Boulder trails difficulty vs Moab/ comparison / skill level for n00b

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Joetool, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Joetool

    Joetool Been here awhile

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    Hey all. Another n00b question from me.
    For those that are familier with the Boulder area(Switz trail, Rollins, etc) I am look ing for advice for Moab based on my skill level. I have a KLR and just learned to ride in Oct. I have ridden the following: Rollins pass (easy), Switz trail (My backyard basically, and is easy cept for some ice in Dec.), just did FS 68 to Gross 2 weeks ago ( was a 'little' sketchy at one point due to mud, but overall was fun/tiring and pretty easy). I have also ridden all around Gorden gulch numerous times.
    That all being said, I'm going to Moab area soonish, and want to know what trails I could do by myself on a KLR '11 with improved suspension. I have watched a lot of videos, and some of the roads look easy until you get a long way in than there is some hard obstacle. I would hate to look on my map and ride way in some where then have to turn around. I will most likely be by myself scouting out camping for our friends and family for later in the spring and fall.
    Basically I'm looking for rides I can do that are n00bish or have an way around difficult areas.

    Again, I have searched, watched, and read, but am hesitant; for example: White rim; sounds easy, ( I know I could do it in my tacoma or Syncro even) but a Bike is a whole different animal. Would you do White rim as a n00b by yourself? how about going up Long Canyon through Pucker pass to Mineral bottom road (on my Lat 40 map it looks doable, but all the ratings are for 4x4's not motos)? Stuff like that...

    I'm going to loop from Boulder, to Moab then to Dolores, then back to Boulder.
    not worried about being out alone; I have all sorts of backcountry experience, and should be able to repair most things on the bike; it's the riding...
    #1
  2. justjarrod

    justjarrod sojourner

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    The Moab area has a vast array of trails and difficulties and terrains. Only those who've ridden regularly with you could guess your ability versus a particular trail. My advice is use common sense and The "Don't go downhill any place you're not super confident you could climb back out" Rule.

    Worst case is you fall of a cliff and die or have to chew your stuck hand off and eat it. (read "standard backcountry danger)

    There are multiple map / guides with difficulty markers. Explore some, test your ability versus those and build on your testing. Keep your ego aligned with reality and turn around if unsure. Most important : have fun!

    Our very own eakins is a map vendor. Ask him for additional map sources maybe.
    (his map company website)
    #2
  3. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    or better yet take a buddy, there isn't much two men can't get a motorcycle through safely.
    #3
  4. grub

    grub Requires Supervision

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    +1, not always possible but very good advice
    #4
  5. Gitana

    Gitana A work in progress

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    Buy the Latitude 40 East and West Moab maps. The best there are, period. You might want to call Jim at dualsportutah.com. See if you can sign up for a tour with them. They're good people and know the area.

    Also check out traildamage.com. Although geared toward Jeepers, they have good writeups about a lot of trails and a rating system re difficulty and scenic beauty.
    #5
  6. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

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    As far as White Rim goes, conditions can vary a bit. The West side has some deep sand, and can be muddy or have deep silt beds. The part that seems to freak most people out is the climb up onto Murphy Hogback. Coming from the West,(counter-clockwise), has or had a small rocky ledge near the top.
    I have heard the NPS graded it down a bit, though.
    I will be riding it next week, so I can post some current conditions then.
    #6
  7. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Joetool, the issue of riding alone is an important element to consider strongly in your endeavors, but it shouldn't be the do-all-end-all factor in your decision. I ride alone a lot. If I'd waited until I could find a riding partner for many/most of my adventures, I'd probably be dead at this point from too much couch time. And while I have a lot of riding experience at this point in my life, I didn't get there by always shying away from getting out there and "doing it".

    WRT is a fun ride. I'd suggest you go counter-clockwise as some have already suggested, as you'll hit the tougher spots earlier on...which for a big KLR is usually sand. Once past the early stages, I doubt you'll have any trouble. Shafer trail is a steep, winding road up and out of the WRT, but it is a "road" and not hard. And while I'm not suggesting that you depend on other trail users for your safety or to get you out of a jam, there will be other folks out there in 4WD vehicles as well as other dirt bikes. Unless you're trying to do this very late in the day...foolish...if you have a serious problem on WRT you probably won't be laying out there with the hope of no help coming by.

