Moab, UT dualsporting/trails questions

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by excelfreak, May 19, 2005.

  1. excelfreak

    excelfreak Been here awhile

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    I am starting to map out my trip this year, which will lead me past Moab, UT. I'll be travelling 2up on a Goldwing so offroad excursions are not an option, however how could I not when in Moab.

    Does anyone know if you can rent a dualsport/dirtbike in Moab. I looked around on the web but found nothing. Plenty of Jeep rentals but no bikes.

    Assuming I can find 2 bikes.

    How difficult is the White Rim trail? I know - it probably depends, but if you would have to rate it from 1 to 10, with 1 being cakewalk and 10 super technical.

    How long does it take to travel the White Rim trail? At tourist speed. Stops taking pictures, snacks, riding etc. We are not planning on breaking any new records. Overnighter?

    Is anybody going to be around in Moab in the middle of August and want to join?

    thanks
    #1
  2. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Middle of August? Yikes! Some like it hot. :rofl
    #2
  3. sstodvictory

    sstodvictory Been here awhile

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    The White Rim took me about 11 hours, but that was with the Shafer road and lathrop canyon thrown in, tons of photos, about a half dozen rest stops. I rate it about a 3-4, but don't underestimate the fatiguing affect of heat and dehydration. Theres a dirt bike rental place in town in the Southern part of the main drag but I doubt that any of his stock would have the range to do the White Rim. The largest I saw in his lot was a 250 thumper. For the White Rim you want a ride you know you can trust and that you can pack. I took 5 liters of water and drank a sixth that was donated to me on the trail.

    Steve
    #3
  4. EHPhillips

    EHPhillips Adventurer

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    I just got back last week. There are a bunch of moto rental and touring companies in moab. Google "moab motorcycle rental tour" and you will get a bunch. Yeah, it's going to be hot.
    #4
  5. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Heres an idea, When in Moab take the Goldwing on the La Sal mt. loop road. Its a nice paved road at a slightly higher elevation. Then come to Telluride and rent a dirtbike for all the outstanding high passes. That would be a much cooler option. As said before it might be tough renting a bike in Moab that has the range for the white rim especially considering the extra miles it adds to do the ride from town. For us it was 120 miles from town up potash/shafer, to the end of dirt. then you would have another 20 something to get back to town. Telluride is two and half hours away and is worth a visit if you have never been. Let me know and I'll pm you the number for rentals in Telluride.
    #5
  6. excelfreak

    excelfreak Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I did google the search terms suggestend and found only one so far Elite Motorcycle Tours. Which sounds ok - but I was looking for bikes only not a tour.

    I will also pass Telluride and of course Durango (Million Dollar Highway) while out west and would be very interested in "adverture" activities there. Please pass me the number to the rental in Telluride.

    How difficult are the passes (and which ones are you refering too?) in August?

    As said before I am travelling with my girlfriend. She is just starting to ride so we can't do really tricky stuff. I was envisioning puttering along beautifull "easy" trails on two bikes to get her hooked. You know, phantastic scenery, fun activities, picknick, pictures etc.

    So far I have weened her from afternoon rides over weekend trips to a cross country trip (hence the Goldwing) to actually getting a mc license (it was even her own idea!!!!). The ultimate long term goal is to take her off road. Any further suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks guys
    #6
  7. BigT

    BigT Been here awhile

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  8. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Well if its her first time on a dirtbike the passes will be to much. But don't fear, theres plenty of mellow riding to be had. I actually live just down the road from the rental place so I could either draw you a little map or if I'm not busy, and I'm never to busy to ride, I could take you out for a nice mellow day of fantastic scenery..The number for To Hell U Riders is 970-728-5577. They have a couple drz 400s with electric start,(your lady will love you for this), and a 250 that I think has electric start. I would call and reserve a couple weeks in advance just to be sure. Also if you have the time and are interested Telluride puts on a great Jazz fest in august.

