Mountain Biking The Slickrock Trail In Moab, Utah

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Riding Moab's Slickrock Trail with Kids

Overview of Moab’s Slickrock Trail

Many bikers consider this one of the best trails in the world. And, although this trail is often rated “high technical” difficulty, it does not require the same skills needed to ride over roots and on sharp turns through some alpine trails. This scenic trail is mostly on Navajo sandstone, which is a tacky surface for bike tires. We learned the name “slickrock” was given to the area by people riding horses with metal shoes.

This ride is on a mesa and it features beautiful landscapes. If you haven’t been on terrain like this, it is fun and unique sandstone mountain biking

The transitions between climbing and descending can be tricky. Watch for cactus. Be mindful of the exposure. We suggest a skilled adult with at least intermediate skills pre-ride this trail before determining if your kids are ready for it.

Riding Moab's Slickrock Trail with Kids

Getting To The Slickrock Trail In Moab: [1] Head east on E Center St toward S 100 E/S 1st E St (0.4 mi). [2] Turn right onto Fourth E St (0.4 mi) [3] Turn left onto Mill Creek Dr (0.5 mi) [3] Continue straight onto Sand Flats Rd (2.3 mi). There will be a toll booth. The parking lot for the Slickrock trailhead will be on your left.

Riding The Slickrock Trail With Kids

When our kids rode this trail for the first time, our youngest was on a heavy 20-inch mountain bike with v-brakes, heavy entry-level spring fork, and tires with tubes. His hands were as tired as his legs when we finished – but what an accomplishment!

Climbing the Slickrock Trail is really fun because the rock is grippy. Once you become comfortable, you’ll be amazed at how you can ride up climbs that look way too steep. The key is keeping your front tire on the ground and pedaling smoothly. We taught the kids to zig-zag up the steeper slopes that were wide enough and they can make almost every climb.

Slickrock Trail Practice Loop with Kids

The Slickrock Trail is made up of many short and steep undulating climbs and descents. The trail is easy to follow – white dots and arrows painted right on the rock. The views are breathtaking. A quarter mile from the parking lot, you’ll hit the 1.7-mile practice loop. This is a great introduction to riding on sandstone. You can just ride this loop, or add it to the full Slickrock Trail. It will add a mile and re-connects with the main trail.

At 2 miles, you’ll get to the loop part of the lollipop – you can ride either way, but we have only ridden it clockwise by taking a left at the fork.

Out And About On The Slickrock Trail With Family

Moab Slickrock Trail with Kids
Family Friendly Trails in Moab, Utah - Slickrock Trail

Along the way, there are optional short spurs that will take you to the edge of the cliff. These only add a bit to the length the ride – and add a lot to the overall experience of the trail. We took breaks at each overlook.

There are a few places where you have to ride/walk through sand. And many, many places to take breaks and enjoy the view.

Keep an eye out for potholes with sand and cactus. One time we rode this trail, our youngest managed to fall off his bike right into a pothole filled with cactus about mid-way through the trail. It was awful. His butt and leg were full of cactus barbs. After we removed as many of the barbs as we could, he demonstrated his toughness and completed the remainder of the ride. For a while he rode so slowly that I thought we might die out there, but we made it! If you’re wondering about the best way to remove cactus barbs, it turns out Elmer’s school glue works well. We initially used duct tape.

Landscapes are big while mountain biking in Moab, Utah

Being Prepared For The Slickrock Trail

Depending on the time of year, you want to make sure you have plenty of water and snacks for the ride. Bring proper clothing, tools, sunscreen and your camera! Your kids may want to take a lot of breaks because there are several long climbs where both kids and adults may need to hike-a-bike. It can also be quite windy. And, of course, be sure you check the weather so you don’t get stuck in a rainstorm several miles from the trailhead.

Riding Bootleg Canyon with Kids

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Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park - Boulder City, Nevada

Mountain biking Bootleg Canyon with kids: Just 30 minutes southeast of Las Vegas lies Boulder City, Nevada. This small town sprouted from the desert as a result of needing to house contractors building the Hoover Dam. The construction of the dam was a WPA project from FDR’s New Deal agenda enacted to bring the county out of the Great Depression.

Fast forward to the late 1990s and a local by the name of Brent Thomson spearheaded the trail building in the western mountains bordering the city. Along with the help of many friends, this trail network would become the Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park. Unfortunately, Brent passed away in 2009 – but his love for mountain biking has evolved to become a unique destination for mountain bikers all over the world.

Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park - Boulder City, Nevada

Helpful Resources For Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park

Getting To Bootleg Canyon MTB Park

If you’re approaching from the north, you’ll have to go through Las Vegas on I-15. Once in Vegas, after exit 42 just hop on I-515/I-11 south and take that to Nevada Hwy 93.
Once in Boulder City, you access Bootleg by taking a left turn on Veteran’s Memorial Drive and another left on Yucca Street.
Mountain biking family
DVO Suspension Winter Gravity Series

MTB Races & Shuttle Service

900 Canyon Road
Boulder City NV 89005

Website: www.bootlegcanyonracing.com

Check the website for several mtb races and events through the winter months.

BOULDER CITY WEATHER

Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park Trail Map

Bootleg Is A Warm MTB Winter Wonderland

We visited Bootleg Canyon for the first time a little over 3 years ago as an escape from Salt Lake City’s dreary and cold “Inversion” season. Inversion is a cleansed word describing SLC’s pollution problem and this usually occurs in the months of January and February.

The novelty of being in the sun, enjoying 50º-60º temperatures, AND riding mountain bikes with the family in the dead of winter is strong incentive for loading up the mini van and hitting the road. More than once, the weather has been so favorable, we have camped at nearby Lake Mead in January and February. It can be windy at times with gusts reaching well over 20 mph. For optimal riding, be sure to check the weather in advance.

Bootleg Canyon bike sculpture
Camping at nearby Lake Mead - MTB road trip to Bootleg

When you approach the zone via Canyon Road/Yucca Street from the “downtown” area, you’re greeted by a wonderfully crafted metal mountain bike sculpture designed by a local shop by the name of Ornamental Iron Works. The bike is about 12 feet long x 8 feet tall. And, because it’s a mountain bike, it featured faux full suspension. The sculpture is an appropriate preface of what’s to come. Some of the trails at Bootleg require big-time skills.

Be prepared to ride at Bootleg Canyon MTB Park

Be Prepared To Ride At Bootleg

Riding Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park will make you better – but you better be prepared! The terrain can be steep, exposed, and sharp rocks grace almost every trail. Be sure your bike is in excellent working condition. You are going to need your brakes and suspension, so make sure they are ready to go. Make sure your tire pressure is correctly set – or at the very least, you will get a flat. You could also tear a tire, dent a wheel, or smash a derailleur.

For first time visitors, we recommend wearing a full-face or enduro helmet with removable chin bar when riding Bootleg. Gloves are also a must. Knee-pads, elbow pads, butt-pads, neck braces and chest protectors are also common protective gear at Bootleg Canyon. These should be a requirement if you are going to ride the downhill trails.

We would strongly recommend a full-suspension mountain bike for riding Bootleg. If downhill mountain biking is your specialty, there will be plenty to do.

Mountain Biking With The Family At Bootleg Canyon

There are no lifts to get you to the top of the trails. You can pedal, self-shuttle, or get a paid shuttle on most weekends. The graded, unpaved road from the base of the hill next to the restrooms and large parking areas is most commonly used to reach the top of the mountain. If you are going to the start of the downhill trails, you will hike-a-bike for about .25 miles up from where the graded road ends.

Pedaling up to Bootleg MTB trails
Bootleg Canyon shuttle

Some of the trails at Bootleg Canyon are challenging to say the least. If you are going to ride here with smaller kids, an adult with at least strong intermediate skills needs to pre-ride all the trails you intend to ride with the little ones. There is plenty to keep a young family busy, but it will be best if you plan ahead and make your itinerary based on your group’s riding ability.

When you are at the top of the graded road, you can see Las Vegas. While looking at the city, the hike-a-bike trail to the downhill trails is on your left. And, the trail Boy Scout is towards your right.

There are options for getting warmed up when riding Bootleg with your family. To get acquainted with the dirt, take a ride on the trail Desert Cruise and return to the base area on the River Mountains access road/trail.

Boy Scout and East Leg

When you’re ready to dial it up a notch, head up Red Mountain Access Road via pedal power or shuttle and try East Leg. Or, head to the top of Red Mountain Access Road and ride Boy Scout. Both Boy Scout and East Leg are gobs of fun and are rated as intermediate trails.

Boy Scout is one of our personal favorites because it’s features consist of everything we like about riding mountain bikes in the desert: fast corners, challenging but passable technical sections, tough turns, narrow lines, and even a few climbs. When you ride this trail over and over, you’re going to get better at mountain biking. You will ride it a little faster, clean a technical section with a bit more flow and finesse, transition to a climb in the correct gear, and so on.

kid on full-suspension bike at Bootleg Canyon MTB Park

Inner Caldera, West Leg, Girl Scout, Mother

Other intermediate trails include Inner Caldera, West Leg, Girl Scout, Mother, and a handful more. Explore these trails. Have a good time riding in this Southwest mountain biking mecca. Similar to some experts no longer calling Pluto a planet, the IMBA once designated Bootleg Canyon as one of its EPIC rides. Once you visit and ride Bootleg in person, you can judge the retracted designation for yourself.

Mother and son riding Inner Caldera trail at Bootleg Canyon MTB park
Mom rides Bootleg Mountain Bike Park with young son

Downhill Trails

The trails Sidewinder, Snake Back, and Ginger are a few of the advanced downhill trails in the park. These tracks are tough. There’s a reason why all the pictures of the downhill trails only feature the kids. Mom and dad just don’t have the skills for these.

You get to the top of the downhill tracks by shuttling your downhill bike or pedaling your trail bike to the top of Red Mountain Access Road. Then, you have about a .2 mile hike-a-bike/pedal to the start zone. All the downhill trails split off of Sidewinder. If you can ride the fist 150 feet of Sidewinder, you’re going to have a good time on these downhill trails. Again, ride within your skill-set and hunt out the downhill trails that make you happy.

