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THE ULTIMATE MOUNTAIN BIKE ADVENTURE - UMBA
umba

The Ultimate Mountain Biking Adventure (UMBA) is a 5 DAY day 165+ mile blitz across the most scenic terrain in Utah, from Natural Bridges all the way to Moab. The trip is a sag vehicle supported camping adventure where participants bike 30-45 miles each day through the best backcountry roads S.E. Utah has to offer.

Dates: To Be Determined
Cost$695(Special Rates available for past attendees.)

  • The Ultimate Mountain Biking Adventure (UMBA) is a 5 DAY day 165+ mile blitz across the most scenic terrain in Utah, from Natural Bridges all the way to Moab. The trip is a sag vehicle supported camping adventure where participants bike 30-45 miles each day through the best backcountry roads S.E. Utah has to offer.

    Although the emphasis on this ride is the incredible vistas afforded by this impressive region (numerous National Parks and scenic areas), riders will encounter some technical double track and should be comfortable on their bikes. This is participatory trip offered at a very reasonable price therefore participants should be ready and willing to help pack the truck and assist in cooking and cleaning.

    Space is limited by the gear carrying capacity of the sag vehicle and to those fit enough to accomplish this feat. For those ready, this WILL BE the Ultimate Mountain Biking Adventure!

  • The Ultimate Mountain Bike Adventure (UMBA):

    in South Eastern Utah

    On these tabs are descriptions of how we think each day will go. All mileage is approx. and has been taken from a variety of sources. Keep in mind that we can alter and adjust our trip to meet our specific group requirements and/or wished as the trip progresses. There are many side spurs for those wanting more mileage. We may also elect to do this trip BACKWARDS from this description depending on road washouts, group strength and other factors.

    If you own Todd Campbell’s book "Above and Beyond Slickrock" you can this route in his descriptions and maps for more clarity. This route description will start with a "T.C."

    Another good set of maps is the U.S. Geological Survey maps for Blanding and La Sal and Latitude 40 Moab West map. This route description will start with "Maps"

    It is possible to follow along with the Utah Atlas & Gazetteer although not nearly as clearly as the above options. The route description will start with "Gaz"

    If you don’t have any of the above then the summary description should give you a good idea what to expect from this combination of several great SE Utah rides. "Summary"

    Mountain Bike Adventure (UMBA):

    in South Eastern Utah

    Below are descriptions of how we think each day will go. All mileage is approx. and has been taken from a variety of sources. Keep in mind that we can alter and adjust our trip to meet our specific group requirements and/or wished as the trip progresses. There are many side spurs for those wanting more mileage. We may also elect to do this trip BACKWARDS from this description depending on road washouts, group strength and other factors.


    If you own Todd Campbell’s book "Above and Beyond Slickrock" you can this route in his descriptions and maps for more clarity. This route description will start with a "T.C."


    Another good set of maps is the U.S. Geological Survey maps for Blanding and La Sal and Latitude 40 Moab West map. This route description will start with "Maps"


    It is possible to follow along with the Utah Atlas & Gazetteer although not nearly as clearly as the above options. The route description will start with "Gaz"


    If you don’t have any of the above then the summary description should give you a good idea what to expect from this combination of several great SE Utah rides. "Summary"

  • DAY ONE:
    We will need this day to shuttle the vehicles and load up the truck so we can get an early start tomorrow. The ideal scenario would be for everyone to arrive at Grand Flats or Natural Bridges today. If you get there early there is a great paved loop around the Park with short side hikes into the canyons to see the many Natural Bridges. Bring a lock or drive. If we were packed up this evening we could leave early the in the morning.

    DAY TWO:(The trip officially begins here)
    Leave cars at the intersection of Highway 95 & 275 at Grand Flats.

