Three days of mountainbiking around Moab

11/2 - 11/4 2001

Short summary

An originally planned group trip changed into a solo venture, which turned out to be a blast nevertheless, thanks to the good weather and little complications.
I drove to Moab on Thursday night, and at about midnight crashed on the Poison Spider trail parking lot. Woke up in the morning, and rode the Poison Spider - Portal Trail loop, then had lunch and rode Pritchett Canyon - Hunter Canyon loop on the other side of the river. Then drove up Kane Springs Cyn. and camped up there on a very nice spot.
On Saturday, I rode Jackson Hole loop together with exploring Amasa Back, starting and finishing at my campsite. Then drove to Moab, got a campspot at the Sand Flats, and rode part of the Slickrock trail after dark (with lights, of course).
I was already pretty tired on Sunday, but I still rode the whole Slickrock trail with exploring most of the side trails inside of the loop. Before noon, I drove out of Moab and before heading out home, I rode the fabulous slicrock in Bartlett Wash, which took about an hour.

Some statistics from the rides

Ride Distance [km] Vertical [m] Ride time Total time
Poison Spider - Portal 21 630 2:05 3:00
Pritchett-Hunter loop 20 525 2:00 3:00
Jackson Hole - Amasa Back 44 1100 3:20 5:00
Slickrock night 10 320 1:30 1:45
Slickrock day 21 730 2:00 2:50
Bartlett Wash 7.5 160 0:45 1:00

Fotos and maps from the rides

Poison Spider - Portal loop

Here is a topo map of the loop (280 kB).
For those interested in details on the trail, here is Gregg Bromka's account on the trail.

foto Poison Spider trailhead.
foto The other side of the trailhead parking lot in the early morning.
foto foto Sandy road climbing up a short canyon.
foto First slicrock steps area, which makes Poison Spider trail famous.
foto Panorama from another slickrock bench above the second sandy section.
foto On the slickrock heading towards Little Arch.
foto View at the other bank of Colorado through the Little Arch.
foto View north from the Little Arch, towards the Portal with Moab in the background.
foto View from Little Arch towards the Poison Spider slicrock, where I came from.
foto View down the cliff standing on Little Arch.
foto Panorama north-east from the start of the Portal singletrack.
foto View south-west from the same spot
foto First, fairly easy, part of Portal trail.s
foto First warning ca. 500 m. farther.
foto View down the trail right past the first warning sign.
foto View up the trail past the first trouble spot.
foto View down at this spot.
foto The deadly spot, supposedly three bikers did not make the hop over this rock and fell down the cliff. I walked it.
foto Panorama north-east where the oficial Portal trail ends (right below the deadly spot).
foto View down the trail from the same spot.

Pritchett Canyon - Hunter Canyon loop

Here is a topo map of the loop (300 kB).
For those interested in details on the trail, here is the trail description from Mountainbiking Moab book.

foto View up the canyon from the same spot.
foto View down Pritchett Canyon about 1 km from the bottom.
foto The road climbing up another few kms higher.
foto Jeepers having fun at a definite portage spot about 4 kms. up the canyon. I must say that I have found the jeeps the least obtrusive from the motorized "recreationists" that swarmed all over the place. Motorcycles and ATVs are much more annoying due to their noise and smell.
foto The trails climbing up right past the portage spot.
foto View down from another technical slickrock step. Climbing most of these in Pritchett was difficult due to the sand and gravel, that covered the slickrock.
foto The higher the trail goes, the more difficult it gets.
foto View down from White Knuckle Hill, which marks the end of Pritchett Canyon, and end of major climbing. Also, due to the loose surface, I pushed a good part of it.
foto View down the road from White Knuckle Hill, the descent is fairly nice.
foto Pritchett Arch as seen from the road.
foto A look up the road (north) from the same spot.
foto Panorama of the intersection with Hunter Canyon Rim trail.
foto View down Hunter Canyon from the rim after about 2 kms down the road.
foto View from the trail as it enters Kane Springs Cyn. rim, Kane Springs Rd. visible in the distance.
foto The most difficult part of the portage down into Kane Springs Cyn., basically a 3 m. class 4 scramble down.
foto View down the little side canyon past the climb down. Kane Springs Cyn. is about 100 m. downstream.

Jackson Hole - Amasa Back loop

Here is a topo map of the loop (510 kB).
For those interested in details on the trail, here is Gregg Bromka's account on the trail.

foto Evening at the de-luxe campsite in Kane Springs Canyon.
foto Me in Hurrah Pass, looking west.
foto Panorama west from Hurrah Pass.
foto View east from Hurrah Pass, the La Sal peaks barely peek out behind Kane Springs Cyn. rim.
foto First crucial turn at the bottom of Hurrah Pass downhill, turn right.
foto Another crucial turn, this time marked, up the somewhat annoyingly coarse road.
foto View down the road which we are leaving from the same spot (view NW).
foto Panorama from the plateau as we near Jackson Hole.
foto Another panorama north, when the Potash plant became visible.
foto The road out of the wash at the last crucial turn.
foto View up the road you came from before the easily overlooked turn right.
foto View down the road south-east of the Jackson Hole butte.
foto Jackson Hole butte from the same spot, we are circumnavigating it from the right.
foto Jackson's Ladder as seen from the distance.
foto Jackson's Ladder from where the walking starts.
foto A look up at the major climb section.
foto A view at the Potash plant from the same spot.
foto View down the switchbacks from ca. 3/4 way up.
foto View up the switchbacks from about 3/4 of the climb.
foto Panorama west from where the Jackson's Ladder access trail merges with Amasa Back trail.
foto Panorama east-south from Amasa Back's southern rim.
foto View north-west from the Amasa Back's western rim.
foto View east towards La Sals and Behind the Rocks area (in the foreground) from the same spot.
foto A look at the Potash plant from the westernmost end of Amasa Back.
foto Panorama north from Buzzard's Bluff.
foto Descending from Amasa Back.
foto View up Kane Springs road near the end of my ride.
foto Panorama of the area where I camped.

Slickrock trail

For those interested in details on the trail, here is Gregg Bromka's account on the trail.

foto foto Two sunset shots of the La Sals from the Sand Flat campground.
foto Panorama of where the main Slickrock loop starts.
foto Panorama of the unobtrusive side trail turn in the northeastern part of the main loop.
foto Panorama from the northern viewpoint right above the river.

Bartlett Wash

Here is a topo map of the area (120 kB).
For those interested in details on the trail, here is Gregg Bromka's account on the trail.

foto foto Two-segment 360 deg. panorama from the highest and almost southernmost point on the Bartlett Wash slickrock mesa.
foto View north from the southernmost hill.
foto View north from the way back, the access here copies the right slope of the slickrock mesa.

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