Kid with protective neck brace on downhill mountain bike trail - Bootleg Canyon
Riding downhill mtb trail at Bootleg Canyon
Riding the hourglass on a full-suspension enduro bike at Bootleg Canyon

Racing At Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park

In the months of January, February and March – you and the family can race at Bootleg Canyon. Enduro, Downhill and Dual Slalom races are offered to riders age 6 and up. “Downhill” Mike Scheur is the Race Promoter for the events and his team does a great job running the show.

Downhill Mike Scheur

Downhill Mike, Says…

“Bootleg is great for families because there are so many there. If there was only one family at our events, it may be hard to convince others to come. However, these families seem to know each other and are very welcoming to new families just getting into the scene. They not only make you feel welcome and at home – but they are helpful as coaches and as resourceful as one can become for the sport and way of life.”

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Mountain biking mom
Downhill racer

These races are a lot of fun and a great way to ease the winter-time blues. Last year, our whole family raced one of the enduro events. You may even see some of the pros. Mountain bike racers Rachel Strait, Logan Binggeli, Cody Kelley, and Mitch Ropelato often make appearances here to kick off their seasons. Even World Cup overall champion downhill rider Aaron Gwin shows up once in a while to get his groove on. For more information and registration, visit www.downhillmike.com.

Current Trail Stewards And Other Features At The Bike Park

“Brent Thomson was not alone in his efforts when building trails”, exclaims Mike Scheur. “Dan Haskin is the acting Trail Boss at Bootleg. His brother Jeff and others started on the trails back when the sport was in it’s infancy. The local bike shop, All Mountain Cyclery and Dan Haskin have been providing maintenance and building some new stuff, too. Our crew, Bootleg Canyon Gravity Racing, works on all race trails before and after each event.”

Mountain biking kid on wood skinny
Bootleg Canyon Welcomes You - sign
Advanced jump line at Bootleg Canyon mountain bike park

Near the main base area, there are a few jump lines you’re free to session. Just treat it like a sledding hill and be on the lookout for oncoming downhill traffic prior to dropping in. Northeast of the base area, there is a see-saw feature, wood skinnies, small gap jump and a couple more senders. North of the metal bike sculpture near the entry of the bike park, there is another advanced jump line. On your left as you enter the park, there is a pump track.

Bootleg Canyon Truly Offers Something For Every Mountain Biker

With it’s proximity to Las Vegas, Bootleg Canyon is very accessible compared to many other riding destinations in the Southwest US.

This zone has earned its place on our winter month road trip itinerary year after year. We eagerly look forward to riding its challenging and unique terrain when the temperatures drop at our home and the local trails are covered in snow. When you visit Bootleg, you’re going to have plenty to do. You can easily enjoy a long weekend with the family so you can experience all this great zone has to offer mountain biking families.

We highly recommend visiting Bootleg Canyon with kids for families that want to get some sunshine in the winter months. Check out our Trails and Destinations page for more ideas for family mountain biking adventure.

15yo Aiden And 17yo Wyatt Ride Kong

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POV Video - Kong - Virgin, UT

Our friend Aiden Parish stitched together this POV video of him and our oldest son Wyatt hitting Kong for the first time over the 2020 Thanksgiving break near Virgin, Utah. We owe Aiden a big thanks for sharing this video with us.

Follow Aiden on Instagram @aiden_parish83 and Wyatt @wat_is_good. Aiden and his brother Alex @alex_parish1 are the initial members of @parish_brothers_racing.

If you’re not familiar with Kong, it’s a line near the Red Bull Rampage site that many pros ride and advanced riders can test their mettle on. The trail is accessed via Flying Monkey and its notable features are a series of exposed ridge-to-ridge drops and rolls that leave zero room for big errors.

The boys were supposed to ride this with friends who were familiar with the trail, but following a hard crash by one of them earlier in the day, the ride was put off. Nonetheless, after Aiden’s dad offered to shuttle them up so they could check it out – it was go time.

For over a year, Aiden and Wyatt have been riding together because they’re members of the Racekraft Gravity Development MTB Team. They decided each of them had the ability to do this due to their experiences riding together. This being their first time down Kong, they took the time to inspect each feature, determine the lines, and only ride it if they knew they would succeed.

Aiden is 15 years old and rides a Santa Cruz v10 in this video. Wyatt is 17 years old and rides his Transition Sentinel. One of the more interesting details is that you can hear Aiden clipping in and out of his pedals. That’s just next level.

Wyatt said one of the toughest moves on the trail was on the first feature where the trail made a slight dodge to the right when you had speed after the initial slab. You can see that based on how the video is spliced up, both riders were sure be patient and stay on line when starting to roll in on a drop.

When they had the opportunity to ride the trail again the next day, they exhibited their smarts once again and decided to ride other lines nearby.

Mountain Biking In Bellingham With Kids

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The best mountain biking trails for families and kids in Bellingham

Cascadia’s backwoods are home to some of the best mountain biking in the country. Tall old trees, mossy granite, exposed roots, and dirt that deserves its own seat on the periodic table are what you are here to see. This is a sample of some of the best family friendly mountain biking trails in Bellingham, Washington.

Bellingham is just thirty minutes south of the Peace Arch border in to Canada. The town is also headquarters for Evil, Kona, and Transition bike companies. We have the luxury of having friends who live in the area – and through their generosity of playing tour guides, our family has experienced some of the best riding in the region.

BELLINGHAM MTB Weather
WMBC - Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition

The WMBC Is The Local Trail Organization

If you’re planning on riding Bellingham or have enjoyed the trails in the past, take a moment and donate to the WMBC right now. The Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition is composed of a board and volunteers who are among the most active mountain biking communities on the planet. And, because of contributions from families like yours and mine, the WMBC can build more trails so we can all enjoy the outdoors together.

In addition to being stewards of the trails, the WMBC sponsors events, youth programs and service learning opportunities.

Galbraith Mountain

Galbraith Mountain Trail Map

Examine the embedded map and you’ll see that the Galbraith mountain biking trails mimic a Paris street map. If you can spend a few days here, you’ll reap the rewards. You can ride the north of the mountain or the south. The south side is most popular because that’s where most of the trails are accessed. Park on Samish Way just west of Galbraith Lane. An early arrival in the day will guarantee parking. If you have a hitch mounted tray rack, be sure to move it in upright position. This is so you maximize the available space for vehicles to maneuver in a parking area with limited space. If the lot is full, you can park on the side of the road, but make sure your car is completely off the road.

Parking: Google Maps
Who It’s For: balance bikes through advanced mountain bikers

Galbraith is privately owned and as mentioned above, the WMBC (Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition) is the trail organization responsible for preserving the relationships that keep the area accessible. The WMBC also creates new trails, maintains the existing trails, and is also responsible for the majority of the fundraising. Bellingham’s mountain biking community is among the best and strongest in the nation. Citizens put in the volunteer hours and pony up the dough to make things work.

We can’t write about everything on Galbraith, but we strongly encourage you to explore and plan your family’s bike rides based on your abilities and levels of interest. Always keep in mind that when you’re riding with your kids, it’s not your ride. It’s your job to keep the itinerary fun and safe. Carefully cross Samish Way to get on Galbraith Lane / Pipeline Road. Once you’ve crossed the road, head north.

You get to earn your turns on Galbraith. There are no lifts, paid shuttles, or self-shuttling. Check the weather and bring appropriate clothing. Plan ahead and be sure to have space in your pack for your kids’ extra clothes, additional food and water, whatever they need to make the ride a success. Always keep in mind that you’re responsible for creating positive experiences for your young riders.

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Beginner Trails On Galbraith Mountain

Once you’re on Pipeline Road, continue north to the southwest zone of the mountain. Here you’ll find trails like Bunny Trails, Little Dipper, Art’s Trail, and more. You can make loops from these trails that use Pipeline Road as the main corridor. You can get creative and make a route that resembles a figure-eight. Clock-wise or counter-clockwise, out-and-back and so on. You could even incorporate a couple of blue/intermediate trails like Pony Express or Mole Trap if your group is up to the task. Galbraith can keep everyone in your family pedaling and interested.

Crossing a bridge on Galbraith Mountain's beginner / family-friendly mountain bike trails
Getting back to Pipeline Road on Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham, WA
Mountain biking with kids in Bellingham, Washington - Lost Giants trail

Evolution, Unemployment Line, And Atomic Dog

These three trails are for adventurous intermediate riders through advanced riders. There are steep, elevated features; jumps and drops. Link these three trails together by pedaling to where Evolution starts. From the south parking lot on Samish Way, here’s how you get there: Cross Samish Way. Go north on Pipeline Road / Galbraith Lane and continue on Last Call. Cross Pipeline and get on Lost Giants. Take a right on Dog Patch. When you reach Towers at the end of Dog Patch, take a left on Towers. Get on RD 2300 at the intersection and take a left on Three Pigs. At the next intersection, get on Huff and Puff. At the end of Huff and Puff, go right and meander to the start of Evolution.

Evolution starts off fine and well, and the first challenging move is a sweeping left turn on to a wood feature that leads into a long, elevated laddered log. We have nothing like this in Utah and I’m always enamored with this feature. I’m not good enough to ride into the start of it yet, but I always like seeing it. Once you’re on the log, it’s well over 30 feet long and roll off sends you into another ramp with steep roll-down. From there, it’s hooting and hollering through more features and jumps. The trail ends on the Towers access road. Take a left on Towers. Pass the Pump Track trail and you’ll arrive at Unemployment Line.

The Evolution sign on Galbraith Mountain
Point-of-view screen grab of the elevated bridge on Galbraith's Evo trail.

The start of Unemployment Line was rebuilt a couple of years ago and it’s more of an art installation opposed to the drop-in of a mountain bike trail. When you see it in person, you’ll understand. The trail is only 3,800 feet long and it’s rated intermediate, but riders with good jump skills will get to enjoy it the most. There are a couple of berms on this trail that rival the Daytona Speedway. Unemployment Line ends on RD 2300. Take a right and pedal over to Atomic Dog.

Atomic Dog is another intermediate rated trail that will leave everyone in your group barking with joy. The features aren’t as big as Unemployment Line, but the flow of the trail is top-shelf. Keep your speed and you can clean a step-down, step-up which is one of the trails biggest moves. The trail ends at the intersection of Gate and Switch and Towers. From here, you can head back to the car, or prep for another lap on the mountain.

