Moab - White Rim Trail

Discussion in 'Americas' started by PvtPts, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. PvtPts

    PvtPts Wanderer in training

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    Hello Folks,
    Well - my first new thread. Been lurking here for years. Finally bought the Africa Twin (Aengus) and received in October '16...many months waiting. Have been loving the few rides I have been able to get on the Wet Coast of Canada but nothing over 2 hours at a go so far. I have an aggressive schedule for Moab in mid to late May. The goal is to ride the WRT near Moab solo. The bike is totally setup now - full crash protection top & bottom - good quality on/off tires etc. My last time off road was in 1993 when I sold my RM125 for a street bike and never looked back. I have a "million miles" under the saddle on pavement - but this is a new chapter in my riding life as a 50+ rider. I've done a great deal of research which includes a friend who has done the WRT 3 times with his Toyota Land Cruiser club and the consensus I get is that I should be able to handle it quite well. But then every so often I see a youtube video or a comment online like "never do this alone" or "far more challenging than expected" - frankly they seem like they are trying to make it sound more extreme that it may be - but since I've never done it, I'm looking for feedback. I've done some pretty intense downhill mountain biking and I always get a laugh out of the variations in understanding of what it is all about. For those that are not in a "cycle" culture - what I do on a bike is insanity, but for those that ride in my North Shore area regularly - I'm a hack. This is where I'm struggling to know my boundaries with the WRT. I have an "In Reach" and all the best tools and understanding how to use them - but really I'm looking for an opinion on the technical skill required to finish this trail in a single day. The main question today is who has done this solo and what were the most challenging parts for you? Or actually the same question for those who've done it in a group?
    Cheers,
    Sean
    #1
  2. msteward

    msteward Been here awhile

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    I don;t think you would be alone for much of it, seeing riding season is starting this month and next around here. Look in day trippin thread for moab 2017, group headed there in a couple of weeks and I think there are going to do some of it.
    #2
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  3. hugemoth

    hugemoth Big Brother is watching you!

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    I wouldn't worry too much about doing the WRT alone. It's not all that remote and you'll see several other vehicles on your trip around. None of it was difficult on a light bike but the sand is what I liked the least. Hardscrabble hill has loose rock but it's short and not difficult for an experienced rider.
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  4. offtheback

    offtheback Chocolate Starfish

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    I did it on my Ducati Multistrada Enduro last year in just under 5 hours. The only issue would be if there was significant rain. The place can turn into a slick mud bog. And as others have said, there are always someone out there with you.


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  5. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    Its easy and super fun and spectacular unless it rains, then impassable in clay sections. You should check some other areas out around there too while you're about it. Did you get the DCT version of the Africa Twin? Impressions? Saludos.
    #5
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  6. PvtPts

    PvtPts Wanderer in training

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    Thanks everyone - appreciate the feedback. I saw some Youtube videos of some gents who tried the WRT in the rain and agree it looked like a completely different event compared to being done in the dry. I plan on spending 3 days in the area - will be doing Hurrah Pass, Chicken Corners, Gemini Bridges, and WRT as well as a sunrise / sunset at Arches. Today I took "Aengus the AT" out for the first spin in the dirt now that I could get the Shinko E804/E805's on the bike this week. It's been tough to get the Km's built up since getting the bike in October as we broke a 61 year record for rainfall this winter in British Columbia - but today was glorious. It's a 6 speed standard, and every ride reconfirms my decision to purchase this machine. It's early days yet - but today I felt more confident than expected on some pretty steep and rough decommissioned logging roads. This bike continues to impress me.

    Attached Files:

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  7. offtheback

    offtheback Chocolate Starfish

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    Include Gemini Bridges on the White Rim. It is a short road and cuts the slab to the park entrance. Don't speed in the park!

    [​IMG]
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  8. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    IMO, WRT is 95% easy peasy. The other 5% is really not that hard. I also think most of the time when you see people posting the difficulty they just don't have the experience with sand and the sand/rock transitions found around Moab. Momentum, momentum, momentum. Murphy's hogback may require a bit of line picking on a big bike but again "MO" will carry you over most anything even on a larger bike.
    #8
  9. tommybelvedere

    tommybelvedere Adv alacarte'

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    did WRT last year, not a bad as advertised, take your time and be cautious. Going back in May... cheers
    #9
  10. PvtPts

    PvtPts Wanderer in training

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    Great advice. I've been a downhill mountain biker for years and the old expression we use locally is "momentum is your friend". I live in North Shore of Vancouver - somewhat the equivalent of the North Shore of Oahu for surfers - a real mountain bike mecca for the non-motorized crowd and I'm finding that many of the skills I've used in mountain biking are transferring over well to the dirt on the AT. Appreciate the advice.
    #10
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  11. PvtPts

