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Klonzo Beginner Slickrock
Carousel Loop

The Klonzo trail system is specifically designed for mountain biking, with trails from very easy to upper-intermediate. The trails are found north and south of the dirt Willow Springs Road 10 miles north of Moab. In fall 2014, the southern Klonzo trails were finished. Among these trails are Moab's first open-rock riding for true beginners and young children.

View west on the Carousel Trail. The path is marked with yellow paint stripes. This is as "tough" as the riding gets. Review by Bruce from a ride on October 22, 2014, updated in November 2017.

There are 20 named trails in the Klonzo system. See the Klonzo North and Klonzo South pages of this website for details. This page discusses the riding in the Carousel Trail area that's specific to beginners. There's slickrock that's almost as smooth as pavement, joined together by easy flat non-tricky singletrack trail. It's fine for small-wheeled youth bikes and single-gear bikes. You could even ride it on your road bike if you wanted to.

Bruce pedals through a slickrock area of the Carousel trail in this November 2017 drone photo.

The Carousel Loop is a one-mile oval at the southern end of the Klonzo riding area. In addition to the standard Klonzo-area trailheads, there's a parking zone at the tip of this loop that allows the family SUV to drive straight to the slickrock. (Most riders pedal to the loop via other beginner-level trails.)

The western side of the Carousel Loop is easy dirt singletrack.

Within the Carousel Loop are four short east-west routes with gentle slope. Three are singletrack (see below), joining the eastern side of Carousel to the western side. Each has colored paint stripes to help with navigation. The fourth route is an old 4-wheeler route that continues from the west side of Carousel to become the Zephyr trail.

The Carousel Loop contains three other trails within it. Each is short and easy with nothing scary. This view looks west on the Gypsy Trail.

The Carousel Loop and cut-across trails

If you have stroll-a-bikes, training wheels or a very out-of-shape true beginner, the Carousel trailhead gets you there without having to pedal your bike uphill -- either coming or going.

Heading south from the parking lot. The first trail fork (between Carousel and Wizard) is just a few feet away. There are signs at every trail fork. You won't get lost.

The parking zone is fenced off by cable on posts. There are exits on the north and south sides. Find the yellow stripes on the rock, and start following them in either direction. Let's start clockwise by heading south (to your left as your vehicle enters the parking area from uphill).

Bruce heads clockwise from the parking area. Riding doesn't get any better for newbies. No cliffs. No ledges. No steep hills. No loose gravel.

Within a few feet, you'll pass the fork to the Wizard Trail, which is marked by purple paint stripes on the rock. There's not only paint stripes to mark the way, but a row of rock lines the riding lane. It's impossible to lose the trail. And at the fork, notice the trail-post with the map including a little "you are here" smiley face. Lots of help here for first-time mountain bikers.

Keep to the left, following the yellow stripes.

Looking west down the Wizard Trail. Each trail has its own paint color.

About 100 feet later, stay left on the yellow path as you ride past the fork to the Magician Trail, which is marked by pale blue-purple stripes. The slickrock here is as smooth as anything Moab offers. A bit bumpier than most sidewalks, but you can pedal while sitting down.

And here's a look at the Magician Trail. While mostly smooth slickrock, it does give you a little smooth dirt to ride at the western end.

At the south side of the loop, again stay left as the Gypsy Trail forks to the right. This trail is marked by dark purple-red stripes. It will rejoin from the right side after about 1/4 mile. Make a note of this trail fork -- you'll be back -- but keep pedaling on Carousel.

The Gypsy Trail. Your kids will love riding here. (You will, too.)

At this spot in the Carousel Loop, the trail turns to dirt. Pedal onward, passing the western ends of Magician then Wizard. Keep straight as it crosses an old unmarked dirt road.

Just after crossing the faint old road you'll come to a trail fork. On your left is a connector from the Midway Trail. Stay to the right on Carousel.

On a dirt section of the Carousel Trail near the Midway trail fork. No steep hill-sides, no roots, no rocks.

 About 1/10 mile later, another connector from Midway joins on your left. Stop here and go down to the slickrock to the left of the Carousel Trail. Investigate the two sets of dinosaur tracks. See if you can spot more tracks as you pedal back to the north on Carousel.

A sauropod (generic term for a plant-eating dino that looks like a diplodocus) trackway across the sandstone, with the Carousel Trail in the background. Read up on dinos so you can impress your kids.

One mile after you left, you're back at the Carousel parking.

Now go cut through the loop by exploring Magician, Wizard, and Gypsy. Have fun. When the kids get tired, it's never that far back to the parking area at the north end of Carousel.

Riding back northeast to complete the loop.

 

 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

 
Options for stronger beginners
Getting to the Carousel Loop from the main parking area...

Beginners can take a mile of dirt trail from the main (first) parking area. You'll need to do a little bit of gentle climbing, most of which will be on the way back out to your car.