Mohawk

Mohawk is an advanced trail riddled with jumps and berms. It was built by a group of diggers known as The Shire Crew. Follow them on Instagram at @shire.built. The jumps at the bottom of Mohawk are world-class, if you or your kids have the skills to ride these – they look like a lot of fun. Our oldest and a couple of his friends where able to experiment and unlock the entire line. Get to the top of Mohawk by pedaling to the top of Huff and Puff. Take a right.

The Mohawk trail on Galbraith is a Shire Built endeavor
Riding Mohawk on Galbraith Mountain

Galbraith Mountain Is Big

There’s about 80 miles of trails packed into this zone. If you’re in town for more than a couple of days, you’ll get to find what works best for your family when you add mountain biking on Galbraith to the mix. We’ve been on several more trails here, but your experience will be your own and there is plenty to choose from. If you’re not from the area, you’ll be pleased to find that most of the climb trails are in shaded trees and they’re not straight up. Our youngest made it to the Evolution trail when he was 9 years old. Every rider is unique and Galbraith can accommodate everyone who likes to mountain bike.

Cedar Dust Jump Lines - Gabraith Mountain - Bellingham

Cedar Dust Jumps

Located near the west-central zone of Galbraith Mountain are the Cedar Dust Jump Lines. There are four trails rated from easiest to most difficult: Green, Blue, Black, and Expert.

Do laps and improve your skills; carefully working up from one line to the next. The Green line has tables where novice and beginning riders will learn to build speed and get their wheels off the ground. The Blue line has a couple of drops and doubles. The Black and Advanced lines have gaps.

People come to Galbraith just to ride these jumps for hours on end. They’re just another good reason to plan a trip and get this mountain biking destination off your bucket list.

Blue Steel

Opened in September of 2020, Blue Steel is a jump line composed of 7 BIG features. The line was designed and constructed by pro Nico Vink in partnership with Transition Bikes. Prior to dropping in on the jumps, you’ll see a sign with “Tips From Nico” that can help you complete the jumps in one piece.

Entry gate at the Blue Steel jump line – Galbraith Mtn.
Hitting a jump on the Blue Steel line

Chuckanut Mountain

Chuckanut Mountain Trail Map

Our family has only ridden a couple of trails on this mountain and they’re very challenging. I’m not ashamed to admit that I walk a few features because I don’t have the skills to get down them on my bike. If I put in the work at build up my skills, maybe I’ll be able to clean ’em when we return. On the other hand, our kids were able to ride from top-to-bottom when they were 13 and 9 years old. Gauge your family’s skills properly. Play it safe and have a rider in your group with at least strong intermediate skills pre-ride these in order to ensure a good time for all.

Drop Off: Google Maps
Pick Up: Google Maps
Who It’s For: strong intermediate through advanced mountain bikers

Double Black Diamond And Double Down

The route we describe here is a shuttle ride. Chuckanut Mountain is south of Bellingham. When you approach the mountain on Chuckanut Drive turn on to Hiline Road. Hiline will merge into Cleator Road. Keep going until you reach the viewpoint where you can see the ocean far, far below. Cleator Road is three miles long. If you park facing the road, ride or hike up the Double Black walk up for a few hundred yards. Double Black Diamond will begin on your right.

Double Black Diamond is a mile long and it’s wonderful. Exposed steppy roots and switchbacks, narrow lines through trees adorn Double Black Diamond. In my opinion, the toughest move on this trail is short bumpy strait with roots that leads into left turn. I have to dab it with a foot to get through. The rest of the trail is composed of similar goodies. Double Back Diamond ends at the Fragrance Lake Road. Cross it and you’ll begin Double Down.

During the summer, we traveled through the PNW with our friends, the Parish family. Aiden @aiden_parish83 and Alex  @alex_parish1 make brief appearances in these videos.

I don’t enjoy Double Down as much as Double Black Diamond, but that’s only because I can’t ride it all. There are roots on off-camber slopes and tricky rock sections. On our most recent trip, I was able to do a section for the first time and that made me feel like a pro. Double Down has a couple of optional features that easily qualify as expert. One is a rock drop that carries riders about a dozen feet from leap to landing. Another is a booter that launches qualified riders through the uprights of a couple of tall, thin trees. Score!

When you reach the bottom of the Double Down trail, merge on to the Fragrance Lake Road and head south. This is where you get picked up by your shuttle, at the Lost Lake Parking Lot. On one side of the lot, there is 15 minute parking so you can avoid paying the day use fee.

Waterfront Pump Track

Bellingham Waterfront Bike Park Map

Pump tracks and skills parks are great because everyone can enjoy them. Young ‘uns on balance bikes, moms on dirt jumpers, dads with bmx bikes, and groms on hardtails can all have a good time at the pump track. Access the Bellingham Waterfront Pump Track via Granary Road or West Laurel Street. The area is marked by old red-orange tiled storage tanks remaining from a paper processing plant. There’s plenty of parking and space to work on your cornering, jumping, etiquette, diction and vocabulary.

Location: Google Maps
Who It’s For: everyone

Riding at the pump track - Bellingham, WA
Taking a break at the Waterfront Pump Track - Bellingham, WA

Lake Whatcom Park

Lake Whatcom Park Map

Location: Google Maps
Who It’s For: strong intermediate and advanced mountain bikers

Chanterelle Trail And Brown Pow

This area is home to the multi-use climb trail Chanterelle and the downhill romp Brown Pow. When ascending Chanterelle, be conscious of hikers and trail runners. Be on your best behavior and yield to foot traffic. If you have a bell, the Chanterelle trail is where you want to use it. This route can be busy on the weekends and we had several hikers thank us for using our bells. For our family, coming from dry and dusty Salt Lake City, climbing the three miles on close-to-sea-level Chanterelle is nothing short of pleasant. There are a few road crossings where you can take a break. At the top of the lower section of Chanterelle, there’s an overlook where you have a wide open view of Lake Whatcom.

Climbing the Chanterelle trail by Lake Whatcom.
Side show attractions. Mushrooms on the Chanterelle trail.

When you start Brown Pow, it’s on the stunning side and sans rock slabs – it embodies what makes the PNW famous for mountain biking. Compared to what we normally ride in Utah, the dirt can be considered tacky – even in blown out corners.

Near the bottom of Brown Pow there’s a couple of spaced out roots with small drops that warrant the trail’s advanced rating. An eager intermediate rider will enjoy the trail no problem even though he/she may have to hop off the bike and walk a couple of sections. Put this ride on your to-do list if you have more than a couple of days in town. It’s worth it. If you’re visiting in the heat of summer, a jump in the lake on the way back to the parking lot is a no-brainer.

Mom rides Brown Pow - a Bellingham fave
Go jump in a lake after you ride Brown Pow near Lake Whatcom

Woodward Park City

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Woodward Park City - An action sports destination

Woodward Park City

Woodward Park City is to an action sports kid as what Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is to Augustus Gloop. So much so that your kids may just passively fall into the river of awesome and need to be retrieved by the staff at the end of your session. Several years in the approval process, relocation, another approval process, and finally making – this latest addition to the Woodward properties is everything a kid who cannot hold still could have hoped for. The venue is located near Parley’s Summit, just 20 miles from downtown Salt Lake City via I-80. Upon arrival you notice the main building with outdoor plaza, a lift, and a north facing slope ripe for action sports.

Woodward Park City - An action sports destination
IMPORTANT: A lot of images in this article were created prior to the pandemic. With COVID19 being prevalent, you will have to follow guidelines set forth by Woodward Park City and Summit County. Masks are required. Woodward has taken above-and-beyond precautions. Check out their Health and Safety page. Woodward has also installed Airphix machines to assist in the disinfection of the space – information is here. We strongly suggest you email info@woodwardparkcity.com ahead to learn how the venue is defending against the spread of the the coronavirus and become informed of offerings/equipment that may be unavailable due to the pandemic. They are also limiting the number of guests for certain areas of the venue in order to follow social distancing protocols.
Woodward Park City

Woodward Park City:  Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter
Plan ahead and book your sessions online. Even before covid, Woodward Park City was very popular. Walk-in visitors may not be allowed to due to capacity restrictions.    

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When you approach the building from the lot, you cannot help but get excited. It doesn’t matter if you’re just playing the role of sherpa and spectator. You see just how big the property is and all the work that went into shaping the trails, constructing the plaza and making this a true destination. Upon entering the building, the guest services and check-in counters are on your right. Reusable wristbands are issued with an embedded chip that gets scanned when you enter a zone or get on a lift. The wristbands also let staff know when an attendee’s session has expired.

Approaching Woodward Park City

Here Is An Overview Of What Woodward Park City Has To Offer

Indoor / Sports Hub

  • Skate park
  • Trampolines with foam pits* and parkour zone
  • Mini Mega Ramps with foam pit and resi-mat
  • Mini Ramps, 1 with air bag
  • Digital Media Center*
  • Spectator zones
  • Food and beverage services

* Currently closed due to covid19

Outdoor

  • Skiing and snowboarding terrain park
  • Tubing hill
  • Mountain biking
  • Skate plaza
  • Pump track
  • Dirt jumps
  • Connector path – a ribbon of blacktop ¼ mile asphalt pump track
Woodward Park City - air bag
Competition grade trampolines at Woodward Park City

First Time Safety Orientation Course Experiential Tour

Every first time visitor who desires to enjoy the the indoor offerings will have to take a brief Experiential Tour session. This only lasts about 10-15 minutes and during the course, guests are instructed to be aware their surroundings, how to enjoy each area at Woodward Park City, the proper way to queue up for a feature and announce “Dropping in!”, how to tuck-and-roll, and other basic skills. If you or your kids have skate park or bmx experience, this is just a well-packaged presentation focusing on how to educate everyone; and help keep you and other guests safe. This is included and is a part of your first 90 minute session. Once completed – you’re all set!

Instructors And Staff

Woodward hires experts for each of the park’s activities. They are always available for questions and assistance. Part of the Woodward experience is the Zone Coaching, where coaches own their zones and are not only there to make sure everyone stays safe, but available to assist with tips and tricks you may be working on! You can even book private lessons if there’s a skill you want to improve one-on-one or move through areas of the hub you’d like to session.

We ran into a friend of ours who went to grade school with our oldest son back in the day and he was a scooter instructor. Not a bad gig for a high school kid.

Local pros and athletes with advanced skills and teaching know-how guide you and your kids through proper techniques in order to raise your abilities.