    I rode KLR's for a lot years. I ask if you can pick up your bike on your own if you have to...not being insulting. A lot of people can't pick up one of these beasts on their own in some conditions, and a few sandy spots on the west side could easily cause a low speed tipover. On the weight of the KLR, it has a humongous gas tank. Don't fill it up. If you can make the 130 mile, or so, loop from Archview RV on hwy 191 to do the WRT, you only need 4 gallons at the most. Saving 15 pounds that high on the bike will help. I'd recommend that you do the ride. Take your time...stop and assess the few challenging spots by getting off and checking them out first...maintain your momentum in the sand, but not warp speed...have fun.
    #7
  8. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    Many of the "trails" in the Moab area are not really appropriate for a larger bike like a KLR. That said, there are plenty of roads that go out to many of the arches and overlook.

    We've already discussed the WRT, which is pretty much a road and as stated, Murphy's Hogback it about the only "bump"

    Some of the easier things you could do:

    Klondike Bluffs which is an out/back it dead ends at the edge of Arches national Park, you can hike in and see the overlook

    Gemini Bridges is pretty tame (last time I was there a Subaru outback could ride in)

    You could go in quite aways on Kane Creek road

    You could go poke around on Behind the Rocks (about 13 miles south of town.) ride out to Prostitute Butte and explore that area as well.

    Don't dismiss Arches national Park either.
    #8
  9. whiskeyandbikes

    whiskeyandbikes Misplaced

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    Do you want company out in Moab? Also have you ridden lefthand canyon yet. If you want to ride lefthand after the snow melts that will give you a good idea of how hard you can ride.
    Shawn
    #9
  10. dwatosky@gmail.com

    dwatosky@gmail.com n00b

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    going out with a drz400 and looking for easier stuff but want some adventure. ride a lot on fs roads out of estes with various degrees of comfort and wonder about fins and things and hells revenge. will do wrt at least once. got a couple older guys like me out there at the same time. hope to find folks to group up with,

    dave
    #10
  11. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Fins and Things can be jekyl and hyde. If you take different routes it can be relatively easy or challenging depending on rider level. If I remember correctly, they give you a little map if you ask for it when you go through the pay booth on Sand Flats, and that map has route difficulty...I think.
    #11
  12. Joetool

    Joetool Been here awhile

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    I'm thinking of heading out on Thursday to Mineral bottom and camping/roughing it on BLM land, then getting up
    early and doing WRT then camping again and heading off to Dolores/Colorado. I am open to Company, with the understanding that I am a N00b of the first order. I'm going to drink and smoke cigars at camp, then piddle ass around the trail...:D
    My bike is going to nap on the trail...a lot.
    I'm thinking of taking 70 out, but, ugh, super slabbing it sounds awful, but then again, getting there quick sounds good, but I'm heading out with a direction, not a plan.
    All are welcome..
    #12
  13. Tommyg2bad

    Tommyg2bad Adventurer

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    Drinking, smoking cigars and dirt naps? Sounds like my kinda ride. I've been wanting to explore that area if you can stand some company. I'll probably toss my bike in my van, slabbing it this early is a crap shoot and I've got a 14t on the front of my klr. Pretty sure I could get 2 bikes in there.
    #13
  14. Joetool

    Joetool Been here awhile

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    I'm gonna see what this next stupid storm does and watch the weather this week. I'm gonna try and ride over, but if it get's shitty, slabbing it in the van might be a possibility.
    #14
  15. bodhizafa

    bodhizafa How hard can it be?

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    Just saw this thread. I've done some stuff out there on my 800GS and I've ridden Switz, Rollins, Left Hand. (I'd say difficulty in that order)

    WRT is easy, couple of sand spots to get through, takes most of the day and make sure you have enough fuel. Views are amazing. Similar difficulty to Switz, be careful speeding out there, there is a speed limit and there are Rangers out there.

    Gemini Bridges is pretty easy too, cool views and not far from town.

    Chicken Corners is pretty easy, more sand than the others but fun.

    Hurrah Pass is nice, maybe a bit tougher than than above (but not difficult), KLR should be fun, awesome views.

    Kane Creek, I love Kane creek......on a little bike. My group turned around about 3/4s in when we were on the big bikes. Gets really tough after that, like areas of LeftHand tough. Fun as hell on a 450 but getting big bikes over some of those rocks.......no thanks.

    Fins n Things is pretty fun on the big bike, some tough parts but they are short. RTadlock ripped through on his 990 like it was nothing, I had a couple butt pucker moments but got through. Good amount of sand on it too.

    Another fun trail is the Kokopelli. I've only done it on the 800GS and I've avoided the Rose Garden each time. We cut out before it and got on the paved road to Moab. Fun slightly challenging trail, much more challenging if you do the Rose Garden.
    #15
  16. Tommyg2bad

    Tommyg2bad Adventurer

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    Double booked, have to stay in town but let me know if you go again. I'm rafting the 11th/12th from Westwater to Cisco ramp. Be happy to haul your bike over the pass. I hear it's still pretty dicey for a bike.
    #16