Utah biking

4 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

wonder if anyone has done any biking, road or mountain, in southern Utah during winter months? not sure what weather is like down south, though may be out there for a bit and heard southern area, around Moab and Red Rocks, is amazing.

anyone with some out West experience in that area?

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
It's cold

"Moab isn't exactly ""southenrn"" Utah. In any case, the elevation is rather high. So it'll even get some snow once in a while. 2 years ago, I was mountain biking the Red Rock State Park in April. We went from cold rain at the trailhead to snow on the canyon rim and back to warm sunshine at the trail head in the afternoon. Winter riding will be iffy unless you're the real hardy type."

Anonymous's picture
Derek (not verified)
high desert

I mountain biked in The Maze in Canyonlands National Park a few years back in late Sept. We started in Moab. Moab and surrounding area is high desert and elevation is over 5,000 ft. Temps at night were quite chilly (50s) since the desert is a heat sink. I agree with April that winter is for hardy riders.

I bet the locals who are a hard core group ride in all weather but the slickrock is pretty slick when wet (thus the name).
Check westernspirit.com which is based in Moab- they don't run trips in the winter.

Anonymous's picture
David R (not verified)
Response from a Utahn

I just moved from Utah six months ago, so I am enjoying the chance to daydream about riding my bicycle there. Yes, December/January/February can get very cold and snowy in Moab, though there is plenty of sunshine as well. The Utah phenomenon that should be most feared is the inversion factor, whereby a dirty, heavy, cold fog of sorts settles in the valley for days or weeks at a time. Defintely not a pleasant time when that is happening. The snow rarely sticks around on the lower trails, but you can cross out the La Sal Mountain trails until May. My favorite times in Moab are October/early November and March/April.

My favorite mountain bike trail is the Porcupine Rim Trail. It is about 13 miles one way- climb 3 easy miles and then have the best 10 miles of mostly downhill that can be found anywhere. Fairly technical, great views of the La Sals, Castle Valley, and the Colorado River. Also, check out Slickrock (everybody has to ride this if in Moab, a different style of riding), Amasa Back (unbelievable views, fun technical riding), Poison Spider Mesa(sandy) and down Portal Trail(scary), Klondike Bluffs(easy intro to slickrock riding), Monitor and Merrimac (sandy, but less likely to be treacherous with slippery conditions), and tons more that you could find in a book.

The road options are good, too, though there are definitely more dirt roads than anything in s. Utah. My favorite is through Arches National Park. There is only one road and it is 19 miles to the back of the park, one stout climb at the start. Highway 128 (River Road) follows the Colorado River for many miles and then can be continued through Castle Valley and Fisher Towers area. You can loop this with the La Sal Mountain Road back to town in the summer/fall for an amazing 70 mile or so loop.

It would be negligent not to recommend Knave of Hearts Bakery for breakfast/lunch, the Brewery for dinner, Milt's hamburger stand, and Poison Spider Bicycle and Gearheads for any needed items. Check out the Info Center in the center of town when arriving- it is a great resource for local events, maps, etc.

Southwest Utah, around St. George, stays warmer throughout the winter and has an increasing number of mountain bike trails, as well as great road options. Zion is just fantastic, but is higher elevation and has a considerable amount of snow. This area is only about two hours from Vegas.

Enjoy, it is fun thinking about living it up down there.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)

I did a long weekend at Moab over Halloween 3 years ago. The weather was cool, not cold. There was new snow on the passes on the road from Provo but we just had a bit of light rain. It is arid so rain is not a major factor. We rented mtn bikes, riding them like road bikes, not having technical riding savvy, and had a great time. This is a good time of year to be there as it is a furnace in late Spring and Summer and is not crowded. Daylight is a factor as is anywhere this time of year. You will need a car to get to the region as well as to the trailheads. One thing I would love to do is the entire White Rim Trail. I think it could be done in one day but should not be attempted solo. You would have to do your homework and someone to get you back to your car when you complete the ride as it is not a loop. We were able to do a small section of the trail but moved right along thanks to full suspension. The scenery does not get any better.

cycling trips