    Summary:
    Start at 6800’ gaining approx. 1600’ in the 1st 7 miles to reach Elk Ridge at 8400’. We ride along Elk Ridge for 23 miles to Horse Mountain never dropping below 8200’ or going over 8800’ to the base of Horse Mountain. We may start up a parallel road climbing Burch Canyon meeting the main road just past Bears Ears adding about 1 mile. This smaller less traveled road may be nicer to ride.

    Total hours on the trail with rest: 8 hours.
    Total miles traveled: 40 +/-
    Total elevation: Gain 2000’ +/- (with up and down of 500’ – 1000’)

    Maps: (Start with the Blanding map lower left corner) Begin riding north up into the Manti La Sal National Forest up onto Maverick Point and through two prominent buttes called Bears Ears (6 miles & 1600’ gain.) Continue up onto South Elk Ridge for another 6 miles, bypassing Kigalia Point & Canyon spurs look for an obtuse left turn heading up Elk Ridge and toward North Elk Ridge & Duck Lake all the way to Horse Mountain where we will camp for the night.

    Gaz: (Start on page 22, upper left corner)

    Begin riding north up into the Manti La Sal National Forest up (228 Rd. & FR 088) onto Maverick Point and through Bears Ears. Turn right at Woodenshoe Rd. continuing on FR 088 turning left at an obtuse turn (staying on FR 088 which turns into Gooseberry Rd. Turn to page 30. Gooseberry Rd. turns into FR 091 & Alice Springs Rd. at Horse Mountain. We will camp somewhere near there.

    T.C.: (Go to the Elk Ridge ride on page 141)

    Follow the route on map A, B & C. We will be camping on the west side of Horse Mountain at approx. mile 30 (map C.)

    RIDING SURFACE: Packed sediments, rock-studded sediments and clay two-lane dirt roads all easily passable with two-wheel drive. There will be some traffic.

    OPTIONS: There are many side spurs to overlooks or out onto mesas.

    ATTRACTIONS: We cross over a "Notch" that gives up "competing views". The ride may be cool due to the elevation and time of year and the scrub oak and aspen may be in full fall color. This road accesses many canyon hikes and overlooks.  

  • DAY THREE:

    Summary:
    Start at 8500’ and head down 7 miles to the Beef Basin Rd. (7300’) heading into Beef Basin for 6 miles via House Park & Middle Park (6500’). From here we have many options for riding, hiking or hike-a-biking. The most likely route is to continue around a 14-mile loop into Ruin Park and back to Middle Park to camp.

    Total hours on the trail with rest: 6 hours.
    Total miles traveled: 33 +/-
    Total elevation: Lose 2000’ +/- (with up and down gains of 300’ - 600’)

    Maps: (Still on the Blanding map)

    From Horse Mountain heading nearly due north for 6-7 miles we then veer to the west past House Park Butte to Beef Basin. Here we ride around a couple of loops. One on the map another not, viewing Ancients ruins camping somewhere near the base of House Park Butte.

    Gaz: (Continue on page 30)

    From Horse Mountain we head north on Beef Basin Rd. (starts as FR 093 and becomes 104 RD.) The road turns west then south and around a loop with Ancients ruins on all sides camping somewhere near the spring at the start of the loop.

    T.C.: (Turn to the Beef Basin ride map C on page 168)

    In the far lower left corner of this map is Horse Mtn. and the word "point", we will be camping near there the night before. From there we head approx. 7 miles to mile marker 27.3 and on into map D, taking the (optional "longcut") loop around Beef Basin and Ruin Park camping somewhere in Middle Park below House Park Butte.

    RIDING SURFACE: Starts the same as day two turning into two-track jeep roads variably passable with two wheel drive vehicles. Beef Basin does not get much traffic.

    OPTIONS: There is an optional Beef Basin Trail 009 we could take to get us the same place with some added adventure. It starts from our campsite at Horse Mtn. and drops into Bull Canyon and crosses over to Beef Basin Wash to the start of the Beef Basin loop.

    ATTRACTIONS: There many, many ruins in this area. Some are shown on the map others are not. We could spend a lot of time riding and hiking to them given the group interest.

