Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle along with my beautiful wife Tonya. Tonya’s birthday was the other day so we packed up, headed south down to Moab. Yes, I think the rain followed us down here, but it’s not raining now, I think it’s going to clear up. We are going to have a great time. I hope so, you know it’s snowy up north but you can get away down here and have a good time. That’s what we are going to show you is you can come down to Moab and there is a tons of things you can do down here in the winter. We are headed out first Western Spirit Cycling Adventures. You ready? Yup, let’s go.
Western spirit is an outfitter, so we take people all over the country on public lands.
We outfit them, our truck carries all the gear, our guides do all the cooking and they get to see the great outdoors.
When Mark is not skiing some epic power run in his home state of Colorado, you’ll find him here. Guiding mountain bike tours all across the west. Something he’s done for over two decades.
We are actually going to go right up to my backyard trails on slick rock. Slick rock is probably the world’s most popular bike trails and now people come from all over the world. So a trip to Moab without even touching your tires on Slick rock would not be complete.
Alright, let’s go.
This is the world-famous Slick rock Trail, a 10.6 mile loop that twists and rolls through Navajo sandstone.
Are you kidding me!
The Slick rock Trail is pretty difficult. That’s why.
Mark is taking Tonya and I on the two mile practice loop. It’s not quite as tough as the main loop, but for us, it’s enough and we can unofficially say we rode the Slick rock trail.
Not exactly how we told you to do it. But you got through it. I got through it. I’m still like light headed.
That’s called your ready position. So your feet are like this, both brakes and your chin is up, elbows out like that and you are just kind of perched above the saddle, your weight way back. That’s kind of what you are looking for on downhills.
Got that. Check!
The slick rock is called slick rock because of the horses hooves, our forefathers came here and took their horses out on it. Bike tires are actually really grippy and even wet, they can get really grippy traction, tons of traction. So that is what allows us to go up and down these crazy slick rock domes.
Go, go, go.
There’s a saying that.
If you ain’t hiking, you ain’t mountain biking.
It’s partially true.
Western Spirit Cycling Adventures has tours all over the West. Here in Utah, they take riders into National Parks, the mountains, on single track, they even cater to families. Mark is also involved with Outerbike.
Outerbike is a consumer demo event, so all the bike manufactures and equipment manufactures come set up out at the Brand trails.
Its three days of testing the latest and greatest new gear.
The spring one is March 31st and April, 1st and 2nd.
So this gives folks an opportunity to try it there. For about $175.00 you can do three days of it, all the lunch is included, shuttle to trail heads, guided rides and parties, pretty fun.
So, whether you are a seasoned mountain biker or a relative newbie.
Get on it. Oh, nice!
Moab has a place for you to ride, even in the winter.
Did you see that! I did it! I did see that, that was like 2.0.
Alright that is just the practice but that is still pretty intense, especially for newbies like us. Yeah, so good job. You are indoctrinated in, the practice loop is about two miles long and it’s every bit as hard as the main loop which is ten miles long. But, it’s always good to start off on that one to see how much you want to bite off. Not much more than that. Hey if people want to come with you, obviously you have a variety of things you can do. Where can they find you guys? It’s easy, 800-845 BIKE which is 2453 or on-line at www.westernspirit.com.
We are going to slow it down, we are going to slow it down a little bit and still get some exercise, still see the country and go hiking. That would be fun. Let’s go see some good views. Are you ready? Let’s go do it.
I’m Mike Coronella, I’m with Deep Desert Expeditions and we are going to go check out Long Bow Arch.
I like the desert and I like to show off what we have out here and I like to think of my business as Moab’s low adrenaline outfitter. We like to slow things down, check things out closely, learn a little bit about what we are seeing and where we are going.
Oh yeah you can see them from right here. Yup, coming up we’ve got some dinosaur tracks. The cool thing is this layer, even though we are at like 4100 feet above sea level here, you can find these tracks in the same layer up in the mountains.
I just keep thinking every time I look at those, man that is a big chicken. Yeah it is.
Mike’s background is as varied as his imagination. He came to Utah to ski but ended up falling in love with our desert. He’s a member of the Grand County Search and Rescue team, and an author. He may be from New Jersey, but this guide is no stranger to our Utah backcountry.
So now we’ve got some petroglyphs up here on the wall. As opposed to pictographs, these are etched. Wow those are cool. Yeah, great view to.
I think those are hunting lines.
Where they joined arms perhaps and literally drove the animals off a cliff.
We know they passed by more than once. Some of them, especially that last panel. Obviously has different ages on it, by the patina colors.
