Moab May 2017 Trail Report – Navajo Rocks

by Brian Mullin on May 17, 2017

I rode the entire Navajo Rocks loop counterclockwise from lower lot, and it offered excellent views throughout the trip. The sun came out around the halfway point after a dreary and wet morning. I started on the fun Ramblin which had lots of swooping slickrock, then the sandier Big Mesa next to the majestic canyon walls, the Big Lonely with some fun slickrock climbs, the sandy, and rocky Coney Island, and finally the Rocky Tops with some incredible slickrock terrain.

I enjoyed Ramblin’ which consisted of a nice mix of slickrock and dirt with a few short sandy spots thrown in. Towards the top of Ramblin’, there was a large expanse of slickrock, so I did some laps up and down the ramps, swooping all over the place. I spent a lot of time bumping into this one Russian rider that was currently living in the Ukraine. He was an interesting character, and this was his first time riding in the desert. There had been a lot of rain that morning, so occasional streams were flowing down the rock, and that moisture also helped with the loose sandy sections. There was one long climb at the end of the trail before it met up with Big Mesa, to add a little punch to the trail.

Big Mesa was an interesting trail; it was mostly buttery smooth with lots of long sandy sections and flat slickrock. It rolled underneath some exceptionally tall cliffs making for stunning views and scenery. You could hear the birds chirping that were residing way up in the alcoves of the cliffs. The addition of some moisture made the sandy sections easier to bank up and down through the berms and rollers. Soon the trail left the Mesa and cliff band and popped out onto an expansive section of slickrock, before turning another corner with an excellent viewpoint of the local terrain.

The trail quickly crossed a road and became the Big Lonely trail, and after a short distance, it enters into a long section of rough slickrock that has multiple steep climbs. Some of the climbs are difficult to negotiate as they take sharp turns and switchbacks, but after a bit, you crest the knoll and get to enjoy some flatter terrain with lots of shallow rolling. I thoroughly enjoyed the steep climbs to the top and thought they’d be a hoot if you were riding them downhill. After the slickrock knoll dwindles out, there is a long section of somewhat flat sandy singletrack, which crosses over the highway and finally ends at the start of Coney Island.

Coney Island starts out as a double track jeep road until it morphs into singletrack and flys downhill in the typical Moab ledgy, rocky and sandy trails. Toward the end, it hits a slickrock dome and has a couple of hefty climbs until it rolls down to the start of Rocky Tops.

Rocky Tops starts off as a flat rocky and sandy singletrack and then does some very technical abrupt climbs onto slickrock. After a long slow, arduous climb on the slickrock, it gets on to the top of things and rolls up and down with an expansive view of surrounding countryside, offering everything from the Arches, the La Sals to the Monument and Merriment formations. The trail then flows steeply down with some excellent slickrock fun and even has some fun side traverses that offer exceptional adhesion for your tires. The last piece does a short grunt of a climb back to the trailhead.

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