Flat Pass aka Steelbender - TRAIL

Flat Pass aka Steelbender - Trail, Moab, Utah

Great loop from town, has a bit of everything. Gradual road warm up, dirt road climb to Flat Pass and then the fun begins. 8-10 miles of slick rock/ledges and some single track, sand, stream crossings, petroglyphs or however it's spelled, killer views of La Sals. Not as crowded as p-pine, but popular with jeeps. I've seen people ride it clockwise, looks fun too. This ride was more fun on my dualie than last year on my aluminum hard tail.

User Reviews (18)

Showing 1-10 of 18  
sungibungi   Cross Country Rider [Jul 06, 2007]

I decided to do this trail at the last minute in the afternoon. My friend who wasn't riding that day dropped me off at the Ken lake and I rode up the gradual up hill and dropped into the backcountry.

Steelbender and Flat Pass shares the same trails for the majority of the ride so don't get confused when it splits off. I wasn't keeping track but around the 8 mile mark, it splits off. Going right ( or straight more like) is steelbender and that's all sandy stuff. No good. If you take a big left, you in fact find a huge "NO" sign on the rock. Don't be hazed. It's for jeepers. Continue on and you'll soon start seeing bike tire tracks again. (I took the wrong route meaning I went straight because the sign had fallen down and so I lost about an hour and then the sun set on me. So technically speaking, it was a miserable experience walking out my bike through sand...but it's good for story telling anyhow...)

I do agree that at the end of the ride, there is too much sand.

However, I do believe that the majority of the ride is well worth it. Some technical stuff and you can build up a hefty amount of speed on some of the middle sections doing the single/doubletrack stuff. I'd do it again in a heart beat. I did this as a second ride of the day after doing Amasa Back in the morning and it was fine. Tiring, but very doable. Tons of fun.

Customer Service

Part near the shell gas station, do a road ride to ken lake and then you'll find yourself coming through the golf course and back to the gas station. If you did everything right that is. Except for the 8 mile make where steelbender and flat pass splits, it's a pretty straight forward trail.

Similar Products Used: All classics. I don't think I found any ride in Moab to be not fun.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Byron231   Cross Country Rider [Jun 04, 2004]

I rode this trail right after a rain storm a week after the Exterra tri. and me and the group I was riding in all agreed that this is a moab classic, and not even the girls thought it was too tough. I can see why people compare it to porqupine, but this is no porque, the climb's not as hard, the descent not as technical, and no where near as scary. That's what makes this trail so fun you can just flat fly, and take 2 to 4 foot ledges all day long, without worring about flying off a cliff. But you know what, if your a leg shaving triathlete who only likes groomed single track you can take your road bike on then why even come to moab? Because all the classic trails are a lttle more technical than Flat Pass. In all fairness we rode this trail right after a storm so we barly noticed the sand, and we never came close to walking our bikes threw it, so if this trail is normally really sandy, then if it ever rains in Moab while your down here make sure you hit this trail.

Customer Service

start at kens lake and do the loop

Similar Products Used: the classics
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Kevin   Cross Country Rider [Nov 05, 2003]

I tried this trail for some variety while passing through Moab. It provides a good sampling of Moab terrain without really offering the best of any of it. Outstanding scenery, a few interesting rock ledges to negotiate, and some nice desert creek crossings. The "climb" was suprisingly easy aerobically. I saw a lot of people shuttling this ride - come on people it's a really easy ride back to the car, suck it up. The last part of the trail was kind of miserable with a deadly combination of stream crossings and sand pits. I'd load up that chain with lube before the ride, mine got so grimy it started getting caught up. If it's your first trip to Moab, skip this one and go for the classics. It's good for variety if you're looking for something new though. I give it three stars, but it would probably get 4 for if it were anywhere else but Moab.

Similar Products Used: The Moab classics, you know what they are.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Chris Brown   [May 24, 1999]

This trail was a pleasant suprise. The scenery was fantastic and the trail was fun and technical in sections. We didn't see anybody the whole ride which was nice. I think this trail is not popular because of its boring name, but is well worth the ride. It is more rolling than Porcupine but similar in some ways.

Customer Service

We took a shuttle from town to the trailhead at Flat Pass.

Similar Products Used: Amasa Back, Porcupine Rim, Back of Behind, Slickrock
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
NoSanBa   [May 28, 1999]

A perennial favorite. Not many other riders on the trail, I'll bet the VERY COLD stream crossing at the start turns a lot of riders back.

Skip the Slickrock trail and head up to Flat Pass!

