The Best Desert Getaways: 3. Moab, Utah

Escape to the red rocks

Pipe Dream Trail

Pipe Dream Trail in Moab     Photo: Sharon Hogan

“Moab is a very different place now than it was a few years ago,” says Scott Escott, He should know. As the trails coordinator for Grand County Trail Mix, a local non-profit organization that works closely with the BLM to design and build new mountain bike trails, Escott and his crew have already built more than 40 of the 150 miles of trails the BLM has approved in its resource management plan. One of the new additions, Pipe Dream, is a ten-mile trail accessible from town that follows the southwest ridgeline of the Moab Valley. Good news for advanced intermediate riders: Unlike the storied slickrock of Poison Spider, most of the new trails are less technical. Added bonus: There’s also the new North Moab Recreation Areas Alternative Transportation System, a paved bike path that allows for unmotorized access to all the public lands—like Arches National Park—north of Moab.

For details, visit discovermoab.com. For bike rentals, shuttles, and maps, check in with Poison Spider Bicycles. Camp in town at the tent-only, walk-in Up The Creek Campground (doubles, $30 per site). For a roof over your head, a kitchen to cook a hearty post-ride meal, and a place that welcomes dogs, book A Moab House (from $125 per night) right in town.

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