Moab: Klondike Bluffs

Moab, Utah – Day 4:   The rental house was bustling early.  We had to pack up because we were moving on to Hurricane (pronounced her-i-kin), Utah to check out the trails there.

The plan was to stop at Klondike Bluffs, which is north of Moab, on our way out of town.  What I like about this trip so far is that each trail has it’s own personality, and Klondike Bluffs was no exception.

Parking at Klondike Bluffs

The north trailhead at Klondike Bluffs. You can see the bluffs in the distance rising up out of the plain.

Chilkoot Pass trail

The trail starts on a half mile of smooth, straight singletrack called Chilkoot Pass.

The trails that we rode on were mostly intermediate and it was a nice change to ride on something a little more mellow.  However, Klondike is no stroll through the park.  After riding for a half mile or so on a smooth and straight beginner trail named Chilkoot Pass, we hopped on to Mega Steps.  This was an intermediate/expert trail that climbed for about 500 feet up into the bluffs.

I enjoyed the challenging climb, but it was taking its toll on the weary legs of a few of my companions.  The trail is a mix of dirt and stone slabs and is pretty rough.  This is a decently technical climb and the pockmarks and bumps in the rock make it difficult to build a lot of momentum.

Mountain biking at Klondike Bluffs

The trail follows a dashed, painted line on the rock like most trails in the area that we’ve ridden.

Tim Carley GoPro-ing Jason Longbrakes butt.

Scott Smith follows Jason Longbrake 500 vertical feet up the trail called Mega Steps.

Ken Gunn reaches the top of Mega Steps

Ken Gunn reaches the top of Mega Steps

We stopped to regroup at the top of the hill and turned onto a trail named Alaska.  It was my impression was that this was going to be a downhill, but it still contained a lot of climbing.  The downhills were all very rideable, but the bumpy rock surfaces made it hard to go too fast.  Some of the bumps were jarring and we were definitely getting a good upper-body workout.

Regrouping at the top of the climb.

Regrouping at the top of the climb.

Pretty cactus.

Pretty cactus.

Top of Alaska trail at Klondike Bluffs

The Alaska trail climbed to a peak with a nice viewpoint. The rocks made the landscape more interesting and provided plenty of technical challenges.

Rick Mauger, Trent List and Ken Gunn taking a break after Alaska.

Rick Mauger, Trent List and Ken Gunn taking a break after Alaska.

What separated these trails from the others we had ridden so far was the fact that the stakes were much lower on the technical elements.  There wasn’t any cliff exposure.  The downhills didn’t have the same steep narrow descents that we experienced at Captain Ahab and Porcupine Rim Trail.  The price of failure was much lower.  Despite the fact that the ride was a little bumpy, I was happy to have a relatively mellow trail to ride on.

And, just as I came to this realization, my mind wandered and I went over my bars.  Nothing serious.  Just a small bruise on my shoulder.  It was a stupid place to fall, it was a very small downhill that I could have ridden another 25 times and never have a problem.  I brushed myself off and kept riding.  One minute later, I came upon Jeremy Wenner laying on the ground after a washout in a gravel-covered corner.  This intermediate trail wasn’t going to let us off easy.

Another pretty flower.

Another pretty flower.

Where's Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?

We regrouped at the bottom of Alaska, the plan was to ride back up Mega Steps and then down another trail named Baby Steps.  The size of the crew was whittled down from 14 to 11 as three guys decided that they had no interest in climbing back up.  Fatigue was high on our fourth day of riding.

My beer exploded in my backpack.

My beer exploded in my backpack. No liquid barley for sad Jimmy. Added Bonus: I smelled like a brewery floor.

Tim Carley eating lunch against a rock wall to hide from the wind. He leaned against it and it collapsed, destroying 10 generations of indigenous culture. So ashamed.


We climbed back to the top, and 4 more guys decided to cut their rides short and take alternate routes back to the car.  We rode along the peak and then down Baby Steps for some faster downhill action.  This was a really fun trail and had the fastest descents of our day.  I let the guys on full-suspension bikes by and had a hard time keeping up with them on my hardtail.  My upper body was getting tense and my arms and shoulders were getting a real workout.  It was totally worth it though because that roller coaster was a blast.


At this point, the rest of the group seemed spent, so we headed back to the car.  We had only explored about a 3rd of the trails.  I’d love to go back and explore more.  I took a short detour and rode the beginner loop for Chilkoot Pass.  It was a fun, swoopy trail that was very mellow.  I would have happily ridden it for another hour.

However, we had a 5-hour drive to Hurricane, Utah, so I headed back to the car to change and pack up.  I had 14.6 miles with 1700 feet of climbing in 1 hour and 50 minutes of ride time.  It was a shorter day, so hopefully we are rested when we hit Gooseberry Mesa tomorrow.

Our rental condo in Hurricane, Utah

Our rental condo in Hurricane, Utah. 14 guys. So much bacon grease.

We are roughing it.

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One thought on “Moab: Klondike Bluffs

  1. Thanks, for taking us with you on your adventure James. With, the blogging and photos. It was fun to follow you guys. We, did a 3 day trip through Canyonland 2 years. I would love to go back and Ride some of the trails you all rode. And, 14 of you guys. Wow….i bet it was never a dull moment. Sounds like fun! Thanks again…. Dominic

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