Tag Archive for: moderate duration


Porcupine Rim Trail Moab

Early Morning on one of the worlds greatest trails, the Porcupine Rim Trail in Moab


The Porcupine Rim Trail in Moab is together with the Slickrock Trail the most popular Moab ride. This trail is probably on the wishlist of more mountain bikers than any other trail, and not just in the USA, but worldwide.
The Porcupine Rim is a fantastic trail, physically it’s an easy ride, 90% being a very fast downhill, however technically this trail can rip you and your steed to pieces.

Many a Mountain Biker has lost the battle on the Porcupine..

Porcupine Rim Trail Map

Porcupine Rim Trail Elavation


Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town: Moab
Length: I clocked 14,74 miles
Trail Type: P2P [ Point 2 Point ]
Skill Level: [what the books say] Technically very difficult to abusive. Physically difficult.
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate to very challenging. Physically moderate
Duration: 2-5 hours
Trailhead Elev: 6,000 feet
Top Elev: 6,800 feet


Book Description

Porcupine Rim is arguably the most diverse of all local Moab rides and definitely one of the most memorable. Aerobically it is moderately difficult, with an 800-foot elevation gain right off the bat. Technically, it’s extremely challenging. An extended climb to the head of Negro Bill Canyon (named for mulatto William Granstaff, a prospector-settler who came to the area in 1877) on a narrow mining track is followed by an unforgettable stretch of double-track leading along the edge of Porcupine Rim, with stomach-churning views straight down on Castle Valley. From a jungle of juniper-piñon, sandstone outcrops, and cacti, you’ll begin a long descent down rugged double-track teeming with drop-offs that often come at you when you least expect it. This leads to single-track, sometimes smooth and other times boulder-strewn. The trail deposits you onto UT 128, and the final six miles back to town are paved. General location: 10 miles east of Moab.



My Experience

There is a very good reason why The Porcupine Trail is on the wishlist of so many Mountain Bikers, it’s one hell of a ride, and deserves a spot as one of the Best trails to ride.

I was dropped of at the Trailhead at the break of dawn, the sun had not yet shown herself. This trail can get very busy, and I wanted her all to myself. At 7 am I started my ride.
The first 45 minutes is a climb, nothing serious, and actually even the climb is fun trying to tackle the obstacles.

You know when you are “Topped Out” when you get the fantastic view of Castle Valley. Enjoy the views from here, and take this opportunity to prepare yourself and your steed for the adrenalin pumpin’ mayhem ride that will either put a smile on your chops for a few days, OR have you cryin’ for your “mummy” like a little baby!

The Porcupine has no mercy at all with mountain bikers, go too fast.. you’re fucked, go too slow..you’re fucked, choose the wrong line.. you’re fucked, hesitate .. you’re fucked… So basically if you don’t find the right balance on the Porcupine, either you, your steed, or both are fucked.

Physically this trail is pretty easy, nothing too serious, however technically this trail CAN be severe. The very time I did the Porc. I ended up walking out with my tail between my legs, after destroying TWO derailleur hangers, and shreddin’ my back tire.

The dragons teeth on this trail are brutal, and appear out of nowhere, just when you think it’s safe to open up, a carpet of dragons teeth appear out of nowhere!. Just make sure you have max. puff in your rubbers, otherwise you to, will be walking out.

From the view point to the singletrack section is very technical, not technical because of drops or other dangerous obstacles, but more because of speed issues, clipping, and very sharp and loose terrain that will cause you to wipeout at the blink of an eye, and doing a face plant on the Porcupine is gonna hurt big time!

The fun continues on the singletrack section, this section is VERY technical as well, but different technical to the previous 8 miles. The singletrack has some VERY gnarly stretches that will very quickly put an end to your ride, and a lot more if you are out of luck.