Customer Service

Park at the lake and start crankin'

Similar Products Used: The usuals: Porcupine Rim, Amasa Back, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Ed   [Sep 27, 1999]

Did my first ride on this one after having ridden Amassa Back and Porcupine Rim the two days prior. Great fun ride. No sustained climbing (except at the end climbing back up the dirt road to the trailhead... whew!!). Lots of fun technical pieces, both climbing and descending. It gets a bit sandy at the end of the trail section, but the rest of the ride is well worth it. Unless you leave a car at the end or the trail, you'll need to descend on the road to Spanish Trail road where you'll hang a left and head out about 6 miles to the lake, and then up the dirt road to the trailhead. A word of advice from the locals: take the time to remove your shoes and socks and walk at least the first stream crossing (there are 4 total - you may want to walk 'em all) unless the idea of riding with soaked feet appeals to you. Sure, the water's cold, but keeping your dogs dry may be well worth it. Have fun!

Customer Service

Counterclockwise from the trailhead above Ken's Lake.

Similar Products Used: Porcupine Rim, Amassa Back, Poison Spider, Gemini Bridges, Slickrock.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
TC   [Dec 19, 1999]

This is a deceptively technical trail--lots of rocks, ledges, and quick pitches. It's mostly uphill on the way out, and then the high speed fun begins on the way back. It's a fun trail that get's more difficult the faster you go. These may be jeep trails, but they are very dangerous unless you're just poking along. Some of the drops are bad enough that they should be walked by many riders. There are 2 spots that I usually step down rather than ride just so I don't end my vacation early. The scenery at the Jackson Hole lookout point and the Colorado River lookout at the end are indescribable. This is definitely one of Moab's better trails. I'd pass on the spur that takes you out to the Poison Spider overlook--the view is OK, but the usually deep sand on this section is just not worth it.

Customer Service

There is a large trailhead parking area near the trail, otherwise on a slow day, you can park right across the dirt road from the trail. It's an out-and-back trail--ends up being about 10-12 miles depending.

Similar Products Used: Just about all of them in Todd Campbell's trail book, "Above and Beyond Slickrock". The best trail is Porcupine Rim--3 miles uphill and 10 miles down. Use Jesse's "Coyote Shuttle" for this one.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Brian   [May 03, 2000]

The views were great and the ride was even better. We decided to ride this trail at the last minute and were glad we did. Some gravel road and then turns to slick rock/ledges. Very fast at times! Unfriendly sandy section at the end. Be careful.

This trail was very uncrowded in an otherwise crowded Moab that day.

Customer Service

We parked at Ken's Lake and headed up the fire road. It's all pretty well marked from there. It's a loop, which is nice in a land of out & back's.

Similar Products Used: Hurrah Pass/Jacob's Ladder/Amasa Back, Porcupine Rim, Slickrock, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Randall   [Oct 15, 2001]

Pick up a Cheap is Real map for $1 at one of the local bike shops, though the trail is well marked. If you have 4-wheel drive, drive up the gravel road to the gate and park (cuts 2.6 miles off total). Slickrock and ledges for most of the ride, very fun and challenging. Not much sand unless you ride all the way to the end of the trail, past the 4 stream crossings (you'll see a beautiful canyon and petroglyphs at the end). All jeep road. Flat Pass and Steelbender are separate trails though they share the same trail for most of the ride. At mile 7.0 Steelbender brakes off to the right then joins the main trail again at mile 8.1 (may be fun to explore next time). Give it 4 wheels since it is all jeep road and not a loop.

Customer Service

Start at Ken's Lake and head in on trail for approximately 9 miles until you come to stream crossing then head back (18 miles total).

Similar Products Used: Amasa Back, P-pine, and Slickrock
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Chris   [Mar 28, 2002]

This is a fairly short, fairly technical trail. The scenery, as with most asreas around Moab was spectacular. It was our last day in Moab and so we took our time to see the petroglyphs and take plenty of pictures.

This trail has some challenging terrain features. Short, gut-renching uphills followed by bone-jarring downhills. If you can clean everything at Flat Pass you should be riding with Hans Rey.

A number of people have mentioned the water crossings. They were all a peice of cake. Barely got my toes wet. The bad news is that all but one come at the end of the ride and are followed by deep sady sections. This is probably a better ride after a rain shower has packed it down.

This is a good ride in a very nice area. Not as wide open as Porc Rim and not as up and down as Amasa Back. It probably falls someplace in between. I'll certainly do it again. Four stars because of the sand, otherwise five.

Customer Service

I went from the Ken's Lake end and shuttled back. I think if i were to do it as a loop I'd do it clockwise from the golf course to avoid the slight incline back to Ken's Lake.

Similar Products Used: Every single one of them.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 18  

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