Moab has been at the epicenter of mountain biking since the very earliest days of the sport. Part of the reason is the sheer uniqueness of the landscape. Another part has to do with the vast amount of public lands easily accessed yet still wild and primitive. Plus, the town of Moab has always had its own funky vibe. There’s nothing quite like it.
When you come here to play, mountain biking should definitely be top on your list. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been shredding since the 70’s or you’re about to take your very first ride, Moab has 150 miles of trails and there’s something to suit every kind of rider. Also, even though we are definitely in the very back of beyond, we have a complete system of bike shops and services to rival anything you might find in the biggest city.
Moab is unlike any other mountain bike area – which means when you ride in Moab, you’re likely to run into some things you didn’t anticipate. So, based on interviews with some of Moab’s most experienced guides and bike shop experts, we’ve created the following tips on how to make your Moab mtb adventures their very best. Whether you’re riding on your own, or taking a guided mountain bike tour, it will pay to know the “do’s and don’ts” of riding in Moab.
Be Self-reliant (Bring What You’ll Need)
- Proper footgear (closed-toe sneakers or light weight hiking shoes)
- Backpack (hydration pack is recommended)
- Water (way more than you think you’ll need – the air here is very, very dry!)
- Map (pick up a paper map at any local bike shop – your phone may die or your trail app may not give you enough info)
- Lunch (if riding all day)
- Spare inner tube
- Tire levers
- Allen wrench / multi-tool
- Rain jacket
- Sun screen
- Mini first aid kit (include tweezers – we have cacti - ouch!)
- A fully-charged cell phone (even if you don’t have an emergency, you might be able to help someone else in need.)
Be Kind (To Your Environment)
- Stay on the trail
- Don't bust the crust (our unique biological crust is fragile, and important to the ecosystem)
- Pack it in / pack it out
Be Nice (To Those You Meet On The Trail)
- Don't block the trail / let others pass / yield to uphill riders
- Use your words (say “thanks” when people let you pass, call out “on your left” when you’re about to pass, etc…)
- Slow down (or better, STOP) and yield to foot and hoof traffic
- Observe one-way rules where they apply (not many of Moab’s trails are one-way, but there are a few.)
- Respect the beta you get from locals
- Try something challenging
- Smile (even if it hurts)
- Stop lots of times to enjoy the view
- Make friends
Special Considerations If You’re Renting A Bike
- Call in advance (some weeks are so busy, bikes get in short supply.)
- Plan your ride so that you can return the bike on time.
- Bike Rack: If you are bringing a rack, make sure it's a quality rack. Either that, or rent a rack. Moab bike shops have awesome bikes, and they don’t want them damaged during transport.
- Be aware that not all rental bikes have room for bottle cages – you may need to carry your water on your back.