Colorado River Overlook - Trail, Canyonlands N.P., Utah

Colorado River Overlook - Trail, Canyonlands N.P., Utah


Starts with 4 miles of dirt 4x4 road and transitions into patches of slickrock. Some good short sections but over all a ride that most can do. At the turn around point, follow the rock cairns on foot for some amazing views of the Colorado River far below.


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[Mar 28, 2003]
John G

I've been riding in the Moab area for years and would go down to The Needles District to hike, never thinking there would be any riding there. Then a few years ago I rode Elephant Hill (a real grunt in spots) and finally gave in and did The Colorado River Overlook. It might be a fairly easy spin, but it's real scenic in spots and the view at the end is definitely worth it. I actually now drive to a turnout at The Lower Jump of Salt Creek to avoid the first few miles of sand and ride from there. It's rolling, sandyattimes and has quite a few areas you cango left or right off the road and explore some pretty cool slickrock areas. If you're down there hiking it's great to get back in the saddle again for a change! I now look forward to this ride. Really, it's a beginner trail but has it all--some short technical climbs, nice long sort of level sections and the rewarding view at the end. Hammerheads might scoff at such an easy ride but go ahead and ride it and make up your own mind. Remember, it's not competing with Flat Pass or Amasa Back or Porcupine, it is it's own separate thing and fun to do while you're down there.

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Only one route--from the Visitor's Center in The Needles District--out and back.

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Only other one I know is Elephant Hill. I sure can't ride all of it (but I've developed an ability to walk my bike guilt-free) and it's cool to step aside and watch the four-wheelers drive up over and down some pretty unbelievable stuff. And we all get along great out there in the back country. Do it once just to say you've done it. The strongest riders will probably attempt the steepest sections (think Moab Rim from the River Road) but I bet only someone with trials skills could hope to clear the gnarliest sections. The rest of it is just great riding. It's a loop and you finally go back down Elephant Hill (to your vehicle and a cold one!)

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