Mag 3 Shuttle

Moab

A shorter, more accessible version of the full Mag 7 shuttle.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
39 km
Ascent
296 m
Descent
910 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
Mag 3 Shuttle Map

Second only to The Whole Enchilada, Magnificent 7 is one of the best-known shuttle rides in Moab. While there's no doubt that The Whole Enchilada is brutally challenging, if anything, the entire Mag 7 is more so. While technically a "shuttle run," Mag 7 requires a ton of pedaling to complete, with some significant climbing. And yet, this is undoubtedly NOT a cross-country trail. Bring all of your suspension—you're going to need it.

Description

Due to the incredible difficulty of the full Magnificent 7, most people don't actually complete it. To finish the ride, you'll have to pedal past many signs saying things like, "need an exit? Take this left turn to get down to Hwy 191 and Moab." Or, "Need to turn around? Go back the way you came."

And so, most people do take the exit to Hwy 191 and then coast back down to Moab. There's no shame in this, as it's still a highly-rewarding mountain bike ride. Most people refer to this shorter version of the route as "Mag 3." Some call it "Mag 5," but whatever you call it, it's shorter than Mag 7.

Mag 3 Route

Mag 3, as mapped here, follows the Getaway Trail to Bull Run, then Arth's Corner, and finally departs from the gnar via the Gemini Bridges 4x4 road. Gemini Bridges pops out close to the main Moab Brand Trailhead, so if you're self-shuttling this route instead of using a commercial shuttle, you can easily stage the lower pickup vehicle at this point. Staging a vehicle at Moab Brand would cut out almost 10 miles of pavement riding, reducing the route length to about 15.5 miles instead of 24.4.

Mag 3 Ride Quality

The progression of trails on Mag 3 is absolutely superb! Getaway begins with a fast, swoopy descent on manicured singletrack interspersed with entertaining rock slabs and the occasional ledge.

When you turn onto Bull Run, the ride earns its "Severe" rating. This stretch of singletrack is dramatically rougher and more technical than what came before. However, thanks to the high-quality trail construction, competent intermediate riders will be able to pick through the chunk on Bull Run, while at the same time, advanced riders will be able to blast off of ledges and rumble through the chunder at top speed!

For an easier alternative, you could also opt to continue following Getaway all the way to Arth's Corner, but the lower sections of Getaway are a bit dull. Bull Run is highly recommended.

After Bull Run, there are two different options to finish Mag 3: Arth's Corner or Little Canyon. Little Canyon is an excellent trail, but Arth's Corner is a hidden gem that doesn't see much traffic. This fabulous trail snakes its way around beautiful rims and ledges, with a few chunky, fast descents mixed in. The technicality of this trail ranks between Getaway and Bull Run, but the intriguing feeling of exploring this remote region of the desert is a true joy to experience!

Finally, the ride finishes on Gemini Bridges Road, a 4x4 road that alternates between sand pits and rough rocks, with one stiff climb mixed in. Once you get off the dirt, either connect with your shuttle vehicle at Moab Brand if you self-shuttled, or if you took the commercial shuttle, coast down the paved bike path all the way into the town of Moab.

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

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

Features

  • Technical
  • Shuttle-run
  • Singletrack
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area