Moab for a noob

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by High Octane, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer

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    I’m a complete dirt noob. I’ve spent 40 years on road bikes but bought my first dual sport yesterday. Ktm 690r. Another noob and I are hoping to go to Moab next month. Is there a realistic safe ride for noobs in the area? My buddy wants to do the white rim but not camp. Would this be doable for noobs to ride out and back, and not do the full loop?
    #1
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  2. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Yes, white rim totally doable in a day on the 690s. Onion Creek is another favorite as well as Chicken corners/Hurrah Pass.
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  3. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    Welcome ! ! !

    The KTM 690 is an excellent bike. Unfortunately, it is a heavy bike to pick up when you dump it.

    Moab is a great place to ride beginners to experts can all find fun and challenging trails.

    Moab riding is demanding physically and mentally, you are often riding near cliffs or other dangers.

    As you are new ... do not underestimate the fatigue factor. You WILL drop your bike, it will be draining to pick up and ride on.

    I suggest you purchase ether the latitude 40 or National Geographic Moab map set. It's a 2 map set from ether company.

    I think you will find the trail rating's and descriptions helpful that latitude 40 map have.

    I would NOT recommend The White Rim Trail (wrt) as your 1st ride. The wrt is about a 150 mile loop from Moab and back. The actual trail is shorter a little over 100 miles. There are no bailouts on this trail, you must complete it or turn back. I would recommend you try a shorter trail to confirm your comfort level before trying the wrt.

    The WRT is within a national park and requires a paid park entrance fee, and a wrt day use permit. Permits are free but limited to like 20 /day.

    Most riders consider the wrt to be a big bike friendly ride easier ride.

    I suggest you spend your 1st day exploring the sand flats recreation area, this is a fee area, great and famous trails ( slick rock ) here with easy bail outs if needed. You can easily ride back to town for lunch.

    If all goes well, try the wrt on your second day.

    Also, keep in mind this type of riding requires that you bring needed equipment to deal with flat tire's and other trail repairs.

    The factory 690 tool kit is a good start, but no sufficient.

    Enjoy

    Scott
    #3
  4. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    There is a thread called Moab101 or something like that. Look for that and you will find a lot of details about the town, trails, etc..
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  5. cidi

    cidi cidi Supporter

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    Also you will be pushing the limit on the fuel tank on the WRT. especially when you drop the bikes a couple of times and loose some fuel. most of the WRT IS easy, but conditions change rather quickly. Many riders ( even more expirenced ones ) find the shafer trail road from the park entrance to the actual WRT turn off pretty nerve racking due to the switchbacks and exposure. It is all dirt and if you are a complete noob on dirt, this part could make you very nervous. Of you are going counterclockwise, you could be dealing with some pretty deep / loose sand again the trail conditions change week to week depending on storms, wind and traffic.
    chicken corners, or onion creek would be a better 1st day noon ride.
    #5
  6. Patj551

    Patj551 Motorcycle & Empowerment Coach

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    Most rides around Moab will have some degree of sand sections. In the fall, Moab’s sand is especially dry, soft and powdery. During the spring, the sand has some moisture and is easier to ride.

    Onion Creek is usually an easy ride but several weeks ago there was a silt sand section (with hidden ruts) that made things more difficult for inexperienced off road riders. The silty section is in the upper area as you climb and approach Polar Mesa.

    The easiest ride in Moab is is Hurrah Pass. Going all the way to Chicken Corners will mean sand sections.

    Potash road to Shafer Crossing is also easy and scenic.

    Have fun!
    #6
  7. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    The weather will matter. I rode for a week in Moab last October and there were some days of heavy rain that made some of the trails pretty impassable. In the desert, things change radically with moisture.
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  8. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer

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    Thanks for all the help. I do ride a lot of gravel with this rig:

    1CD8CC00-BF3A-4AB9-AC96-B91E230978A6.jpeg

    0F717FFC-9EEC-46F0-BCD1-159B9CCDD698.jpeg
    But that ain’t quite the same deal as my new Moto:

    82CAE041-2247-4066-A09D-651E641E316A.jpeg


    .
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  9. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    @simbaboy to the house phone please.


    All good advice above. I've ridden the WRT 3 times, as said, in general it is pretty easy. Be prepared for anything tho, flat repair, lots of H20 for you. Watch your speed on the WRT, you're in a National Park, I've heard of the ranger's writing people up for speed violations.

    The road up past the Potash farm is a good ice breaker, when you get to the T, left will take you to Muscle Man Arch(a short ride that is part of the WRT, EPIC). A right at the T will take you up Shaffer(the suggested route imho), then slab it back to Moab.

    Make sure you go to Dead Horse State Park, it'll be a separate fee but well worth it. The views will be some of the most amazing you'll ever see!!

    Ride within you comfort zone, just take it easy and enjoy it. Don't mess around with fuel range, carry something, it gets very very remote out there and help gets expensive.

    Don't forget to enjoy Arches NP, take a hike up to Delicate Arch(on their license plate), takes about 45min-1 hr, incredible.

    Decending Shaffer,

    [​IMG]

    Our gang that day, me left, simbaboy next to me.

    [​IMG]


    But if you do nothing else, don't miss Milt's!

    [​IMG]


    All the best on your adventure, you'll be hooked! An incredible place for sure.
    #9
  10. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    All the other posts above have said it well.
    Personally, I like Gemini Bridges, Chicken Corners, Onion Creek as starters to get a bike feel. Then, WRT and other trails.

