While it's considered an intermediate ride, there are some stunt opportunities and challenges. Here Bruce launches a ledge. Initial review and photos March 9, 2020, with additional trails added November 2022.
Eagle Eye, Hawks Glide, Falcon Flow Trails
The Raptor Route is a series of trails in the Sand Flats area east of Moab. While they're technically
two-way trails, everybody rides them in the downhill direction, and you should too. Falcon
Flow was completed in 2020, Eagle Eye in 2021, and Hawks Glide in 2022. This forms a 10-mile
section of downhill singletrack. Running from 7300 feet elevation to 5050, the riding season
will be late March through October.
The three finished trails can be done individually, or as a continuous ride. The gravel Sand
Flats Road is used for the uphill portion of any loop ride, or as the path for the shuttle
vehicle, as each trail begins and ends on the Sand Flats Road.
Eagle Eye has a connector at the top to receive riders from the Lower Porcupine Singletrack,
and a connector at the bottom for riders who want to drop off the Raptor Route to Porcupine
Rim. This adds to the ride possibilities.
Looking up the Sand Flats Road -- your way to the top. From the bottom of Falcon Flow to the top of Eagle Eye, you'll pedal 6.2 miles on the road.
The trail follows this shelf around a small bowl.
All three trails are intermediate-level singletrack with a mixture of narrow desert ribbon
and sandstone. Unlike nearby
the trails can be hammered out quickly and do not require expert skills. But while intermediate
overall, there are several spots on each trail that offer a technical challenge.
For riders who want to turn it into a longer
adventure, the nearby
Fins 'n Things
added to your loop or shuttled downhill.
Entering Falcon Flow at the upper trailhead. (Note kiosk and trail signs were still under construction at the time of my ride.)
Falcon Flow parking
The parking area for the bottom of Falcon Flow is on the Sand Flats Road,
0.3 miles uphill from where lower Falcon Flow returns to the road. This is
a good spot to start cranking uphill for your loop.
Porcupine Rim parking
The Porcupine Rim parking area is on your left at mile 6.9 from the entry station,
around 1/10th mile beyond the top of Falcon Flow. Hawk's Glide ends here.
There's a shuttle drop on Sand Flats Road at the bottom of Eagle Eye
(where it becomes Hawk's Glide) and at the top of Eagle Eye. There are no
parking lots above Porcupine.
Passing pinion pine and juniper.
Eagle Eye begins on the Lower Porcupine Singletrack (LPS) 0.7 miles downhill from the Upper
Porcupine Singletrack (UPS). The route forks to the left away from the cliffs. Just before
the connector hits Sand Flats Road, Eagle Eye forks right.
Eagle Eye is officially 2.4 miles long, descending 750 vertical feet with very little climbing.
But it has a 0.2-mile connector on each end, and if you count those as part of Eagle Eye, the
trail is 2.8 miles from the LPS to the Porcupine Rim trail. Eagle Eye runs parallel to Sand
Flats Road, which lies just to the south. The trail is a mix of red dirt singletrack and rock
Getting a good bounce to put the front wheel uphill.
Drone shot as we ride through an area of juniper and sage.
At mile 2.4 from the LPS connector (or the Sand Flats Road entry at the uphill end of Eagle
Eye), you reach a 4-way trail crossing. You can continue descending the Raptor Route on Hawk's
Glide by keeping straight and west. Or you can descend 0.2 miles down to the Porcupine Rim
trail on the connector by forking to the right. Or go out to Sand Flats Road by turning left.
Following the trail along the north slope of the hill.
Hawk's Glide begins when Eagle Eye reaches the connector between Sand Flats Road and Porcupine
Rim. The terrain and riding area very similar to what you've been doing so far.
Hawk's Glide is 2.0 miles long, with 700 vertical feet of descending and almost no climbing.
It runs along the ridgeline between Sand Flats Road and the Porcupine Rim trail.