    PvtPts Wanderer in training

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    Thanks Tommy - when in May? I'm planning to pull out of Vancouver May 21 - ride the slab 3 days to Moab - arrive evening May 23. Ride the area 24/25/26 pulling out the 27th and taking a more lazy return to Vancouver via North Nevada, Crater Lake, over to Dune City and the coast highway back home, probably heading inland over to Packwood and up side of Rainier and Baker before crossing the line - home roughly May 31 maybe +1 day.
    #11
  12. sprocket3

    sprocket3 Been here awhile

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    Sounds awesome. I'm doing something similar first week of May. Do you have tracks yet, or you're going old school with the map?
    #12
  13. PvtPts

    PvtPts Wanderer in training

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    For the riding in Moab I'm using the Latitude 40 series of maps. I think they are pretty good and should keep me from getting lost! Link is;
    http://www.latitude40maps.com/

    I'm waiting for a cable from Eastern Beaver to install my Zumo but it's stuck in Canada Customs or possibly lost by Canada Post...... :-(
    One fellow just received something from Asia after waiting 3.5 months so I've not given up hope yet. I don't want to pay the ridiculous price Honda is asking for a plug and play power cable.

    Given that I have my phone with me all the time anyway - I've been seriously considering using the Rever App alone (with maps support always) as my main direction finding solution - https://rever.co/ for off highway at least.
    I do enjoy the durability of the all weather Zumo and the "up ahead" features for fuel / lodging / food when on the slab anyway.

    Have a great trip and post a report!
    #13
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  14. philstrailgnome

    philstrailgnome Adventurer

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    Have done WRT 8 times on a bicycle, and headed over in two weeks for maiden voyage on a moto. Got a lot of moto miles so not stressing it. There are really only a handful of spots that can get spicy, either because of deep sand or loose and steeper uphills. Momentum is your friend for sure. The worst of the loose uphills will be encountered when ridden clockwise (downhills going counter-clockwise/dropping in at Mineral Bottom). Been all over Moab for years on bikes, either pedal or throttle, and it is all amazing.
    If riding from Moab proper, I would suggest dropping down Potash Rd (along the river) and go up either Long Canyon Rd (to Hwy 313) and then dash over to Mineral Bottom, or you could stay on Potash Rd up to the actual WRT, then turn right and go UP the Shafer Trail switchbacks, hit 313 in the park and head over to Mineral Bottom. Upon completion, just turn right and head back down Potash Road and back to town. Stellar loop. Other option would be to ride clockwise, go up Potash, turn left, do the full WRT, and then descend Long's Canyon and back to town, or loop through Gemini Bridges. It's all good.
    Have a blast!!
    #14
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  15. PvtPts

    PvtPts Wanderer in training

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    Thanks a bunch for the input. I was just coming back to this thread to ask some of the very questions you've posted about. I was pouring over the maps yet again and noted how many access points there are, while also debating whether I was going to approach this clockwise or counter clockwise. Your comments are very much appreciated....still pouring over the maps! So need to get away from work!!!!
    #15
  16. Iggster

    Iggster Tornanti ├╝ber alles!

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    Most recently, I rode the WRT in March of 2016 on a 1200GS. I entered from Potash Rd/Shafer trail and went clockwise. Exited at Mineral Bottom. I believe the most technical riding was in the last 10 miles as you near Mineral Bottom...semi-steep, loose climbs and descents and the dreaded sand section along the river.
    I would much rather hit these technical areas first and get through the sand while I'm fresh. Spend the rest of the ride on easy stuff and great views. I will definitely go counter-clockwise the next time.

    Also, don't let the park rangers scare or deter you. I've been on this trail 2 times and both times a park ranger tried to discourage me from riding the White Rim. I'm sure they're reading from the NPS script leveled at the lowest common denominator, but one of them told me (and this is a quote), "You'll never make it through. I'd turn around right now if I were you." This was at Musselman Arch, about 9 miles into the White Rim. It's fun, wild, scenic and challenging in spots, but nothing over the top. You'll be more than fine with those moto & mtn bike skills!
    #16
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  17. disconnected

    disconnected brap

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    It is spectacular. I rode it solo last September. It was absolutely amazing. You can get you're permit on you're phone, so you won't even need to go anywhere to get one. ;)

    I started right at daybreak and the colors where fantastic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #17
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  18. Sertguy

    Sertguy Been here awhile

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  19. 9.5isCanadian

    9.5isCanadian "Missing a few pieces."

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    W three are doing the WRT May 21, camping one night at Hardscrabble and back into town on the 22nd
    DRZ(me), DR(buddy 1), & a GS800(buddy 2) - definitely stop by for a brew if you're around.
    9 1/2


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    #19
  20. PvtPts

    PvtPts Wanderer in training

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    Great offer, would love to meet up. Will you still be in Moab 24/25/26? I've got a cabin at Slickrock Campground and doing day rides out of there including WRT on the 25th.
    #20
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