Fall has always been super popular for Moab visitors, especially for those who are mountain biking. So, we here at Rim Tours thought it would be interesting to see which mountain bike day tours are the most popular during the fall season.
While almost all of Moab’s 150 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails are open year round, a few trails are partially closed during certain seasons. Others are simply less desirable or logistically difficult for a few months each year.
The following ranking reflects our very unscientific survey. It is based on the number of guests with advanced reservations, as of mid-August, for guided mountain bike day tours during fall 2018 at just one company – Rim Tours. There are a number of other companies that also provide guided mountain biking tours in the Moab area, and their numbers may be different. In addition, guided tours are only a portion of all mountain biking activity, obviously. Nevertheless, this list is probably a good representation of more general trends.
Moab’s Fall Mountain Bike Trips Ranked by Popularity
Desert Sunrise (Easy)
Even though this tour leaves town at the crack of dawn, the magnificent views and desert sunrise are worth waking up for! This memorable sunrise tour includes a delicious continental-style breakfast, unparalleled scenic vistas and a fun easy route through amazing desert terrain (with some sections of Moab’s famous “slickrock.”) It’s perfect for those without a lot of mountain biking experience (though all riders need to be comfortable using hand brakes as well as be fit enough to pedal up some rising terrain.) It includes about 2.5 hours of pedaling time, advanced booking is required and it is available only through September 30.
Amasa Back / Captain Ahab Trail (Advanced/Intermediate)
Amasa Back had been a favorite ride since the beginning and now has a world class upgrade with singletrack routes uphill on the Hymasa Trail, and downhill on the much buzzed-about Captain Ahab Trail. The classic technical jeep trail still challenges any rider’s ability and climbs for 1,200 vertical feet over ledgy slickrock offering amazing views of the Colorado River, “Behind the Rocks” and La Sal Mts. at the top.
Slickrock Trail (Advanced)
The Slickrock Trail is one of the most unique rides anywhere and has helped make Moab the mountain biking Mecca that it is. (Click here for an interesting read about the history of the trail.) A series of petrified sand dunes has formed the trail into an 11 mile long roller coaster ride. This trail has incredible vistas as well as steep ascents, descents and side slopes that will test your mountain bike skills and fitness.
North Klondike Singletrack (Intermediate)
Top riders from around the world proclaim the North Klondike trails as some of the best and most fun in Moab. Trails such as Alaska, Mega Steps and Dino Flow wind through narrow wedges in towering rock outcroppings, rip along buffed mesas and roll over perfectly designed drop-offs. There is plenty of climbing and descending to satisfy all types of riders and the variety of trails allows for moderate to more extreme experiences within the same area.
Courthouse Loop (Easy)
This tour is a great introduction to mountain biking in Moab! Spectacular views of Arches National Park and gently rolling terrain on wide, double-track trails make this ride perfect for beginners and families. Many riders are able to try the Rusty Spur Trail, just off the main loop, as their first foray into singletrack terrain. Whether you’re new to the sport or just looking for an easy cruise, this is an awesome place to improve your skills.
Navajo Rocks (Intermediate)
This trail system opened up in 2014 and has introduced yet another “Wow!” factor to Moab mountain biking. The trails offer gorgeous slickrock terrain challenges as well as twisting and turning dirt singletrack. Riding along the upper end of Sevenmile Canyon and soaking in views of the Monitor and Merrimac buttes with La Sal Mountains in the background will not disappoint. The trails are extensive enough to make a great Full Day Tour as well.
Whole Enchilada / Porcupine Rim (Advanced)
This world renowned epic ride has it all – rugged and remote mountain terrain, flowy to technical singletrack and unforgiving rock drops on the Porcupine Rim section. During late fall, after the snow begins to fly, the upper sections close. A shuttle is required to get to the start, and Moab’s several shuttle companies will take riders to the highest starting point possible, depending on trail conditions. The Whole Enchilada (typically July – September) starts at 10,600 ft, climbs to 11,200 ft. and (after much up and down) drops to 4,000 ft. at the Colorado River. Essentially the Whole Enchilada combines several sections of trail: Burro Pass, Hazzard County, Kokopelli Trail, Upper Porcupine Singletrack (UPS), Lower Porcupine Singletrack (LPS), Porcupine Rim proper, and finally, Jackass Canyon Singletrack. It is only offered as a full-day tour, which includes lunch. Shuttle fees are extra.
Dead Horse Point Singletrack (Moderate / Intermediate)
Dead Horse Point is one of Utah’s most spectacular state parks and offers a great taste of what Moab mountain biking is all about. Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the park provides a breathtaking panorama of the Canyonlands area with sculpted pinnacles and buttes. This super fun introduction to singletrack has rolling terrain, mixed with some short climbs and lots of fun sections to cruise on. Some previous mountain bike experience is highly recommended.
The list above reflects day tours only. It does not include multi-day tours. If it did, the most popular mountain bike tour in the Moab area, measured by the number of advanced reservations, is, hands down:
(what’s better than first place?)
The White Rim Trail (Moderate / Intermediate)
Usually done as either a 4-day or 3-day camping-based tour, The White Rim Trail, located in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park, is truly a special place.