In the last blog post of our epic trip in May 2016, Eric and I finished up in Wyoming and hopped in the car to our next destination, Moab Utah. There the plan was to do some hiking in Canyonlands National Park and of course some mountain biking. Moab is known as the mecca of mountain biking here in the United States and for anyone who’s a serious mountain biker it should be on your bucket list. The change in typography from Wyoming to Utah is dramatic along the driving route we took. In Wyoming we experienced huge snowcapped mountain ranges (e.g., Tetons) and in Utah the landscape changed to more red rock features. There was no shortage of photographic opportunities.
Along the drive into Utah.
Once we arrived in Moab we checked into our hotel and made our way out for some eats. We found out about the The Blu Pig,
a BBQ place a short drive away. We met some nice people at the bar and ordered up some catfish strips, wings and ribs along with a couple of beers. All quite good, so much so that we ate here two days in a row.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is a huge national park with over 337,000 acres to explore! I still can't wrap my head around how large that is but it's really big. One could spend weeks exploring this vast land of canyons, rivers, arches, mesas etc... but we only had a few hours here to explore. We drove the car into the park and took a 3 or 4 mile hike round trip on the Devil Gardens Trail. While much of the hike was fairly easy there were a couple of areas that were quite dangerous (steep and rocky) and required a lot of balance, care and common sense.
After the hike we headed back into town and ended up again at the Blu Pig talking about the day and what was on tap for the next day.
We looked up bike shops in town and settled on Poison Spider Bike Shop, a full service shop with lots of great bikes to rent and knowledgeable staff. Eric rented a Trek Remedy 8 and I opted for an Ibis; both full suspension bikes with dropper posts! Prior to the trip our friends talked to us about the Kokopelli and Slick Rock trails but we wanted to try something a little different. The staff referred us to the Navajo Rocks trail head, one of their newer trail systems in Moab. He laid out a 20 mile route for us and if we wanted more that was certainly possible. We loaded up our hydration packs along with some shot blocks for fuel and other necessities and drove out to the trail head. We got a bit of a late start and it was already 90+ degrees out of the gate.
The trails were great and definitely provided what we were looking for. All of the shots below were taken with iPhones.
Photos of Mark (me)
Photos of Eric
There was a combination of flowy and technical single track throughout the ride. At the end of the ride we understood all of the hype around the biking in Moab even though we didn't do the well known trails. We'll definitely be back to explore more of this place but it was a great trip. We left Utah the next day and headed down to Flagstaff, Arizona.
Once in Flagstaff, we rented some bikes from Cosmic Cycles. Like all of the bike shops we ventured into on this trip the guys at Cosmic were really nice and got us set up on two Transitions. We got to the Shultz Creek trail and spent a lot of time climbing. After about an hour we called it a day and headed back down. We know there are some different trails in Flagstaff and next time we visit we'll plan that out a bit better to find more of the trails. The next day we left Flagstaff and drove to Phoenix. There was some white knuckle driving on 89A through the canyon and once in Sedona I took a few photos. We've been to Sedona twice before to mountain bike so this wasn't foreign to us.
We ended the trip in Phoenix and caught a flight back to NYC the next morning. It was an amazing trip through four different states that I would easily do again. We live in an amazing world in an amazing country and it was on full display on this journey. Thanks for viewing and stay tuned for my next post.