Across from the parking lot, start south on The Edge. At the first fork, turn left on Hotdog. When you reach Midway, turn right. Stay on Midway when you reach a 5-way trail fork on top of the ridge. At the next fork, go left toward Carousel. When you reach the slickrock with the dino tracks, you're at the Carousel Loop.

Looking north from Hotdog at the main trailhead. The Edge is the trail you're looking for.

Via the Midway Trailhead...

This route is a bit shorter -- about 0.6 miles to the Carousel Loop. Drive past the main trailhead and keep right at the fork in the road. When you see a trailhead with a couple of parking spaces on your right, you're there.

About 1/10 mile up Midway, cross Hotdog. At the 5-way on the top of the ridge, stay on Midway (straight ahead). About 0.2 miles later, take the left trail fork towards Carousel. After passing the dino tracks, ride the loop.

The entry to Midway, looking south from the parking on Willow Springs Road.

From the Redhot and Houdini Trailhead...

Drive or pedal past the Midway Trailhead on Willow Springs road (passing the upper dino trackway) until you see posts, trails, and signs on your right. Look for the broad path that angles back west (a 150-degree turn from your direction of travel), marked with red and white stripes.

Follow the white stripes, either in your SUV or on bicycle. It's 1/2 mile from this point to the Carousel parking area. It's very smooth riding, but the return trip will be uphill -- easy and gentle for most of us, but a challenge for tiny legs with small wheels.

On the "White Stripe 4x4 Trail" leading west from the Redhot/Houdini trailhead to Carousel. Bike it or drive it.

Getting There:  To safely navigate Willow Springs Road, I strongly recommend an SUV. A low-clearance sedan may have problems with ruts and sand. These trailheads are listed in the order you'd reach them as you travel along Willow Springs Road.
Western (main Klonzo) Trailhead (to reach Carousel via The Edge, Hotdog, and Midway):  Willow Springs Road forks east off Highway 191 18 miles south of I-70 and about 10 miles north of Moab (1.8 miles north of the junction with Highway 313 (to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point). Turn onto Willow Springs Road. Keep straight as spurs go to camping areas. At mile 1.4, turn left to cross Courthouse Wash (may not be passable in wet weather). At mile 2.0 pass the Sovereign Trail parking area, a flat area outlined in rocks on the left (north) side of the road N 38 41.876' W 109 39.868', with a natural gas pump building on the right. At mile 2.7, turn left off Willow Springs Road onto a small doubletrack. 100 feet later, park and begin your ride. The trail on the left takes you clockwise and immediately to the slickrock.
Midway Trailhead: Keep on Willow Springs Road past the first trailhead, then keep right at the fork about 1/10 mile later (at mile 3.0 from US 191). A half-mile after passing the spur to the main trailhead, there will be a few parking spots on your right at the entry to the Midway trail.
Dinosaur Tracks:  Not really an official mountain bike trailhead, but if you're not pedaling past, it's worth a visit. Head for the Midway Trailhead as above. Drive past Midway as the road climbs. 1/4 mile past the Midway Trailhead, the road curves around a cleared area on sandstone, and you'll see a sign on your right explaining the tracks.
Redhot (Houdini) Trailhead (to pedal down -- and back up -- the 4x4 connector):  On Willow Springs Road, pass the spur to the main trailhead and keep right at the fork in the road, passing the spur to the second (Borderline) trailhead. Pass the Midway trailhead and the Dino tracks. A mile past the main trailhead, there's a cable fence on your right. The Zoltar trail is on your left and Houdini is on the right. There's enough room here for a car or two, but be sure you aren't blocking access to the 4x4 route to the left of the Houdini trail entrance.
Carousel Trailhead  (for kids and true beginners):  This is a good starting point for young children (including stroll-a-bikes) and very out-of-shape true beginners. Drive east on Willow Springs Road to the Redhot trailhead as above. Now turn 150 degrees hard right and descend the broad path marked with white and red stripes. The red stripes will head up onto singletrack, leaving only white stripes. A half-mile after leaving Willow Springs Road, the path will enter a parking area outlined by a post-and-cable fence. Park here. The trail passes directly through this parking area on each side.
Eastern (Borderline) TH (for intermediate riders): Drive on Willow Springs Road past the west trailhead. About 1/10 mile later at mile 3.0 from US 191, turn left on doubletrack. Drive 0.2 miles to a small area of slickrock with post-and-cable fencing for parking. The trail to the left goes toward the western trailhead. Right climbs uphill on the Borderline Trail.
Riding resources for this trail:
See also:  Klonzo North pageKlonzo South page
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   GPX individual tracks   Track from Houdini TH w Carousel  
Maps for printing:  View area topo 
    Trail Mix Map (updated 11/1/14 for new trails)    Zephyr Trail
Lodging, camping, shops:      Links to Moab area resources

Bathrooms and Water:  None at Sovereign or Klonzo
Camping: Primitive spots along Willow Springs Road. Commercial camping across from 313.
Nearest supplies: Gas and quick-stop on 191 across from 313, 1.7 miles south of Willow Springs road.

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