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Hidden Valley Moab Rim

Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim - View before heading down the Moab Rim

 

The Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim is one of my Moab favorites. This trail offers fantastic scenery, a very remote feeling without being remote ( if anything goes wrong, it’s no more than a 1.5 hour walk to civilization).
The Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim trail offers everything the big trails offer, such as Porcupine. The trail can be looped, or as an out and back.
This trail offers the longest and steepest slickrock downhill section, almost a mile of solid mental 22 percent downhill.

 

Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town: Moab
Length: about 13 miles (14.3 miles if you visit the Moab Rim View Point)
Trail Type: Loop or Out & Back
Skill Level: [what the books say] Technically extremely difficult to downright abusive. Physically difficult
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate – difficult. Physically moderate [ if done from Hidden Valley ]
Duration: 2-4 hours
Trailhead Elev: 4000 feet
Top Elev: 5400 feet

Book Description

If you are not a skilled mountain biker do not attempt this ride. Be sure to take lots of water. This trail can be ridden from Moab, as a loop or as a shuttled trip, in either direction. It has a brutal climb at the head and an equally brutal downhill at the tail anyway you slice it. The ride up from the northern end on the massive rock slab to the rim is one of the most difficult climbs I know of. The southern end is so technical that you are going to be walking the bike. The northern end can be ridden in its entirety, if you are very fit and very skilled. Trail Surface: Extremely rugged 4WD trail and a very technical singletrack that is only suitable for hiking–portage or risk bone damage. Huge ledges, sand, loose rock, and hardpack. Kayenta slab rock, Navajo sandstone.

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My Experience

I have lost count on how many times I have done this trail, and I still love it as much as I did the first time. The scenery is great, the trail is exciting and has an adventurous feel to it. As always the 40 min. portage is a grunt, but once on Hidden Valley, the grunt was well worth it, and is soon forgotten about.  The side trip up to the Moab Rim View point is very strenuous, and even though it might not look very technical, it has the potential of  destroying you and your bike if you loose control at very high speed. 

   

Conclussion

This is still one of my favorite  trails, it’s more like an adventure than a “ride” . Last year I wrote that the singletrack that cuts through Hidden Valley was in really bad shape, and it was becoming  almost impossible to ride because they were so deep. The good news is, the trails for whatever reason in excellent shape again.

   

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : about 5 hikers
Wild Life : a Bull Snake
Scenery : Absolutely Fantastic 360 degree 3D Scenery
Other : Be WELL prepared for punctures, carry spare tubes and a repair kit. This advice is for ALL Moab rides, not just this one. DO NOT attempt this trail if you are not experienced riding on extremely rocky trails and very steep drops.

 

My Trail Rating : 10 / 10

 

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In the past I have received emails from people that call me crazy ‘cos of the way I rate this trail, a lot of people call this trail “extremely difficult to very dangerous ” So let me explain how I rate a trail.

I myself would put me in the “Intermediate MTB’er” category, and far from being Advanced. So on a trail like this, where there is a 40 min. portage, that is IMPOSSIBLE to ride both up or down, I do not consider this section Mountain Biking.. If I did, this trail would be “Suicidal”

All the trails I rate are based on my opinion, and on how “comfortable” I was while riding it.

Hidden Valley and Moab Rim Trail

Hidden Valley and Moab Rim Trail

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The Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim is one of my Moab favorites. This trail offers fantastic scenery, a very remote feeling without being remote ( if anything goes wrong, it’s no more than a 1.5 hour walk to civilization).
The Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim trail offers everything the big trails offer, such as Porcupine. The trail can be looped, or as an out and back.
This trail offers the longest and steepest slickrock downhill section, almost a mile of solid mental 22 percent downhill.

Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town: Moab
Length: about 13 miles (14.3 miles if you visit the view point)
Trail Type: Loop or Out & Back
Skill Level: [what the books say] Technically extremely difficult to downright abusive. Physically difficult
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate. Physically moderate
Duration: 2-4 hours
Trailhead Elev: 4000 feet
Top Elev: 5400 feet

Book Description

If you are not a skilled mountain biker do not attempt this ride. Be sure to take lots of water. This trail can be ridden from Moab, as a loop or as a shuttled trip, in either direction. It has a brutal climb at the head and an equally brutal downhill at the tail anyway you slice it. The ride up from the northern end on the massive rock slab to the rim is one of the most difficult climbs I know of. The southern end is so technical that you are going to be walking the bike. The northern end can be ridden in its entirety, if you are very fit and very skilled. Trail Surface: Extremely rugged 4WD trail and a very technical singletrack that is only suitable for hiking–portage or risk bone damage. Huge ledges, sand, loose rock, and hardpack. Kayenta slab rock, Navajo sandstone.

