Dead Horse Point State Park: Full Loop

Moab

Intermediate-friendly trails with classic Moab flavor offering stunning views of the Colorado River.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
25 km
Ascent
285 m
Descent
285 m
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Dead Horse Point State Park: Full Loop Map

Description

"Dead Horse Point State Park is one of Utah’s most spectacular state parks," according to DiscoverMoab.com. "The view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the overlook provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonlands’ sculpted pinnacles and buttes."

In addition to the iconic Dead Horse Point vista, this area is now home to some of the most beginner-friendly trails in Moab. The trails themselves reach beautiful viewpoints along the rim of the gorge for a more immersive Dead Horse Point experience.

These trails also serve as a great primer for beginner and early intermediate riders looking for a taste of Moab mountain biking. With low slickrock slabs, flowy singletrack, and the occasional rock garden mixed in, this is still true desert mountain biking.

The trail network at Dead Horse Point offers 16.6 miles of mountain bike trails currently, and the loop shown here circumnavigates the entire system. However, numerous connectors and cross trails exist, meaning that beginners can easily create a much shorter ride option.

The route as mapped progresses from the easiest trails to the more difficult trails in the network. Raven Roll and Great Pyramid are quite easy, and then Big Chief ratchets the difficulty up a notch. The recommended beginner route simply loops these three trails, as seen here.

When you cross the road, the trail difficulty ratchets up a notch, earning this route its "Difficult" FATMAP rating, or 3 out of 5. On the western side of the road, the rock ledges grow in size, with some chunky downhills and steep, ledgy climbs. More alt lines also open up, and advanced riders will be able to huck several small to medium-sized ledge drops (although the landings are all quite flat).

Is this the most difficult riding in Moab? By no means... but many beginner riders won't be able to cope with these obstacles right out of the gate. However, for intermediate riders, these rock ledges on moderate grades provide a fantastic training ground to level up their skills and get used to the many challenges posed by Moab's rocky terrain.

The fantastic views continue on this side of the mesa as well, offering up an entirely different perspective as your view shifts from the La Sals and instead faces towards Canyonlands National Park. Enjoy the fantastic scenery—it's truly some of the best in the world!

Sources: http://discovermoab.com/mountainbiking/#dead-horse https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse/intrepid-trail/

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area