At Cycleshack we have a strong history of biking trips, especially to Moab in Utah which some would call the world capital of mountain biking. Your author has just been out to Moab to check out some of the trails in advance of this year’s usual autumn trip, and I’ve chosen Getaway in the Magnificent Seven trail area as my favourite ‘flow’ trail.
Driving north from Moab on Highway 191 takes you past Arches National Park and some huge bright red rock walls which are characteristic of this area. After just five minutes turn left at the dinosaurs (yes, the dinosaurs) and head out up the canyon on the road towards Canyonlands National Park. The roadside scenery is jaw-dropping in itself, passing huge towers and rock walls before eventually levelling out to a plateau with views of the La Sal Mountains and the incredible rock formations of the area. Find the Gemini Bridges Trailhead on the left, just a rough dirt car park, and get the bikes ready!
Starting at the parking area at the top of Gemini Bridges Road, the trail rapidly shows itself as a beautiful series of flowy bends weaving through the desert cactus and trees; the surface a perfect hard-packed sand. The first couple of miles are very similar with flow sections followed by short flat areas of slickrock – the perfect surface for quick decision making without too much objective danger – only a few death-defying drops here and there.
The La Sal Mountains in the background, home of the Whole Enchilada, are always in the corner of your eye and provide a magnificent backdrop to the ride. After a couple of miles the trail becomes more rocky, dropping down several ledges and switchbacks into a longer slickrock area with some minor technical obstacles – but none especially hard except for Adam Falshaw Rock – a six inch devil of a drop…
The next section opens out into sandy desert with fast, swooping trail and wide landscapes to end up at the Gemini Bridges, a local landmark of twin rock arches. Hopefully you’ll have previously left a car here by shuttling down Gemini Bridges Road, or maybe you’ll do one of the alternative finishes. You could continue from the car park across the road and join the Great Escape, finishing down Gemini Bridges Road to the parking lot on Highway 191, or maybe finish the Magnificent Seven if you’re doing this ride as a part of that epic. Either way, Getaway will have been a delight to ride on the way – 8 miles or so of the smoothest yet most varied riding you’ll do anywhere.
Check out Getaway on MTB Project at: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/199492/getaway
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