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Thoughts for Moab Trail Running by Danelle Ballengee


Trail runners in the Moab area are lucky enough to be able to run on trails that were originally designed for hiking, mountain biking, 4-wheeling, and horseback. All these trails are nice and each offers something unique. We are lucky to have the opportunities to run on these trails and with so many trail users in the Moab area it is important to show respect to other trail users and to the desert/canyon environment.


It’s much easier for runners to step to the side and let vehicles and mountain bikes pass, so keep that in mind and try to be respectful and step aside. This will help keep trails open for runners to enjoy so they don’t have to restrict trails to bike-only or 4x4 only. Runners are much lighter on the environment so it makes sense to step aside and leave a footprint (try to step on a rock or in a wash) vs leaving a tire track.


Be prepared when trail running in Moab. The weather can be very hot, very cold, very dry or very wet. And it can change quickly. Pack what you might need, just in case. It typically takes about 25% longer to run the trails in Moab than average trails, so allow extra time. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return, and/or carry a location-tracking emergency devise.

Here are some of my favorite trails within 20 minutes of Moab:

Down Kane Creek Road: Moab Rim, Pritchett Canyon, Jackson Trail, Ahab Trail, Hymasa Trail, Hunter Rim, Hunter Canyon

Out 191 North: Bar M Trail System, Navajo Rocks and 7 Up Trail System, Klonzo Trail System, Soverign Trails and Klondike Trails.

Out 128: Negro Bill Canyon and Porcupine Rim (out and back from Grandstaff Campground)

Out Potash Road: Portal Trail (out and back or loop onto Poison Spider), Corona Arch, Jeep Arch

South of Town: Hidden Valley, Millcreek (righthand), Kens Lake Trails/Flat Pass


Also great runs but a little further drive to the trailhead: Devils Garden in Arches, Deadhorse Point State Park Trail System, Gemini Bridges Trail System (Mag 7), and Upheaval Dome in I-Sky Canyonlands NP, and Fisher Towers Trail.


Finally….don’t forget to sign up for the Moab Trail Marathon the first weekend of November! And run with your dog whenever possible. Dogs are awesome!

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