The singletrack is very narrow, and clipping your pedals is inevitable. The speed that can be reached on this section is scary, so you have to make sure your steed is is optimal working order, doing 35 mile on a trail that is less than a foot wide and having a 7 foot gap appear out of nowhere is scary, just hope your brakes are working…

” Well going 35 miles on a trail that is less than a foot wide with a sheer drop on one side is just crazy shit!!. Use your common sense.. “

Yeah, right, that’s what I would think as well, but once you are on the Porcupine, all common sense goes disappears like a fart in the wind, and just like that fart, you just gotta go with the flow on the Porcupine.



Dude, I was on fire, and my loyal steed was smokin’!!, This is the FIRST time I have cleared the Porc. without any need of Trail side maintenance, and / or body bacon.
This time it was a Perfect Storm, the weather was great, I had the trail to myself, I was in top form and my steed was running like a greased whippet.. things just could not have been better.

The Porcupine Rim Trail is unique, and it’s not hard to see why this is one of the greatest trails in the USA and even the World.


Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : I started at 7 am and finished at 11am and saw NOBODY!!
Wild Life : none
Scenery : Absolutely Fantastic Moab Scenery
Other : The Porcupine is a very technical trail, but don’t be put off by this, unlike many technical trails, the Porcupine is 95% doable. It’s VERY hard on your bike, take ALL the parts you have, incl. extra inner tubes, tire, chain and derailleur hanger(s)


My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 with a GOLD Star

Moab Rim CamparkPorcupine Rim Trail review is proudly sponsored by :

Moab Rim Campark

At Moab Rim Campark mountain bikers will definitely feel at home among other mountain bikers at this Mountain Biker Friendly Camp groud.
Bike wash, grassy shaded tent sites with stunning views, Full hook ups, semi hook ups, cabins, group shelters, sheltered areas to tinker on the bikes, and lots more.

The Porcupine Rim Trail is just 20 min. drive from your campsite.
Moab Rim Campsite has been recommended by “Mountain Bike Mayhem” 5 years running.

Mountain Bikers get 10% discount, just bring your bike(s) and mention MOUNTAIN BIKE MAYHEM

For more info vist : Moab Rim Campark


Trail Videos taken on the Porcupine Rim Trail. Oct. 2011








Flat Pass Trail

Flat Pass Trail aka Steel Bender - Moab Oct. 2011


The Flat Pass trail is a fantastic trail, and chances are that if you can ride this trail on a week day, you will have the trail to yourself. Flat Pass Trail and Steel Bender are not really the same trail, Flat Pass is ideal for mountain bikers, and follows the Steel Bender that is the 4×4 trail, the only difference is, the Steel Bender is about 2 miles longer. For anyone planning a trip to Moab to Mountain Biking should definitely put Flat Pass Trail on the list of “Must do” trails.


Flat Pass Trail Map


  Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town: Moab Length: Guide book states 15.5 total miles, I myself clocked 19.4 miles from Kens Lake Trailhead and 21.76 miles from Moab Rim Campark

Trail Type: Loop [ out & back is an option ]

Skill Level: [what the books say] Technically difficult to extreme. Physically moderate to difficult.

Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate to challenging. Physically moderate

Duration: Book say’s 2-4 hours my time 5.56 hours

Trailhead Elev: 5,200 feet

Top Elev: 6,000 feet



Book Description

The ride is highlighted by vandalized petroglyphs, rolling hills with sever transitions at the bottom, and some very beautiful views of the Moab Valley. There are a couple of spots on the trail that can sneak up on you, so keep your eyes on the trail and give blind turns and dips a lot of respect. I you enjoy technical challenge, deep stream crossings, transitions, vertical ridges, gaps and pits, knee-high ledges, rollies, plateaus, babyheads, death-grip-jackhammer stuff into deep sand, weird sliced-bread bedrock, and a ride that can be done form Moab, the Flat Pass is the trail. Trail Surface: Bedrock, loose rock, sand and babyheads on a technical 4WD track, with substantial creek crossings.



