Moab Mountain Bike Trails For Beginners

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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 of beginner mountain bike trails for families in Moab was put together so you can still get a dose of what this amazing area has to offer. One of the best things about mountain biking in Moab is that there is plenty to do. 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 skills and your children’s mountain biking skills increase you can return to Moab and go on longer, more technical rides.

MOAB MTB WEATHER

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

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.

The Jurassic trail begins half a mile north of the south parking area and can be reached via Inside Passage (single track but more climby) or on the 4×4 Klondike dirt road (boring but flat). 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) and nothing technical to make beginners uncomfortable.

We’d recommend this trail for beginners, although riders of any ability level might enjoy it. Intermediate riders might choose to opt for the Dino Flow trail that adds some more technical challenges.

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 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.

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. 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, but 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. It’s usually at least 10 degrees cooler there than in Moab. 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. 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 ($15 per car in 2018, significantly higher than most Utah state parks) at the gate house and 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.

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.

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.

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, with long views into Arches National Park to Balanced Rock, the Windows and the Klondike Bluffs. 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. 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. T Many families ride this trail, including baby trailers and trail-a-bikes. he 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.

The east side of the loop has a few non-technical slickrock spots to play around on. It’s a great area to give true beginners a taste of what slickrock riding is all about. There are also a few short downhill sections to get the amazing feel of flowing effortlessly through the desert on your bike. 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 here.

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.

The ride consists of mellow singletrack with a few low-threat technical sections for beginners to test their meddle (but if anything is still too hard, there’s no shame in walking.) Other than these few rocky spots, the path is smooth, well marked, and excellently maintained.

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)

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

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. 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.

Parents can pull their babies behind their bikes in trailers and 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 can 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) which adds a great warm-up on pavement to the trail and slickrock rides. From there, mountain bikers can access unlimited miles of dirt and slickrock routes including the Sovereign Trail, Bartlett Wash and Monitor & Merrimac areas.

The Moab Canyon Paved Path has got to be 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. Along the way, the trail provides access to the Bar M trails and the Mag 7 trails (Gemini Bridges).

Beginner mountain bike trails in Moab for families and kids

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