I have done this beauty numerous times, and it is actually one of my favorite Moab rides. However, I much prefer this ride starting at the East side, at Hidden Valley [ opposite to the map below ] . This means you start the trail with a 30 min. brutal portage, but you end the trail with an absolute mental downhill.
Trail Stats & Information
Nearby City: Moab
Length: about 14.3 miles
Trail Type: Loop or Out & Back
Skill Level: Technically extremely difficult to downright abusive. Physically difficult
Duration: 2-4 hours
Trailhead Elev: 4000 feet
Top Elev: 5400 feet
If you are not a skilled mountain biker do not attempt this ride. Be sure to take lots of water. This trail can be ridden from Moab, as a loop or as a shuttled trip, in either direction. It has a brutal climb at the head and an equally brutal downhill at the tail anyway you slice it. The ride up from the northern end on the massive rock slab to the rim is one of the most difficult climbs I know of. The southern end is so technical that you are going to be walking the bike. The northern end can be ridden in its entirety, if you are very fit and very skilled. Trail Surface: Extremely rugged 4WD trail and a very technical singletrack that is only suitable for hiking–portage or risk bone damage. Huge ledges, sand, loose rock, and hardpack. Kayenta slab rock, Navajo sandstone.
This is a fantastic ride with stunning Moab scenery. The ride actually starts with a brutal 20+ min. climb / portage, but once at the top, it is fantastic ride. This trail does not attract the crowds like other Moab trails, and you will most likely have the place to yourself. However, on weekends you might see numerous Off Road 4×4 vehicles.
EXCELLENT fun and scenic ride with a remote feeling even though you are just miles from Moab, once on the Rim you feel like you are the only person on earth. Excellent Moab scenery. The climb and portage to Hidden Valley is brutal, but once that is behind you, it’s cool running’s.
Personally I DO NOT agree with the difficulty rating mentioned in the guide Books. Although the Downhill is absolutely mental, with a 22+ grade, it is actually manageable, I have managed it myself with just 2 “get offs”. However, if anything goes wrong on the downhill it will probably cost you and your bike dearly.
Traffic on Trail : 1 hiker and 1 4×4
Wild Life : who needs wildlife on a ride like this!?
Scenery : Absolutely Fantastic 360 degree 3D Scenery
Other : Weekends can be busy with 4×4’s . Make sure you have PLENTY of fluids with you.
My Trail Rating : 9.5 / 10