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Munds Wagon Trail

Munds Wagon Trail offers some of the finest views you will ever get to experience on an mtb trail.

 

The Munds Wagon Trail became one of my all time favorite trails last year, and I was really looking forward to riding this gem again.
Last year I went UP Munds, and continued UP Schnebly, while climbing Schnebly I was already planning coming down this section, next time I was in Sedona.. Well, I was back, and I was planning on sticking to my plan I made a year previous. 

However, this time the ride nearly went pear shaped because of  a tiny piece of rubber.

 

Trail Stats & Information

 

Munds Map

 

Nearby Town : Sedona
Length: 11.24 miles
Trail Type: Lollipop
Skill Level: [what the books say] no info
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically difficult. Physically very demanding
Duration
: My time was 04:01:40
Elev Gain
: 2,163 feet
Top Elev : 6,219 feet
Min. Elev : 4,437 feet

 

Book Description

I could not find any Mtb Trail books describing the Munds Wagon Trail and Schnebly Hill Trail, so the below descriptions are based on my personal experience :

>> Munds Wagon Trail : 4 miles ( one way) of sweet scenic and fairly technical singletrack through stunning scenery. The trail is in excellent condition and easy to follow. The rewards are among the best, but you will have to work hard to earn them.

>> Schnebly Hill Trail : At the top of Munds Wagon Trail you will probably think the views cannot get any better.. well think again, the climb continues, and so do the stunning views. The first mile is an excellent narrow “chicken head” singletrack that takes you to the very top of the rim.. Now you are at the Top of the World!!..
Although the trail does continue to “Jacks Can Trail” .. My route took me onto a ( very nice) 4 wheel drive trail and back to Schnebly Hill Road, that then picks up the “Munds Wagon Trail ” for a “Gauntlet” ride back to the Trailhead.

 

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My Experience

I was at the Munds Wagon Trailhead at about 8.am, and there was already a handful of cars parked there. I knew this didn’t really didn’t mean much, ‘cos there are a handful of trails that start here.  As it turned out, this was the least of my worries.

After getting my steed and myself ready for the ride, my Camelbak mouth piece sprung a leak, and there was no way I could leave with a leaking mouth piece, and of all the spare parts I carry, I did not have a spare mouth piece on me. I have numerous spare Camelbak’s, but they were in Cottonwood, 35 min away.

I decided to call it a day, and head back to Cottonwood. Luckily I decided to take a chance, and drive by the bike shop, in the hope they would be open… Luckily for me they were, and I got a new mouth piece, and headed back to the trail.

Again it was a fantastic and scenic ride, easily one of the most scenic trails.

 

Conclusion

Just like 2010, I climbed Munds Wagon Trail, this time around I felt it was not as strenuous as last year, however there are some very technical and physically demanding stretches. This time around however, at the top of Munds, instead of continuing the climb up Schnebly Hill, I followed the road up for about 2 miles.  Just past the scenic view point  on Schnebly road, I veered off onto the excellent 4 wheel drive route. Follow this 4 wheel drive route for about another 2 miles until your reach the very scenic rim.
 
From here, you can enjoy the views, and prepare yourself  for a fantastic 6 mile downhill ride of your life, the first 2 downhill miles on the VERY narrow and bumpy Schnebly Hill singletrack.

Munds Wagon Trail and Schnebly Hill Trail is without doubt one of the best and scenic trails in the USA.

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : A handful of hikers on the first mile of the trail
Wild Life : Too much scenery to notice any wildlife
Scenery : The Best!!
Getting There : West Trailhead From the junction of Routes 89A and 179, take 179 south 0.3 miles. Turn left on Schnebly Hill Road just across the Oak Creek Bridge and go .08 miles to the Huckaby/Margs Draw Trails parking area on the left.
Other : Carry extra fluids, suncream and lipbalm.