My Experience

I had heard a lot of good things about the Flat Pass Trail, and it has been on my to do list for a few years, the only reason I kept postponing this ride was because of the high amount of “Road Miles” needed to loop this trail. The trailhead is easy to find, just head for Kens Lake. The trails starts with a easy climb on a gravel road to the Flat Pass. At this point you head down, and have to make a sharp left and cross the creek, or just do as I did, and miss the turn-off and carry on up a dead end trail untill you realize it ain’t going anywhere, so you will have to turn around and back track. Once on the real trail, which is mostly slickrock, the real enjoyment begins. The trail climbs moderately with plenty of obstacles to keep you busy, and it’s actual a fun climb. The fun continues until you top out, then you get some really fun sections of hard packed sand.. open up here and ride like a bat out of hell, until you hit the rocky downhill section. Technically quite challenging, but nothing too serious, it’s just a fun bumpy downhill, choose your path, and stick to it. There are a few high drop-offs, but I always managed to find a safe way down.. All in all the trail section of the Flat Pass Trail is fantastic, with a high fun factor, and offers stunning Moab scenery. This trail does not attract the crowds like numerous other Moab Trails does.  



This time I started from Moab Rim Campark and looped the whole trail in just under 22 miles. The last time I started at Kens Lake Trailhead, and clocked just under 21 miles. The only downside of the Flat Pass trail is about 50% is on the road. Once you are actually off the road and on the trail, it is absolutely fantastic, and any mountain biker is guaranteed to have a fantastic time. The trail is easy to follow, but you will definitely need a map if you have never done this trail before, as there are a few other nameless trails branching off. There are in total 4 creek crossings on this trail, and my advice is to get your feet wet, and carry your steed across. I did not do this, and after each creek crossing there is a foot of sand and your rear derailleur really gets gunked up. Once on the trail, try and avoid the far sides of the trail, even if it seems the perfect line, try and stay within 2 feet from the sides. I learned the hard way, and had a total of 7 punctures from thorns. For anyone with a bit of extra time and energy, I would suggest riding Flat Pass as an Out and Back, it would shave about 5 miles off the total milage, which means it would be about 16 miles of fantastic pure mountain biking miles.  


Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : none, I had the trail to myself.

Wild Life : none

Scenery : Absolutely Fantastic Moab Scenery

Other : Carry a proper map, and like all Moab trails a good puncture outfit and extra inner-tubes, and carry your bike across the creek, the sand will gunk your derailleur.  


My Trail Rating : 8.5 / 10 [ As a P2P I would give this trail a 10/10 ]



Moab Rim CamparkThis Flat Pass Trail review is proudly sponsored by :

Moab Rim Campark

At Moab Rim Campark mountain bikers will definitely feel at home among other mountain bikers at this Mountain Biker Friendly Campgroud.
Bike wash, grassy shaded tent sites with stunning views, Full hook ups, semi hook ups, cabins, group shelters, sheltered areas to tinker on the bikes, and lots more.

The Flat Pass Trail can be looped from your campsite.
Moab Rim Campsite has been recommended by “Mountain Bike Mayhem” 5 years running.

Mountain Bikers get 10% discount, just bring your bike(s) and mention MOUNTAIN BIKE MAYHEM

For more info vist : Moab Rim Campark





Trail Videos taken on the Flat Pass Trail. Oct. 2011  




North Yuba River Trails - Downieville

The North Yuba River Trails Downieville, 16 miles of fantastic singletrack


Due to the very high amount of snow that was dumped on the range during the previous Winter and early Spring, most of the trails I had planned to shred were still snowed in, however the North Yuba River Trail was one of the few trails that were accessible. The North Yuba Trail is a highly rated +15 miles sweet singletrack that follows the Yuba River from Downieville to the Indian Valley Campground.
So, did this trail excite me as much as the Downieville classic?


The North Yuba River Trail Map


Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town : Downieville

Length: 15.23 mi

Trail Type: Point to Point

Skill Level: [what the books say] no info

Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically easy – moderate. Physically moderate.

