Day 12 - The Whole Enchilda - Mountain bike ride, Moab (UT)

I got up early and packed some of my gear in the SUV, then had another full cooked breakfast at the breakfast buffet at the residence Inn. The 1 bed studio I had stayed in had been great very comfortable and quiet - it was quite expensive compared to other places I had stayed in Grand Junction before, but was much better than say the La Quinta. I packed up the last of my gear and hit the road for Moab which I had to get to for 9.00am where I was going to Meet Tom & Bill from Gunnison at the Chili Pepper bike shop for our Whole Enchilda Shuttle.
I made sure I kept to the speed limits as I headed into Moab , as the last time i'd driven through I'd been stopped for speeding 8-(. But I got to the Chili Pepper bike shop on time, and we got our bikes and gear ready.
There had been a mix up with our booking and initially our bikes got loaded onto the wrong Coyote shuttle bus, but after a couple of phone calls we got things sorted out and had a shuttle van to our selves to take us up to Burro Pass. The shuttle cost $25 each - which considering how long the drive was - was good value for money.
It was a long drive up to the start of the ride, Initially we drove up the La Sal Loop Road, and then we cut off on a rougher dirt road to get to the start of the Ride at Geyser Pass Summit.
There was only one bad thing about the shuttle and that was how the bikes were held onto the roof. The bikes were secure by their cranks , and my XTR cranks got badly worn on both edges as my bike joggled around on the journey up. If you use this shuttle take duct tape with you and tape up your cranks before you load them on the shuttle.
We started riding at 10:31 and from geyser Pass we headed down hill on a dirt road for just over a mile before turning left to start heading up to the Trail Head following an old jeep track. At about 1.7 miles we came to the trail head. The views up this high were great we were very lucky with the weather it was just about perfect.


From the Whole Enchilda trail head we started to head up singletrack to Burro Pass, It was hard work cycling up hill as the air was pretty thin this high up.
The riding was pretty special with great views, and challenging up hill singletrack. Hike a bike was a times inevitable, as the trail got pretty steep and loose in places, and I ran out of air.
We reached the Burro pass summit after about 2.7 miles the summit is about 11180 ft high. It took us about an hour to get to this point. After having a breather we pointed our bikes down hill and started to head down through the trees.
The trail was very steep in places, and some of the switch backs were very tight, I'm not ashamed to admit I had to get off and walk my bike down a couple of short sections where it was really steep and loose. But on the whole the trail was in good shape and was a blast to ride down. recent rain meant the trail wasn't too dusty - but also wasn't too muddy either. This wasn't a trail I'd want to take my wife down though - its quite a monster.
After the initial steep drop down from burro pass the trail started to mellow out and dropped down through open meadows and came in along side a mountain stream, which we had to cross several times. In places along side the trail i spotted some big ramps for jumps.

Once the trail entered the Aspen's it got smoother , and followed old double tracks, The riding in the Aspen was nice due that fresh Aspen smell, and the sound of the wind in the Aspen leaves.

We passed by a sign saying The Illegal trail - which appeared to be a well defined singletrack following a man made canal. Not sure where this went maybe it bypass's some of the wide trail we were riding along.

After 6 miles we reached Warner Lake which is at 9367ft the time was about 12:30 , we stopped to have some food here and then carried on riding along the trail. Shortly riding through the camp ground we saw another Whole Enchilda map and Tom & Bill started heading off down the trail behind it.

The trail was really good fun as it got narrower and started to drop down through the Aspens, I didn't twig at this point that the trail was way too narrow and un-used to be the main trail.

It was only after the trail started to drop very steeply though a series of switch backs that I realised that we weren't heading in the right direction. I stopped and checked my GPS and found that we had taken a wrong turn !!!. Once I convinced Tom & Bill we were going the wrong way and that if we continued we'd be on the wrong side of the valley we had to push our bikes back up much of the steep sections we had ridden down.

We had started down the wrong route at 12.47 @9383 ft and then dropped down to 8844 ft before realizing we were going the wrong way. It was 13:40 by the time we got back to where we had gone wrong 8-)



Once back on the dirt road we followed it downwards through the trees and it broke out into an open space before crossing a bridge over to the Hazards County Trail Head at the 9.13 mile mark @ 9311ft.