I like to think of myself as just a ski bum from New Jersey, who wandered across the desert and created what is known as the Hey Duke trail. It’s an 850 mile roughly route, for backpacking. It’s all public land, it crosses Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, Bryce, the Grand Staircase, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. So it’s quite a journey and that’s where I found my passion for the desert.
Every time you go around a corner, you see something you never dreamed of before. It just touched my soul I guess.
Mike co-authored the guide book for the HayDuke trail and now enjoys sharing his passion and experience with others through Deep Desert Expeditions.
Alright so there is our arch, Long Bow Arch. You can see it up on the wall. Oh nice we are going to get right to it? Yup, right underneath it.
This is an awesome family hike. There’s so much to see. It’s not too hard. We’ve got some fun sections and it’s enough to tire them out by the time we hit the back seat of the car.
Long Bow arch. That’s pretty. It is a big one. It is a big one isn’t it?
So Long Bow arch is definitely one of the bigger arches in the area and it’s really off the radar.
That’s why we like to get out to places that are a little off the beaten path. You don’t get to see quite so many people and you just get to enjoy quiet, which I find very appealing.
One of our favorite things to do is to get people out overnight. Newbies, people who have never been in the desert for a night and want to go camping or backpacking. We do fully outfitted. Send you out with a guide, all the gear you need, food everything. You get to experience being out underneath a zillion stars. Which most people never get the chance to do. it’s quite the experience.
Really anytime the roaring heat of the summer is a great time to be out here. Deepdesert.com. Deepdesert.com, the business is called Deep Desert Expeditions. We’d like to get you out into the deeper areas of the desert. Appreciate it that was fun. Thanks, so much
. Well Tonya, you’ve gone mountain biking, you’ve gone hiking, but you’ve never gone ‘Jeeping’. No I’m scared. We’ve never done it have we? No, it’s going to be fun. We are going up the Moab Rim trail and we are going out with a group that looks to work with the BLM and educate the public.
We’re Moab Friends for Wheeling. We have a mission of responsible off-roading. We work really hard to try to maintain the trails and keep them open for users.
Basically how we do that is we work pretty closely with the BLM and we do a lot of trail maintenance as far as marking the trails.
Yeah, this is a good climb right here. This is probably on Moab Rim, this is probably the most challenging obstacle.
I think one of the major advantages of belonging to a club is the ability to being able to advocate for land issues on a larger scale. Of course individuals can go in and apply to the BLM for changes or modifications, but belonging to a nice responsible land use based club like the Moab Friends for Wheelin’, it really gives you an opportunity to go into the BLM, with a group behind you. Willing to go out and do trail maintenance, do the work that is needed and be able to have a good strong relationship with the BLM.
Another focus of the group is to keep users on designated routes.
Sometimes that means a fence or a closed route. Which we hate to do. But whatever we have to do to keep people on the existing route because that is the number one reason that trails are closed. In Moab and everyplace is people going off designated routes.
Often it seems you could go over to the edge of the trail because its a little smoother, might be able to go a little bit faster. We have some trails out here that are now 30-40-50 feet wide, because people keep going to edge and that becomes the new edge of the trail and it keeps getting wider and wider. It’s not pretty. I mean the fences are not pretty, the wide trails aren’t pretty, but they all have their place and we are trying to get to where people stay on the designated route.
People come out here to see some wilderness and drive in the wilderness and they don’t want to see roads going everywhere.
Yeah the cable is broken.
They drove right off the rock and into the pole.
Sometimes people come out and think gosh. “It would sure be fun to drive over this” and then they take out the fences and then you can see. If you think the fences are ugly before you can see the end effect of what a fence looks like after it’s been heavily damaged. That just costs us time and resources. We’ll have to come out and repair this before Jeep Safari.
One of our big projects that we are working on this year and thanks to the Moab Diner and the Utah Public land Alliance. We’ve raised some monies to put up signs that say “You are here.” So when you are out driving on one of the epic Jeep trails, whether you are on Golden Spike, or Poison Spider, wherever it is. You are going to come along this marked trail and you will come to a “You are here” sign. The sign will have a number on it, it will tell you where you are. You’ll be able to look around and see where the next signs are and head on. That way you are able to stay on the designated trail and not get lost.
Really the people down here really need the Jeeps, the side by sides, the mountain bikers, it’s all part of what makes Moab, I think such a great place to be.
So if you are coming down for the Easter Jeep Safari or maybe just coming down to Moab, stop by the Moab Diner, pick up a t-shirt, all the proceeds will go back to Moab Friends for Wheelin’ to help them keep the trails open and maintained.