Duration : My time was 03:22:47

Elev Gain: 3,381 ft

Top Elev : 1,155 ft

Min. Elev : 706 ft


Book Description
One of the finest singletracks open to bikes, the newly built North Yuba Trail is a simple trail to follow as there are no other trails intersecting it. This short loop is 16.6 miles round-trip, and the first 8.8 miles of it clings to a north-facing slope above the North Yuba River. The remaining 7.7 miles rides the sometimes narrow shoulder of paved CA 49. But you needn’t ride the highway if you don’t want to. If it’s all single-track riding you want, you can easily make it so by returning in the reverse direction. Whatever the direction, the trail is a fun roller-coaster path, punctuated with some steep but short ascents and descents while weaving through a forest of dogwood, big-leaf maples, and mixed conifers. Adding even more spice to the sweet trail is its narrowness, scattered patches of loose rocks, and some serious drop-offs into the river. Throw in great views of the river with sections of gushing whitewater and you have one heck of a fun ride.


My Experience

As always, I got to the trailhead nice and early, and again without a map, luckily this trails is very easy to follow. To make things easy, I am going to split this trail in two, first section is from Downieville to Goodyears Bar, and the second section is from Goodyears Bar to Indian Valley. I’m doing this, because in my books these two sections offer a different riding experience.
On the first section you get a good 5 minutes to get warmed up, then you start on a long climb, nothing extreme, but it is a 3 mile continuous climb.
The great thing about this, is that once you reach the top ( 3 mile point ) it’s a solid and excellent fast flowing singletrack all the way to Goodyears Bar.
This downhill section really is the highlight of the whole trail, it is fun and very smooth and fast singletrack that really launches you down through the forest. When you reach the road that takes you through Goldyears Bar, you really feel sad the fun came to an abrubt end.
You now follow a very quite road to pick up the second section of this trail, that will take you on another 8 miles of singletrack.
Unlike the first section, where it was a solid climb followed by a solid “bomb”, this section was 8 miles of short up’s and short down’s. There are a few really nice sections on this trail, and the scenery is fantastic, a lot nicer than the first section, however, to me the fun level was lower than the first section.
The North Yuba River Trail is a fantastic 16 mile singletrack, but in an ideal world, I wish I could start with the second section and finish on the fantastic downhill of section one.



The North Yuba River Trail is without doubt a fantastic trail, and is a must if in the Downieville area. To me it did not impress me as much as the Downieville Classic, but that’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges. The trail is sweet singletrack, scenic and both technically and physically moderate.

Another good thing about this trail, is you could easily do this as an “Out & Back”, filling your Hydro at the Indian Valley Campground.
The downside to this trail can be “Crowds”, I had the trail to myself on a Thursday early morning, but Saturday was mental on the trail.. we are talking probably 100’s of people.


Other Info:

Traffic on Trail: Thursday early morning, and the trail was mine!!.. however weekends the trail is mental! Avoid if possible.

Wild Life : none

Scenery : Great scenery

Getting There : Trailhead in Downieville

Other : If you can, try and avoid weekends, trail gets very busy


My Trail Rating : 8 / 10



Yuba Expeditions Downieville

The North Yuba River Trail was proudly sponsored by :

Yuba Expeditions Downieville

Yuba Expeditions is the one stop bike shop in Downieville, For SALES • SERVICE • DEMOS • SHUTTLES • MAPS • SEMI-ORGANIZED ANARCHY and lots more.

Yuba Expeditions is THE place to get all the up to date trail intel, as well as any parts you or your steed will need while in Downieville.

Yuba Expeditions is also the choice shuttle service of Mountain Bike Mayhem, High on Mountain Biking and Mountain Bike Trails USA.


Yuba Expeditions – Downieville Downhill
208 Main Street, Downieville CA 95936
Tel: (530) 289 3010


10% discount Mention MOUNTAIN BIKE MAYHEM and receive 10% discount on the Shuttle Service.