Moab is an outdoor heaven on earth. Whether you are a rock climber, hiker, mountain biker, or off-road enthusiast, Moab is your ultimate playground. But for dirt bike trail riders, enduro enthusiasts, and adventure bike riders, riding in Moab is a state of nirvana.
Moab features a vast amount of trails with a variety of terrain ranging from dirt road touring and red rock riding to challenging hill climbs and sand washes. But with all of this variety, it can be an intimidating place to start. The last thing you want to do is end up lost, stuck, or broken down on a trail that is beyond your skill level. So here is some information about a few of our favorite trails, their difficulty level, and links to trail maps and reviews.
Monitor and Merrimac is an awesome place for everybody, no matter the skill level. Just be sure you are comfortable riding in sand. Our favorite trail is a 14-mile loop called Tusher Tunnel. The trail takes you to a tunnel called, believe it or not, Tusher Tunnel. At the top of the loop, it requires that you get off your bike and hike the ¼ mile or so to the tunnel. But trust me, you’ll be glad you did it. Tusher tunnel is a long ¼ mile tunnel through the middle of a giant rock mountain. It’s a solid 15 degrees cooler inside making it a great place to cool off in the summer. If you aren’t already impressed by the tunnel, the view on the other side of it is incredible and well worth the hike.
Gemini Bridges is a must-do for everyone, no matter your skill level. It will lead you to some amazing natural rock arches and bridges that overlook a beautiful canyon. The bridges are wide enough to walk across if you aren’t too afraid of heights and is a great place to just relax and soak in Moab’s beautiful scenery.
Behind the Rocks, Kane Creek, Fins And Things, Porcupine Rim and Slick Rock are all intermediate rides that are a blast. Each of these trails have sections that are tricky and will definitely challenge your enduro skills, but nothing is too crazy.
Due to Slick Rock’s popularity among mountain bikers, I recommend riding it in the early morning. You will most likely get a few middle fingers and swear words thrown your way as you pass mountain bikers struggling up the hill climbs. Feel free to kindly remind them that dirt bikers, in fact, mapped the Slick Rock trail. And don’t hesitate to casually mention they can purchase a dirt bike for less than they paid for their mountain bike and are welcome to enjoy the serene experience of dirt biking any time they wish. Slick Rock can be done in as quickly as 45 minutes as a warm-up for the rest of the day for the skilled rider. But for someone new to red rock riding, it could take a few hours, especially if stops are made to enjoy the views Slick Rock has to offer, which I would highly recommend doing.
Poison Spider Mesa is a 13.5-mile loop that is a little more expert. You can also ride Golden Spike and Gold Bar Rim from Poison Spider Mesa. This trail is also quite popular so ride cautiously and expect to run into other people off-roading or hiking.
Behind the Rocks is primarily a 4x4 off-road trail, but is a blast on a dirt bike as well. I would rate this trail more on the difficult side as it includes some gnarly sections with names like “White Knuckle, High Dive, Hummer Hill, Roller Coaster, and Hunter Canyon.” All of these live up to those names so use caution and push yourself, but don’t ride beyond your skill level.
Gnarly/Bike-breaker/Ride at your own risk!
Think you’re hot stuff and want to practice your enduro skills? Pritchett Canyon and Moab Rim are two of the gnarliest trails I’ve ever done. These two rides will push you to your limits, both mentally and physically! They feature hill climbs with massive step-ups and extract a high price for crashing. That being said, they are a fun challenge if you’re up to it.
*Pro Tip: Save these trails for the end of your trip. If you or your bike breaks, the trip doesn’t have to end early. We often do these rides to finish up our trip with a hard challenge when we feel confident after spending a couple of days in Moab. We are quickly humbled and remember there is plenty to learn and improve.
Parker Dolbin