Looking to go back to Utah this year, we have been to Moab driving from Denver and taking in Fruita and Breck twice before. We love Moab but are looking at an alternative of maybe flying to Vegas this time and trying out some routes in South Utah or Arizona. Will we be disappointed or is the riding there on a par or better?
We considered driving north but it looks like it would take two days out of 14 days holiday if we drive from Vegas to Utah so we would rather not.
If south Utah is as good are there any ‘must do’ rides that we need to consider? Also is there anything we really need to see while we are in the area?
Although maybe not *quite* as good as a few 5-star rides in Moab, the St. George area (only 1.5-2 hours from Vegas) in southern Utah will definitely keep you entertained. Some would argue they like the trails here more Moab.
Must-do rides are:
Gooseberry, Little Creek, Guacamole, Zen, Grafton Mesa. There are plenty of others, see Utahmountainbiking.com.
Bootleg canyon, Cowboy trails, and others are great in the Vegas area.
Sedona, which I wish was closer to me, is worth the trip by itself.
Sounds good. We are looking at travelling over mid September, take in a few places, mainly riding but checking out a few sights as well on the way. We wanted to avoid the long drives we have done in the past – we live in the UK so anything over 4/5 hours is long 🙂
I’ll second flying into Vegas, riding there a couple of days, then heading to southern Utah. In Vegas, Bootleg is amazing, and the Blue Diamond area is also pretty great.
In Utah, Gooseberry is a must ride, but really it is difficult to find a bad ride in Hurricane/Apple Valley. Plus you can spend a recovery day checking out Zion. If you rent a 4×4 you can camp near the Wire Mesa trailhead and do a ride with stunning views before you’ve even had your coffee each morning.
Just don’t stay in Vegas any longer than you have to 😉
Both Sedona (going in two weeks) and St George/Hurricane (going in April) are 6-7 hours from us in San Diego so that’s where we head for long weekends. Moab is 13+ hours so I’ve only ridden there once for a week. I had a blast and will go back but I’m one of those that *for the most part*, enjoys the riding in Hurricane more than Moab (Lower Porcupine might be an exception). That being said, the VIEWS in Moab are unparalleled unless you go hiking in Zion (Angels Landing) or Bryce Canyon. The riding in St G/Hurricane is more trail oriented than Moab overall and with a few exceptions, there’s not as much “gnar” but the variety is awesome and the trails are relatively empty as well. Another bonus is that lodging will be a complete bargain in St G/Hurricane. Check out the Thunder Mountain MTB trail outside Bryce Canyon. It’s a must do and September would be the perfect time to ride there. http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/thunder.htm
Sedona is stunningly beautiful and has more “gnar” than most St G/Hurricane stuff though w/o the death defying drops of Portal and no 30 miles rides like The Whole Enchilada in Moab. The trails are more chunky here than the other locations so don’t expect any flow in Sedona. The one drawback is there tends to be a plethora of hikers on some trails in Sedona and they don’t all like mountain bikes though I’ve had few issues. Restaurant selection/quality in Sedona is better that Moab and St G/Hurricane combined. Lodging is the most expensive though.
I’ve personally only ridden inVegas once and that was at Bootleg Canyon. I’m not saying I wouldn’t go back but I wasn’t very impressed. Nothing around with spending a couple days there though since you’d fly in there.