    DAY FOUR:

    Summary:
    Start at 6500’ and back track 10 miles and 1600’ gain to cross over Elk Ridge for the 8-mile descent to Cathedral Butte at 7000’. From here we ride down into Cottonwood Creek and 15 miles on gravel roads to the Redd (Dugout) Ranch and Highway 211 at 5400’. 5 – 6 miles of paved highway will take us to the first turn off to Lockhart Basin road at 4800’. (We could continue up the road another 3 miles to the main access) We will camp 4-5 miles up the Lockhart Basin road near Indian Creek & Harts Draw.

    Total hours on the trail with rest: 8 hours.
    Total miles traveled: 44 +/-
    Total elevation: Gain 1600’ +/-

    Lose 3300’ +/- (with up and down gains of 500’ - 1000’)

    Maps: (Start on the Blanding map riding into the La Sal map)

    We ride back out the way we came in heading toward Salt Creek Mesa and Cathedral Butte bypassing this one of several Bridger Jack Mesas down into North Cottonwood Creek. Open the La Sal map and follow our route north up to where North Cottonwood Creek runs into Indian Creek. This is where the Dugout Ranch is. We will get on the paved Highway 211, which heads north then west to the Canyonlands Nat. Park Needles District shown as Squaw Butte on this map. BEFORE entering the Park boundary we will turn onto the Lockhart Basin road which is the first right after getting the paved road.

    Gaz: (Still on page 30)

    We ride back out the way we came in heading toward Salt Creek Mesa and Cathedral Butte staying on Beef Basin road and FR 088 bypassing this one of several Bridger Jack Mesas down into North Cottonwood Creek on 104 RD all the way to the paved Highway 211. This is where the Dugout Ranch is. We will get on the highway, which heads north then west to the Canyonlands Nat. Park Needles District shown and Squaw Butte. BEFORE entering the Park boundary we will turn onto the Lockhart road, 122 RD, which is the first AND second right after getting the paved road.

    T.C.: (Page 169)

    Returning the way we came beginning at mile 33.2 on map D page 169 we count mileage backwards going out through House Park, over Elk Ridge around Boundary Butte (map C), around Cathedral Butte (map B) and down North Cottonwood Creek to the Dugout Ranch and Hwy. 211. From here go the Lockhart Basin ride on page 194 and map A on page 199. We are likely to turn about 3 miles earlier off of Hwy. 211 joining the Lockhart Basin road at about mile 5. You can see the spur road on map A section 36. We will camp before this point.

    RIDING SURFACES: Jeep road, then two-wheel drive clay & dirt road. The road along Cottonwood Creek is a wide gravel road. Paved highway to Lockhart where the jeep road begins again. There will be more traffic today.

    OPTIONS: Three miles into this day we have the option should we choose to save 3 miles of riding and 850’ of elevation if we want to follow a seldom used connector trail and jeep road. Oh, there is a short ¼ mile hike-a-bike to get there. There is also a short 4-mile (round trip) side trail at Cathedral Butte with great views of Salt & Lavender canyons.

    ATTRACTIONS: Fabulous views beginning at over 8000’ in the pinion & scrub oak forests down into the juniper forest and finally into the sage brush and cottonwood country of the Redd’s Dugout Ranch.

  • DAY FIVE:

    Summary:


    Start at 4800’ riding up and down the Lockhart Basin road to somewhere near Chicken Corners approx. 33 miles away at 4200’. This is a mildly rough and rugged road that begins to where you out after so many miles.

    Total hours on the trail with rest: 6 hours.
    Total miles traveled: 33 +/-
    Total elevation: Lose 600’ +/- (with up and down gains of 100 - 300’)

    Maps:

    (West Moab map)

    As we ride up the Lockhart road we will be below a very steep cliff with a flat mesa on top. You will see a main road going out to an overlook on the mesa at elevation 1919 meters. This is the Needles Overlook. Now open your West Moab map and find this overlook at the bottom near the right corner. Below the overlook is the Lockhart Basin Trail/Road. We will ride through Lockhart Basin and under the Canyonlands Overlook.

