Critique this Moab Route, Please and Ty

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Gargantuan, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Gargantuan

    Gargantuan Been here awhile

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm planning a trip next week out to Moab and am looking for some feedback on the route I've come up with so far:

    https://goo.gl/maps/2kaHGyvwX5D2

    A little background: I will be solo on a loaded 1200GS with fresh Anakee Wilds. I would probably put my skill level in the intermediate range.

    To help clarify the route a bit, once I hit Moab I was going to hit Potash, then go what I presume is up the Shafer Switchbacks and then make the left on Mineral Bottom to run the WRT counter-clockwise. I will then go up the switchbacks again and then run Gemini Bridges road back to the 191.

    Questions are:

    1) In regards to the stretch from Gateway to Moab, I've been reading that there are a few miles of the route I've chosen (I guess the couple of miles connecting Onion Creek to Gateway Road) that might be a little tough on the GS. If anyone has ridden this stretch before, and has also ridden stuff in the San Juans area, how does it compare? E.g. that stretch compared to Engineer/Ophir/Cinnamon, let's say. I do prefer to go down steep loose switchbacks if I have the option.

    2) Any feedback on the WRT loop and those roads that I chose to get to/from it?

    Thanks a bunch.
    #1
    KHVol likes this.
  2. mylsmkj

    mylsmkj Long timer

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    The route you picked is fine, it's beautiful. Stop at the Fischer valley overlook and check out the dinosaur tracks. If it's sloppy coming out of gateway the John Brown rd can be bad but it dries out quickly and is nice otherwise.

    Route on white rim seems fine too, stop by the visitors center and get a permit, they're free but they check them
    #2
  3. SAM13

    SAM13 Adventurer

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    I agree your route looks good for what you want. You will be riding down the loose stuff coming off Polar Mesa. You will need to monitor weather as Onion Creek is subject to flash flooding and we are getting fairly regular late season thunderstorms.
    I rode White Rim last week after some rain. There were several slick snotty mud sections along the river off Mineral Bottom. Anakees would not be my preferred tire but knobbies won't make a difference as I had 4" of mud caked on top of mine after getting through. Counterclockwise is my preferred way to ride WR. Again, watch the weather which is probably the biggest hazard at this time of year. Have a great ride!
    #3
  4. Gargantuan

    Gargantuan Been here awhile

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    I really appreciate it guys - thanks! Definitely keeping an eye on the weather - planning on being there Wed or Thur which at the moment are looking good. Again thanks so much!
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  5. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

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    +2 on the John Brown road mud. Will lock both wheels
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  6. scruffy

    scruffy Been here awhile

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    +3
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  7. bobfab

    bobfab Long timer

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    i just rode onion creek Saturday. It wasnt overly flooded and passable.... albeit we were on KTM RFS's. The crossings were never more than a couple inches deep.
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  8. Gargantuan

    Gargantuan Been here awhile

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    Well guys I made it to Moab. That stretch from gateway road to onion creek road was very tough for me though - dropped the bike a ton. I guess I was right behind a grader or blader or something and people were telling me that it's not usually that bad. Could that be true? That stretch had basically no hard pack and was super sandy/loose dirt-y (like four times as sandy as anything on onion creek road) and torn up. The switchbacks were steep and it was kind of rocky but that wasn't really the issue per se for me.

    With that in mind, how tricky will white rim be relatively speaking? For reference I thought onion creek road was still very easy despite how tired I was after picking up the bike so many times. Luckily no damage to the bike except that my clutch was smoking a bit (seemed to operate fine the rest of the day after stopping and giving it time to cool off).

    I know that might be tough to answer but any insight would be great. I usually think of graders/bladers as being helpful for a road but this seemed to not be the case?

    Edit: I'll also add that I'll be able to leave my luggage at the cg for the white rim so I won't be fully loaded like I was today.
    #8
  9. SAM13

    SAM13 Adventurer

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    I'm not sure which part of that stretch you're talking about. The Gateway road is super easy and graded gravel, I know they were up there " fixing" the road and adding gravel but other than getting a little slipperier it should be easy. If your talking about the Polar Mesa to Fisher Valley stretch, yes that can be difficult on a large bike, much easier going down than up in my opinion. I don't think it is maintained in any way but it's been probably two months since I last rode it.
    I rode White Rim last week. A muddy stretch along the river by mineral bottom was the only real challenge. Took three of us to pick the bikes up after simultaneously crashing, so slippery none of us could stand. I don't think you could ever pick a GS up by yourself. That is probably more dried out by now but would require very slow navigating VS. our "hit it hard " method........
    After that there are a few torn up sections coming down Hardscrabble that are at least as difficult as Polar Mesa but gravity and controlled braking should get you through them. Good bit if sand out there, it was hard for us because we rode after a rain but again, probably dried out by now.
    #9
  10. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS

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    I don't think most people should ride the WRT solo.
    There are (a few) tricky sections. However, if you can easily pick up your bike, go for it.
    Going to Taylor Canyon on a big bike can be rough.
    Simba

    My friend and a Starbucks latte on The WRT. He made it look easy on his GS.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Graniteone

    Graniteone 3,2,1...Beer me!

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    By now you have probably done WRT but just incase you haven’t and for folks searching for info. WRT is not really that technical but it is a long ride with a few fun sections to keep you on your toes. Riding it from Moab using Potash as an in and out(my favorite) is a 170 ish miles. If Onion Creek was tiring I think White Rim solo wouldn’t be a good idea. Onion Creek is pretty tame and a good warm up ride comparatively.
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  12. Gargantuan

    Gargantuan Been here awhile

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    Thanks, guys! I am back home now. I was referring to the stretch from Polar Mesa to Onion Creek Road (Onion Creek Road itself was super easy). That stretch was just crazy slippery and there wasn't much of any hardpack dirt; and having since ridden some sand later on in the trip, it wasn't sand but just super loose and deep dirt I think. There was also definitely some sort of road machinery in front of me that seemed to be making everything looser. I'm not sure though - maybe that's just the way that stretch is.

    At any rate, I ended up riding Potash out to the WRT and then doing about a third of it out and back, then up and back down the Shafer switchbacks and back Potash to Moab. Then the next day I did Chicken Corners. The terrain out in Moab was so much different than what I'm used to but I felt more comfortable as time went on. I'll definitely be back soon!
    #12
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  13. eddyturn

    eddyturn Eternal Wannabe

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    They knew you were coming so they got out the heavy equipment to fuck you up on the road. Utah speed control.
    #13