There are a lot of reasons to come to Utah. We’ve got the best ski resorts, five awesome national parks, lakes, mountains, rivers, and more scenery than you can experience in a lifetime. People come from all over the world to explore the natural beauty of the state – and, interestingly, one of the biggest tourism draws is bicycling.
We’re not really too surprised by this fact. We have hundreds of cyclists show up every year for the Capitol Reef Classic, which takes place right in our backyard. But what most enthusiasts come to Utah to experience is hardcore, off-trail, mountain biking. And the number one spot in the state is Moab.
The town of Moab have become a Mecca of sorts for mountain bikers the world over – with some trails getting over 100,000 annual visitors. The main attraction of the area is the slickrock sandstone, which not only makes for great trail riding, but also makes for some pretty cool views.
So if you are looking for the excitement of heart-pounding, go-for-broke mountain biking – here’s the Lodge at Red River Ranch’s list of best Moab trails.
Bar M Loop Trail – if you’re new to the whole idea of hopping over slickrock sandstone, this is where we recommend you go. The trail is easy, but also contains all the elements that you need to master, in order to become a true trail junkie. Besides, you’ll get a great view of the La Sal mountains.
Gemini Bridges Bike Trail – one of the coolest trails in the area, you’ll end up right on top of Gemini Bridges. Once there, you can look down into Bull Canyon, 250-feet below you. The trail is pretty easy, so it can be a good introduction to slickrock trail riding. But you should still check it out, even if you’re a glutton-for-rock-riding-punishment, the scenery is worth it.
Intrepid Trail System – this is actually not one, but three trails. Together, they form a system that is very family friendly, with a trail for the kids, and a moderately hard trail for the grown ups. Plus the Intrepid System provides spectacular views of Canyonlands National Park. (Which is located within metaphorical spitting distance of Moab.)
Slickrock Bike Trail – this is probably the most popular of all the trails. It is 12-miles in length and usually requires four or more hours to complete, as it gets pretty technical. This trail is considered strenuous, so be sure you’re ready for the ride. Our recommendation: If you’ve gone to the trouble of going to Moab, you’ve got to do the Slickrock Bike Trail. It’s pretty much the definition of Moab biking.
Poison Spider Mesa Bike Trail – this one is for the real masters of off-road, slickrock biking. What we’re trying to say is, this trail is hard. Sometimes it’s sandy, sometimes it’s rocky, and sometimes it’s a combination of the two. But the views from where the trail crosses the mesa are worth every effort. The loop version of the trail is 14-miles long.
That’s our list for where to bike in Moab. Hopefully it’ll give you a good starting point for your own adventure. Just be aware that riding in the summer heat can be dangerous. So we recommend morning and evening rides – or visiting in the spring or fall. And no matter what season or what time of day, bring plenty of water. You’ll need it.