Moab – anyone with local knowledge?

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  • Moab – anyone with local knowledge?
  • Premier Icon jwr
    Subscriber

    Can’t really advise on most of your questions as we visited in the height of summer. We rode Slickrock and it would have been just fine on a hardtail. Never managed to get out on the Porcupine Rim trail so that may be a different matter.

    We stayed in a cheap hotel in the town. Poison Spider Bikes on the main street sorted us out with bikes, maps and trail advice – give them a shout, they’re very helpful.

    J

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    We’re also considering a Christmas Moab trip. A phone call to a local bike shop wasn’t very helpful, when asked what the riding would be like the chaps response was “err, it should be OK”.

    One local shop (might have been Poison Spider) hire very nice full sussers and hardtails at competitive rates.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Just come back from there. We flew into Vegas and toured south utah. Moab was the furthest northwest we got. Few guys we met were down from SLC for the weekend We hired from The Rim Cyclery (for her, spesh Elite stumpy, $60/day, bit less for second day) and Uranium (for me Salsa Mukluk, $45/day $40 for second day).

    Apparently, Poison Spider are one to avoid: “folks been done wrong by them” according to one local source of hearsay. Seemed popular in the mornings though.

    You can check temps on forecast sites. We camped, and it was perfect. cool/cold in the evening, hot sun and cool breezes durring the day.

    Bike: depends on your riding style. Have you got the 29er becuase it suits your style, or more because your local riding dictates? I had a blast on the Mukluk. If you love the bike and wnat to ride Moab, take your own, if you want to ride Moab and try out a few different bikes, rent while you’re out there. Do you know how much it will cost to take yuor bike on the plane? (don’t forget to dial in the ballache costs of packing it up safe).

    Re group rides, accom. and shuttles, I’d call Uranium and/or Rim Cyclery and ask them.

    Edit: take jhw’s expereince over my 2nd hand hearsay re: Poison Spider

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Porcupine Rim would be ace on a hardtail. Was amazing on a rigid fatbike.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I stayed in Motels in Moab – pretty cheap and very convenient. Look at the mtbr forums for hooking up with local riders……

    hunta
    Member

    I’ve been in November and it was very pleasant weather-wise. You need your layers, but you’ll also need something to put them in as they start to come off 😀 You should get plenty of blue sky, which is the important thing.

    I rented from Chile Pepper Bikes, and I’d heartily recommend them. Poison Spider seemed to be the other ‘serious’ MTB game in town. As jwr said, a hardtail would be fine for most of the riding but I found that stores only hired out full suss – probably easier for stock more than a reflection of the terrain.

    There’s plenty of accommodation, but be warned that many shut down during the off season. Don’t be put off though, there’ll be plenty of availability still (we just rocked up and settled on one after looking at a couple) and if (when) I go again I’d seriously consider going at the same time of year. Nice and quiet (bars maybe too quiet, with the exception of the Moab Brewery), bright and warm in the sun without being too cold.

    Worth doing a bit of research on other areas before you go. An hour in the car will get you to some fantastic biking.

    Very jealous!

    jota180
    Member

    There’s a good chance of poor weather/snow

    If it is snowed off the trails at St George would be a decent back up plan and less likely to be affected

    nicko74
    Member

    IIRC there’s a Super 8 motel at the north end of town, should be comfortable enough. There’s also a hostel nearer the centre which has dorms and (I think) individual cabins.

    Salt Lake does look the closest, but looking at the map a couple of days ago I realised it’s probably about 5-6 hours’ drive from there, which means you need to have a few nights to make the most of it.

    And don’t forget it’s basically desert there; while it is hot during the summer, it can be *really* cold in winter. But layer up, it’s all good.

    PaulD
    Member

    Went in February 2006.
    Rented a Fisher Cake FS from Poison Spider Cycles…I was the only rental that morning.
    Take your own pedals…or pay more.
    Stayed in Motel6 and they did not mind having the bike in the room…it is a conventional hotel with one access/lobby, not typical Motel where you park outside your own door.

    Wanted to ride Porcupine, but it was covered in ice, just like the Cresta Run…aborted and rode down the dirt road to Slickrock.
    That was dry. Sign in when entering and out afterwards.
    Slickrock was awesome…but it was -10C at 0800 and +25C by lunchtime, so lots of layers hanging off the camelbak.
    Rode down Shafer Trail from Canyonlands Island In the Sky to the river, then up and down Poison Spider Trail and along the river to Moab. Again -10 to +25 in a few hours as well as a descent on sheet ice and snow.

    It was mid Feb and I saw no other riders both days.

    Just fantastic.

    PaulD

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    A HT will be fine for most of it, but there are a few rocky bits:


    Ben descending waterfall by rockymtnway, on Flickr

    mcboo
    Member

    Not impossible I might get away in Nov or Dec for a week on my lonesome. Always wanted to see the desert and ride there, Moab sounds like the place……

    Questions

    Is it going to be too cold to go at this time of year?
    Salt Lake City looks closest, is that where people generally fly to, then rent a car?
    Anyone recommend bike companies they’ve been there with either with accomodation or without? I dont really want to ride all day on my own.
    Only mtb is a 29er Ti hardtail with 100mm forks. Its a pretty good all rounder but to get the best out of the area should I just leave it at home and rent a full suss localy?

    Thanks

    mcboo
    Member

    You guys are the best

    The 29er is relatively new, got it as a XC race bike but left it slack enough for Lakes trips, I’m going to take it, put a fat tyre up front.

