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moab - utah

Bikepacking: Moab to Boulder Town Photo
18th of November
Descent -14007
High 6888
Length 294.3
Low 3968
Ascent 16628
Weather 61° Sunny

Trail Difficulty: greenBlue

A 5-day, southern-Utah desert bikepacking tour on about 60% dirt, 40% pavement and bike path.

We took off from Moab and rode self-supported to Boulder Town, Utah, using as much dirt as we could. In about 290 miles, we went through only two towns, and linked together the San Rafael Swell, Capitol Reef National Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Tons of potential for detours onto singletrack or other improvisation.

What I Brought:

  • Steel touring bike
  • Revelate Designs Viscacha Seat Bag
  • Revelate Designs Gas Tank Bag
  • Revelate Designs Ripio Frame Bag
  • Outdoor Research Duct Tape Dry Bag
  • Camelbak Hawg 18 hydration pack
  • Frame pump
  • Patch kit
  • Tire levers
  • Extra chain links
  • Leatherman Wave multitool
  • Crank Brothers M17 multitool
  • Chain lube and cleaner
  • Zip ties
  • Duct tape
  • Baling wire
  • Parachute cord
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Extra disc brake pads
  • MSR Whisperlite Universal stove
  • MSR Base cook pot
  • Platypus GravityWorks 4-liter water filter
  • MSR 4-liter Dromedary (one per person)
  • Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp
  • Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 tent (fly and footprint only)
  • Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain 17 sleeping bag
  • ThermaRest Prolite sleeping pad
  • Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody
  • Outdoor Research Axiom Jacket (rain shell)
  • Outdoor Research Tantrum Hooded Jacket (wind jacket)
  • Outdoor Research Transcendent Hoody (down sweater)
  • Outdoor Research Wayward Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Outdoor Research Tangent Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Outdoor Research Equinox shorts
  • Outdoor Research Voodoo Pants
  • Vasque Grand Traverse shoes
  • POC Octal helmet
  • Gnarly old Pearl Izumi winter gloves from 2010

Temperatures will reach 61° today, with Sunny. Weather conditions this week are expected to range between 55° with Chance Showers to 66° with Mostly Sunny over the next 5 days. It doesn't look like there's any substantial snow forecasted this week with air temperatures ranging between 55° - 66° over the next 5 days.


There is one creek ford at approximately mile 190 - Muddy Creek. When we did it in mid-March, the creek was mid-shin height. Fatter tires recommended for sandy sections. Finding/managing your water supply is the crux. Reliable water is available in the town of Green River, in the San Rafael River about halfway across the San Rafael Swell, at the entrance station at Goblin Valley State Park, in the Rodeway Inn in Caineville, Utah, and in cattle ponds that can be seen along the route in satellite images.

Ride north out of Moab on the canyon bike path, then cross the highway and turn left on UT-313. After climbing through a couple hairpin switchbacks, turn right onto Dublinky Well Road (dirt). You can ride any combination of dirt roads from there to Green River, but basically you want to keep trending north and slightly west. After almost 50 miles, you'll cross over I-70 on what's called Ruby Ranch Road on Google Maps and get on the old Highway 6 & 50, a rough, cracked old east-west frontage asphalt road that heads into Green River. From Green River (your last chance for supplies), ride down Main Street and merge onto I-70 for two miles, exiting onto US-6 heading northwest. This is just under 20 miles of pavement (which you could avoid if you want to do a little more complicated dirt route to the north side of the San Rafael Swell).

After the canyon begins to open up, you'll climb out of it on a Jeep road on the right-hand side of the wash, to great views of the Henry Mountains and Factory Butte to the south. The road will parallel the Crack Canyon Wilderness Study Area, giving you views of large red-and-tan-striped dunes along the road. Continuing south, you'll ford Muddy Creek, then ride the flat gravel of Coal Mine Road to its intersection with UT-24. Turn west onto 24 and ride asphalt into Caineville, Utah, where there's a small convenience store in the Rodeway Inn.

From Caineville, continue west on 24, looking for a dirt road on the left at about 6.5 miles. Turn onto the dirt road and follow it for 3.5 miles to its intersection with Notom-Bullfrog Road (asphalt). The asphalt ends after 16 miles, and the dirt road has intermittent sandy sections but is generally pleasant all the way to its intersection with the Burr Trail, 22 miles from the end of the asphalt.

Turn west onto the Burr Trail and climb up the steep switchbacks. After the initial climb and a few rolling hills at the top, the road turns back into asphalt as you ride from Capitol Reef NP into Escalante NM. Rolling climbs and descents eventually lead into a winding descent into Long Canyon, a meandering red sandstone canyon, and then up and into Boulder Town.

Weather Forecast

576 FXUS65 KGJT 170538 AFDGJT Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Grand Junction CO 1038 PM MST Sat Nov 16 2019 .SHORT TERM...(Tonight through Sunday night) Issued at 129 PM MST Sat Nov 16 2019 A weak surface front and trough aloft will pass over the northern CO mountains tonight. Enough moisture will affect the western aspects of the Continental Divide to produce light snow accumulations, generally less than an inch. Some cold air will filter into northern and central CO to cool the high temperatures Sunday a few degrees. Sunday will see the ridge attempt to rebound back over the area but it will get pressured back to the south as a minor upper disturbance and jet max travel through the strong northwesterly flow aloft Sunday night. .LONG TERM...(Monday through Saturday) Issued at 129 PM MST Sat Nov 16 2019 The ridge will build back of the western states Monday and Tuesday in response to the digging trough along the west coast. So Monday and Tuesday will return to warmer than normal. Tuesday night the scenario that has been projected for the last few days should start coming together. A strong trough will move onshore over the Pacific Northwest which will split over northern CA and the western Great Basin. The southern component of the split will form a closed low over southern CA Wednesday morning which will help the cutoff low over the Baja open up and be drawn north and east. The remnant of this feature will spread clouds and precipitation over southeast UT and southwest CO Wednesday morning which will spread across the rest of the area Wednesday afternoon and night. The models continue to show significantly different solutions Thursday through Friday. The GFS opens the big southwestern low quickly and lifts it northeast and over ...

Area River Conditions

USGS Gauge Streamflow Gauge Height Elevation
Colorado River Near Cisco, Ut
11300 cfs 6 ft 4094 ft
Castle Creek Below Castle Valley Near Moab, Ut
4 cfs 6 ft 4095 ft
Mill Creek At Sheley Tunnel, Near Moab, Ut.
33 cfs 4 ft 5403 ft
Mill Creek Below Sheley Tunnel, Near Moab, Ut
3 cfs 1 ft 5345 ft
South Creek Above Reservoir Near Monticello, Ut
13 cfs 1 ft 7174 ft
Recapture Creek Near Blanding, Ut
10 cfs 1 ft 7198 ft

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Bikepacking: Moab to Boulder Town Map Location

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Area Snowpack Conditions

Camp Jackson
0" snowpack, 49 miles away
Buckboard Flat
-1" snowpack, 45 miles away
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-1" snowpack, 13 miles away
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0" snowpack, 14 miles away
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