It all started in Salt Lake City. We headed south on the busiest road in town; 5 lanes of double length semi’s and lifted trucks.
Luckily, this stretch was the last we’d see of city life for three and half days of blessed adventure riding. We had a solid group of riders with varied experience in adventure riding, but all with a great spirit for adventure. Our guide was Brent Smith; a Californian by birth, an Utahian by choice, a motorcyclist through and through and an adventurer by blood. Brent was our master instructor, cheerleader, guide, and medic on this trip.
Once we were south of town we headed east and south along 89 and everything mellowed out. We headed into the mountains and rode from 4k feet of elevation up to 7K+ feet at soldier summit. On the way down the mountain, we got our first glimpse of breath-taking red sandstone spires, mesas, and towers that would be our companions along this epic ride. We rode along into the high desert to price and that’s where we really started the adventure.
At Price we got our first taste of dirt trail with a stunning ride through the San Rafael Swell and down into a red rock valley where 5000-year-old petroglyphs mystified us all. After 5 hours of riding, we made it to our home away from home Under Canvas Moab. Here we shed our dirty boots and relaxed to an evening of good food and drinks in town. Under Canvas was a truly amazing experience. They added just enough frills to round the hard edges of camping but kept the authentic feel of immersing yourself in nature. Campfire and smores included.
The next day we started the day with our catered breakfast from Moab’s top personal chef, Ken Moody. Ken provided us with daily breakfast, lunch and endless coffee. His wraps were perfect on the trail, but the big wins were the coffee and brownies. For the tour on day 2, Brent lead us on a grand tour of Moab starting at it’s lowest point, the Colorado river and weaving through Onion creek, with its sheer red rock cliffs and about 20 river crossings, up to Moab’s highest points at the snow topped peaks of the La Sal mountains. We wrapped up the long day with beers by the fire. We thought we saw it all today, but this was only the beginning.
Day 3 was supposed to be the relaxed day, but one man’s relaxation is another man’s worse fear. In this case that “relaxed day” was a ride up Shafer trail, a 3,106ft elevation trail, rugged, single lane dirt road that starts the famed White Rim Road around Canyonland’s National Park. The trail starts at the Colorado river and winds through several technical features and finishes with a heart stopping 1,000ft ascent up endless switch backs up the side of a Mesa. This was nearly the end for one of our riders who was deathly afraid of heights, but with motivation and some coaching from Brent he conquered his fear and made it to the top. This was the relaxed day though, so we ended the day early and got down to the business of grilled steak, finished a couple bottles of aged whiskey, and telling great stories around the campfire.
On our last day we said farewell to Moab in grand order. We road out along some of Brent’s secret trails through prairies, mountains, and finally through a barren wasteland that reminded us of Mars. We saw two other people this whole trail and it was really an amazing spot with a mix of all great technical riding features. From there we rode back north through the mountains and to civilization in Salt Lake City. We were tired, a little busted up, and 300% satisfied.
Moab is truly a place like no other. All the natural wonder, all the adventure and freedom, and all the great wild people in one place. We would like to thank our chef Ken, UnderCanvas, and our guide and friend Brent for making this an amazing tour. We’ll be back as soon as we can!