Surrounded by the beauty of wind-blown rock sculptures, otherworldly terrain, and two national parks, Moab, Utah is one of the centers of the mountain biking world. Whether you’re visiting Moab to take a casual biking tour or push yourself to the next level, this Moab mountain biking guide is filled with noteworthy rides and trails for every skill level.
Slickrock Bike Trail
Starting off with one of the more challenging trails on our list, the Slickrock Bike Trail is nine and a half miles of heart-pounding turns, challenging climbs, and priceless views that make the grueling trek all worth it. Set in the Sand Flats Recreation Area (SFRA) you’ll have the La Sal Mountains in the distance and Arches National Park beckoning you to finish strong and complete the ride. This ride has garnered a reputation as one of the most picturesque and beautiful in the country.
If you’re looking for something a little less challenging, the Bar-M Loop gives novices and beginners the chance to take in the dramatic scenery without pushing the limits. This family-friendly ride is a go-to for larger groups, and spans for eight miles through the Utah high desert. With options to begin from either trailhead, this popular trail has begun to be known as a “recovery-day ride” to keep the muscles loose and prepped for the next challenging ride.
Gemini Bridges Trail
As one of the most popular rides in the area, the Gemini Bridges Trail calls to a range of novice riders and families. While you might have to share the road with a few ATVs, this 16-mile round trip climbs around 1,500 feet and offers views of white-capped mountains and sky-high spirals of ancient rock. You will definitely want to bring your camera and stop off for a few postcard-perfect photo opportunities along the way.
Navajo Rocks Trail
The epitome of variety, the Navajo Rocks Trail showcases a wide range of terrain, focusing on the intermediate to advanced skill levels. Opening just north of Moab in 2014, this ride offers both east and west sections with two separate trailheads. The full loop runs about 18 miles in total and lets more advanced riders enjoy an area to work on technique, as well as the ability to join up with the Gemini Bridges/Magnificent 7 trail system.
Dead Horse Trail
A relatively quick but picturesque ride, Dead Horse Trail is a great spot for beginners and intermediate bikers to hit the wandering paths with ease. Sections of the trail run from half a mile to just under four miles. Designed to cater to families and novice riders, this is an ideal trail for families and groups to get out together and take in the iconic landscapes on two wheels. Climbing less than 100 feet in total, this is the perfect introductory ride to get someone hooked on Moab mountain biking.
The Magnificent 7 Trail
Comprised of sections of seven different trails, the Magnificent 7 Trail has nearly 52 miles for rides to customize their route. Featuring main parts of Gemini Road, Bull Run, Little Canyon, Golden Spike, Arth’s Corner, Upper Gold Bar Rim, Portal Trail, and the northern part of Poison Spider, the Magnificent 7 Trail boasts a little bit of everything for all skill levels. Actually taking sections of up to 10 trails, this is a perfect place to create your own journey.
Flat Iron Mesa Trail
A blend of paved roads and well-worn trails, Flat Iron Mesa Trail takes you to a point where Hatch Wash meets Kane Springs Canyon and delivers an unparalleled 270-degree view of nature-hewn canyons. Seven miles of casual climbs and winding trails offer a great spot to set up the tripod and snap some views that will make all of your friends at home jealous.
Jackson Hole Loop
Not for the faint-hearted, and definitely geared towards hardcore expert riders, the Jackson Hole Loop has been described as “gnarly”, “technical”, and “grueling.” After over 22 miles and 1,800 vertical feet of punishing climbing, you’ll be rewarded with another 500-foot climb while carrying your bike. Finding that next level in the midst of this bar-raising journey, and surrounding yourself with the beauty of some of Moab’s most stunning sights, is an accomplishment that can’t be measured.
Porcupine Rim Trail
This classic ride has been hailed as a “must ride” for expert and more advanced riders. Riders can choose to tackle the 15.6-mile Porcupine Rim Trail as a one-way trip or turn it into a 34-mile loop to up the intensity for an extreme challenge. Featuring nearly 10 miles of uphill battles, prehistoric rock formations, and a ride along the raging Colorado River, this is a truly a trail that should be on every mountain biker’s bucket list.
White Rim Trail
Adding up to nearly 4,000 feet of climbing, this multi-day, 103-mile trip is has become an instant classic. Weaving and winding through Canyonlands National Park, the White Rim Trail can take up to three or four days to enjoy the ride and take in the scenery, but there are a few limit-pushing athletes who will do the whole trip in only a day or two.
Set in the midst of landscapes created by millions of years of wind, water, erosion, and seismic activity, there is truly no place like Moab on earth. If you’re looking for your next great adventure, or simply want to experience the picturesque sights as you pedal through the iconic rock formations, then head to the Utah desert to experience Moab mountain biking.
Featured photo courtesy of Sam X
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