From the Hazard county trail head the trail climbed quite steeply upwards for about .5 miles, before heading downwards. This part of the trail was wide open with nice views all around. As the trail dropped down there were a few gap jumps built up out of stacks of rocks.
There were great views of the desert valleys in the distance as we rode down through the gambel oak, in places the trail went through aspen groves as well.
The trail sweeps downwards via a series of long sweeping turns, the vegetation then starts to get taller and closer to the trail as you head on down towards the kokopelli trail.
Hazard country trail ends at about the 12 mile mark and cross's the La Sal Loop road and then you join onto the Kokopelli trail double track.

The Kokopelli double track is pretty fast - I Imagine a lot of people crash here even though its not that technical - you can just get careless while going fast.

After 2 miles you turn right onto the Upper Porcupine Singletrack.

The upper porcupine rim singletrack is great fun , as it flows down around and over rocks close to the rim , with a massive drop to your right. The views are incredible of the mountains and the desert.
As you can tell from my web site I like stopping to take pictures, at one point while I was stopped taking pictures Bill & Tom rode on past me. I then came across Tom sprawled out across the rocks with a pretty nasty cut above his left eye with Bill helping him.
While I was taking my pictures unfortunately Tom had crashed while riding off a ledge and had jabbed his head into a juniper bush, Me and Bill patched him up with paper stitches and gave him some advil. Tom had also bashed his shoulder as well and was feeling quite beaten up. But after he had had time to recover we started riding again, with Tom following up at the rear riding at a pace he was comfortable with.
As Tom was bashed up and I had walked the notch before 8-; , we took the LPS route. The LPS route did have one section where you had to hike a bike, but other than that was a great singletrack trail.
With Tom taking it steady with his riding, me and Bill Took loads of pictures while waiting for him, which is why this web page has almost 8mb of content on its on !!!!
When we reached the section of the trail where the sand flats road joins up at about 18 miles, Tom and Bill headed back to Moab this way, as Tom was quite sore and wanted to get his cut sorted out at an emergency room.
As Tom & Bill were traveling together they insisted that I should carry on and finish the whole enchilda my self.
The next section of the Whole Enchilada is not that great, as its miles of bouncing along down a pretty dull jeep trail. Its not that close to the rim for most of this section either.
I managed to go over the bars along this section of the trail as well, I think my mind had just shut down from the boredom of rolling over never ending small drops , and I ended up grabbing my front brake in a sand trap, luckily for me I didn't hurt myself too badly - although my camera was never the same after wards with loads of sand in its lens mechanism.

Finally at 17:30 after about 27 miles I arrived at the lower porcupine rim singletrack, the double track riding was quite tiring due to the non stop bouncing around off multiple small ledges and riding through the sand, also as it wasn't very photogenic I hadn't had many breaks to setup my tripod. All of those factors were probably why I'd gone over the bars going down this trail.

The Lower Porcupine rim trail was much better, fun singletrack with great views. I had to do some hike a bike on some of the technical moves on the way down.
It was quite hot down here now I was dropping lower, but luckily enough the sun was going down so this balanced out the heat a bit.
As the sun dropped lower the rocks changed colour and became much redder which made for better pictures.
After about 30 miles I reached the road, I then rode to the bike path, and rode this back to the main road into Moab.

I got back to my SUV at Chili Pepper bike shop after riding 36.57 miles , the time was 19:30. So I had an elapsed trip time of 9 hours for this ride.

Topo said there had been 2520ft of climbing and 9021 ft of descent.

The ride had been really good - apart from the porcupine rim double track and the ride back along the road.

If I was to do this ride again I would choose a shuttle that would pick you up from the end of the porcupine rim trail, as the ride back along the road hadn't been too good.

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The Whole Enchilda Video (Flash Player)

I packed my bike up and then went and checked in to the La Quinta Inn , I had a long soak in the bath and then tried to get some food over at the Moab Brewery but they were really busy so I went and bought some Pizza slices and ice cream which i ate at the hotel, before getting some sleep.

Click here for Day 13