Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
As one of the original mountain bike destinations, most of the best-known classic mountain bike routes in Moab are actually motorized routes.
In the case of Slickrock, it was motorcycles.
In the case of Amasa Back, it was (and still is) 4x4 jeeps.
While of course motorcycles and all manner of offroad vehicles also attempt Amasa Back, this is a classic, gnarly Moab jeep route that is now just as renowned for mountain biking. While a wealth of top-notch singletrack has been built around the iconic Amasa Back road (check out Hymasa -> Captain Ahab and Rockstacker -> Jackson’s), many riders still choose to ride the road—either as a climb to get to the singletrack, or as an out-and-back ride on its own.
Despite being a wide 4x4 road, it’s a ripping-fun descent on the way back down. This ripping-fun is provided by all manner of rocks—rock gardens, rock slabs, rock rolls, rock ledges… you name it, Amasa Back has it.
There are even some serious ledge drops of 8-10 feet in height if you have the cojones, but of course with a trail tread this wide, there are always some ride arounds.
Some of these ledges make for challenging climbing and some hike-a-bike, but since jeeps do manage to get up this road, there’s usually a pedalable line to be found somewhere. Up high, the grade of the road mellows out as it skirts along a sheer cliff face that drops over a thousand feet straight down.
While the 4x4 track is wide, this section is still seriously exposed, mandating caution.
The views from the rim are downright jaw dropping, though, so be sure to pack a camera!