    Gaz:

    (Still on page 30)

    Continuing up the Lockhart Road, 122 RD, past Lockhart Canyon all the way to the Colorado River. We will camp somewhere before we get to the river.

    T.C.:

    (Lockhart Basin ride maps A-C)

    Follow the route from map A to map C. We will camp somewhere around mile mark 34.1.

    RIDING SURFACES: All jeep roads beginning with dirt & gravel surface giving way to ledgy rough surfaces that can wear you down after so many miles.

    OPTIONS: There are several spurs and side roads we can take for extra mileage.

    ATTRACTIONS: This is very remote country with great views across the Colorado River basin to the White Rim. We not see any other vehicle or people while here and will be "on our own."

    DAY SIX:

    Summary:


    Start at 4200’ following along side the Colorado River (sometimes in view) all the way to Jackson Hole. On the far side of Jackson Hole we will give our bikes a break and return their favor by carrying them up Jacob’s Ladder 350’ to the top of Amasa Back. We will ride out to a great overlook before the ride down Amasa Back to the Kane Creek road, which is one of the best down hill, rides in the Moab area. From here we ride out the gravel road to the paved highway and back to Moab. The trip ends here in Moab but we will need to complete the shuttle and get the vehicles left at Grand Flats.

    Total hours on the trail with rest: 4 hours.
    Total miles traveled: 23 +/-
    Total elevation: gain 500’ +/- (with up and down gains of 100 - 200’)

    loss 500’

    Maps:

    (Moab West)

    Riding along the Colorado River take the left turn onto Jackson Hole Trail where we will go around the east side of the butte in the middle of Jackson Hole to the hike up Jacob’s Ladder and up onto Amasa Back trail. First we will ride to the west to get the views and rides some slick rock before heading down Amasa Back and taking the Kane Creek road to Moab.

    Gaz:

    (Page 30)

    We will ride along the Colorado River north bypassing the turn off to Hurrah Pass. This road is not on the Gazetteer but if you keep north on this map crossing over into Grand County you will see Jackson Hole. Behind and north of Jackson Hole we hike up to Amasa Back and ride Amasa back down into Kane Creek Rd. to the east taking this road to Moab. This section of the trail does not show up well on the Gazetteer but is a great ride.

    T.C.:

    (Lockhart map C)

    The route follows along side the Colorado River on map C. On map D at mileage 38.5 we will turn north toward Jackson Hole. Turn to page 257 for the route description and page 262 for the map. Mileage mark 16.9 is the same turn off. Follow this route around to the north of Jackson Hole to mileage mark 23 where the hike-a-bike begins. Once up on top of Amasa Back we will ride west to the overlooks and then back east and down the road to the Kane Creek Road and into to Moab.

    ROAD SURFACES: Smooth jeep trails to sandy jeep trails to a rocky hike to a rocky ride down to a gravel road to a paved road to the nearest good bar and restaurant.

    OPTIONS: We could ride up Hurrah Pass bypassing the Gonzo Jacob’s Ladder (this is the route the truck will take.) This adds a 750’ elevation gain in 1.5 miles on the bike but is 1 mile shorter overall. The ride from Hurrah Pass to the paved road is 10 miles of moderately traveled graded gravel.

    ATTRACTIONS: Jackson Hole is the result of an ancient riverbed that changed directions. This section of trail extends our very isolated desert experience as it is unlikely we will see other riders on this section (at least until we get on Kane Creek road.) Fabulous views from the top of Amasa Back.

    DAY SEVEN:

    Pack up and head home. If you are staying longer Josh & Rick would be willing to take you to one of our favorite rides near Moab. There are many options.

    TOTAL MILES: 160 +/-
    TOTAL ELEVATION GAIN: 6200’
    TOTAL ELEVATION LOSS: 8600’