Does a first-time mountain biker belong here?
Absolutely if you know which trails to go on. Follow this itinerary, and youll not only enjoy some of the most magnificent scenery Moab famously has to offer, youll also get an introduction to the sport of mountain biking without feeling like you are in over your head.
Borrow, buy or rent an up-to-date mountain bike in good running condition. Get a full-suspension bike if you can, but at the very least you must have a front suspension fork. Get properly outfitted at any one of the many bike shops in town with sunscreen, shoes, shorts, gloves, a shirt, helmet and plenty of water. You should also get a map of the area showing the rides listed below.
Ride One - Hoorah Pass
Your first ride is Hoorah Pass, located just outside of town on Kane Creek Road. It's a relatively smooth out-and-back ride on a scenic gravel road that ascends to a nice overlook. There is nothing technically challenging on the Hoorah Pass road, so take this opportunity to get to know your mountain bike. Play around with the shifting and brakes, and practice getting in and out of your pedals. The climb out may seem long, so just put your bike in an easy gear and keep pedaling away. If you are already comfortable with your bike and are ready for a little more challenge you can skip this ride.
Ride Two - Gemini Bridges
Once you are comfortable with your setup, it's time to do Gemini Bridges. This ride can be done either as a shuttle or as an out-and-back. Again, you will be on a road wide enough for a Jeep, yet with considerably more obstacles and slickrock (sandstone) than the Hoorah Pass trail. When you arrive at a tricky section, try to stand up out of your saddle and keep your arms loose so you can absorb all the bumps underneath you as you glide over them. Be sure to stop and walk across the Gemini Bridges (technically speaking they are arches) for a snack and an amazing view. If you are doing this ride as an out-and-back, the bridges are your turnaround point.
Ride Three - Klondike Bluffs
After Gemini Bridges, you are ready for Klondike Bluffs. If you want to make the ride a little shorter you can drive right through the first gate and skip riding the long and somewhat boring road out to the second gate. From here, the trail is only a 6-mile round trip, and chock full of interesting and varied terrain, including patches of sand, slickrock, and dirt with some challenging sections. As soon as you hit the white slickrock, look for cairns (piles of rocks) marking dinosaur foot imprints to the left. These are some of the best dinosaur imprints in the area. At the top of the trail, take the short hike up into Arches National Park (no fee required) for some more spectacular views.