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Tenya Laybacker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a born again rider and going to take my first trip out to Moab in the spring. I have only ridden trails here in the Northwest and was wondering if any of you well traveled sorts would divulge a little info. I guess I need a little hand holding. I am comfortable riding most of the XC trails here. I have enjoyed the Plains of Abraham/ Smith Creek loop on St. Helens and all of the trails up on the east side of Hood and most of the stuff around Portland. I ride regularly at Scappoose and ride everrything ,but the big drops off the ramps. I have never ridden slickrock and the guides I have for Moab list many of the trails as advanced / expert. How do these trails compare to our local fare? As this is mostly a climbing trip to Indian Creek, I will only have two to three days to ride on rest days and I want to make the most of it. Trail suggestions? Tips? Difficulty comparisons?

Thanks.
 

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If you feel comfortable with the stuff in the northwest than I think you will feel comfortable in Moab. The riding is different, mostly slower & more technical with more exposure in some areas. Think Sand & Rock with huge canyons you are riding in, around or out of.

Depends what you are looking for in a ride.

My list, after being there a 1/2 dozen times:
Slick Rock (duh)
Porcupine
Flat Pass (you probably won't see anyone on this ride but it is a lot of fun)
Amassa Back & Back of Behind
Poisen Spider
Gemini Bridges

There is numerous others, if you are riding it all (not doing any shuttles) the day's can get long but are doable. A ride like Porcupine Rim includes something like a 15-18 mile climb, it's a fun climb with lot's to see but most people shuttle it, there are numerous shuttles available in town. Gemini Bridges is a cool ride but it is around 25 miles to the top if you do it as a loop, most people shuttle it as well.

Just remember, it's hotter & dryer down there compared to the NW, I consume about twice as much water when I am in the SW area.

Enjoy the trip.
 

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I think the biggest thing is that we in the PNW have a great deal of buff singletrack with technical sections thrown in whereas many of the rides there are technical with buff sections thrown in. Amassa Back and Porcupine Rim come to mind- not super long rides but technical enough that when you finish you'll feel like they are much longer simply because you have to work more for them. But they are FUN! Lots of step ups and step drops of 1-3 feet for the most part and exposure. The biggest thing for me with the slick rock was just learning to trust it and trust that I had traction on it.
 

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You're going to love it! You will know what's within your ability when you encounter it. As long as you don't go blindly at warp speed over stuff, you will be fine. Moab is mostly twin-track jeep roads so there are usually several line options.

If I only had three days to ride, I'd ride:
1) Porcupine Rim
2) Amasa Back
3) Porupine Rim again (or Slickrock Trail if you've never done it ever)
 

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Making fat cool since '71
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Direct answer to the proposal:

Amasa; first priority to ride for a first timer then Porcupine if you have time. Slickrock is just a long BMX track with great views.

As an aside: There is even better riding about an hour (maybe less) south of there if you have the interest. There is even better riding than that an hour and a half east (Grand Junction area).

Since it's a climbing first trip though it's unlikely you would want to drive that much on your "rest" days. Amasa and Porc are great rides and like the General said they can be shuttled ($10-$20 depending on who/when if you use a shop which makes it super easy). I've actually only ridden them as shuttles. We did porc twice one day and even though it was shuttled I was shreaded...completely wiped.

Anyway, the rock has lots of traction if it's dry. Mud tires that work well here tend to suck there of course. I've ridden plenty there on a hardtail but definately love to have the squisher. Here in west OR we have tight, twisty, rooty/rocky, slick technical type stuff. There, as mentioned it's tech but in a different way. The step-ups and off camber climbs and such have their own unique skillset. It can be hot even in the spring and the elevation gets some folks even though it's not really high. You will get burned even if the high cloud banks are around. Take water, suncreen and more water. If you don't typically wear gloves when you ride rethink that on the rocks... Have fun.

Brock...
 

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I'd second the recommendation for Amassa Back. That was the first ride my wife and I ever did in Moab and it has remained our favorite. It has amazing views and is the ultimate confidence builder. As you get comfortable with riding on slick-rock, you'll realize you can power up over almost anything.

One trail not mentioned yet is Soverign Trail, on the way into town. IMO, this is the perfect intro to Moab with a mix of singletrack and slickrock, but nothing too crazy.

Porcupine is an amazing trail as well. I agree on the shuttle rec to avoid the long road ride up. This is a longer ride. Bring extra tubes and plenty of water.

Slick-rock is pretty different from anywhere else you'll ever ride. I'd suggest doing at least the practice loop, just to get a taste.

After riding, you can hit Arches NP or for a truely unique experience, pick up a sixer of pbr and head to "potatoe salad hill" to watch the ******** white nuckle it up the hill. :thumbsup:

Tips: Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, extra tubes and start your rides early. I'd also recommend running your tires low to get good grip on the slickrock.

Enjoy!
 

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In no particular order:

1) Porcupine Rim
2) Porcupine Rim
3) Porcupine Rim

I didn't care for Amasa Back as much as others have, and Slickrock is beautiful but boring and crowded (I think they are putting stoplights in soon). Porcupine Rim has a great mix of slickrock and trail, with the last 3 mile stretch of singletrack the best I have ever ridden. Too bad you don't have more time - the riding in Fruita and GJ is better and more diverse than in Moab. Look at some of the videos from Pete Fagerlin's website...
 

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Are you going alone? If not, are the other riders familiar in the area?
There are soo many places to ride...
Bring a headlamp so can ride at night too. Sleep when you get back home.
 

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Tenya Laybacker
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My climbing partner is a daily bike commuter and is in really good condition, but he has almost no mountain biking experience. He is a go for it person so I'm not too worried. He is planning on renting a bike for the 2-3 days we ride. I really like technical stuff, but it might be more fun for him if we kept it intermediate. Perhaps a ride with some tech stuff for me to play on. Thanks for all the responses.
 
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