    Let me know if can help in any way.
    #8
  9. asandiego

    asandiego Adventurer

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    I just got back yesterday (5/24) from Moab. My buddy and I did the entire White Rim Road on GS1150, His had TKC's and mine actually had Anakees (not the best choice, but certainly do-able) both fully loaded, I have pix if you want PM me.

    I would say it depends on you riding ability, I feel that some of the terrain is pretty technical specially on a big GS with gear. The trail is mostly rocky, and a handful of spots are quite steep. But the most troublesome part are the sandy spots, because the GS is pretty heavy and can get pretty outa control squirrely even with the slightest bit of sand (stay off the shoulders)

    We entered at the far entrance about a mile or two before the visitor center. But first go to the visitor center to get camp spots if you plan to camp in the canyon (about $30). The trail starts with a set of steep downgrade switchbacks (NO guardrail, I could easily forsee death if not careful) but certainly pretty well groomed, should be no prob. Then the next section seems like a pretty easy trail along the river, then boom, there is a sand pit in the middle of the trail (speed is not your frind here, as I found out the hard way) I would say the best way is 1st gear both feet down for support and slowly power out of it. (certainly do-able). The next uphill switchback is quite steep and sandy with, I thought was the "BIGGEST" trouble spot of the whole trail, A large rock with sand gullies around it, fell a few times on this one (exhausted our water supply by drinking from exhaustion) I think the trick is to go up on an angle. Rest at the top for the following downhill switch backs to the first campsite requires definite concentration as it is steep, technical and full of rocks. Then we camped only to fing out we only had about 6 liters of water left, so I guess it would be canned soup instead of freeze-dried for dinner.(Our water supply was not a problem but certainly a concern, you know this when you start re-bottling melted ice water.) Oh yes make sure your bottle tops are on tight as the rocky ride will shake the tops loose, I lost a whole liter of water to my pannier.

    Started at about 7am. The next leg is quite pleasant, pretty easy as you cross th plains to the next canyon climb. Once you get to the next rocky upgrade prepare yourself for moderate technical riding for the next 3-4 hours, 1st and 2nd gear at about 5-10 mph. The trail is very rocky and steep at some parts both uphill and down hill. (remember concentrate) But certainly scenic and beautiful.

    The next leg to our next campsite is fairly flat, on top of the canyon, mostly slickrock but still very rocky. Really have to watch those bigger rocks with such a heavy load. Since it was only 1pm when we got to the next campsite and we were down to 4 liters of water. We decided to ride it outa ther the same day. At this point there was about another 16 miles of terrain to the exit (about another 3 hours). The rest of the way is pretty easy but I still had an unneccessary fall in sand due to lack of concentration.(I just took a second to wipe the sweat of my brow and boom in the sand, on the ground, and had to wait for my friend to came back and realize I had gone down.)

    Anyways at the end of the trail is a long climb out of the canyon, not as groomed as the switchback coming in, still pretty rocky and requiring attention. I surely couldn't wait to get back to Moab for a nice meal and a beer.

    I'm glad we didn't camp that second day as I had a 930 mile journey back to San Francisco (made it in 15 hours) and am back at work today. My friend on the other hand has 2 more weeks on the road before he has to go back to his family.(lucky guy)

    The bikes, despite the handful of falls were not damaged at all except for a couple loose screws and a lot of red dust which stay forever burried in the crevices of my bike. The White Rim Road in Moab is probably a pinch more discomfort than I bargained for, but certainly an adventure I will never forget.

    By the way. If you want dirt roads in Utah there are hundreds of them and a lot are less technical than the White Rim. Let me know, the trail we did the day before heading to Moab was pretty nice too, and camps you right on the Green River. (Nine-Mile Canyon/Price-Myton and Sand Wash down to the Green River)

    Hope this is helpful.

    http://www.asandiego.com/img/Moab/canyontop.html
    http://www.asandiego.com/img/Moab/trailout.html
    http://www.asandiego.com/img/Moab/trail.html
    http://www.asandiego.com/img/Moab/trailview.html
    #9
  10. excelfreak

    excelfreak Been here awhile

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    asandiego: thanks a lot for the nice write up - I could almost see it before my eyes.

    endure-ince: I might take you up on your offer but I don't have any dates yet. When is the Jazz Festival I would definately like to be there if I can make it.

