Abajo Mountains to Moab MTB Tour
Abajo Mountains to Moab MTB Tour: Highlights
The Sierra Abajo Mountains to Moab tour is a point-to-point excursion that covers some of the most…
…terrain Utah can serve up. Remote is a word that barely scratches at the surface of describing this combined mountain and desert landscape. Starting high in the mountains, riders are treated with cooler temps, the pungent smell of pine, and the sound of the breeze in the trees. After pedaling the Abajo Mountains alpine coaster, riders rocket out of the mountains on a massive descent only to find themselves riding alongside the weird, warm, and wonderful landscape that is Utah’s Needles district and the Colorado River. The rugged jeep roads, with a few short and walk-able exceptions, are not super technical but do offer up some really fun opportunities for putting a mountain bike to work.
This tour’s itinerary is essentially the same as the last four days of our
If you have more time, consider joining us for a larger enchilada.
NEWS: On December 27th, 2016 much of the terrain that our Trans-Utah MTB tour passes through was declared the Bear’s Ears National Monument by President Obama. This is a magnificent region of redrock cliffs, mysterious canyons and stone silence.
YouTube – Celebrate Bears Ears: Welcome to our New National Monument!
Abajo Mountains to Moab MTB Tour: Tour Dates
Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891
2017 Spring Tour Dates
2017 Autumn Tour Dates
NOTE: The dates listed below are for 2018
2018 Spring Tour Dates
2018 Autumn Tour Dates
Abajo Mountains to Moab MTB Tour: Overview
Arrival Town/Airport: Grand Junction, Colorado (Grand Junction Regional Airport – GJT)
Departing Town/Airport: Grand Junction, Colorado (Grand Junction Regional Airport – GJT)
Tour Length: 4-Days Cycling
Total Miles: 125 miles (additional mileage options available)
Mileage Range: 21-50 miles
Ability Level: 2/3 (Intermediate to Advanced)
Tour Cost: $1,250 per person. Group discount of 5% for groups of 4 or more.
Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.
Tour Includes: 4-days of guide service, all meals, forest service fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental and massage are additional.
Bike Rental: Includes free rental of a Scott 720 Genius Plus bike (a.k.a. Chubby Bike) while supplies last as sizing is limited. Scott 720 Genius Plus bikes are included as first come first serve and sizing is limited to Small, Medium, Large and XL. The cost of the tour does not change if one’s sizing is not available or if one chooses to use their own bike.
Rental Tent, Ground Pad and Sleeping Bag: $85 – Lizard Head Cycling offers late model camping gear rentals. The rental tent is a 3-person Sierra Design tent (sleeps 2 comfortably). The ground pads are 1.5 inches thick and our synthetic sleeping bags are rated for 20 degrees (so you’ll feel warm & comfy in the wilderness). **Al la Carte tent rental is $55.
Meals On Tour
Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients. Guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu: including appetizer, salad, entree and of course dessert... yum! Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post ride element.
Lunches on Tour: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and of course plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works for you during the week. Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!
Overall Route Map
Abajo Mountains to Moab MTB Tour: Itinerary
*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.
Day 1: The Causeway
21 miles with up to 2,925 feet of climbing
On the morning of the tour’s first day, we’ll meet early at the meeting hotel in Grand Junction, Colorado, do a quick orientation and then shuttle about 3½ hours to our starting point. En route, we’ll stop at the Peace Tree Juice Café, Moab’s infamous smoothie shop, for lunch.
The riding begins in the Sierra Abajo mountains among big ponderosa pine trees and the smell of vanilla. The improved forest service road is known as The Causeway and is exposed at times to big drop offs and even bigger views, but receives very little if any traffic. A few miles in, we’ll take a quick break at the Skull and Cross Bones pass, a narrow path between two HUGE canyons, before one last super-fast downhill section. Then it’s all uphill for the last 10 miles of the day on a fun, but sustained, hill climb.
Our climb finishes atop of Elk Ridge, a high plateau in the mountains. From here we duck in to the shelter of the trees where riders are greeted with post-ride hors d’oeuvres, beverages and a warm fire.
