The MOAB Brand Trails are located 7.5 miles north of Moab, Utah on the right side of US-191. Specifically, the trail head is reached by turning right at the Bar-M Chuckwagon. The primary activity on most of the trails is mountain biking but four-wheeling is allowed on some of them. Parking is free with a very large lot. There are no restrooms or water at the trail head. Cell phone service was available while on the trail.
We rented mountain bikes from the Chili Pepper Bike shop for $40/bike. Their personnel was very friendly. Further, the full suspension mountain bikes we rented were the nicest we had ever ridden. The following picture shows the Giant Trance X2 (in white) that I rode and the Norco Fluid LT 3 (in orange) that my brother-in-law rode. Both bikes can be purchased used from the Chili Pepper Bike Shop at a reduced price. My only regret was that I did not think to rent a 29er since, at the time, I had never ridden one before.
The Bar M trail is an 8.0 mile loop that is comprised of wide and primarily smooth dirt trail. Mountain bikers share the trail with four wheelers and use Bar M to connect to Bar B, Rockin’ A, and Circle O loops. All of the trails hover between 4,400 and 4,600 feet in elevation and contain no shade socycling hydration packs, energy gels, and sun protection are important.
The Bar M loop serves as a great warm up for the more physically demanding B, A, and O loops. We only biked on the Bar M loop to connect to Bar B and to return back to the parking lot from Circle O. Specifically, we biked all of the loops counter-clockwise.
Bar B is a 2.5 mile loop consisting of dirt trail with some slickrock interspersed.
For the most part, Bar B is a moderately difficult trail but it does include a few sections that required dismounting (not seen in the following picture).
In comparison to the other trails, Bar B is more technically challenging than Rockin’ A and Circle O because of some narrow, rocky sections and steeper climbs. I recommend skipping Bar B if fatigue and/or mountain biking skills are a concern.
A rewarding section of Bar B was a stretch of very narrow trail that ran along the western side of a hill and included a steady climb; as is seen in the following picture.
We did not attempt the Killer B trail since the Bar B loop was already pushing our mountain biking skills to the limit. Bar B ends with a long climb up to the intersection with Rockin’ A.
Rockin’ A is a 1.5 mile slickrock loop that is very curvy and, thus, it is a relatively slow ride. The trails are very well marked with a full map at most intersections so it was easy to transition from the Bar B loop to the Rockin’ A loop. Further, the MOAB Brand Trails run adjacent to the Arches National Park so they include stunning views of nearby canyons and distant arches.
An orange-yellow painted line marks the suggested trail. We regretted many of the times we deviated from the orange-yellow painted line when we thought we were choosing a more favorable path because it resulted in us falling.
The following video shows me buzzing by at my top speed ;).
Rockin’ A contains numerous sections of short drops followed by short curvy climbs; as is seen in the following picture. We found the curvy drops and climbs to be great skill building exercises since they were both frequent and varied.
The following video shows my brother-in-law, on his third ever mountain bike ride, successfully navigating the steepest decent on Rockin’ A. Descents like this one reinforce the importance of maintaining tuned up brakes.
Circle O is a 3.0 mile slickrock loop that is very similar to Rockin’ A but with longer straightaways and, thus, it is an easier, faster trail. Circle O loop is the slickrock trail to ride if you were to only ride one slickrock trail at the MOAB Brand trails because it is the most beginner-friendly. The following picture illustrates Circle O’s wider rock base and longer straightaways.
The only confusing part of the trail system was transitioning from Circle O back onto the Bar M Loop. I am not sure if we completed the Bar M loop as it was intended but we did manage to get back on it at the following intersection which lead to one final ascent before sloping down to the parking lot.
In sum, the MOAB Brand trails are a lot of fun because they contain an eclectic set of mountain biking challenges, include dirt and slickrock, offer distant views of Arches National Park, and can be mountain biked by beginners and experts.
3 thoughts on “MOAB Brand Trails – Mountain Biking on Slickrock in Moab, Utah”
Happy Pedaling! Thanks for this in depth perspective of the Brand Trails. FYI (if you didn't know & for next time, eh?) Dead Horse Point State Park added 2 new single track trails for the beginner. Trails do not share with any motorized travel, so a good youth learning mtn bike balance kind of place.And Chili Pepper has a Mountain Bike Ho-Down October 30 -Nov 1 2009. Come on back!
MoabUtah, thank you for the comment and additional information. We look forward to visiting Moab again and hope to explore more mountain biking trails (including Dead Horse Point State Park) :).
Videos were awesome. Rode Slick Rock last time out there. Can’t wait to get back and ride Moab Brand. There are plenty of trails here in the Shawnee National Forest (Illinois) but not like yours.