Slickrock & Singletrack: Mountain Bike Meccas of Fruita and Moab

After decades of riding mountain bikes and listening to our friends rave about riding in Moab, we were psyched to get an opportunity to finally visit the slickrock promised land last season.

Kokopelli’s and Fruita Trails

Since we were going to be in the area, we also added a week to check out the world-class Kokopelli’s and Fruita trails. Having spent a lot of time at popular climbing and backpacking areas around world, we were struck first thing upon arriving at the campground at the end of 18 Road was this was no dirtbag camp. Most of the 35 spots at the BLM campground were occupied by a Sportsmobile or Sprinter van with several high-end bikes and maybe even a motorcycle to boot. We circled around in search of a spot while a family of five pedaled past us on their evening ride.

For our work assignment, we enlisted the help of a competitive rider (she holds a pro card) from Salt Lake City who drove down to meet us for the week. A Moab and Fruita veteran, Christine rides a bike like it’s a part of her. Watching her and her bike flow almost effortlessly as one over the skinny dirt trails around the North Fruita Desert inspired both of us to push our own boundaries a bit.

After a day of chasing Christine along the foot-wide ridgelines that make up most of the riding at Fruita, we settled into sessioning a small kicker at the bottom end of MoJoe. Agnes was getting some lessons in airing off the jump while we waited for sunset. A half dozen guys rode through and stopped on a rise, eager to see what these ladies could do.

“Dude, did you bring your photog today?” said one to a low chuckle from his buds. Just as the warm light glowed on the Book Cliffs behind her, Christine pulled a solid air off the kicker that warranted the collective “whoooaaa” from the boys. We nailed the shot with the sun crested on the horizon just beneath her airborne feet. Lesson learned, guys: Always bring your photog.


Christine and Agnes sample Joe’s Ridge as part of the world-class Fruita Trails.

North Fruita Desert

Christine and her bike flow almost effortlessly as one over the skinny dirt trails around the North Fruita Desert.

Mountain Biking Fruita

Christine bombs down one of the steeper sections of the foot-wide ridgelines that make up most of the riding at Fruita.

Chutes & Ladders trail

Riders cruise the grassy flats of Chutes & Ladders trail.

Moore Fun trail

Christine and Agnes don’t think it gets any better than the Moore Fun trail.

Fruita trails

The world-class Kokopelli’s and Fruita trails will keep you riding till last light.

Kokopelli’s trail

Agnes navigates her way along Mary’s Loop, which is part of the world-class Kokopelli’s trail.

Porcupine Rim, Slickrock Trail, and Amasa Back Captain Ahab Loop

For the next week, we rolled on over to the red-stone desert town of Moab and set up in the Slickrock Campground. The November nights were crisp and cold, allowing the entire universe to fill the darkness above us.

We kicked off our inaugural day of riding this sandstone paradise with a classic descent of Porcupine Rim, a nearly 20-mile (adding in the Upper and Lower Porcupine Singletrack) rough and tough downhill. Sun brightened the snow-clad La Sal Mountains behind us as we entered the UPS/LPS trails and got introduced to the “rim” part of this ride. The thousand-foot drop into Castle Valley came less than a foot from our tire tread on several sections. The exhilaration continued as we bombed down the drops and chunder that makes up the lower trail. Sitting way back on our bikes, with our butts nearly on our back tires, we had never ridden anything like “Porc Rim.”

For several days, we got on the classics, such as the one of a kind Slickrock Trail, and more obscure rides like the Amasa Back – Captain Ahab Loop. Soon we had ridden our bikes and ourselves into disrepair; the jumbled sandstone takes its toll. Nursing aches and pains, we stiffly loaded up our barely operational bikes coated in red dirt and headed out Hwy 191 until we came to the turnoff for the Sovereign Trails everyone raved about. It took us about two seconds to decide that we had time for one more.

Porcupine Rim Trail

Christine and Agnes ride the Porcupine Rim Trail, a world-renowned 20-mile ride outside Moab, Utah, with the sun brightened snow-clad La Sal Mountains behind them.

Porcupine Rim Trail

Sit back and enjoy the view as you drop a thousand feet into Castle Valley along the Porcupine Rim Trail.


The slickrock sandstone trail of Amasa Back winds high above the Colorado River to join the Captain Ahab Trail for a truly epic ride.

Amasa Back-Captain Ahab Loop

Like most of the rides in Moab, the Amasa Back–Captain Ahab Loop provides a little something for everyone, from slickrock to drops.

Slickrock Campground

Christine and Agnes kick back at the Slickrock Campground outside Moab after a day of riding technical singletrack.

Bartlett Wash

Christine rides some of the classic technical slickrock that Moab has to offer at Bartlett Wash.

Moab biking

The views go for miles on top of the rims of the canyons in Moab.

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