There are two directions to do this 62-mile loop. The advantages of going clockwise are getting the section along the Colorado River done early in the morning before there is traffic, also, the climbing is not as intense but the descents are harder. If you go counter clockwise, the climbing is harder. Either way, it is a killer workout if you are a fit, experienced cyclist.
What Makes It Great
This is a long ride, through a visual feast of beauty. If done clockwise it starts with a ride out of town on 191 to the Colorado River, take a right on 128, known as River Road. Follow River Road 17-mile ride along a magical section of the Colorado River surrounded by sandstone walls. The route then climbs through the incredible Castle Valley passing Castleton Tower on the left, and up into the La Sal Mountains that reach to 12,000 ft. above the sandstone, red rock playground that surrounds Moab. From there it is a downhill ride towards Ken’s Lake and finished into town along Spanish Valley Drive.
Every year Poison Spider Bicycles sponsors the Gran Fondo Moab. It is not a sanctioned race, but has a mass start and results will be broken into age classes. Check their website for dates and more information. A portion of the registration fees goes to Moab Trail Alliance who works to expand cycling opportunities in Grand County.
Who is Going to Love It
This is a 62-mile ride with 5,500ft of climbing. Best to be done in the spring and fall as summer, unless you are a super fast rider will cook you. Check with Poison Spider about winter road closures. This is not a beginner ride. This ride is for experienced road bikers. The roads can be rough, the descents hard and the traffic along the Colorado River is not a place you want to be distracted.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are several places to park depending on your starting clockwise or counter clockwise. There is plenty of parking in town, or at the Visitor’s Center and there is the new Lions Park Trail Hub at the junction of 191 and River Road. There are no fees to do this ride.