Coaching at Woodward Park City
Woodward Pack City has several spectator zones

Watching The Kids Throw Down

If mom and dad aren’t participating, no problem. Indoor spectator zones are available. You can watch your kids from these areas as they enjoy the bike ramps, gymnastics area, indoor concrete skate/bmx area. Free Wi-Fi is available, so if you have the ability to actually zone-out and work from a laptop while your children have the time of their lives, have at it. Large windows allow spectators to keep warm/cool as they identify their loved ones flying down the mountain outside in spring, summer, fall or winter.

Mountain biking at Woodward Park City

Mountain Biking At Woodward Park City

Our first experience mountain biking at Woodward Park City was epic! The trails were only a couple of months old and the construction of new trails was in-progress.

We took a few laps at the bike park on the Hot Laps quad and even though there’s only about 350 feet of elevation, the trails are very well planned and the terrain varies. The venue even accommodated a local, lift-served enduro race last summer. The mountain is currently laced with a few great trails and the property is big enough to build more. Beginners through experts will enjoy the bike park’s trails, pump track, dirt jumps, paved connector trail and plaza.

Mountain bike trail signage at Woodward Park City
Riding the connector ribbon at Woodward Park City

Outdoor Biking

The trails Easy Rider and EZPZ are rated as a green and they are designed to get beginning riders comfortable with downhill mountain biking. If you’ve never done this type of riding before, be ready to take it slow and pull off the trail if you or someone in your group needs a break. There is also a “Start Park” warm up area to assist new riders get comfortable with bike park style riding prior to getting onto the lift. You may get some arm pump and tired legs after just a partial lap.

Once Easy Rider/EZPZ have been mastered, move on to the intermediate trail, Parley’s Way. This line features doubles, table jumps, and a few small step-downs. The berms are built up a bit taller on this trail so you can maintain speed while cornering. The new sections on both of the green and blue trails are more like a skate park on the hill – offering several different line and feature choices keeping it interesting and allowing for progression throughout the day.

Coming in for a landing at Woodward Park City
Setting up for a jump on the mountain bike
Jump on the advanced line - Woodward Park City

Next up is the advanced trail, Spiral Jetty. Bigger jumps mean riders must possess a bigger bag of skills. A couple of the tables at the top of the track can send you pretty high up, but it’s the optional PRO jump line at the bottom half that’s composed of the BIG jumps. There are big consequences to these because when you hit them at speed, you can easily be over 8 feet off the deck and soar through the air over 25 feet. If you have the skills, check them out and give them a go.

Enjoy the outdoor pump track. Learning how shift your body weight to maintain and gain speed as you keep the wheels on the ground is an important skill to have. Progression on the pump track transfers over to trail riding and jumping. Once you’re comfortable on the pump track check our the jumps. The dirt jumps are at the east end of the property and several different lines are available. You can progress your skills from beginner to pro, as you successfully send one jump at a time.

Outdoor plaza signage at Woodward Park City
Synchronized fun at Woodward Park City
Outside play in the plaza

Woodward Park City has 2 outdoor concrete skate parks – the Central Plaza and across the bridge, the W Plaza. Each has different grades, lips and features. Last, the connector trail is like a straightened out blacktop pump track. It’s an undulating ribbon of asphalt where you can practice your bike control and jumping. It is ¼ mile long and a great way to warm up as well as keep in shape.

Blacktop ribbon connector
POV on the connector ribbon at Woodward Park City

Indoor Biking At Woodward Park City

Woodward Park City - air bag jump

Sophie Gregory @that.sophie.girl sends it

Quarterpipe ramp - Woodward Park City

Luke Mallen from @thosemallentwins on a quarterpipe

Inside the facility, biking features abound. There is an indoor pump track with quarter pipes on the second level of the building. The pump track is parallel to the large indoor ramps with jumps.

Your weapon of choice doesn’t have to be a bike. Skateboards, scooters, inline skates, Woodward’s patented Park Boards and Park Skis (snowboard simulators and skis with wheels) are sent down the ramps with riders of all ages and abilities on board. The finales for these jumps are a resi mat and a giant foam pit*. It’s a lot of fun just to hang in the observation area and see what tricks people will throw in this area. There is a room with a medium size jump and an air bag for those not ready for the larger ramps previously mentioned. On the east end of the facility is large concrete indoor skate/bmx zone. Rails, stairs, bowls and step-ups/step downs are the perfect features for the freestyle bmx crowd.

Woodward Park City's indoor bike and skate park
Parkour and gym zone - Woodward Park City

Dynamic Pricing At Woodward Park City

Woodward Park City has so many pricing options, you have to visit their website to learn about them all.

Yes, grandma. Adults are welcome to rip it up, too.  Join Adult Shred after hours when they kick all the kids out for adults only on Thursday evenings from 7:30-8:30pm. 18+ only please!

Group lessons are available for for ages 4 and up.  Private lessons are offered for all ages.

Kids age 6 and under always require adult supervision by a member or ticketed adult. Ages 4-6 have access to our indoor Action Sports Hub, Mountain Park, and tubing lanes. Ages 1-3 have restricted access to Woodward Park City:

  • Hub Sessions: 9am-10am Weekends, 10am-11:30am Weekdays
  • Tubing: Limited to snow play areas.

Choose how you play!

Woodward can facilitate everything from membership subscription passes ( similar to a gym or Netflix) to one-time visits. New this season, Woodward has launched 4 different Membership options.  The All Access pass gives members similar access to what they offered before with auto renew. This includes some pretty amazing perks like 2 buddy passes a month, access to Woodward Copper Barn and the Woodward Tahoe Bunker, one free SnoGO Bike lesson and rental, discounts on summer camps at Woodward Park City, Woodward Tahoe, Woodward Pennsylvania and Woodward West. Also 15% off MTB , ski and snowboard group lessons. There is also Mountain Park outdoor pass only. This also comes with some of the perks mentioned, and is all access to the Hot Laps Chair, Mountain Park, Outdoor Action Sports Parks and the MTB trails.

The new one-month pass options offer either All Access or access to the Mountain Park [outside only] valid 30 days from date purchased, these passes do not come with the perks.

Additional Amenities

Rental equipment is available in the lower level of the facility and full-size mountain bikes are available when in-season. There are two eateries on site with locally sourced ingredients. The Hive is the main cafeteria with the usual and some unusual fare. The Grind is more sophisticated and offers tastes to the more adult palate, along with adult beverages of all kinds, making Woodward the perfect place for a date night.

We know what you’re thinking now: Is there a gift and gear shop? You bet there is. Get a t-shirt, warm hat or gloves, cool shades, hoodie, or other souvenir.   

Hive Cafeteria
Grind Cafe

Winter Sports

Skiing, snowboarding, and tubing take place when the weather shifts from fall to winter. The resort fires up the snow making equipment as soon as the temperatures remain steady in order to supplement what nature can provide. Skiers and snowboarders are elevated to the top of the venue by the quad lift and a magic carpet gets tubers to the top of the hill on the west side of the resort. Woodward Park City boasts Utah’s longest tubing runs. For skiing and snowboarding, the north side of the mountain is adorned with rails, on-off boxes, gap jumps, and rollers. Additionally, the resort builds up some big senders and a massive half-pipe.    

Don’t Overcook It – Patrol And First Aid

Be sure to play it safe and perform within your abilities. Yes – accidents happen, but extend your sports seasons by exercising your risk-management skills in partner with your athletic skills. Due to the nature of action sports, on-site medical personnel are always present and available to evaluate and assist if needed. Alert an employee if you see someone in need.

Woodward Is Designed For Action Sports Progression

It doesn’t matter if it’s gymnastics, freestyle skiing, in-line skating, snowboarding, downhill mountain biking, etc. Woodward Park City is designed for action sports athletes to improve their skills. An athlete’s performance relies on a combination of physical and mental abilities. And, Woodward has the instructors, features and terrain for those ready to improve their style, ride with confidence, jump higher, go faster, or simply have fun. Woodward is open year-round, so it doesn’t matter if your sport is in mid-season or mud-season. There’s always something to do at family-friendly Woodward Park City.

Moab Mountain Bike Trails For Families, Kids And Beginners

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Beginner mountain bike trails in Moab for families and kids

Moab Mountain Biking Trails for Kids/Beginners – Moab is home to some of the best mountain biking trails on the planet! But before you take on The Whole Enchilada, Slickrock Trail, Captain Ahab, and others with your small kids or beginner mountain bikers – you gotta start small and start safe. This list Moab trails for kids is made up of our favorite beginner mountain bike trails in the area.

Moab Trails for Kids = Family Mountain Biking Fun

One of the best things about mountain biking in Moab is that there is plenty to do. In fact, you can introduce your kids to mountain biking with one of these short rides and hike surreal desert landscapes on the same day. As  your children’s mountain biking skills increase you can return to Moab and go on longer, more technical rides. Without doubt, Moab is a great place to spark a love for mountain biking.

MOAB MTB WEATHER

Jurassic Trail
Area: Klondike Bluffs | Distance: 3.2 miles one way 

A perennial favorite of Moab trails for kids, the Jurassic Trail is a beginner-friendly smooth singletrack trail with very little elevation change. This hardpacked dirt trail skirts the edge of a mesa. The Jurassic Trail is located in the Klondike Bluffs mountain biking area, a network of 50+ miles of singletrack located 20 minutes north of Moab.

Getting Started

The Jurassic trail begins half a mile north of the south parking area. This trail can be reached via Inside Passage (single track but more climby) or on the 4×4 Klondike dirt road (boring but flat).

Jurrasic Trail Overview

The Jurassic Trail is a smooth singletrack trail with almost no elevation change. Jurassic follows the edge of the mesa to the west of the Copper Ridge road. There are no difficult climbs (7% max grade). Above all, there is nothing technical to make beginners uncomfortable.

We’d recommend this trail for beginners since there are no technical challenges. For that reason, intermediate riders might choose to opt for the Dino Flow trail found in the same area. Dino Flow will add a bit more technical challenge.

Beginner mountain bike rides in Moab

Getting To Jurassic Trail In Moab, Utah

The Jurassic Trail is most easily accessed from the South Klondike Trailhead in the Klondike Bluffs area. To reach the trailhead from Moab, drive north on Hwy 191 for 16.0 miles to the signed junction for Klondike Bluff Road. Turn right onto Klondike Bluff Road and continue 2.9 miles on the unpaved road to the South Klondike Trailhead. NOTE: There is no water available in the area, so be sure to plan ahead!

