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What isn’t there to ride in Moab? There’s alpine terrain, mesas, slickrock, boulders and it’s all sandwiched between two stunning national parks: Arches and Canyonlands. Moab’s extensive terrain, combined with its rich mountain bike and dirt bike history ensure it’s always atop any MTBer’s tick list. Even riders who’ve been there keep finding reasons to return and ride its extensive singletrack offerings.
While Moab’s mountain biking history largely stems from repurposed dirt bike trails, like Slickrock, the community has striven to create and maintain more and more new trails for every level of rider. It’s not just a destination for advanced and pro level riders anymore. There’s a concerted effort being made to make its mountain-bike-on-Mars terrain accessible for everyone.
There’s plenty of trails accessible right from town, but if you’re looking for some harder to reach objectives, like The Whole Enchilada, there are several shuttle services available (see the list below), most of which will pick you up from one of Moab’s choice bike shops. Oh, yeah, the bike shops, a word on them: they all cater to every level of rider with rentals, repairs and advice. Some of them offer tours and a couple even offer showers (Poison Spider Bicycles and Moab Cyclery) if you need to cool off and clean up after a day of desert riding.
Regardless of your bike shop needs, do yourself and your group a favor and make sure your bike is tuned before you hit the trails. Desert terrain is more punishing than other terrain, and no one wants to go home early because they didn’t want to pay for a tune-up.
For lodging, there are the usual suspects with regards to hotels and Airbnb, and Moab is camp(er) friendly too. The Sand Flats Recreation Area, three miles out of town, has about 120 spots (no running water though) that can be reserved, so don’t show up on a Friday night during the season and expect to get lucky with a place to camp. Plan in advance.
Before you get your car gassed up and bikes loaded on top, remember that it is desert terrain, and it can get very, very hot depending on the season you choose to ride. Lots of water is a must, always bring more than you think you need. Plus snacks. While some areas can be ridden year round, keep in mind that the Burro Pass and La Sal Mountain Loop legs of The Whole Enchilada don’t open until July! If you find yourself there in summer, ride your trails in the early morning, even later evening rides can get hot, as the terrain holds a ton of heat.
Here are some of the shuttle services around. These guys will not only get you where you want to go, but they also know the terrain like the backs of their hands.
The bike shops in Moab are welcoming and, most importantly, have a quick turnaround. Chances are your mechanics who’re tuning your bike also created and built some of the amazing tracks in the area.
With over 200 trails to choose from and maybe only 57hours worth of time to ride, you can always hire a guiding service while to get a jump on what and where you’d like to ride. With a guiding service, you can mitigate your risks and not have to think about logistics. Get the most out of your mountain biking vacation!