The Must-Do 3 Days of Mountain Biking in Moab, UT

Day 2

Morning Ride: Intermediate

Sovereign Trail: this is one of my favorite areas in Moab, and a perennial lesser-known favorite for the seasoned Moab rider. Finding it can be difficult, and there are two trailheads with several interconnecting loops, so get a map and plan your ride. It’s roughly 16 miles of ups and downs with several optional rock features. Make sure to check with a local bike shop before going out, though: sometimes motos can tear up some of the trail and bring out the sandy areas–it’s nice to know that in advance. FYI: this is a great place to ride a fat bike or plus-sized bike.

Although most of Sovereign is benign and designed for the intermediate rider, it's pretty easy to find the gnar. Photo: John Fisch
Although most of Sovereign is benign and designed for the intermediate rider, it’s pretty easy to find the gnar. Photo: John Fisch

Morning Ride: Advanced

The Whole Enchilada: this has replaced Slickrock as the unofficial signature ride in Moab, and for good reason. It is a 26-mile downhill run (with 1,500ft of climbing mixed in) made up of 6 trails that traverse several ecosystems over the most demanding terrain Moab has to offer. This ride requires a shuttle, where you’ll start in alpine forest at 10,400ft and climb above treeline to 11,200ft. You’ll then experience the steep DH-like Burro Pass, which mellows into a meandering aspen grove before it spits you out into the oak groves and pinons of Hazzard County and Kokopelli. After a super fast road descent, you’ll begin the technical, rocky sections of UPS and LPS, before it blends into the famous Porcupine Rim. Plenty of opportunities to go fast and hit big jumps along these last sections. Note that if you have to pedal back to town you will capture almost 35 miles of riding! It will be the ride you remember for the rest of your life.

TWE is chocked full of postcard views interrupted by crap-eating-grin rocky singletrack
TWE is chocked full of postcard views interrupted by crap-eating-grin rocky singletrack

Evening Ride: Intermediate

Pipe Dream: Still got some legs? Take the no-dab challenge! This 4.8-mile trail parallels the main drag of downtown Moab and offers a nice cool down with rock-armored up and down sections. There is a “game” whereby if you can ride this trail out-and-back without dabbing, you’re… well, pretty awesome. Me? I’m doing it one way and riding my bike back to town for some local suds.

The no-dab challenge is a lot harder than it sounds with 2-way traffic! Photo: maddslacker
The no-dab challenge is a lot harder than it sounds with 2-way traffic! Photo: maddslacker

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