Global cycling destinations are not as rare as they used to be. As cities around the world embrace the tourism opportunity that mountain biking holds the number of places that are an amazing vacation destination grow.
One area that has been a staple since the beginning of mountain biking is Moab Utah. A town that has been built around tourism through mountain biking, hiking, climbing and motorsports this is a Mecca among sporting enthusiasts.
From a mountain biker’s point of view Moab is truly unique. The sandstone based, wind and water shaped landscape make for trails with nearly limitless traction, amazing natural features and seemingly always sunny skies.
Despite the incredible reputation and opportunity at Moab, there is a good chance that many of you reading have never been and are not planning on going any time soon. You need to change that frame of mind. Following the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas Nevada the Norco Marketing Team took some well needed time off to ride, explore and experience what Moab has to offer.
It is one thing to pick one of the best destinations in the world but to then pick the best riding in that location you are surely in for a treat. If there is one ride that stands out above and beyond anything else in Moab it is The Whole Enchilada. This is a series of trails that are more diverse, challenging, scenic and rewarding than any trail imaginable.
Starting off in town the ride starts with a 90 minute shuttle out to the Lasalle range east of the city. The road winds up the mountain side before dropping riders off at a chilly 10,500ft. From this point the trail winds down slightly before turning into a semi-rideable climb to the top of Burro Pass which stands an oxygen-sucking 11,500ft above sea level. While it may be a sweltering 35 degrees Celsius below, there is a good chance that ice can be found in the river up here and the trail very well could be lined with a dusting of snow. This is so high that the terrain is completely different. Riding through a forest of spruce trees and alpine like conditions the trail drops down.
After winding through the boreal-type forest the trail emerges into an aspen laden area that in the autumn glows a rich red and yellow. The air warms and the lungs fill through this gravity induced bliss of a decent. The trail is not for the faint-of-hill however. The trail still has some steep climbs and prolonged pedaling sections that can catch a fatigued rider off guard.
Descending down through the crayon coloured forest the typical Moab terrain starts to emerge. The trail descends out of the Lasalle range and merges onto the cliff’s edge leading into town. The trail winds along the ridge between cactus, small trees and over the massive expanse of rock to a final destination on the river at 400ft. This is what made Moab famous. The flow, speed and spectacle is like nothing else imaginable.
No where else in the world is a ride like this possible. Where can you start in the snow and descend more than 8000ft to a desert finish. This is an epic ride that should be on every mountain biker’s bucket list. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an easy ride and will take upwards of 6hrs for most riders but this is a goal. This is a trail that is worth training for, worth working on your technical skills and this is a goal worth achieving. Moab and the Whole Enchilada are two things that you will never regret!