Saturday, April 17, 2010

Moab Essentials: Mountain Bike

Date Placed: April 17, 2010
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Klondike Bluffs, Moab, Grand, Utah
Distance: 9.5 miles, round trip
Status: Active

Be sure to bring your mountain bike to Moab! You'll want to ride the famous Klondike Bluffs Trail to reach a remote part of Arches National Park. This trail is considered to be a beginner trail (well, beginner for Moab, anyway...), and has a little bit of everything: sand, slickrock, dinosaur tracks, fantastic downhill, and incredible views.

If you need to pick up a mountain bike while you're here, I know where you can find one.

Directions: Drive 17.5 miles north of Moab on Hwy 191 and turn right on Klondike Bluffs Road (watch for signage). Go across the cattle guard and proceed 3 miles to the trailhead, staying left.

Begin biking up the trail, which is easy to follow. (If you aren't quite sure where the trail is after you hit the slickrock, look for painted white dashes on the rock that mark the path). Not long after you reach the beginning of the slickrock, there will be dinosaur tracks on the left hand side, encircled with small rocks. Be sure to stop and check them out! Continue all the way to the end of the trail, where you will find a bike rack. Park your bike and enter the walk-in gate to Arches National Park. It is a short hike to the overlook from that point (no dogs or bikes allowed within the Park boundaries!).

After you've enjoyed the amazing views from the top of the bluffs, head back to the green gate and return through. Turn around and face the fence. Stand with the boundary sign directly to your left. Sight the tree at the top of a small incline at 200 degrees. Follow the trail parallel to the fenceline to reach this tree. You can look down and see an entrance to an old copper mine. Continue past the tree and stop at the twisted log. Sight the tree out in front of you at 290 degrees. You will find a mountain bike parked behind this tree under some rocks.

Notes: This trail is also a 4-wheel drive road, suitable for most off-road motorized vehicles. However, I do not recommend taking in full-size vehicles, due to some of the size constraints of the trail. ATVs and dirt bikes seem more fitted, should you choose to use a non-human powered form of equipment. I also observed hikers on this trail, but please note the distance involved (9.5 miles) is in desert country, most of it in full sun. No matter which way you choose to enjoy this trail, please bring adequate water and sun protection with you!

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