The Great Pyramid Loop
Area: Dead Horse Point – East side trails (Intrepid Trail System) | Distance 4.2 miles 

The Great Pyramid Loop is perhaps the most scenic trail in our list of Moab trails for kids. The Intrepid Trail System was designed for riders of differing skill and fitness levels. The Great Pyramid Loop is a fun loop for families with beginner riders who have some experience riding on dirt. The Great Pyramid is technically easy and mostly flat with some gentle climbing on first half of the loop, so you get to end on a downhill.

Getting Started

The trail system starts at the north end of the Dead Horse Point visitor’s center parking lot. After a short length of two-way trail (Intrepid), it forks into a loop. Of course, this trail can be ridden as an out and back if you decide to turn around at any time.

The Great Pyramid Loop Overview

The Great Pyramid Loop (Intrepid – Great Pyramid- Raven Roll) is easy to follow. You’ll find signs at each intersection and rocks and logs define the trail. The trail is mostly well-packed dirt with a few rock and very short sand sections. There are no true technical areas to speak of. However, you’ll come across a few small rock steps (2-5″ in height) that true beginners might choose to walk over. Although the trail has great views, it is more than 50 feet away from the cliffs so parents can relax while biking with kids. Be sure to take the time to hike out to the marked overlook points (Colorado River Overlook and Pyramid Canyon Overlook) along the trail.

NOTES: Dead Horse Point altitude is around 6000 feet. As soon as you arrive at the trailhead, you may notice the elevation. Thus, it’s usually at least 10 degrees cooler there than in Moab. Importantly, there are bathrooms and water available in the visitors center at the trailhead and at the group picnic site. The Great Pyramid Loop trail flows well and is a super fun ride. All things considered, riders of all ability levels will enjoy this loop.

Great Pyramid Loop - beginner mountain bike trail in Moab

Getting To The Great Pyramid Loop Trail In Moab

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. At this time, $15 per car, significantly higher than most Utah state parks. Then drive another two miles to the visitors center. The trailhead is at the north end of the parking lot.

Lazy-EZ Loop
Area: Moab Brand Trails System Distance | 3.1 miles 

Take note that this ride is best suited for competent beginners and intermediate riders. A fun loop for competent beginners and early intermediate riders. This loop is a bit more challenging than the Bar M trail for beginner riders who are hoping for a little bit of challenge. The Lazy EZ Loop is a 3-mile singletrack loop made of two different trails – Lazy is the eastern trail and EZ is on the west. This loop has is designated as a one way loop, which makes for less trail congestion.

Prepare for around 150 vertical feet of mild climbing.

Getting Started

To get to the start of EZ/Lazy, take the double track Short Loop 1/10 of a mile from the main parking area. This loop is designated as a one-way ride starting with EZ, so take a right at the trailhead.

Lazy – EZ Overview

EZ offers nice views of the Wingate cliffs to the west. EZ trail skirts the edge of a small ridge and is mostly smooth hardpacked dirt with a few slick rock sections. There are a few rock outcrops that are mellow enough for beginners to ride with little concern. After about 1.5 miles, you’ll come to the Lazy Trail.

In comparison, Lazy has more downhill than up and is fun to ride. From Lazy, you’ll enjoy views of the La Sal Mountains and Arches National Park The loop travels over rolling desert terrain. Whats more, you’ll be treated to long views into Arches National Park to Balanced Rock, the Windows and the Klondike Bluffs. This trail is fun! Accordingly, we especially enjoy the swoopy downhill section near the end.

Get out there and enjoy the ride! The Lazy-EZ loop is a nice trail for riders of all skill levels. Beginner riders will find it mildly challenging. In conclusion, not only is Lazy EZ a nice loop in itself, it also accesses other trails so you can extend your ride if you choose.

Lazy EZ Loop - beginner mountain bike trail in Moab, Utah

Getting To The Lazy EZ Trail In Moab

To get to the Moab Brand Trails System, drive 7-miles North of Moab on Highway 191. Turn east onto a gravel road – opposite from the Gemini Bridges turnout. You’ll see Bar M signs advertising a cowboy dinner. After getting off the highway, immediately turn right and continue down the road as it curves left into a dirt parking lot. The ride begins here.

Bar M Loop
Area: Moab Brand Trails System North of Moab | Distance: 8 miles 

This ride is best suited for true beginners and intermediate riders who would like a warm-up ride. Bar M Loop is a super easy well signed mostly double track ride with beautiful desert scenery. There is hardly any change in elevation. Many families ride this trail, including baby trailers and trail-a-bikes. The loop is eight miles long, but does have several escape trails throughout the area in case you need to get back to the parking lot quicker than planned.

Bar M Overview

Firstly, the east side of the loop has a few non-technical slickrock spots to play around on. Secondly, it’s a great area to give true beginners a taste of what slickrock riding is all about. In addition, there are also a few short downhill sections to get the amazing feel of flowing effortlessly through the desert on your bike. As soon as you get here you can pick up speed and blast down through the sand and stone to see what your bike is capable of. Fear not though, there’s nothing technical on this trail.

Surprisingly, the views also become more dramatic as you can see Arches National Park in the distance. Keep an eye out for spur trails that lead to overlooks for even better vistas.

Overall, the ride consists of mellow singletrack with a few low-threat technical sections for beginners to test their mettle (but if anything is still too hard, there’s no shame in walking.) Despite these few rocky spots, overall the path is smooth, well marked, and excellently maintained. To conclude, this is an amazing trail system for beginning riders and one of our top 5 Moab trails for kids.

Beginning mountain bike trails in Moab - Bar M trail

Getting To The Bar M Loop In Moab

To get to the Moab Brand Trails System, drive 7-miles North of Moab on Highway 191. Turn east onto a gravel road – opposite from the Gemini Bridges turnout. You’ll see Bar M signs advertising a cowboy dinner. After getting off the highway, immediately turn right and continue down the road as it curves left into a dirt parking lot. The ride begins here.

Moab Canyon Pathway and Highway 128 path (paved)

Importantly, the Moab Canyon Pathway follows the former path of Highway 191. This path has been re-paved and extended so it forms a nice paved bike path from the north end of Moab to Highway 313. Connecting to this trail at the Colorado River is the paved path along State Route 128.

Moab Canyon Pathway

The Moab Canyon Pathway is a great for a couple reasons. Firstly, this trail can be ridden as a destination in itself or as a connection to Brand Trails, Gemini Bridges or Highway 313. The path begins at the pedestrian/bike bridge that crosses the Colorado River on Highway 128, just north of Moab. Additionally, the super smooth blacktop snakes through 2 miles of the red rock canyon to the entrance of Arches National Park. The path continues past Arches National Park for another 6.5 miles, and 525 vertical feet of climbing, crossing under Highway 191 to the beginning of Highway 313.

Since this paved, parents can pull their babies behind their bikes in trailers. In addition, riders of all ages can enjoy the pathway, even if it is just for a leisurely stroll. Kids can try their new bikes on the flat sections on either end, since only the middle 4 miles have noticeable grade.

Mountain bikers may choose to use the paved bike path for direct access to the multiple trails at the Moab Brands Trail System and Gemini Bridges area (near mile 6). Undoubtably, this will add a great warm-up on pavement to the trail ride. From there, mountain bikers can access unlimited miles of dirt and slickrock routes including the Sovereign Trail, Bartlett Wash and Monitor & Merrimac areas.

Summing up, the Moab Canyon Paved Path is one of the most scenic bikeways around. It connects the Courthouse Wash trailhead near Arches National Park with Highway 313 that leads to Canyonlands National Park. Additionally, along the way, the trail provides access to the Bar M trails and the Mag 7 trails (Gemini Bridges).

As has been noted, the Moab area has lots of fun for the whole family. With this in mind, we hope this list of Moab trails for kids is helpful in planning your family mountain biking trip to Moab. What have we missed?  We’d love to have you contact us on Facebook or Instagram and share your favorites.

Check out the MTB with Kids Destinations and Trails page for more ideas on family adventures.

Beginner mountain bike trails in Moab for families and kids

Family Friendly Mountain Biking Trails In Park City, Utah

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Family friendly mountain bike trails in Park City, Utah

Take heed! We’re only touching on a few of the great places to mountain bike with your family in Park City. Explore the embedded maps and you’ll see a lot more options. You would have to spend weeks in the area to ride everything. We’ve lived nearby for several years and we are learning more about Park City every summer. If you want to stop in one of the area’s great bike shops, they may point you to a trail not on this list depending on your preferences/abilities.

Family friendly mountain bike trails in Park City, Utah

Before taking your kids out for a spin in Park City on advanced trails, we strongly suggest being keenly aware of your young ones’ skill levels or having an adult with at least intermediate skills pre-ride the trails we have shared in this post. This is so you ensure safety and fun.

Take note that a few of the trails we mention can be done as out-and-backs. There are a few trails that are directional, meaning climb-only or downhill-only mountain biking is allowed. Please abide by these rules because it’s part of your responsibility to keep the flow going and avoiding an earful from passers-by. Also, avoid riding muddy trails and keep an eye on the weather. With just more than a sprinkle of rain, the dirt in the Park City area can quickly turn to goopy cookie dough and stick to your tires and brakes.

PARK CITY, UT MTB WEATHER

Park City’s trail organization, Mountain Trails Foundation and Summit County’s Basin Recreation have done a phenomenal job with managing this area for decades. They have the leaders, the volunteers, the community interest, and the money to make things work year round for mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, equestrians, and cross-country skiers. It’s no wonder the Park City area is one of IMBA’s Gold-Level ride centers. We are grateful for all that these groups have done in order to make this a mountain biking mecca in our back yard. Enough of my blah-blah-blah. Here we go.