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My Experience

Since I came to the USA 4 years ago, I have always spent the whole month of October and the first week of November in Moab. I always stay at the Moab Rim Camp Ground, and the Hidden Valley Trailhead is just 5 min. away. Hidden Valley and Moab Rim Trail was the first ever Moab trail I did, I enjoyed it the first time, and I enjoy it every single time. This trail is stunningly scenic, and apart from the 40 min. portage at the bottom of  Hidden Valley, it’s a pretty easy ride. This trail can be looped in 3 hours.

Conclussion

EXCELLENT fun and scenic ride with a remote feeling even though you are just miles from Moab, once on the Rim you feel like you are the only person on earth. Excellent Moab scenery. The climb and portage to Hidden Valley is brutal, but once that is behind you, it’s cool running’s.

Personally I DO NOT agree with the difficulty rating mentioned in the guide Books. Although the Downhill is absolutely mental, with a 22+ grade, it is actually manageable, I have managed it myself with just 2 “get offs”. However, if anything goes wrong on the downhill it will probably cost you and your bike dearly.

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : about 5 hikers
Wild Life : who needs wildlife on a ride like this!?
Scenery : Absolutely Fantastic 360 degree 3D Scenery
Other :  Be WELL prepared for punctures, carry spare tubes and a repair kit. This advice is for ALL Moab rides, not just this one.

My Trail Rating : 9.5 / 10

 


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Star Lake

Giant at Star Lake on the Heavenly Valley to Armstrong Pass Trail

After my 2 crashes on the Curly Lake trail in Montana in August I was really looking forward to getting back on the trails. This trail came highly recommended to me, as offering some of the best scenery in the Tahoe Basin. I was told that it was a very strenuous ride, but I was convinced I was up for it… Boy was I wrong, I got slaughtered on this trail!!

Trail map heavenly valley to armstrong

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby City: Minden

Length: 23.43 total miles

Trail Type: Point to Point

Skill Level: [ What the books say ] Aerobically: strenuous. Technical : easy to difficult (mostly moderate)

Skill Level: [ My opinion ] Aerobically: extremely strenuous. Technical : moderate / difficult

Duration: 5 – 7 hours [ my time ] 6.20 hours

Trailhead Elev: 7,500 feet

Top Elev: 9,000 feet

Book Description

This section of the Tahoe Rim Trail passes through some of the most scenic and wild country available to mountain bikers in California—and it’s also one of the least traveled. If you feel left out because you’re not allowed to ride your bike in wilderness areas or national parks, then this is the trail for you. Highlights: Views of Carson Valley, a pristine subalpine lake, a well-built trail, a wonderful wilderness feeling. No motorized vehicles are allowed on this trail.

My Experience

Although I had not been on the bike for a month due to some injuries I acquired on the Curly Lake Trail in Montana, I was pretty stoked and confident that I was up to doing this trail. I was warned that this trail was pretty strenuous, but that doesn’t mean much in most cases.

I was dropped off at 11.00 am the Stagecoach ski lift at Heavenly Valley, I planned to do the ride in about 5 hours, but luckily for me I made a calculation mistake, and told my girlfriend to pick me up at the Armstrong Trailhead at 5.00 pm, which gave me an extra hour… and boy did I need that extra hour!!

The trail starts at the ski lift with a moderate climb, nothing too serious, the first 2 miles were pretty well used by hikers. After the first mile the trail becomes very strenuous and rocky, and it continued to be very rough for the coming 6 miles, and I walked about 80% of this section, and even the walking was strenuous. It took this trail 20 min. to slap me in the face, and made it clear that I was bang out of shape, and this trail was just too strenuous.

Luckily for me, although the first 12 miles is uphill, it is not at all steep, it’s a gradual climb, and the scenery is just stunning.

Completely slaughtered I finally made it to Freel Pass… this is where the fun starts.. downhill all the way to the end!!

The downhill was absolutely superb, narrow rocky singletrack, with superb views. You will really want to open up on this section, but you will soon realize that, that is not a good idea, there is a lot of loose sand / gravel on the trail.
If you do not like narrow rocky singletracks with long drop-offs, then you should avoid this trail. There are also 2 extremely tight switchbacks on this section, hit these too fast, and you will have about 6 seconds to learn to fly, ‘cos it’s a hell of a long drop before hitting the ground.

From Freel Pass to Armstrong Pass is fantastic, but heading down the Armstrong Pass Trail is like a dream come true.. sweeeeet singletrack , smooth and rocky, fast and slow and everything else a mtb’er longs for.

Conclusion

The first 15 miles of this trail is just brutal, I don’t care how fit you are, or how technically gifted you think you are, you will spend a lot of time walking this section. Luckily it is not too steep, and it is very scenic.
The real fun starts at Freel Pass, from here it is 99% downhill or 1.5 hours of some fantastic downhill.

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : Groups of hikers at Heavenly and at Armstrong Pass

Wild Life : I did not see anything.

Scenery : excellent scenery

Other : Take extra water and energy nibbles.

My Trail Rating : 8.5 / 10

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