    This whole trip is not planned out at all. I did a similar tour last year - "wanderer style". The only thing that was certain was the start date and when I had to be back in the office. It was great. Sure there were a few things we wanted to do, but there was no timetable whatsoever. We drove around, stopped when we liked it, rode when we didn't and stayed if we really liked it. We have taken in so many things its hard to put in words (at least for me).

    This year is similar. I know when I leave and when I have to be back, the rest is fair game. Cornerpoints loosely planned this year are: NYC, Rocky Mountain NP, Durango, Telluride, Cortez, Green Mesa, Sand Dunes, Moab, 4 corners, Monument Valley, Petrified Forest, Carlsbad Caverns, Big Bend, Hill County TX, New Orleans, Natchez Trail, Smokey Mountain, Deals Gap, Blue Ridge Parkway, Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel, NYC. Camping and Motelling as we go along.

    With the majority of the time spend in the SW.

    Anybody along the route who wants to ride around with us, or maybe get together for a refreshing beverage, please let me know where you are. Would be fun to meet ADVriders from all over.
    #10
  11. asandiego

    asandiego Adventurer

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    Where in NYC are you from I lived in Brooklyn Heights for 15 years before moving out to SF. Hope to make it back to the East coast soon, even though the riding season is endless out here.

    About the trip, my buddy who met me there and I actually got The White Rim Road idea from a couple of fellow GS riders we met in Sand Wash the day before. The original plan was to do trails up north near Salt Lake, glad we went down south though. Check out a map book called "Utah Byways", awesome for finding off-road trails in Utah. They make them for other states as well.

    Anyways, enjoy what ever trips you go on this season. And my description of the White Rim is vivid cause I just got back yesterday. I'll try to fix the picture links.
    #11
  12. eaglemike

    eaglemike Been here awhile

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    A really good contact would be Fred at Arrowheadmotorsports there in Moab. He helps "host" the Canyonlands Motor Classic each year, which is a gathering first weekend after Memorial Day. www.arrowheadmotorsports.com He has several maps available, sells a lot of parts, and is a pretty great guy to deal with, IMO.

    All the best,

    Mike
    #12
  13. MonkeyPlunger

    MonkeyPlunger Detroit 9fiddy adventurer

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    Gemini Bridges trail is a good trail with lots of areas to explore, along with a land bridge you could drive over. I did this on a mountian bike, but i did see alot of jeeps, dirt bikes, and dual sports out on this trail. It is not a very long trial, although a good one if you only have a day. I would think a 250 or 650 size bike would be good enough anything larger is just going to tire you out. A good ride on the goldwing (and place to camp) would be to go out of moab up to dead horse state park. Moab if remember is at about 2500ft elevation, and dead horse is up at 6500ft. It is a great place to go out and look at the colorado and green coming together. I think someone eariler mentioned shaffer trail. It is one that could be done, but some of the passes to get down to it (long canyon road to pucker pass for example) could be difficult. I would guess similar to some areas of white rim. It all depends on where you start and end. If you want to ride the gold wing, definatly goto deadhors point or look into potash road. Another good resource is the EAST and WEST topo maps of moab. They outline all of the offroad trails (distance, difficulty, elevation change, terrain). It is available online. Dont bother with arches n.p.- too many people. There is so much to more to see on BLM land and state parks. It is a beautiful place to go, and i highly recommend that everyone at least go once. Walk, hike, kayak, climb, ride, drive, pedal, jump, roll, crawl, it doesnt matter how you do it. You will always find some landscape somewhere there that will stay in your mind forever. Anyway i have gone on enough. Good luck and good riding.
    #13
  14. HooterView

    HooterView Been here awhile

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    Dale knows more trails and roads in the Moab area than possibly anyone on the planet. The bikes are very well maintained, and he has more stories than just about anyone I know. He also gives back by organizing trail cleanup days, etc. Also, a new and improved website!


    http://www.elitemotorcycletours.com/
    #14