Bob’s Basin

For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/pDRMqMgZcyQAJFt39
Who it’s for: Strong beginners through experts

This is easily one of our favorite areas because the climb trails are somewhat short and you can easily do laps on the four downhill only trails. Its south facing slopes at this elevation dry out earlier in the season, too. Park at the Bad Apple Trailhead as shown on the map. From there, ride up Bad Apple and Fink Again. When you top out on Fink Again, turn right. You could do the downhill trail Crazy 8 or continue on for about another mile until you can descend on Ant Farm, Team Cutthroat DH, or The Drop Out. All these trails require intermediate mountain bike skills due to corners, rollable features, and jumps. The Drop Out is the most popular way down because in 2019, all of the berms were rebuilt. On the last three trails past Crazy 8, there are a few optional rock kickers and doubles. Most everything is rollable, but be sure to look before you leap. This trail network is so good, that we often frequent it with our high school NICA team in order to get out of the valley.

Doing the climb in the Bob's Basin area - Park City, Utah family mountain biking trails
Kid riding the The Drop Our - Park City mtb trails for families and beginners

When returning to the car on Bad Apple, be aware that this area is popular and there may be hikers and other bikers heading up. Always follow proper trail etiquette and yield to uphill traffic. This is also a great place to use a bell if you have one. The Bad Apple trailhead is also a popular access point for Flying Dog.

The map below is labeled as ‘Drop Our’ but it shows the Bob’s Basin system very well.

MTB Helmets For Kids

Make sure your kids have proper, well-fitting head protection.

Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids

G-Form knee pads for kids

Knee Pads For Kids

Knee pads are another level of protection for young riders.

MTB Knee Pads for Kids

Camelbak LUXE hydration pack for kids

Hydration Packs For Kids

Is your kid big enough to carry their own water and supplies?

MTB Hydration Packs for Kids

Trailside Bike Park

Riding a berm in the Trailside Bike Park - Park City mountain biking with kids

This bike park is not lift-served. You gotta pedal, but that means it’s free to ride and you can easily spend at least a couple of hours here. It is very family-friendly and riders of all abilities will have a great time – even kids on balance bikes. There’s a small skate park immediately above the parking area as well. To get to Trailside from Salt Lake, take I-80 towards Park City, but drive past the Kimball Junction so you can turn right onto state road 40/189 towards Heber (exit 146). Then take exit 2 and turn right onto Silver Summit Parkway. Follow the speed limit and keep straight. You will end up at the Trailside parking area. There are soccer fields on your right. The skate park and bike park are up the hill to your left.

Pulling a wheelie at Park City's Trailside Mountain Bike Park
Trailside bike park - Park City family mountain biking

Trailside has two pump tracks, a skills area, a couple of jump lines, practice rock drops, and several trails. The easiest trails are Yabba Dabba Doo and The Great Gazoo. The advanced trails are Bamm Bamm and Mr. Muchrocks. You could access the Round Valley area from an intersection on the lower third of Mr. Muchrocks.

Explore this wonderful riding area to your heart’s content. Younger riders will love the lower pump track and just meandering about the lower section of the park. Beginner through expert riders will like the flow trails with jumps and wood features. There’s even an on-off whale tail on Bamm Bamm.

The map below is labeled as ‘Yabba Dabba Doo’ but it shows the Trailside Bike Park in its entirety and and the close by Round Valley trail system.

Family Mountain Biking At Deer Valley Resort

For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/Y7AVb1ED1dsD2kEe6
Who it’s for: confident beginners through experts

Park at the bottom of the resort and take the Silver Lake Express lift to get access to the Sterling Express lift. At the top of Sterling Express, younger or beginner riders will want to start on the Holy Roller trail. Intermediate to advanced riders should get a warm up lap on Tidal Wave. After this, it’s up to you.

Grom sending a jump at Deer Valley Resort - Park City Mountain biking for families

The big flow trails at the Deer Valley Bike Park were designed by Gravity Logic. And even though they don’t have PNW dirt to work with, they’ve done an excellent job for creating trails that meander down the mountain and get your kids worn out. The Holy Roller trail is four freakin’ miles long. That’s right – four miles long! Back in the day, Deer Valley used to host the NORBA Cup races and until 2018, the Scott Enduro Cup. So there’s plenty of old school tech and danger for the rowdies. The rock garden known as Barney’s Rubble on NCS will challenge expert riders and the table jumps on Tsunami will have you flying through the air with both tires off the deck.

Flying Dog

For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/pDRMqMgZcyQAJFt39
Who it’s for: intermediate skilled mountain bikers through experts

Ride this loop counter-clockwise. Why? Because if you ride it clock-wise: (A) You’ll miss out on one of the best descents in the west (B) You’ll earn the scorn of those enjoying the descent. The trail is not directional, but riding it counter-clockwise is by far the most popular route. Our youngest did this ride with us for the first time when he was 10 and we all lived through it rather well. We took the climbing very slow and made sure to keep him happy with snacks and ice in his water. Here is how we suggest you do this ride: Bad Apple, Fink Again, take a left when you get to 24-7, right on to Flying Dog (this is brief), then right on Preserve Connector. Look at the embedded map. This route takes you to the front toe of the dog. The climbing is pretty good, but this trail is where you truly earn your turns. Once you start the descent, and get to the butt of the dog, there are only a couple of small climbs when returning to the trailhead. The highlight of our descent is always the trees and the beaver ponds. If you do the ride in the evening you may see one of these amazing engineers of the forest moving about their lodge.

Riding the Flying Dog trail near Park City, Utah

Silver Spur to Armstrong to Mid Mountain to Spiro

For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/F8csBoSXUoy4qDih7
Who it’s for: intermediates through experts

From our parking pin on the map, find your way to the Silver Spur trail. You can get on it if you head towards the First Time Lift and head southeast. This trail will get you to Armstrong. This loop is one of the best in all the land because the Armstrong trail is uphill only for mountain bikers. Hikers and trail runners can use it for both up and down travel. Remember, always yield to foot traffic. Our family gets crazy excited when this ride dries out in June because it tells us that summer has finally arrived.

Climbing the Armstrong trail in Park City, Utah
Family photo time - mountain biking in Park City, Utah

Climbing the Armstrong trail is beautiful. The singletrack meanders through trees and winds its way up through Park City Mountain Resort. If you want to make it a shorter ride, you can head down the HAM trail. At the top of Armstrong, get ready for a bit more climbing because in order to get to Spiro, you need to take a left (south) on the Mid-Mountain trail. Follow this stretch of Mid-Mountain for about 2 miles and you will reach Spiro.

At the base of Spiro, take Silver Spur back to the parking lot where you started.

Descending on the Spiro trail in Park City, Utah

The Spiro descent only has a couple of short climbs and that makes it a ton of fun. Near the bottom of the trail there will be signage to get you back to the Armstrong trail head. Be cautious in this area. Even though most of the trail traffic is mountain bikers, you are likely to encounter hikers on Spiro. Slow down and give a courteous greeting or ring of your bike bell to announce your presence and ask to pass if/when it’ safe.

Rail Trail

For Parking/Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/yi2oC1HwDJ6AWXQr7
Who it’s for: everyone!

When our kids where just getting started on pedal bikes, we used to take them on the paved Rail Trail behind White Pine Touring. Depending on the kids’ attitude for the day, this little ride could seem like a 1 mile Tour De France time trial or a 100 mile desert endurance event. When leaving the White Pine Touring lot, head to the east and make this ride as long as you like with the out-and-back method. There are ponds past Wyatt Earp Way as you pass the last of the neighborhoods that are worth a stop. This ride is great for bikes with trailers, trail-a-bike attachments, and balance bikes through pedal bikes. It’s popular for runners, walkers and road bikes. This means that you have to pay attention, be aware on oncoming traffic, and develop some trail etiquette while you’re working on your bike skills. Be careful when passing or being passed. Announce your presence to trail users you are going to overcome. Practice staying on your line and stay on the proper side of the trail.

Parking area for the Rail Trail in Park City
Yep. Park here.
Looking east from where you can start on Park City's Rail Trail

Family Mountain Biking In Jackson, Wyoming

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Mountain biking with kids in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Our first family mountain biking trip to Jackson was in 2018 and it was a lot of fun. We were only able to hang out around the Teton Pass area, but we were sure we’d return. In 2020 with a lot of racing either cancelled or postponed, we were able to get back up there on Father’s Day weekend with a bigger itinerary in mind.

Article QuickLinks: Snow King Mountain | Jackson Hole Bike Park | Teton Pass

Mountain biking with kids in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

As usual, our adventures are only scratching the surface of this family-friendly mtb paradise, but we hope to give you enough information to give it a try with your mountain biking kids.

It’s going to be in the best interest of safety and fun to make sure your kids have the skill level and attention span to ride in some of the areas we share – so be good and err on the side of caution. Do your research and plan your rides accordingly. It’s always going to be better than to finish early and have them wanting more as opposed to burning them out with miles to go.

JACKSON, WY MTB WEATHER

Our kids are pretty good riders and their ages are 13 and 16. Back in the day when we’d do long rides, we were always sure to overpack with food and water, take a ton of breaks, and be prepared with the proper clothing. My wife and I would also be sure to either pack additional layers for the kids or have space in our packs if the wahoos wanted to shed some layers.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at mountain biking in Jackson, Wyoming with kids.

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Snow King Mountain

We started at the Cache Creek Trailhead mid afternoon and we were ready to get in around 10 miles. The weather was perfect and we were so happy to be riding in the alpine again. Our previous outings were in southern Utah and we were definitely hankering for some woods. Ferrin’s was in superb condition and this was just a long, steady climb. There weren’t many stretches of trail that descended or flattened out. Every ascent on the trail for our group was feasible and every one of us enjoyed it. One of the best features of the climb was that it was not switchback after switchback. There was plenty of space for the trail builders to work with and that lets you take in the forest with all your senses.

Family mountain bike ride - climbing Ferrin's trail in Jackson, WY
Wild mossy tree on the Ferrin's Trail - Jackson, WY
At the top of Ferrin's - Family mountain biking in Jackson, Wyoming

After topping out on the climb, we took a short break to gobble some calories, drink water, rest our minds, and pull up the knee pads.

Our descent began on double-track which led to where the ski lift for the resort dropped off lift riders. Within sight of the lift we could see where the single track started and we headed down. There were a few embedded rocks to maneuver as we began the trip down but after the first couple hundred of yards the trail opened up just below a bare ridge line. At this point you’re headed west and incredible views of the Teton valley compete for your attention.

Tyge descending Josie's Ridge in Jackson, Wy

Honestly, the climb on our route was a lot more pleasant than the downhill. The descent was beautiful, but there were several people doing the out-and-back hike on Josie’s Ridge. Remember, you should always yields to hikers. There were a few hairpin switchbacks on the way down, but once we got back in the trees on Sink Or Swim, we were happy campers bikers again.