At mile 1.8 Hawk's Glide descends off the ridgeline through a series of turns. It rolls into
the Porcupine Rim parking area between the Sand Flats Road and the Porcupine Rim trail. To
continue downhill on Falcon Flow, go 1/10th mile west on the gravel road.
Hitting a bit of shade.
Falcon Flow is the lowest in elevation of the trails and at 5.4 miles is longer than Eagle
Eye and Hawk's Glide put together. When descending top-to-bottom, you'll still put in about
450 vertical feet of climbing, most of it on the lower half of the trail. With the up-and-down
riding, tackling the trail in the uphill direction will require around 1150 feet of climbing.
Bruce descends upper Falcon Flow westbound.
Cruising through juniper and sage as we pass sandstone shelves.
The upper end of the trail is about 0.1 miles west of the
trailhead (toward Moab).
Elevation is 5800 feet at the top.
The lower end of the trail is at 5100 feet elevation. If you decide to ride the trail as a
loop using the Sand Flats Road as your uphill, it's 700 vertical feet of climbing over 2.7
At this time, there's a small parking area located 0.3 miles uphill from the downhill entry.
The parking zone is tiny, so on weekends an early start means you're more likely to find a
spot for your car.
Following a rim of Kayenta slickrock around a bowl.
Finding the correct line to: A. Not bonk my head, B. Not rip my bike shorts on the rock, C. Keep the bike rolling forward, D. All of the above.
Although the trail is intermediate overall, there a couple of quick challenges that require
expert skills (or, at least, a few tries to clean them). There are some thread-the-needle passages
where picking the right line gets you past, and a couple of steep drops that less-aggressive
intermediates can walk.
While the trail is bi-directional, most of the riders will be going top-to-bottom, either via
shuttle or as a loop with the gravel road for the uphill. The out-and-back from the bottom
is a lot more work -- 1600 feet of climbing round-trip. And you'll encounter some dusty rock
ramps that are almost impossible to climb.
Dropping a ramp. There's a little drop-off at the top. It stopped me cold when riding the uphill direction. I'd lose power, bump the lip, and my rear tire would spin out in the dust covering the slab. Every time.
A lot of spots along the trail are armored with rock slab, as in this little up-and-over.
A reasonable time estimate for a loop up Sand Flats and down Falcon (for a well-conditioned
intermediate rider) is 90 minutes riding time. Add time for pictures, huddles with fellow riders,
and re-tries of the fun stuff.
There's a bit of scenery, such as occasional views of the La Sal Mountains to the east, and
of the sandstone humps of the Slickrock area along Negro Bill Canyon to the west. But you won't
notice any of it, because you'll be too busy playing.
Compared to other rides in the area, the Raptor Route is fun and quick. A good "intermediate
rider's sampler" of Moab riding. An awesome "add-on" to a day's riding for expert groups, or
a destination trail for intermediates.
View down the trail. Fun stuff.
Head uphill on the Sand Flats Road, reached by turning left off Moab's main drag
onto 300 South. Go right when 300 South ends on 400 East, then second left
onto Millcreek Drive. Keep left as the Sand Flats Road separates from
Millcreek. Pay your entry fee at the station. From the
entry gate, drive 4 miles, then watch for the lower entry to Falcon Flow on your left.
Temporary parking is 0.3 miles uphill, also on the left. The upper trail
will be on your left at mile 6.8 from the entry station (just as the road
drops down to the Porcupine Rim parking area). The Porcupine trailhead is
0.1 miles uphill from the top of Falcon Flow. The bottom of Hawk's Glide
is across the road from the parking strip.
Bathroom: Porcupine Rim TH
Camping: multiple primitive spots throughout the Sand Flats area
The Raptor Route consists of:
Eagle Eye 2.4 miles from Sand Flats Road to Hawks
Glide, 2.8 miles from the middle of the LPS to the Porcupine Rim trail
Hawks Glide length 2.0 miles, from lower Eagle Eye to
Porcupine Rim parking area
Falcon Flow 5.4 miles, from below the Porcupine
Rim TH to Sand Flats Road above Fins 'n Things