Adventure Nomad

Adventure Nomad

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mountain Biking Telluride to Moab: The Ride

Continued from the last post:

When we got to Moab, we met up with some friends and did a couple of rides.  It always seems that we don't spend enough time in Moab, because before we knew it, it was time to depart for Telluride, and begin the trip trip that we had come all this way for: Riding two hundred something miles from Telluride to Moab, using San Juan Hut Systems huts along to way, so that we could ride with light packs and enjoy the riding!

A photo posted by Ken Koh (@adventurenomad) on

San Juan Hut System is the only destination (ie. Telluride to Moab; Durango to Moab) hut to hut based system in the US.  It allows a biker to really get deep into the backcountry by eliminating the need to carry tents, sleeping bags, cookware and food for 7 days of riding.

Oh, yes!  This is one ROWDY Ride!

If you've ever thought about doing one of these rides, this short video should give you a good idea of what to expect:

Mountain Biking Telluride to Moab from Kenneth Koh on Vimeo.

Having done the similar Durango to Moab ride a few years ago, we kind of knew what to expect.  While there's still a fair bit of dirt road and a little paved road, this ride had more singletrack.  In fact, so much more singletrack that we simply could not ride all the singletrack options.  Lucky for us, they were options, and when weather or our bodies had enough, we could take an easy dirt road ride to the next hut.

I've been to Moab 4 times over the years.  Once in the Spring, once in the Fall, and twice in Summer.  I definitely want to return, because there's just so much more riding to do, but I won't be going back in Summer.  It's too hot and just too crowded.

If you were deciding on which of the two hut to hut rides to pick, I'd say go with the Durango to Moab Ride if you're riding for the scenery and views.  If you like more technical riding, pick Telluride to Moab.  Either way, you won't be far wrong.  One of these rides definitely belong on every mountain biker's bucket list!

Mountain Biking Telluride to Moab: The Drive Up

It's a long way to get to Moab - It's along trans-pacific flight, followed by a long drive from California to Utah.  We've found that by following the bodies natural sleep cycle, and by getting a lot of sunshine during the day, the drive up can be a good way to acclimatise as well as take in a lot of the sights.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, enroute to Moab, Utah.
Arriving into the USA after a big transpacific flight has always been a pain, but arriving into Los Angeles this trip has been my most pain free so far, thanks to the new ESTA immigration clearance, available for selected countries.  As usual, our plan was to get out of the airport as quickly as possible, then drive for as long as we could, usually a couple of hours before needing to stop for sleep.  Our destination this trip, was Moab, in Utah, where we were heading up to do some mountain biking.  We've found that due to time zone changes, we are usually up very early, by 3 or 4am, and so we make use of that time taking the bikes out of their boxes and assembling them.  We hit the road about 5am, or just before daybreak, and stop for breakfast along the way.  By breaking up the drive, can taking in a lot of sunshine, we adapt faster to the new time zone.  We took in as many sights as possible on the drive up by heading out onto Historic Highway Route 66... 

A photo posted by Ken Koh (@adventurenomad) on

The next day, we made it to Panguitch, Arizona, where we got to ride Thunder Mountain Bike Trail, which was an unexpected treat!  Great riding, really awesome scenery!  After the ride, we took a drive through Bryce Canyon National Park, and took in a short hike.

A photo posted by Ken Koh (@adventurenomad) on

The highlight of the drive up to Moab was Page, Arizona, which we reached the evening after leaving Bryce Canyon NP.  We stayed for 2 nights and visited Antelope Canyon, Waterholes Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

The evening after we visited Antelope Canyon, we reached Moab.  By this time, we were fully acclimatised and ready to ride!

To be continued...