Day 2: Elk Ridge to Needles
50 miles with up to 1,190 feet of climbing
DOWN DOWN DOWN. This 50 mile day is literally all downhill… except for the up. 🙂
After a mighty coffee call that echoes through the forest trees and a hearty breakfast, we’ll saddle up for a massive day of descent (over 4,000′) out of the mountains and back into the desert. On the way we’ll stop to look down into the Needles District of the Canyonlands. As we continue to descend, the Ponderosa begin to give way to desert Junipers and Indian Paintbrush. The route begins to taper off about 30 miles in and at this point Six Shooter Peak and the massive walls of Indian Creek will reveal themselves – the splitter cracks in these walls attracts rock climbers from all over the world. Our route travels briefly along HWY 211, the only pavement our mighty steeds will see on this tour, before heading north into Lockhart Basin. From here the riding slowly transforms into fun sections of slick rock and a number of washes.
We’ll camp with the Needles overlook towering above us and the Abajo mountains from where we just came off in the distance. And if the evening is clear, we’ll see stars in ways that some will never experience.
Day 3: Lockhart Basin
30 miles with up to 1,800 feet of climbing
In the morning we’ll wake up to a coliseum of glowing orange rock and blue sky. Today’s ride, while having the least amount of vertical gain and loss, does offer the most exciting riding. The ride is not overly technical, but it is LOTS of fun. The rollercoaster-like road dives, dips and climbs alongside a cliff band that parallels the Lockhart Canyon and the Colorado River. The few short technical sections will pose a formidable challenge for riders of all ability levels, but are also short in duration and can be easily walked. The White Rim trail can be seen across the river, but with as much excitement and as little traffic as Lockhart provides, you’ll quickly understand why this route is our little secret.
Just before the final miles of the ride, the hardest section, known as the keyhole, provides some of the best riding on the tour and ensures that very few vehicles are able to go where we just biked. 🙂 Being that the same is true of our support rig, we’ll say farewell in the morning and plan to meet the mothership again in camp. Tonight’s camp sits directly above the east side of the Colorado river and, when conditions are appropriate, a fantastic dip provides the perfect way to wind down the day.
Day 4: Hurrah Pass to Moab
21 miles with up to 1,700 feet of climbing
That’s the name of the pass we must overcome before our tour comes to a close. After an energy packed breakfast, we’ll say goodbye to the Colorado River and enjoy a few more cruiser twists and dives before arriving at the base of the day’s biggest challenge. The 1000′ ascent of Hurrah pass is short, but plenty challenging and exposed with big views looking down onto the Colorado River and one of Utah’s major solar energy projects. The summit can actually be a bit chilly, and as such we’ll only stay long enough to snap a few photos before starting the big descent down the other side.
BUT WAIT, THERES MORE!
After descending this massive hill, many riders think they are scott free, but one last 300′ hill ensures that riders will have more than earned the super scenery along the way. The finish line is the Moab Brewery parking lot. Here we’ll have a hearty lunch and a couple of celebratory brews before embarking on the 1½ hour shuttle back to the meeting hotel in Grand Junction, Colorado.
NOTE: Guests may wish to stay in Moab for a few days following this tour to ride on the many excellent mountain biking trails this area offers and to enjoy the mountain bike culture of Moab. However, guests will be on their own for accommodations and for transportation back to Grand Junction.
Abajo Mountains to Moab MTB Tour: Logistics & FAQs
Lizard Head Cycling recommends shipping with BikeFlights.com. Bikes can be shipped either to our partner bike shop in each meeting town for professional assembly or directly to the meeting hotel for self-assembly. Bike boxes can generally be left at the meeting hotel during the tour. Bikes shipped across the continental US should be shipped 8 days prior to your tour.
Meals: Guides in camp will prepare all meals. Meals include: Dutch oven lasagna, wild salmon, grilled chicken, salads, quinoa, fruits and lots of seasonal veggies. Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form. Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contains gluten free options.
Ride Difficulty: This custom tour is designed for Intermediate/Advanced cyclists with various levels of fitness. Each day there are additional mileage options for advanced riders.
Tour Support: An off-road vehicle that carries luggage, food and equipment will support this tour. On the remote singletrack trails cyclists ride with their lunch and water in their packs.
General Tour & Cancellation Policies
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.
Lizard Head Cycling Guides teams up with Seven Corners for travel insurance. Seven Corners offers:
- Travel Medical
- Medical Evacuation
- 24/7 Assistance
- Trip Cancellation
Be sure to go to our custom Seven Corners portal by clicking this link or by clicking the the banner on the right after confirming your tour with us to get a quote on travel insurance.