Shuttle rides: Rent an All-Mountain/Enduro style bike.
All-around mountain biking: rent a trail bike. You’ll be able to climb the ups but still have enough bike for the downs.
Taking the bike path or exploring the city: We recommend an E-cruiser bike so you can cover lots of miles and see all that the area has to offer.
Exploring the paved backroads: Visit Rim Cyclery or Chile Bikes to rent a performance road bike
Electric bike rentals Moab: You can rent an electric bike for either road, paved path or mountain biking (limited in where you can go)
Check with your bike shop if you have questions before you visit, it can be hard to swap out for another bike when you’re already at the shop.
The Navajo Rocks loop trail system is an easy 25-minute (20 mile) drive from Moab – you head north on highway 191 and turn West on highway 313. The popular loop combines 5 incredible trails for 17.4 miles of flowy singletrack with lots of short climbs and descents but nothing too intense. As you ride, you will hug a huge mesa on Big Mesa trail, ride slickrock domes on Ramblin, hit some rock gardens on Rocky Tops, shred the downhill on Coney Island and pedal exposed slickrock on the Big Lonely.
The loop is a figure 8 shape, making it easy to cut it short and ride only half if you are crunched on time or energy. The entire 17 miles are one of our favorite intermediate trails in Moab, since it includes lots of flowy singletrack with some technical sections dispersed throughout, which are easily walkable for beginners and a nice challenge for intermediate riders. The scenery can’t be beat – you will be surrounded by the famous Moab red rock for much of the ride. Don’t forget to bring tons of water, you will need more than you think!
The Klondike Bluffs trailhead north of town on highway 191 has something for everyone – from beginner to expert. Our favorite intermediate trails at this trail system are Dino Flow and Alaska trails. We spent a week camped at the BLM nearby and were able to ride every trail, and they are all pretty fantastic, but these two specifically shouldn’t be missed.
Dino Flow provides a great warmup with no long climbs or descents – just a fast, flowy 5.4-mile singletrack that snakes between boulders with several slickrock sections. It is a ton of fun in either direction. We rode the Alaska trail uphill, which was a fun little workout, but may be even more fun downhill for those looking for speed. There are some flowy sections with big boulders thrown in to remind you that you are in Moab, but the scenery was some of the best we’ve encountered anywhere. When you get to the top of Alaska, you ride along a ridge with incredible views for miles across the remote northern side of Arches National Park that many don’t see. To finish the loop, take Mega Steps (intermediate/advanced) or Baby Steps (beginner/intermediate) back down.
The Amasa Back trails are some of the closest trails to town (rideable by bike) and what HyMasa trail lacks in distance (1.8 miles one way), it makes up for in views. Intermediate riders can ride Lower HyMasa, part of Cliff Hanger (advanced trail but easily walkable if needed), and then HyMasa for a 2.5 mile ride, and then turn around and ride it back for a whole new view. More advanced riders can make it a loop by connecting HyMasa to Captain Ahab – a rocky, technical trail that will challenge most riders. The views of the surrounding Kane Creek area are spectacular – high red rock walls and buttes with the La Sal Mountains peeking out from behind.
Moab Brand trails is a relatively newer trail system in Moab, and is one of the closest to town, just 11 miles north on highway 191. Also called Bar M trails, the system features about 40 miles of singletrack for all levels of riders. Most trails are flowy with little climbing but lots of fantastic slickrock riding.
There are mostly beginner and intermediate trails here, with one 3-mile advanced trail, Deadmans (a fun trail with several rocky sections that can be easily walked if needed). North 40 is a great intermediate loop that takes you through quintessential Moab terrain – some rocky areas and short punchy hills with just enough technical sections to get you warmed up. It’s a blast ridden either way. Circle O trail brings you to quite different terrain – out onto the slickrock where you follow the painted line on the rock while taking in views of Arches National Park in the distance.
We would be remiss if we didn’t include Porcupine Rim in our list, although it is more of a challenge than the other rides on the list. Porcupine Rim trail is the last section of the Whole Enchilada – an epic, 34-mile ride that starts high up in the La Sal Mountains at 11K feet, and descends almost 8K feet to the Colorado River. The entire Whole Enchilada trail is best to ride late in summer or early fall when most of the snow at the top has melted, whereas the 14-mile Porcupine Rim trail can be ridden most of the year. Most people shuttle to the top, and there are several shuttle companies in town to choose from.
This must-ride trail in Moab is mostly downhill and can typically be ridden in an hour or two, but taking in the stunning views of the Castle Valley can extend the ride. Parts of the trail are doubletrack, and parts are fast, rockin’ downhill with technical rock gardens along the way. This backcountry ride starts in the pinon pines and descends down many broken slickrock sections (we recommend renting a full suspension bike for this ride!) to several overlooks that allow 360 degree views across the sandstone landscape. From there the trail turns to tight, twisty singletrack with techy rock sections scattered throughout and glimpses of the Colorado River far below. You finish the ride at the river near Grandstaff Trailhead, and can take the paved path back into town.
The closest major airport to Moab is Salt Lake City, which is 236 miles, or about a 4 hour drive. Grand Junction, Colorado also has a regional airport, and is about 1 hour 45 minutes from Moab. Other major cities in the vicinity include Las Vegas (6.5 hours) and Denver (5.5 hours).
TripOutside features the absolute best outfitters for Moab mountain biking rentals, as well as bike tours and shuttles. Whether you’re looking for slickrock riding or taking on the Whole Enchilada, our outfitters are all four-star rated or above, and are some of the most experienced bike shops in the state of Utah. We take the guesswork out of booking a Moab mountain bike trip – all of our outfitters provide top notch service and safety.
Moab can get busy during the summer – and HOT. For the best temperatures and fewer crowds, visit during non-summer months. The best biking weather is in October and March/April. If you do end up in Moab in the summer, make sure you wake up early to ride, and are off the trails by noon when the temperatures soar.
Most shops offer multi-day discounts. So you’re better off renting from 1 shop for multiple days.