    I checked the seasonal weather forecast, reckons average high in Novemeber is 9-13c…….if its clear blue desert skies that must be beautiful but chilly high up. Doesnt sound like anyone thinks late Nov is a stupid idea.

    Anyone stay in a nice B+B?

    PaulD
    Member

    The Motel6 came with a discount coupon for a very cheap breakfast in a local diner…it was brilliant.

    Also stayed in a very cheap ($28 + tax) old-school motel up in Green River about 50 miles north. It was typical wooden chalet style, with an unforgettable sign in the bathroom…

    ‘Please do not use the towels to clean your motorbike’

    PaulD

    mcboo
    Member

    If you had about a week in the area would you stay in Moab the whole time or split with another town? Clearly I need to leave time for a blowout in Salt Lake City with loads of hookers and booze and stuff.

    Rode at Moab a few years ago on my Hummer. Good time of year to go, especially if you get there in time for Haloween, might be some cool partys! Defo ride Amasa back, Porci rim and slick rock. Think about shuttling up to where the off road starts and take your time riding(lots of off piste to sample and amazing views if weather is good). Jeep safaris can be good too. You will love it!

    hunta
    Member

    I’d say a week is a while… It’s a pretty quiet corner of the world around there at that time of year. You’ll find a few bars and restaurants worth visiting, but I’d imagine after a week you’ll start feeling like a regular. That’s fine by me but I don’t know what you want from a place. You might find ‘two-centre’ works better, especially if you’ve got your own bike so don’t need to hire twice.

    That said, if your main focus is riding then there’s plenty to be had, and it’s the largest place to base yourself. If you want to do a couple of days of ‘other stuff’ 3-4 days in Moab would be about right but still leave you wanting more.

    Been trying to remember the name of the place we stayed. It could have been the Kokopelli Lodge. Fairly basic, but clean and friendly. They’re all used to biker types so will have secure storage if bikes aren’t allowed in the rooms, and probably a hose (though obviously check).

    I’m still jealous. 😉

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Subscriber

    Going off at a tangent slightly (sorry to OP for Hijack) could anyone link to that thread from earlier in the year from a chap who rode solo in some far flung Wild West location?

    Cheers!

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Lived in SLC for a few years and Moab was a regular weekend trip. About a 4 hour drive from SLC, but so much easier and therefore less tiring than a similar trip in the UK. Mainly went in the winter as it’s too hot down there in the summer. Camped in the snow once but the days were always warm and sunny. Have ridden most of the trails on a fully rigid steel bike (as that’s all we had in those days – 20 years ago).

    Have fun.

    Cheers

    Andy

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    Its great

    and I did it all on rigid as well. A hard tail would be great err as would a FS

    have fun

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Might be worth nipping down the road to Fruita as well.

    I always wanted to ride the Kessel run, but it was a bit dull to be honest.


    The Kessel Run by brf, on Flickr

    Sovereign trail was better


    ben getting extreme by rockymtnway, on Flickr

    hunta
    Member

    Been trying to remember the name of the place we stayed. It could have been the Kokopelli Lodge. Fairly basic, but clean and friendly.

    Just been reminded by Mrs hunta, who actually pays attention to this stuff, that we ended up moving down the road from this place to somewhere a bit more spacious (trad motel style). Not that there was much wrong, but we worked out there was better on offer for the money. If I can work out where I’ll let you know.

    qwerty
    Member

    I stayed here a long time ago http://www.lazylizardhostel.com, was cheapest at the time, they built some log cabin rooms, I’d consider it again with a little research.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    We’re just back so I thought I’d share our experience. Basically it was snowy, with a side order of snow. Talking to the locals, it seems that winters out there tend to either follow the hot in the day, cold at night pattern, or just stay cold, and this winter is a cold one.

    We followed nedrapier’s lead and rented some Mukluks from Uranium for a very reasonable $50 a day. The guy at the shop suggested we try Bar M trails, which are a set of short loops a couple of miles North of town.

    We found pretty quickly that the deep powdery snow was unrideable, even with the fatbikes, so we did a few short loops that were already packed down by the local riders. Then someone suggested that we head just North of Slickrock and try some of the jeep trails. The snow on the 4×4 trails was compacted by people driving on them and even though they were quite technical in parts they were a lot more rideable than the trails covered in fresh snow. Apparently you can also drive out to LaSal Mountain and ride the cross country ski trails there, although the road out justifies a 4×4.

    It wasn’t quite the experience we were hoping for and I’d say that if you’re heading to the US for winter riding, somewhere lower and more southerly is a better bet. We rode at Sedona the week before and the trails were properly ace, a nice mix of tacky dirt and slickrock with lots of nadgery features.

    busydog
    Member

    Wish I’d seen your post of a couple months ago.
    Moab can be pretty marginal mid-winter (except for the dry years—of course it is all in perspective as our wet years here in the southwest would be a drought in the UK) as they can get a lot of snow, very quickly. Same for the Manti LaSal mountains, White Rim trail (Island in the Sky) and others in the area.

    Fruita can still be good and anything in Arizona except for the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, White Mountain and Mogollon Rim areas usually have good riding year around. Here in New Mexico, riding in the southern part of the state is year round whereas in the northern half of the state good trails tend to be snowbound.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Don’t know if this will work but might be a handy compare and contrast.

    Riding in Sedona, AZ, late December:

    Riding in Moab a week or so later:

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    Sedona >sigh< Moab

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