Wheels Up

Jun 1, 2005
Outside Magazine
Moab mountain biking

From the slopes to the slickrock: Reaching Moab    Photo: iO2

With enough vertical feet and hundred-mile views to keep your blood pumping for a week, the Telluride-to-Moab mountain-bike route stands handlebars and stem above your usual summer ride. Operated by privately owned San Juan Hut Systems, this 215-mile route lets you and up to seven pals pedal from the San Juans' 14,000-foot peaks and spruce-carpeted slopes down to the twisting canyons of Utah's red-rock country. No need to pack heavy—each night you'll stay in a one-room wooden hut stocked with sleeping pads and bags (just bring your own liner) and enough bacon, eggs, pasta, and beer to keep everyone in the group satisfied. The seven-day, six-night route—which follows mostly doubletrack fire roads—is open every summer from June 1 to October 1 and costs $553 per person. Go between mid-June and early July, when storms are less likely, and you can catch the lupines and Indian paintbrush in bloom. On the final descent into Moab, opt for the more challenging Porcupine Rim Trail, then stash your bike and head over to the Moab Brewery for a patio pint of Dead Horse Ale and a view of the La Sal Mountains, which cradle the last of the hard miles you just rode. 970-626-3033, www.sanjuanhuts.com