Trail Report: Moab’s Mag 7 Trail System

I am in love. Its name is the Mag (or Magnificent 7) trail system and it lives in Moab, UT. Yes, I do live in Grand Junction where our singletrack trails are fast, flowing, and mostly-awesome, but that doesn’t matter! Right now my latest love is 90 minutes away and I’ll do whatever I can to get back there as soon as possible.

I’ll start at the beginning.  We set out for a fun 3-day weekend in Moab with some friends of ours over Halloween. All but one of us are advanced riders; checking out some of the newer trail systems in the area was the main goal.  We started with a warm-up ride on Friday at the Brand Trails. The great thing about the Brand Trails is that they’re so varied. Some, like La-Z-Ez are mostly singletrack dirt, while others like Rockin’ A and Circle O are entirely rock. There’s something for everyone!

With this climb on the Rockin A, it's best to stay right on the line!
With this climb on the Rockin A, it’s best to stay right on the line!

On Saturday we drove up to the top of Gemini Bridges Road (turn as if you’re going up to Dead Horse Point or Canyonlands and the road will be on your left after 5 or 6 miles). You can park right after you turn off the road, or drive a mile down Gemini Bridges Rd to the Bull Run trailhead.

The Mag 7 trail system is a mix of singletrack and rock riding, of intermediate to advanced difficulty.  There are lots of ways to ride this area including a super long shuttle with one car at the Poison Spider/Portal area, but you can also just do some fun loops without shuttling. That was our choice, as we didn’t want to waste time shuttling when we could be riding.

We decided on this tentative plan: Ride Bull Run to Arth’s Corner, Arth’s to Little Canyon, Little Canyon to Great Escape, and then back either via Gemini Bridges road or another trail called Getaway, depending on how much energy we had left.

The beginning of Bull Run was quite a wake-up call! It’s fun, but the technical stuff hits fast on this one. If you’re in Moab during the winter/early spring and it’s your first ride of the season, you might want to start somewhere else. Soon the ride mellows a little bit and becomes one fun challenge after another with rock climbs, fast rocky descents, and great views.

Biking along a rim edge on Bull Run
Biking along a rim edge on Bull Run

The whole area is well-marked with not just sign posts, but maps too. Moab has done a great job of making sure their new trails are fun and easy to follow.

Arth’s Corner and Little Canyon were my two favorites for the day.  Both were mostly downhill and rocky. Everything was rideable, with some bits being a little more challenging than others.  Moab’s signature painted lines led the way, and we all happily followed on rim after rim and down rock ledge after rock ledge.

One section of road runs between the end of Bull Run and start of Arth's, Great Escape and Getaway. The views are still spectacular!
One section of road runs between the end of Bull Run and start of Arth’s, Great Escape and Getaway. The views are still spectacular!

Finally it was time to climb out, and we did about half of that on the Great Escape trail. This trail reminded me of Gooseberry Mesa in southwestern Utah: lots of rock climbing with a few technical moves thrown in. It was super fun!

At the end a group of us headed back on the road (4 miles or so to the car) while another group decided to try Getaway for their climb back. Getaway dumps you out on the road with about a mile or two to go and the worst climbs left.  Still, according to our friends, it had some fun flowing singletrack before the grind started!

According to various Strava reports we rode about 17 miles that day. By the end we were all beat, but we all agreed that this is a trail system we will definitely return to! If you’re looking for a new riding area in Moab, the Mag 7 trails are well-worth checking out!

More climbing on the Great Escape trail
Climbing on the Great Escape trail

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