Thursday, April 9, 2015

Moab Spring Break 2015

Recently, the Filler Family went down to Moab for our spring break trip. We figured since we all have a pair of pedals between our legs we could get some fun biking/hiking in. Andy and I didn’t have too high of expectations for getting out on too many epic rides but were happy to get what we could. We were able to meet up with fellow teammates, the Zubers while we were down there. Having gotten there earlier, they had discovered Dead Horse Point State Park/Navajo Rocks areas.

View from Dead Horse Point Visitor Center

Dead Horse Point
And what a great discovery. These trails were developed in 2014 and they are super fun! Out at the state park there were trails for the whole family to enjoy. There were fairly short loops which were great for the kids, and longer 1-2 hour loops with excellent scenery of the Colorado Canyon and the Great Pyramid along the way.
Dead Horse State Park: You'll find fun trails for the kids!

Getting there:  About 10 miles north of Moab, turn west off Highway 191 towards Canyonlands National Park on Highway 313. Drive 14 miles and turn left toward Dead Horse Point. Four miles later, pay your entry fee ($10 per car in 2015) at the gate house and drive another two miles to the visitors center. The trailhead is at the north end of the parking lot.

Prickly Pear Trail
Navajo Rocks
I didn’t have a lot of time so I opted for one of the shorter loops, Ramblin’ - Rocky Tops Loop, approximately 8 miles. I started with Ramblin’ on the north side of 313. 75% of the trail was slick rock and just plain fun the whole way. You are constantly twisting and turning through the maze of slick rock. Once I crossed the highway heading south over to Rocky Tops the scenery and trail completely changed. It required a bit more focus. I found myself pedaling around beautiful sandstone rims, traversing across an off-camber slope of rough sandstone at the foot of a 50-foot wall, and twisting and dropping through the Navajo outcrops.

Slick Rock on Ramblin Trail - Navajo Rocks

Getting there: The entry to the parking area is on Highway 313, the road to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point (313 starts 10 miles north of Moab on Highway 191.) Drive 6.1 miles uphill on 313, watching for a dirt road on your left. These trails were also developed in 2014.

Navajo Rocks Trail Map: Good news, the maps are generously posted at the trail heads!

These two trail systems got a thumbs up in my book. They scored extra bonus points in that I didn’t have to stop and pull a map out here and there, because there are trail maps at every intersection and all the trails are color coded. It’s impossible to get lost. In addition, while these trails have some steep pitches and drops, there aren’t many sustained climbs or descents, which also contrasted nicely to the typical rides we do in the Boise area. These two trail systems are an excellent choice for those traveling to Moab who want to get the slick rock experience and scenery without the risking life and limb!

Kate Shanahan