 

My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 with a GOLD STAR

 

History of Munds Wagon Trail

In the late 1800s, rancher Jim Munds ushered his cattle to the lush mountain meadows on the Mogollon Rim along this very same Bear Wallow Canyon route. In 1896, Munds launched a construction project that by 1902 had transformed the rough, steep trail into a wagon road that made it much easier for Verde Valley homesteaders to bring produce and livestock to market in Flagstaff.
When the road up Oak Creek Canyon opened in 1914, Munds Wagon Rd. was displaced as the primary route from Sedona to Flagstaff. With the construction of the current Schnebly Hill Rd. in the 1930s, the older Munds Wagon Rd. was neglected and fell into disrepair. In recent years, the National Civilian Community Corps and U.S. Forest Service restored the trail, now recognized as historic by the state.
With no cattle to mind, those who hoof it today can focus on amazing views of Mitten Ridge and the Munds Mountain wilderness. The roughly four-mile (one-way) trek takes you past the “Cowpies” and Merry-Go-Round Rock before connecting with Schnebly Hill Trail. Look also for original retaining walls built by the pioneers; many are still standing.
 
 
Pipe Dream Moab
Pipe Dream Moab

The new Pipe Dream Trail in Moab, a fantastic singletrack that starts in downtown Moab

 

Last year October this trail did not exist, and I was pleasantly surprised to have a +10 mile singletrack at my doorstep. I did the Pipe Dream all the way, from Hidden Valley to Aspen Street and back. Having the smell of Burger King follow me all the way was not easy, knowing that it would only be a 5 min detour to add Burger King or McDonalds to the trail. This time I did not give in to temptation, but it was very difficult.

 Pipe Dream Trail Map

Trail Stats & Information Pipe Dream  

Nearby Town: Moab

Length: about 12.00 miles as an out & back

Trail Type: Out & Back

Skill Level: [what the books say] No info

Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate. Physically moderately demanding.

Duration: about 3 hours

Trailhead Elev: 4,428 feet

Top Elev: 4,663 feet

 

 

Book Description

New trail, so not yet listed in any books, the below is a description based on my opinion.

The Pipe Dream is a nice moderately technical singletrack that can be started at numerous places. The full Pipe Dream runs from Moab [ Aspen Street ] to the Hidden Valley Trailhead. The trail is well marked, it’s definitely not a fast trail, but it is definitely a trail that should be on the list of anyone riding the Moab Trails.

 

 My Experience

For the past 5 years I have spent the whole month of October in Moab, I always stay at the Moab Rim Campark. As many know, the Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim Trail is one of my favorite Moab rides. Moab Rim Campark is literally just 10 min. ride to the Hidden Valley Trailhead, following the “Under the Wires” trail.

I was pleasantly surprised this year to find a new trail starting ( or finishing) at the Hidden Valley Trailhead.. The Pipe Dream.

The Pipe Dream was officially opened on June 17th 2011, so it really is a brand new Trail.
The trail is very well built, and runs the whole length at the foot of the Hidden Valley and Moab Rim. The trail is far from being flat, and is no means a fast flowing trail. I started the ride directly from Moab Rim Campark at about 10 am on a Monday. I was pretty surprised at the number of riders already on the trail, it is clear that the Pipe Dream is already a very popular trail.

The ride from Hidden Valley to Moab Aspen Street, is a lot easier than from Aspen Street to Hidden Valley. Technically both directions are moderately technical, however physically the ride to Hidden Valley is a lot more strenuous, due to more climbing.

 

Conclusion

The people that built the Pipe Dream did a fantastic job, the singletrack winds itself around, under and over some unbelievable rocky terrain. It’s a great slow and moderately technical trail, that offers a lot of options. Out and Back from downtown Moab, but for the real “grinderz” among us, it can form a fantastic loop with Hidden Valley and Moab Rim.
It’s already clear that the Pipe Dream is a huge success, and is becoming very popular, very quick.

 

  Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : For a weekday, It was moderately busy

Wild Life : a snake

Scenery : Really nice scenery.

Other : Have not done it myself, but the Pipe Dream can be a great option to loop the Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim. Physically extremely demanding, but it would make a hell of a loop none the less.

 

My Trail Rating : 7 / 10

 

Moab Rim CamparkThis Pipe Dream 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 Pipe Dream Trail starts from your campsite. Moab Rim Campsite has been recommended by “Mountain Bike Mayhem” 4 years running. Mountain Bikers get 10% discount, just bring your bike(s) and mention MOUNTAIN BIKE MAYHEM For more info vist : Moab Rim Campark  

 

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

 

Moab Rim CamparkThis Hidden Valley onto Moab 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 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 Hidden Valley onto Moab Rim Trail starts 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



 

 

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.