To many mountain bikers, making a trip out to Moab is like making a trip to Mecca. With so many miles of trails for all types of skill levels, everybody is guaranteed to have a good time while mountain biking in Moab. It is highly recommended to visit some of the great bike shops in Moab to rent, service your bike, buy new gear and ask questions about the local terrain.
Moab is a mountain bike environment unlike any other place on earth. Within a very short drive (or even on the same bike trail) you can experience a mountainous or a desert environment.
Since there are so many different environments in the Moab area, it is critical to come prepared. In order to be prepared, it is crucial to have the proper safety equipment, up to date maps, and enough food and water. It is also highly recommended to never mountain bike alone! Due to the fact that Moab trails can be in such a desolate environment, it is important to know that you should never rely on your cell phone if you need help. Cell service is spotty no matter where you travel in Moab, and many trails do not have service on them at all.
With Moab’s wide variety of trails, it is sometimes hard to know what is a good trail for what skill level of biker you are. This is one of the reasons why it is highly recommended to stop in at one of the many bike shops in town or to even go on a guided tour! A guided tour is wonderful due to the fact that the guides can feel out your ability and take you on a trail that matches, the ease of not having to worry about bringing your own bike and gear, and the minimal amount of work in planning a day on the trails!
Best Beginner Trails:
Dead Horse Point - The Dead Horse Point Single track Loop trail is a 10 mile easier trail and offers spectacular single track riding (narrow trail wide enough for one bike). Enjoy the dramatic views along the trail as you see into Canyonlands National Park and down to the majestic Colorado River. You'll experience minimal elevation gain/loss, so it is a great trail for first-time riders!
Rusty Spur at the Brand Trails - This short loop is smooth dirt single track for almost its entirety, without much elevation gain or loss. In either direction, you'll travel south from the Moab Canyon Paved Path, riding gently downhill along a wide ridge with nice views of Moab Canyon, before turning almost 180 degrees to head back up the ridge to the paved path.
Best Intermediate Trails:
Lazy-EZ Loop at the Brand Trails - The Brand Trails are great because they are only about 15 minutes outside of Moab. The Lazy-EZ loop is a good beginner-intermediate bike trail that is just over 3 miles long. After doing a loop, it is easy to look at the map and test yourself on a harder track in the area if you are feeling up to it!
Captain Ahab - Captain Ahab has been said to be steep, technical, fast and fun. It is just about 4 miles and is located by the Amasa Back trails. This trail features many sections of rocky drops in between short stretches of dirt singletrack.
Slickrock Bike Trail - Arguably the most classic trail in Moab, and maybe even the world, the Slickrock Bike trail is located in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. This trail is about 10 miles and has multiple steep elevation gains and drops. Slickrock is a trail entirely on Moab’s famous sandstone, so make sure you follow the trail markers which are painted white lines along the rock. If the 10-mile trail feels too daunting to start out with, there is a 3-mile “practice loop” that boasts all the difficult drops and climbs as the 10-mile trail, but turns around before making it all the way to the end of the loop.
Multi-Day Mountain Biking:
White Rim Trail - The White Rim Trail is an intermediate 100-mile loop that has about 5,500’ of ascending and descending on the trail. It is most commonly completed in 4 days with 3 nights. Riders going on a multi day trip like this must have a support vehicle in order to complete the loop to carry food, water, camp gear, and emergency supplies. It is highly recommended to complete the White Rim trail with one of the tremendous outfitters in town! If you are wanting to do the trip without the help of an outfitter, permits must be purchased in advance. The White Rim trail takes you through Canyonlands National Park with unforgettable views of the Colorado River below and the vastness of the desert in front of you.