Riding in Moab
Moab and the surrounding areas offer world-class riding amid spectacular scenery. What makes Moab beautiful also makes it dangerous if you’re unprepared. Desert riding conditions can be harsh and unpredictable. We want you to have the experience of a lifetime—safely—so we offer the following advice for riding in and around Moab:
Always wear a helmet. Most local trails are rocky and technical. Even expert riders get tired and make mistakes. Helmets can prevent or reduce the severity of head injuries if you do take a tumble.
Carry more water and food than you think you’ll need. The Moab Bike Patrol recommends at least a gallon of water per person per day—just while you’re out riding! Summer temperatures often climb above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are NO water sources on the trails. Eat frequently when riding, even when it seems too hot to want to eat; you’ll need those calories to keep your energy level steady for the whole ride.
Carry trail maps and know how to use them to track your position. Maps for Slickrock and Porcupine Rim trails are located at the trailheads and entrance station. Maps for 4WD roads are available at the entrance station. Detailed topographic maps are available in Moab at bike shops, bookstores and at the Moab Information Center.
Keep your bike in excellent condition. Riding in Moab puts maximum stress upon bike frames and components. Headsets and hubs loosen. Frequent inspections reduce the possibility of injury. Be prepared in case of emergency by carrying extra tubes, lube, tools, a spare derailleaur hanger and a master link.
Don’t venture into remote areas unprepared. Always carry a windbreaker, sunscreen, sunglasses, maps, matches or lighter, pump, patch kit, first-aid kit, a good bike tool kit and extra food, water and clothing. These things may seem optional back home but out here they could save your life.
Ride with a buddy or a group. If a problem occurs, you’ll be able to support each other in resolving it.
Stay found, stay alive. Grand County has the highest incidence of search and rescue in Utah. The high cost of these operations is normally the responsibility of the rescued party. If you decide that you have lost the trail do not continue on in hopes of finding your own way. Retrace your route back towards the trailhead until you pick up the trail, find someone who knows the area, or return to the trailhead. If you cannot retrace your route, stay put, conserve energy and water, make yourself visible and await rescue. It’s always a good idea to let a friend or relative know beforehand where you are going and when you expect to return. If something goes wrong you have the comfort of knowing they will get help.