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North Ranch Mountain Bikers' Off-Schedule Ride


 Durango to Moab Tour


Walt ()


 late August / early September 2007




 Looking for the ultimate mountain bike vacation, then look no further. This awesome un-supported and self-guided tour of 7 days & 6 nights features remote and spectacular scenery as you travel from the alpine regions of Colorado's San Juan Mountains to the slickrock canyons of Moab.

Accommodations are first rate. Each days riding ends at a modern hut that is fully stocked with padded bunks, sleeping bags, propane stove & lights, cooking utensils, fresh water and more food than you can imagine. Certain high elevation huts are also equipped with a wood-

burning stove. Finally, all huts have a separate composting privy so you don't have to stumble around in the woods for that perfect "spot".

I rode this trip 2 years ago and enjoyed it so much it bears repeating. The route mainly consists of forest service roads and jeep trails. However, as a bonus, the hut owner informs me that they have added over 100 miles of alternate singletrack routing for those so inclined. (I'm inclined)

The huts sleep a max of 8 but 6 provides some elbowroom and is about right. Cost is apprx. $620/person with a discount when 6 or more sign on. Riders need only carry personal items & clothing. Also a hot shower can be arranged on the 4th day as we pass an outpost although sponge baths, streams, and lakes work fine.

The riding is not technical unless on singletrack, however, above average fitness and endurance are needed. Max altitude exceeds 11,200' while daily distance averages 33 miles and the most 1-day elevation gain is apprx. 4,600'. Cumulative distance for the 7-day ride is estimated at 215 miles and 26,000' of climbing. The main difficulties are altitude and the weather. There is training and other ways to minimize the effects of altitude, weather on the other hand…….

Time is the main constraint preventing most folks from doing this trip. Ideally 2 weeks would be perfect, however, at a minimum, 11-12 days are necessary to travel to and from the area and complete the ride. Believe me, it's worth every minute!

Additional expenses include gas and meals during non-ride time, 2 nights lodging in Durango before and one night after the trip, and two nights, before & after, in Moab. The entire trip cost me apprx. $1100 two years ago but may be less depending on how many people sign on, (shared rooms & expenses, etc.).

The best time to go is late August / early September. Although 4-6 people is the ideal, there's room for 8. If only a few go we can still ride as a separate group or possibly combine with others.

Hut and hotel reservations are required and departure days are now filling up. If you're seriously interested in going please contact me asap. I'm planning on booking no later than May 7th. Attached are links to the hut site and some photos from my previous trip.


Photos from a previous trip

Bolam Pass Hut - Awesome Location.jpg
Camp Neighbor.jpg
Coasting into Civilization - Day 4.jpg
Colorado High Country.jpg
Kitchen is cleaned for another group.jpg
NOT one of our huts.jpg
Paradox Hut Sunset.jpg
Passing Lone Cone - Day 3.jpg
Preparing to wash the bike.jpg
Racing a Storm.jpg
Re-hydrated alot last night.jpg
Riding into camp.jpg
Riding through a surreal landscape after a fire.jpg
THE Climb - Day 6.jpg
Timberline Downhill.jpg
Topping out on THE Climb.jpg
Trail Impediments.jpg
Trail Washout.jpg
View from Wedding Bell Hut.jpg



Thanks for looking at Steve's guide to mountain biking trails in Ventura County, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) and other locations frequented by the North Ranch Mountain Bikers.