||Prospector Trail in Moab
Prospector Trail runs along the hillside just east of US 191 in northern
Moab. This is a short trail that splits in the middle to create an upper
and a lower riding option before rejoining. The more-technical upper
route is 1 mile in total length. If you ride the easier lower path, it will
be 0.9 miles. The trail is best suited to upper-intermediate riders.
north early in the ride. Photos and review by Bruce
on October 23, 2013.
isn't a "destination trail." It's a trail you ride while your buddy
fixes his broken derailleur. Or for something to do if you've got a half hour of
daylight after you check into your motel. Or it's an interesting detour
from pavement as you're riding back into Moab from a ride like Porcupine Rim.
The south end of the trail. Good
thing the "Trail" sign is there. Otherwise you'd never notice
the path into the trees.
might think that a trail that runs along the edge of a city would be targeted
to beginning riders. That's not the case here. The trail dips and winds
constantly along the steep mountainside. There are some short stiff loose
climbs that will challenge your tire tread. The lower route requires solid
intermediate skills and confidence. I'd rate the upper route as appropriate
for upper-intermediate to early-advanced riders.
of the trail are steep-ish, with constant turns and dips. We're looking
northwest toward The Portal.
the lower route, climbing will be 150 vertical feet. You'll gain and lose
elevation in short bits. The upper route has 1/4 mile of sustained climbing,
with a total of 250 feet of total climbing.
the trail sits on fully-exposed slope, it will get toasty hot on sunny days.
The upper route is certainly not a cruiser trail. I was dripping sweat at 11
am on October 23.
We're on the lower trail as it zigzags
along the base of the slope.
ends of the trail begin with a quick set of barely-ride-able switchbacks. Walk
the first 100 feet if you must, and you probably will. This first little climb
will count for about 30 feet of the total elevation change.
View southwest from the lower trail.
trail dips and twists as it hugs the side-slope. Sharp rocks line the trail
edge, which falls away quickly. If you go down, expect some blood. But the
riding is fun and invites you to motor right along. For a short trail within a
rock's throw of the highway, it's actually a decent ride.
Rock formations along the trail.
north end of the trail starts at the south corner of the Zipline on US 191
(across from Denny's). On
the east side of Highway 191 look for the "Trail" sign and a path heading uphill.
(In 2013, it's right where the paved bike path ends.) From this end, the trail
will look ugly and not-worth-doing until you cross the paved driveway to the
restaurant at 0.2 miles.
We're southbound and climbing on the
upper trail. Note the slash on the steep hillside straight ahead in the
the south end, the trail is also marked by a large "Trail" sign.
It's about 200 feet north of the rock shop. Don't park at a business. There's
room to park in the dirt by the side of the road near the trail.
heads east into the trees at 90 degrees to the road. Then it hits a switchback
climb to get up and above the property along the highway.
View west toward Moab from the upper
trail. The ribbon in the valley is the lower trail.
|From the Bike Hub by the Colorado River (under
construction in fall 2013), take the paved bike path south, riding on
the east side of Highway 191. It's 1.2 miles to the northern end of the
Looking north on the Highway
191 bike path, about 1/4 mile south of the bridge.
||Riding notes from the northern end:
0.0 Find trail just south of the Zipline building
N38 35.304 W109 33.612
Climb switchbacks to top, head
0.2 Cross driveway to restaurant
N38 35.297 W109 33.469
0.4 Trail forks on ridge
L = higher path, R = lower
N38 35.257 W109 33.422
0.8 Trails rejoin N38 35.082 W109 33.242
1.0 Descend to highway
N38 34.984 W109 33.213
Looking up a steep loose slope on
the upper trail. If you fall, don't tip to the right.
From the middle of Moab, go north on Highway 191 (Main Street) until the
road veers to the northwest. Now watch for the big Moab Rock Shop on
your right. About 200 feet past the rock shop, find a spot to park on
the dirt of the shoulder. (Don't take up parking in any of the local
businesses!) Find the trail at N38 34.984 W109 33.213.
To start from the north, keep driving two miles north. Park at the Bike
Hub where U-128 meets Highway 191 at the Colorado River. Bike south to
the north end of the trail at N38 35.304 W109 33.612.
Copyright 2013 UtahMountainBiking.com