The route we took was composed of intermediate and advanced trails, but if you check out the embedded map, you’ll see that there are beginner trails on the north side of the Cache Creek Trailhead parking area. See? Fun for the whole family.

Mom looking great on Josie's Ridge - Wyoming mountain biking

Snow King Mountain Trail Map

MTB Helmets For Kids

Make sure your kids have proper, well-fitting head protection.

Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids

G-Form knee pads for kids

Knee Pads For Kids

Knee pads are another level of protection for young riders.

MTB Knee Pads for Kids

Camelbak LUXE hydration pack for kids

Hydration Packs For Kids

Is your kid big enough to carry their own water and supplies?

MTB Hydration Packs for Kids

Jackson Hole Mountain Bike Park

The next day we were off to the Jackson Hole Bike Park. On a map, the bike park doesn’t look very impressive. There is only one lift and less than 10 trails. Leave it to the good folks at Gravity Logic to dispel any reality of disappointment. Although the lift is quite short, the trails are extend across the terrain very well. They maintain flow and every drop of kinetic energy is optimized.

Jackson Hole Bike Park - laps of family-friendly mtb fun

Table jumps, wood features and berms characterize the personality of the park. The absence of technical rock gardens and rooty corridors don’t lessen the fun at all. It even makes it more suitable for younger kids or mountain bikers on the beginner to novice side of the spectrum. That’s not to say you’ll encounter a herd or two of bros at the bike park, you’re just going to be able to ride laps at a bike park that’s very suitable for families. The trail Lucky Charm is plenty of fun. We even encountered a 5 year old girl shredding the gnar on her full suspension 20-inch wheel bike with her family. It was downright charming.

Hitting a table jump at the Jackson Hole mountain bike park
Jackson Hole mountain bike park - ramp roll
The main exit berm at the base of the Jackson Hole Bike Park
Mom riding a beautiful bridge at the Jackson Hole Bike Park

Jackson Hole Bike Park Map

Mountain Biking With Kids At Teton Pass

For mountain biking families with intermediate to advanced riders, Teton Pass is where the action is. Teton Freedom Riders, the local mtb trail organization, has carved up a system of trails that many will consider second-to none. Yes. It’s really that good. The key to having a good time in this zone is shuttling. Look at the embedded map and find where you want to start. Unfortunately, we have only been on the trails on the south side of Hwy 22, so I suppose we have a reason to go back and explore the likes of Arrow and Phillip’s Canyon.

Teton Freedom Riders

Teton Freedom Riders – The Local Trail Stewards

The people who spend their time developing trails with the Teton Freedom Riders are owed a very big thanks. The work they put into management, maintenance, and new trails is often overlooked by passers-by. After you explore the links below, please consider a contribution.

Teton Freedom Riders: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Mom takes on a technical section of the Teton Pass

Our very first experience in this area was on Lithium a couple of years ago in the early fall. The trail was technical and loose. There was plenty of hike a bike. We didn’t get on it this time around because there was still snow on the traverse.

Sending a table jump at Teton Pass
On the way down from the Lithium mountain bike trail near Jackson Hole, WY
The kids are on the way up to session jumps at Teton Pass near Wilson, Wyoming

For this round we stuck to shuttle laps on Jimmy’s Mom, Candyland, and Parallel. There are gap jumps galore and some wonderful technical stretches on these trails. My wife and I can’t do the jumps on these things and there are ride-arounds for everything except the rocky and rooty sections. Again, kudos to Teton Freedom riders for these feature-rich mountain bike trails. When your family is ready to hit this area, take it slow and enjoy it. Get a lap or two under your belt and then ride your face off.

Wyatt sends the big gap jump on the Teton Pass trails in Wyoming

Teton Pass Trail Map

Teton Pass on Trailforks.com

Mountain Biking (most of) The Whole Enchilada With Kids

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Mountain biking the Whole Enchilada with kids

Are you considering mountain biking the Whole Enchilada with kids? The Whole Enchilada is widely recognized as one of the best mountain bike rides in the world. It is located near Moab, Utah. Depending on your research and where you start the ride, you will see its distance is anywhere from 26-35 miles. The long end of this includes an approximate 5 mile section where you pedal back to your car on roads and paved bike paths. The ride is composed of different sections. If conditions allow, you will start at the Burro Pass section and descend through the Hazard County Section, Kokopelli Section, Porcupine Singletrack Section, and the Porcupine Rim Section. If you do this ride in its entirety, you will begin in an alpine environment at an elevation of over 11k feet with aspen groves and stream crossings. At the end of the day, and 7k feet vertical descent – you are back in the desert.

Mountain biking the Whole Enchilada with kids

NOTE: We rode The Whole Enchilada on October 22nd and even though Burro Pass was technically open, we did not start at the top. Due to recent moisture at the higher elevation, sections of the trail were icy and the local shuttle companies collectively determined that it was not safe. We were dropped off at the top of the Hazard County zone. That’s ok by me. NOT riding on ice is one of my favorite things. I guess we’ll have to do it again next year.

MOAB WEATHER

Wait – You Haven’t Done The Whole Enchilada Before?

I’m a 40-something mountain biking dad living in Salt Lake City and this was my first time riding The Whole Enchilada. What is my problem? Believe me, it’s a long list.

A few years ago, I decided that my first time riding this iconic trail would be with the entire family. How could it not be? If I was to do this ride without my family it would be like me taking a solo trip to Hawaii in the dead of winter. I am not kidding. This is how it would go: I would come back to Salt Lake City all tan and give the kids some crummy sea shells. Then I’d tell them how I started drinking at 9 in the morning, jumped off cliffs right into the ocean, swam with sea turtles as big as my desk, etc. Yeah – this would just not fly. We all ride. And, we all ride together. Mountain biking the Whole Enchilada with kids was clearly the only way to go.

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To prep for the ride, I got some advice from my step-brother Erik and bike shop friend, Steve. They’ve both ridden the trail more than once and told me to bring plenty of water because it’s a long day out on the bikes. Erik said he ran out of water one time and had to ask for some along the way. Steve told me he didn’t bring enough food once and had a rotten time. You gotta bring the right clothes, too. No one wants to be hot or cold and have over 25 miles to go. I’ve also heard horror stories involving mechanical mishaps and injuries on this trail. Bashed derailleurs and cables, shredded tires, bent wheels, concussions, smashed wrists and broken collar bones were almost expected as part of the ride.

IMPORTANT: If you’re considering mountain biking the Whole Enchilada with kids, we stress that an adventurous adult with both good fitness and at least intermediate mountain biking skills pre-ride the Whole Enchilada. This way, you can properly gauge your younger riders’ fitness and skills to see if you will have a successful outing. You can just do the lower sections of the trail solo in order to assess if those in your group will be safe and have a good time. You should also closely examine the embedded map to get an understanding of the elevation.

How To Overpack For Riding The Whole Enchilada

I knew my role on the ride would be that of the Sherpa after considering some of the dreadful things noted above. The comfort and safety of my clientele are paramount. If conditions allow- we will achieve our goals of summiting and return to base camp in tact. If my clients don’t enjoy the adventure, I don’t get return visits. On most long mountain bike rides with the family, I usually bring a normal sized hydration pack with a 2 liter bladder, lunch, a couple of energy bars, some tools and a spare tube.

This time around I overpacked on purpose. A 30L Backpack. You read that right. When I Googled the brand and model, the autosearch didn’t return ‘daypack”. It said ‘backpack’. If push came to shove, I could have attached a sleeping bag and bivouac to the thing. It’s absolutely huge.

Here is a list of everything I put in the pack.

  • 3L water bladder
  • 1 extra 25oz stainless steel water bottle
  • 1 12oz energy drink
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeve dry fit shirt
  • Knee pads
  • Elbow pads
  • First aid kit
  • Plastic tire irons
  • 2 spare tubes
  • Multi tool
  • Small roll of utility tape
  • Energy bars and other snacks
  • A ham sandwich with cheese, lettuce, mayo and mustard
  • Extra USB battery for phones and cord
  • Bike light

This thing weighed a ton. I deserve a stupid medal. Literally, a “Stupid” medal. The best part about this is that in order to save weight, I took the car key off my key ring and left the other 8 keys in mini van. Pure. Genius.

Everyone in my family has a proper full-suspension mountain bike with tubeless tires and a dropper. We all have helmets with removable chin bars.

Riding The Whole Enchilada With A Ten Year Old

My biggest concern was riding with my 10-year old. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a skilled kid. He can do a lot of technical moves I won’t even try. But you have to agree that 10 is on the young side for this one. Take a close look at the embedded map and you’ll see there are a few demanding climbs. His resume is pretty good, though. Prior to our Whole Enchilada trip, he did about a 23 mile all-mountain ride from Silver Lake Lodge in Deer Valley to the bottom of the PCMR’s Canyons base area. He’s also done the Wasatch Crest a couple of times. He definitely has the chops. This was his longest ride and I just wanted the experience to be a good one.

When we finished the last leg of dirt and hit the pavement for the ride back into town, he finished the ride like a boss. There is a bike path that follows the Colorado River for a bit. We even have this section of pavement on our list of best Moab mtb rides for families and beginners.

Camelbak LUXE hydration pack for kids

Hydration Packs For Kids

Is your kid big enough to carry their own water and supplies?

MTB Hydration Packs for Kids

Trail MTB Helmets

Now that you have a young mountain biker, get a lid on that kid.

Trail Helmets For MTB Kids

G-Form knee pads for kids

Knee Pads For Kids

If you ride a bike, you’re gonna fall down. Just sayin’.

MTB Knee Pads for Kids

We are ready for this mountain biking bucket list experience

Getting Started For The Day

We had to be at the shuttle drop off at 9:45 on Sunday morning. This was Bike Church at its finest. People from around the world sharing a common faith and knocking something big off the bucket list. There were riders from as far away as Australia and the United Kingdom. It always makes me happy how this wonderful activity brings us all together.

After our driver got all the bikes loaded, we were off. We headed out town and headed southeast for a few miles and then made the left turn onto La Sal Loop Road. The drive up into the mountains was great. Think about it. You start off in beautiful, red rock Moab and make the way up to a true alpine environment. The sage bushes and red dirt magically transforms to pine trees and granite right before your eyes. The elevation gain will make your ears pop a couple of times as you’re whisked to the trailhead.

