to sit it back down. Luckily I had a soft dirt landing, but without a doubt I shattered my ego. The rest of the way out was a cinch, even though there was quite a bit of uphill.  
A View from the Rim
Riding Utah

The last day of our trip was reserved for Slickrock. This 11 mile lollipop was supposed to end our trip with a bang. All the hype around this place and all the buildup drove our expectations through the roof, and rightfully so. This prehistoric sand dune, now solidified, is a constant battle from start to finish. There are hundreds of hills to conquer, thousands of objects to hurdle, and an endless supply of achievements to be had in this playground.
Climbing Slickrock

Though I was a bit sore in the legs I knew I'd burn the feeling off right away. The drive up to the parking area was pretty cool. We got a good preview of some of the stuff we were in for. My palms were getting sweaty again. This day was the first and only day of the trip when it was windy. We jumped out of the car, threw on a long sleeve, and without hesitation hit the trail.

I got my first burn in the opening 10 minutes of the trail. As soon as I reached top my first hill, I saw a sea of these dunes. I hauled down that hill to get speed for the next. It was very steep at first so I leaned far back on the bike, then as the grade became less dramatic I loosened my grip on the brakes. This feeling was amazing. Cruising threw rolling hills, taking turns at scary speeds and having complete trust in my capabilities. And then it occurred to me that I had ten more miles of this. Only a few times did the wind ever affect our riding. The tops of the hill were windy but not much time was spent up there. The day had no epics. There was no bloodshed or bike damage. It went smooth as could be. We enjoyed every hill and every challenge. I would be lying if I said I defeated all those steep hills, but regardless, the day was a success.
Steep Stuff


Climbing Slickrock


[ Post a Comment ]
Viewing: 1-7 of 7

CedarSounds Fun!


Voted 10/10

Excellent job on the page (even if Under Contrauction)!
Posted Oct 12, 2007 8:53 pm

Dan LeonhardRe: Sounds Fun!

Dan Leonhard

Hasn't voted

Thanks Cedar! I am going to add a little section about my day out at slickrock and that should do it!
Posted Oct 12, 2007 9:27 pm

RyleGreat write up


Voted 10/10

The page looks fantastic with all the photos, really makes me want to get back out there.
Posted Oct 13, 2007 7:41 pm

Dan LeonhardRe: Great write up

Dan Leonhard

Hasn't voted

Thanks Ryle! Writing it really made me want to go back too.
Posted Oct 17, 2007 4:17 pm

cblsttrotwdGreat TR!


Voted 10/10

Reading your descriptions and seeing the views were making my palms sweat! Hiked around that area but never biked, looks like I need to make plans to change that.
Posted Oct 25, 2007 7:50 pm

Dan LeonhardRe: Great TR!

Dan Leonhard

Hasn't voted

Thanks! I would most definitely recommend getting back out there to bike. In fact, I think I'll be planning a trip soon. It's that time of year!
Posted Oct 28, 2007 7:19 pm

RayMondoGreat scenes


Voted 10/10

It's all too much for us over here all now wet and muddy on the trails. This place is bliss.
Posted Nov 28, 2009 5:12 pm

Viewing: 1-7 of 7