Moab Mountain Biking: Deadhorse & Brand Trails

Here’s another pre-blogging travel post I want to record. Moab is one of my favorite places on earth!

For Memorial Day in 2010, and after a few very expensive trips to REI, David and I set out on our first backpacking trip to Moab, Utah.  Moab’s a little difficult to get to, but the lack of tourists is one of the reasons we like it so much. We flew into Salt Lake City Thursday night, then drove south ~3.5 hours the following morning.  Our itinerary for our 4-day weekend trip was packed:

  • Day 1: Drive from SLC to Moab.  Rent Bikes, bike Dead Horse Intrepid Loop
  • Day 2: AM bike Brand Circle O (near Arches) and/or other loops then return bikes, PM drive to Canyonlands & hike Lathrop Trial out (5-6 hrs, 11 miles from trailhead to campsite)
  • Day 3: AM return hike from camp to trailhead, PM sightsee at Arches National Park
  • Day 4: drive to SLC & fly back to Houston

 Deadhorse Point State Park

After driving to town, our first item of business was mountain biking – Moab is a mountain bike mecca and we couldn’t visit without a couple rides.  We rented mountain bikes at Chile Pepper Bikes and got a great deal on some really nice mountain bikes.  Our first ride would be Dead Horse Point State Park for an easy spin in the Intrepid Loop Trails System.  The below map shows the trails; I think we did the Intrepid plus Pyramid Loop which was relatively flat and not technical.


This first day of biking was mainly to warm up our legs and see the sights.


It was very windy and overcast, but there were still spectacular views!  The trail wasn’t technical, but we did get lost at one point.

Brand Trails

We continued mountain biking the following morning closer to town at the Brand Trails.  There are a bunch of circles (Bar M, Circle O, Rockin A, and Bar B) and we chose to do the easiest, because even the easiest trails for someone in Moab were going to be hard for me.  I don’t like technical trails, even though David could probably handle them.  I’m pretty sure we rode part of Bar M (easy), Circle O (slickrock) and part of Bar B.  Maybe a little of Lazy-EZ too.  We did not even think about Killer B since I didn’t want to die that day Smile



We started out with some great morning views.


Then got to the good stuff – below is slickrock at Circle O and some hill riding at Bar B. 


The cool morning weather was just amazing and things were going great until….


Duh, duh, duh – the dreaded cactus fall of 2010!  I crossed a ditch, then didn’t have the momentum to continue upwards, so I had a slow fall sideways into Mr. Cactus.


I gave the cactus a high-five when I fell, but I got really lucky because my Camelback saved me from a really big spike in my back!  And I guess no broken bones is pretty good too.


I continued on a few more loops, but that pretty much concluded any risk taking for the day! 

We still had fun, and I can’t say enough how great the Chile Pepper Bike Shop was.  They provided us free biking water bottle with the rentals that I still use to this day (I think dehydration is probably a major issue in the Moab area).  We ended up purchasing some t-shirts and pint glasses from them too that I use often.  I love our pint glasses, but they don’t get used for beer too much; of course they are used for green juice!


Next up is my favorite hike ever – Lathrop Trail, stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “Moab Mountain Biking: Deadhorse & Brand Trails

  1. Yikes & OUCH! That’s one reason why I’m still too chicken from mountain biking! Not that there’s cactus here, ya know, what there are still trees …

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