Sovereign - Cedar Mountain Loop

Consensus:    (details)
  3.3 from 4 votes
black  Difficult from 1 vote
Rank: #2 in the Sovereign and Cedar Mountain area
#112 in UT, #2,183 Overall
Views: 991. Last 30 days: 12
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Featured Ride in the area near Moab,
“Steep climbs, steep descents and some spectacular technical trail.”
Leslie Kehmeier on May 2, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
8.313.4 milesKilometers 864’263 m Ascent 4,972’1,515 m High 4% Avg Grade (2°)
75% Singletrack -864’-263 m Descent 4,399’1,341 m Low 17% Max Grade (10°)
North of Moab, UT near Dalton Wells Road sits the Sovereign Trail Network, featuring more than 16 miles of desert singletrack. The northeastern loop of the Sovereign trail features tight, technical and loose singletrack on Cedar Mountain. The Sovereign - Cedar Mountain loop will deal the rider a good dose of steep climbs, steep descents and some spectacular rolling technical trail.

With bail-outs or accesses along Dalton Wells Road (outer trailhead at Hwy 191 and inner trailhead two miles in), the trail provides easy access for the energetic or an easy escape for the bonked.
Need To Know
The Sovereign Trail system is open to hikers, horses, mountain bikes and motorcycles. Be prepared to yield the right away and dont be surprised to see motorcyles riding some impossible looking rock ledges.

The loop is best ridden a counter clockwise direction. You'll be nailed with some steep climbs from either Brushy Basin Trail or Sovereign Trail, but you'll be rewarded with a very engaging descents.
The ride described starts at the inner Sovereign trailhead, approximately 2 miles east on Dalton Wells Road. At the trailhead riders will climb Long Valley Road to the north, passing Terry's, and then taking the left onto the signed Sovereign Trail singletrack.

Keep your eye out for the singletrack on the left heading up a small drainage. Cedar Mountain looms in front of you and if you can take your eyes off the trail long enough youll be able to pick out bits of the real climbing you're about to tackle. Stay left and head up hill at the intersection with an upper connector trail.

Once the real climbing starts, you'll be greeted by challenging, narrow singletrack. The climb up to the intersection with Cedar Mountain Trail is very attainable, with easier sections in all the right spots to keep your lungs from bursting.

From the junction with Sovereign, stay right and climb to the rim of Cedar Mountain. The trail goes right and rolls along the edge with loose tread and amazing views. Small slot canyons along the rim create a cratered moonscape that makes the riding fun and challenging. Since this trail does see motorized traffic it has a distinct motorized flow to it.

At intersection with road, the trail descends straight across through an eerie green cupric soil. At the bottom of the descent, the trail crosses the Fallen Peace Officer Trail and enters a wash. As the wash descends the canyon gets narrower and the trail gets faster. Drop your saddle and enjoy the ride!

Once you exit the wash, the trail contours along the sage slopes before climbing into more technical canyon country. Multiple steep climbs, punctuated by steep descents make this section memorable.

At the next intersection with the road, continue to the west for a short bit before staying left and continuing with more canyons, more steeps, and more fun.

The trail will eventually come to an intersection with Sovereign and Brushy Basin Trail. Stay right and ride down a moderately technical descent that finishes through a giant boulder field. Roll out to Dalton Wells Road from here, turning left to rejoin the start at the inner Sovereign trailhead.

*Alternately, riders can stay left and follow Sovereign along the south rim back to the steep climb (now descent!) back towards the inner trailhead on Dalton Wells Road.
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PHOTOS of Sovereign - Cedar Mountain Loop
  4.6 from 10 votes
One of the challenging switchback descents along the Cedar Mountain trail (Moab, UT)
  4.5 from 4 votes
Along the rim; east side of Cedar Mountain (Moab, UT)
  4.0 from 3 votes
Canyon descent on top of Cedar Mountain (Moab, UT)
  4.0 from 3 votes
It's hardscrabble territory wherever you go on the Sovereign - Cedar Mou... (Moab, UT)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Wonder why it's called Copper Ridge? (Moab, UT)
  3.0 from 2 votes
The top of Terry's Tunnel starts out easy enough (Moab, UT)
  3.0 from 2 votes
A rare easy section of Terry's Tunnel (Moab, UT)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Flat easy riding on Dalton Wells Rd (Moab, UT)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Inner parking area on Dalton Wells Rd (Moab, UT)