Curving across the terrain of red dirt rolling hills and broken boulder-strewn mesa tops, the Klonzo Trails are Moab’s newest network of mountain bike singletrack. Laid out in a series of interconnecting loops like tangled red ribbons, these trails are designed to be fast fun for cross-country cyclists who love hilly curves on sinuous singletrack and intricate slickrock. A few technical challenges keep bikers on their toes, and some steep hills require strong legs and lungs. But stunning views of the La Sal Mountains, the canyons of Courthouse Wash, and the surrounding Klondike wild lands reward riders anywhere they stop to catch their breath.
The Klonzo trail names are whimsical and indicative of what lies ahead. The Borderline Trail runs the length of the southeastern perimeter of Klonzo. It is the longest trail in Klonzo and gives cyclists a taste of the character of the rest of the trails, with lots of smooth red dirt singletrack, some hill climbs, and bits of broken slickrock. Both of Klonzo’s two trailheads are on Borderline, making it the place to warm up for longer rides or a fun cruise at the finish. The curvy Cross Canyon Trail, and its little sister, Snippet, bounce off Borderline in three places and can be added to Borderline to make some fun, short loops. Cross Canyon is also the rider’s connection to the outer trail loops and an unlimited selection of longer rides.
There are four outer trails in stacked loops to choose from. A short but thrilling choice is Secret Passage, which dives off Cross Canyon, disappearing down a narrow winding chute before sweeping steeply back up to Cross Canyon. The longest outer loop is Wahoo, a lollipop at the far end of Borderline and Cross Canyon. Wide-open downhill curves and twists are Wahoo’s rewards for the earn-your-turns climb with its mountain vistas. This trail is best ridden in a counterclockwise direction to get the full effect of its name, Wahoo! Dunestone is the most technical trail, demanding some bike-handling skills as it twists its way through a variegated slickrock mesa top. Green paint dots lead through intricate boulder pinches to cliff-side viewpoints, making Dunestone the most scenic of them all. Boondocks falls away to the west, plunging spectacularly off the north end of Dunestone in a steep cliffside ramp. It coils across the terrain in quick dips and rises where cyclists can punch it and get small bits of air, pump-track style.
Mountain bikers will find their first few rides on the Klonzo trails to be exciting voyages of discovery. With lots of intersections and virtually unlimited combinations, it may take a few rides to find your favorite route with the best direction to climb to ridges, then drop into sweet descents. The ten miles of trail can be cherry-picked for short rides or combined into rides of any length, crisscrossing intersections on singletrack that feels brand new when ridden in the opposite direction. All trail junctions are posted with Moab’s signature map-signs, featuring the smiley face indicating “You Are Here!” Whimsical, like the trail names, are the paint colors used to mark the sandstone on each trail, color-coded to the map. Inexpensive, detailed MTA maps of this area are available at local bike shops for purchase.
This non-motorized trail system is another creation of Grand County Trail Mix builders and friends, with the enthusiastic help of volunteer crews from Poison Spider Bicycles and Rim Tours; kids from the Oakley School in Oakley, Utah; and the “Hollywood Kids” from Campbell Hall in Los Angeles, California.
To get there, travel 11 miles north of Moab on Highway 191. Turn right on the Willow Springs Road. High clearance or 4wd vehicles may be necessary to cross a long sandy wash, but bikers with low clearance vehicles can park in one of the many pullouts before this wash crossing and ride to the trails. The Klonzo Trails Parking Lot A, 3 miles from the highway, is .5 miles past the Sovereign Trailhead kiosk. Parking Lot B is .5 miles past Lot A.
Remember, singletrack is fun because it’s single, so stay on the trail! Allow other riders to pass by, stopping on the trail and leaning aside. Teach your kids and friends good trail manners. Enjoy!
Sharon Hogan moved to Moab from Telluride with her husband Scott Escott in 1990. She is the Treasurer for the Trail Mix Committee and supports her mountain biking habit by working as a bookkeeper.