Moab, Utah, well known for its spectacular mountain biking, also boasts some of the best road biking in the West. With the recent completion of the Moab Canyon Pathway, connecting Moab to two national parks and one state park, there are now over one hundred miles of paved non-motorized trails through absolutely amazing scenery. Moab Canyon pathway is not just a bike lane on the side of the highway, but a path that allows riders/users to avoid the busy four-lane Highway 191 and have safe access to the state and national parks.
The path begins at the pedestrian/bike bridge that crosses the Colorado River on Highway 128, just north of Moab. The super smooth blacktop snakes through 2 miles of the red rock canyon to the entrance of Arches National Park where you can exit for a 30-40 mile out and back ride, depending on your route choice inside the park.
The path continues past Arches National Park for another 6.5 miles, and 525 vertical feet of climbing, crossing under Highway 191 to the beginning of Highway 313. The options here are to turn back for a scenic and speedy return from a short training ride, or to continue riding on Highway 313 for a challenging 24 mile climb to Dead Horse Point State Park or a 35 mile ride to Grand View Point in Canyonlands National Park’s Island in the Sky. These mileages on Highway 313 are one way, so, with some figuring, riders can put together amazing century rides in some of the most beautiful country in the world!
Mountain bikers and cyclocross riders will love the pave bike path as it gives direct access to the multiple trails at the Moab Brands Trail System (at mile 6) which adds a great warm-up on pavement to the trail and slickrock rides. From there, mountain bikers can access unlimited miles of dirt and slickrock routes including the Sovereign Trail, Bartlett Wash and Monitor & Merrimac areas.
Not only bike riders will love this trail, but also hikers, runners, joggers and non-motorized vehicles of all sorts. Parents can pull their babies behind their bikes in trailers and all ages can enjoy the pathway, even if it is just for a leisurely stroll. Kids can try their new bikes on the flat sections on either end, since only the middle 4 miles have noticeable grade. It also provides a great place to hone your cross country skiing skills during the off season with roller skies.
Future plans for more paved bike paths include the Millsite Riverside Trail and a bike lane from the city of Moab to the Colorado River pedestrian bridge.