Two-Wheel Territory: The Tops in Mountain Biking

Utah Canyon Country: Mountain Biking In Moab
Attack of the Single Track
A guide to the best of North America's mountain biking spots
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Few landscapes match the drama of Utah's Canyon Country. Mighty rivers flow through vast serpentine canyons, carved by eons of erosion. Huge, mysterious rock formations stand atop wind-swept mesas. In the distance, snow-capped peaks dominate the skyline. The beauty and variety of this terrain, which offers challenging climbs, thrilling descents, and wide, flat plateaus for cruising, has made Moab, Utah, a mecca for mountain cyclists.

Canyonlands bikers have a plethora of riding choices. One of the most popular routes is the 140-mile-long, mostly single-track Kokopelli Trail. From Grand Junction, Colorado, the Kokopelli Trail follows an ancient Anasazi route, winding through a variety of ecosystems from forest to desert, dropping and ascending thousands of feet before it reaches Moab. From its beginning in the sandstone canyons of the Colorado River, through the breathtaking 12,700-foot peaks of the La Sal Mountains, and finally to its finish in the red desert of Moab, this trail offers stunning scenery at every stage. The Kokopelli Trail ends at Sand Flats Road, which features desert red rock panoramas and sandstone spires. Sand Flats Road is also the starting point for the ten-mile Slickrock Trail, one of the most challenging bike routes in North America. You can test your riding ability on a two-mile practice loop, before committing to the whole route.
Just outside of Moab, at the heart of the Colorado plateau, is Utah's Canyonlands National Park. For dizzying panoramic views of Utah's famous red rock wilderness, the 100-mile White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park is a premier venue. The trail begins atop the high mesas of the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, and descends through deep canyons carved by the Green and Colorado Rivers. At points along the trail you ride the canyon rim a dizzying 1,000 feet above the rivers below.

Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 1 Feb 2001 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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