As mentioned above, we started at the Hazard County section due to ice up higher at Burro Pass. I was keen to bring along some cash so our youngest could tip our driver and tell her thank you on our family’s behalf. We were finally on our way.

Getting ready to ride the Whole Enchilada trail - Hazard County trailhead

Hazard County Section

This section of the ride started off on single track and it quickly led to a bit of a climb. There were a couple of stretches where we had to get off our bikes due to the grade and/or terrain and walk. This took about 15 minutes of climbing to get to where the first downhill section began.

As you start downhill, it’s hard not to stop and just look around. You’re cruising along at elevation and marveling at the expansive palate of colors ahead. We rode this in October and our immediate surroundings were composed of greens and yellows. But off the range in the distance, you could see the massive vistas my home state is famous for. Riding this section of trail is kind of trenched and rutted, but most of it is still wide enough you don’t have to be concerned about clipping a pedal. There are switchbacks and rock gardens. Nothing too technical, but you have to be an intermediate mountain biker to take on this initial section of The Whole Enchilada. Our youngest handled this part of the trail with ease.

Horsing around at a trail junction on the Whole Enchilada mtb trail - Moab
Here's mom riding the Whole Enchilada

Kokopelli Section

Nothing out of the ordinary here. This section of trail is mainly wide dirt and double-track. Its purpose is to play the role of a connector and transition you to the Porcupine sections. There’s a small climb in this zone. Overall, it’s pretty easy going and nothing technical.

Kid giving The Notch a go on the Whole Enchilada
Tyge sends a drop while riding The Whole Enchilada in Moab
Sending a drop on The Whole Enchilada mtb trail - Moab, UT
Wyatt sends a drop while riding The Whole Enchilada near Moab, Utah

Upper Porcupine Singletrack (UPS) And Lower Porcupine Singletrack (LPS) 

This is where the fun really started for us. You’re out of the alpine environment and on top of a big sandstone slab more popularly known as southern Utah. Enjoy the mileage as you work your way across terrain that defines this trail. There are several technical sections that you can session over and over. You will find drops and playgrounds for jibs. There are a few tricky climbs, too. I had to walk my bike several times.

Being elevated above the Colorado River along the very last singletrack section is stunning. Before you know it, you’re at the level of the river and headed back into town.

Gorgeous views are all over the place on the Whole Enchilada trail in Moab
On the way back to Moab after completing The Whole Enchilada

This Is An Epic Mountain Bike Ride For Your Family 

Our ride took just under eight hours and we really soaked up the experience. We took a lot of breaks for resting, eating, and staying hydrated. The sun was out and the wind was calm so the kids could session climbs, drops and jibs. If you’re fortunate enough to give this ride a shot with your family, it’s could easily be one of the best experiences on the bikes your clan will ever share together. It’s as difficult as it is fun and we’d like to hear from you on our Instagram post if you’ve done the ride with your family.

Whistler’s Lord Of The Squirrels, An Epic Family Mountain Bike Ride

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Lord Of The Squirrels - Whistler family mountain bike ride

Whistler’s Lord Of The Squirrels

Part of an epic family mountain bike ride in British Columbia

Lord Of The Squirrels – A minor obsession

From the instant I heard about the new trails Into The Mystic, On The Rocks, and Lord Of The Squirrels – I kind of obsessed over riding them this summer with my wife and kids. The trails opened near the end of summer 2017 and they showed off a part of Whistler we have not seen before. Some trails were well established in the lower Mt. Sproatt area, but this ride takes you up through the forest and almost above treeline.

The trails were built by WORCA (Whistler Off Road Cycling Association) with support from the Resort Municipality of Whistler. Another organization, the Trails Planning Working Group, is municipal committee designed to bring all the collaborators together. Dan Raymond was hired to be the project manager for the Lord Of The Squirrels.

Be Prepared For This Ride

This is not your typical family bike ride. It is in the wilderness and climbs on Into The Mystic and On The Rocks are strenuous. Depending on where you start this ride, the elevation gain is significant. We started pedaling from our condo at we ascended about 3,500 feet! When you do this ride with your kids, it’s important to be aware of your capabilities.

Our youngest is 11 years old and already great on the pedals. But in order to ensure his enjoyment and success on Into The Mystic, we did a few training rides in Park City before we left on our trip.

We knew what type of food to bring as well as how much. We all filled our hydration packs to capacity and made sure our bikes were in good condition. Just to be safe, in addition to the basics, I brought along an extra derailleur cable, spare tubes and and extra battery with an additional SD card for the action camera. My wife brought along an extra USB battery pack if a phone ran out of juice. We were dressed in appropriate clothing and to make sure it did not rain – we packed light rain jackets.

Be prepared to ride Lord Of The Squirrels with your kids
Bring plenty of food and water for this epic mountain bike ride.
Family at the Lord Of The Squirrels trail in Whistler
We were keen to pack rain jackets and check the weather.
Lord Of The Squirrels map - MTB with Kids route

How We Got To Into The Mystic

To start, we began from the Aspens on Blackcomb condos and went through the Whistler Village. We then hopped on the Valley Trail at the golf course to get to Rainbow Park. From Rainbow Park, here are the trails we used to get arrive at Into the Mystic:

  • Whip Me Snip Me
  • Danimal
  • Hot Dog Alley
  • Scotia Creek Access Road
  • Sirloin
  • Darwin
  • Flank

Take a minute and donate to WORCA right now. They are one of the groups responsible for making trails like this happen. And, because of contributions from families like yours and mine, WORCA can build more trails so families can make more memories and enjoy the outdoors together.

Best kids mountain bikes

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Whistler's Lord Of The Squirrels

Check Out Other Stuff For MTB Kids
See our list for knee pads, hydration packs, and chest protectors.

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Into The Mystic
A 5 MILE CLIMB WITH 3,000 FEET OF ELEVATION GAIN

This Is A Long, Tough Climb – Even Without Kids

The beginning of this trail welcomes you with a marquis constructed from logs and a steel plate sign with the name of the trail cut from it. It’s like you’re at the start of a life-sized board game or a ride at an amusement park. Pedaling starts off easy enough, but you’re soon ascending along one of the most beautifully crafted climb trails in middle earth.

Family photo at the Into The Mystic trailhead
The kids explore a creek on the Into The Mystic Trail
Almost to the top of Into The Mystic

Fit riders will make easy work of this in a couple of hours or so. The trail is not a bunched up string of switchbacks and that makes it a pleasure to climb. We saw a kid who was similar age to our 11 year old on this trail pedaling with his dad. He was crushing the climb and we did not catch them.

Mother and son doing some hike-a-bike on Into The Mystic

About two-thirds of the way up on Into The Mystic you come across a platform with benches and railing adjacent to a creek down a small canyon path. Chains have been bolted in the rock so you can make your way down to a creek in the canyon. The kids went down for an explore and to see if they could catch a chat with Gollum. We took a long break here so we could rest and refuel. Three of us had to do plenty of resting and hike-a-bike on Into The Mystice, while our oldest son pedaled the entire trail. When you’re near the end of Into The Mystic, the trees become sparse. You start to notice more rocks, small grounds of grass and more open space.

Pond on the Whistler's Into The Mystic Trail

On The Rocks
TRAVERSE 2 MILES OF WHISTLER'S ALPINE

On The Rocks Could Be The Star Of The Show On This Ride

You are on the edge of the tree line and the environment is quite is over-the-top. Vivid wildflowers, exposed rock and a palette of greenery complement your immediate surroundings. I think it’s similar to when a PNW native sees Moab in-person for the first time.

On The Rocks is a spectacular trail in Whistler

Off to the distance you can see several other peaks adorned with snow and glaciers. The start of this trail is more climbing, but once you reach about 5,900 feet – most of the hard pedaling is over. Our youngest took a few rests on the first part of this trail. Good thing – because I certainly needed the breaks as well.

On The Rocks
Doing a snow crossing On The Rocks

Snow fields are fun!

Once you start descending On The Rocks, you may encounter snow fields you will have to ride through or ferry your bike across. All four in the family ended up with wet feet and squeaky brakes. Overall, I think we encountered a total of 10 areas where the trail was snow covered. This was a fair trade-off because the trail had only been opened for two days and we were due to leave town in the morning. There are also several small ponds and basins filled with runoff. I don’t know how many of these qualify as lakes, but they are one of the highlights of the ride.

Tyge riding On The Rocks

Lord Of The Squirrels
OVER 4 MILES OF CLASSIC MTB DESCENDING

Slow but steady

It took us a whopping six hours to get to the Lord Of The Squirrels trailhead from our condo. Please take this into consideration if you are planning on doing this ride with your kids. With the exception of our 15 year old, who can be considered an expert mountain biker, I think the rest of us are intermediate to strong intermediate mountain bikers regarding fitness, skill and and mettle. And it must be said that if my wife had her way – we would only ride uphill. We took it real slow the entire day by taking too many breaks to count, gigs of photos and made sure no one got hangry.

Downhill!!

After getting through the last couple of snow fields, Lord Of The Squirrels is a downhill romp through the woods. It’s very enjoyable because after we encountered about 6 other riders on the trail – it was all ours. We were expecting a lot more people due to the recent opening.

The trail is aptly rated as intermediate so no one had to get off the pedals and walk the rock rolls, roots, bridges and tech sections. All of the trails features were enjoyed by the family from top-to-bottom. The trail is only over a year old. The dirt has not settled. The roots are still raw and untidy. If you have experienced new trail in this region, you know the sound your tires make – and the density of the trail surface. It’s a lot of fun.

Exiting the trail, you’re back near the start of Into The Mystic. Depending on where you started from, you may have a bit of ride to get to home base. On the way back our 15 year old was not done. He broke off for a bit to give Cheap Thrills a whirl.

Our Final Thoughts

This ride is beautiful. I hope I have the opportunity to compare it to others around the world while riding with my family. For me, it was hard and you have to work for it. That helps keep it sustainable and special. The bike park is awesome, but Lord Of The Squirrels is just a different kind of awesome on the other side of town. When your heart is pumping and your legs don’t want to climb anymore, you just look around at where you are and take it in.

Exiting Lord Of The Squirrels