    Imu
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  11. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer

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    We plan to stay 4 nights and ride 4 or 5 days. Utah seams to have goofy alcohol laws, any local breweries?
    #11
  12. engineman

    engineman Been here awhile Supporter

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    My riding career looks somewhat parallel to yours in that I had a ton of road miles and later transitioned into more of the ADV type riding. I have a lot of gravel miles and rode the COBDR a few times before I went to Moab. I also ride a 690R. When I rode it I rode with someone who was a very good off road rider on a 500EXC. He thought it was easy. I did not.

    The WRT is an amazing trip. The scenery is absolutely mind blowing and I recommend riding it. However it is a hard ride. I know people ride big bikes down in but there's no way in hell I would. There is quite a bit of soft sand and a few hillclimb sections that while not super technical, are tough and combined with the pucker factor of riding a cliff edge will definitely focus your attention. I would recommend riding it clockwise as I remember going down a few sections that I definitely wouldn't have wanted to go up

    Compounding my difficulties when I rode it was the fact that it was well over 100F. There is zero places to get out of the sun until you are almost at the end of the trail. When we finally got to the Colorado river there was a big gorgeous shade tree. I've never been so happy about having shade in my life. I would have been willing to found a religion dedicated to that tree when I found it.

    I have a Rade aux tank on my bike and was still pretty concerned about fuel. I had a camelback and a few bottles of water. It was not enough, I needed twice as much

    It was also hard on my bike. It was so hot the fuel was boiling in my tank continuously while I was riding. This damaged my fuel pump and plugged the filter enough that the bike was running pretty poorly by the end.

    I guess what I'm saying is, you should ride it because it is an absolutely mind blowing place but know going into it that it is hard, like someone said above, when you're 50 miles in the only option is another 50 miles back out. Take plenty of water, some extra gas and don't go when its super hot
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  13. teamextreme

    teamextreme Adventurer

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    All good advice from everyone above, with this one exception. I would NOT recommend slick rock trail as a first time beginners ride! Not even close. I consider it experts-only terrain.
    In addition to the other recommendations I would also add Gemini Bridges road which is a good intro to off-road, a shade harder than just a dirt road.
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  14. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Having just got back from Moab with my Super Tenere, I would say that I felt both Onion Creek, and Shafer Trail/Switchbacks were really easy rides..............My buddy rode his Vstrom-650.
    The drop-offs are very unforgiving however, so if you want to gawk at the scenery make sure you stop first! Beware of the edge of the road and you'll be fine.
    There were some sand-filled ruts further up on Onion Creek, but they are easy to spot.

    Onion Creek.
    T93.jpg

    T92.jpg

    At "Thelma & Louise Point" on Shafer Trail.
    T96.jpg

    Top of the Switchbacks.
    T91.jpg
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  15. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    Sorry for the confusion

    Was recommending the ride area, slickrock is just one trail in the area.

    FYI, there are 2 different slickrock loops, one is short and is designed as a introductory level trail before trying full slickrock trail.

    I disagree that slickrock is a expert level trail, my son rode it at 9 years old on a Honda xr70.....there are go around's for all the hard obstacles.

    Scott
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  16. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    White Rim is a fun and seminal 130 mile loop. Start early in the day. To camp on the loop, you would have to have a special permit and they can be difficult to get this time of the year. 15mph speed limit and the rangers sometimes watch, but the views are spectacular and in your case you should not have a problem. Some deep sand in a couple places but easy enough to deal with if you take it easy. Take and drink a lot of water (at least a gallon per person), the desert can be unforgiving for those not used to the conditions. If you are not stopping to pee often, drink more water. Getting help if you need it is an issue. Highly recommended ride, however! As mentioned, try something easy the first day, like Gemini Bridges, and gauge your comfort level.
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  17. craigr652

    craigr652 Been here awhile

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    What the others have said is good info. One other suggestion for a good starter ride...Potash Rd to the intersection of the White Rim. Turn left, go out to Musselman Arch, come back and go up the Shaffer switchbacks. Once up and out of the park, turn right and go down Long Canyon and through Pucker Pass, back out to Potash Rd and Back to Moab.
    Hurrah Pass to Chickens Corner is good and Onion Creek to Thompson Canyon and up over Geyser Pass back to Moab is also a favorite.
    #17
  18. SquatBirdJunior

    SquatBirdJunior Special Snowflake

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    Just did WRT last Sunday. 87 degrees. Beautiful.
    Parked in the Willow Springs area. Got to the Island in the Sky gate at about 10 am. Paid the Entrance fee, went to the HQ office and got a permit. Went Clock Wise. Down Shaffer to WRT. Took the Larthop Canyon, saw a Big Horn sheep.
    Gas, my light came on. but not a concern with the RADE tank never used. Water, filled my bags, had too much, or just right.
    I had a easy six hour ride, saw several mnt bike groups, about eight other vehicles. Did Lockart Basin last year and thought that was easy, except for the one obstacle.
    Like all Moab trails, one obstacle can make a easy trail hard. Watch the youtube videos, the Teleover has almost complete video of the trail.
    WRT2019.jpg DSCF2932.JPG
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  19. Ditch

    Ditch Long timer

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    Long canyon and my vote is Moab Brewery on the south end of town, good food, too. (or was last time I was there)
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  20. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Two breweries, Moab Brewery or Eddie McStiffs. Moab Brewery is a bit better IMO. Blu Pig BBQ is decent. Newer place called 92 Center has good pho, and good craft cocktails.
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