With a forecast for a week of sunny and relatively warm weather, we were stoked to get out exploring on Saturday! With the news that the national parks were also opening, we decided to do a quick stop at the Arches National Park Vistor’s Centre to see if we could get on the Fiery Furnace Ranger led hike and then continue on to the Moab Brand Trails Mountain Bike area.
The line up to get into Arches was over 100 cars long – it was amazing (I should have taken a picture). I decided that it would be faster to run to the visitors centre to get the info while Tim and Hunter stayed in line in the truck. After 4 days of driving, it actually felt great to run, even if it was in my Keene sandals! The National Parks in Utah are only open due to the leadership of the Utah State Governor, as the Utah Government is paying the costs (approx $160k/day) for them to be open while the Federal Government is closed. This unfortunately means that not all the systems are working together, the National Parks reservation system being one of them. The Fiery Furnace Ranger hike is one that we did 8 years ago when we were here and it was amazing. At that time you signed up at the Arches visitors centre and you could only book 4 days ahead. Now you sign up online and can book 6 months ahead, but there is no mechanism for people to cancel right now due to the National Parks Website being down. End result – no signing up, even though many of the slots may be open due to people not showing up…
The Moab Brand Trails are about 15 km north out of town and are a small section of trails with a nice mix of green, blue and black trails. We thought this would be a great place to start out to get a sense of our abilities vs the local rating system. We started on a blue/green called Lazy that was mostly dirt with a little slick rock near the end – easy peasy. We then moved on to a connector trail called Bar-M with a slight uphill to get us up to Rockin-A, a blue/black slickrock trail. This was our first experience on slickrock and it was great! Lots of short ups and downs and small drops with amazing scenery in the background. This then took us to Circle O, another blue/black slick rock trail. By this time it is early afternoon and Hunter is getting tired, but after many rests we pushed through and finished with a quick dirt section on North 40.
13.6 km of trail overall – we continue to push Hunter’s endurance level, which takes alot of patience but is good in the grand scheme of things. It’s hard to remember that kids can be exhausted one minute on the trail and then 5 minutes later can recharge once back at the truck…
After a yummy lunch and some sunshine rest time, Hunter and I decided to ride the bike path back to town. It’s mostly downhill so we thought “how hard can it be?”. 17km later, with a slight headwind we were home – fully exhausted 🙂
One response to “Moab Mountain Biking – Brand Trails”
I have always loved that expression (how hard can it be EH)
Mike and family hope to be in Florida in early March and were wondering if you would still be in the south?