The Whole Enchilada

 141 votes
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Featured Ride
Trail

33.8 Miles 54.5 Kilometers


50%

Singletrack

1,419' 433 m

Ascent

-7,930' -2,417 m

Descent

11,126' 3,391 m

High

3,968' 1,209 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

39%

Max Grade (21°)

Bad / Closed

16 days agoUpdate

One of the world's great rides, with 8000 ft of descent from the high alpine zone to redrock desert.

F. Felix

Overview

The alpine trail sections from Burro Pass down to the LaSal Mountain Loop road close as soon as snow and ice come. In most years, this usually happens by early October. But good weather will sometimes return and allow some mid-October descents.
From an alpine pass above treeline, down to the sandstone canyon of the Colorado River. From black humus to red slickrock, singletrack to paved bike path: the Whole Enchilada covers every type of riding and scenery that Moab has to offer in one massive, magical, mind-blowing sensory overload.

With the advent of shuttle companies, this has become perhaps the premiere Moab ride. On holiday weekends, you cannot find bigger crowds. Pick an off-peak time for a better experience on this trail, and don't ride like you are the only one there.

The Whole Enchilada is technically a complete loop, starting in town, involving many miles of paved road, and returning all the way back to town. This is a long, long way.

Even with a shuttle, you are looking at over 35-miles back to midtown. Even though the shuttle version is mostly downhill, the Enchilada is not an easy ride. There are a couple of big climbs and if you've ever ridden in Moab before, you know that descending here is no walk in the park.

Need To Know

Various Shuttle Companies:
  • Porcupine Shuttle: (435) 260-0896
  • Whole Enchilada Shuttle: (435) 260-2534
  • Coyote Shuttle: (435) 260-2097
  • Moab Cyclery: (435) 259-7423
Self Shuttle: Leave one vehicle at the Negro Bill Trailhead, and drive the other to the Geyser Pass Trailhead. Note that the drive to the pass can take upwards of an hour.

Be sure you come prepared with enough food and water, and a good map or the MTB Project mobile app. You should familiarize yourself with the various bail-out options in case something breaks, or if the day gets too hot to continue.

Description

Assuming you have taken the commercial shuttle option, you'll begin riding from Geyser Pass in the LaSal Mountains. Hop onto the Geyser Pass - Burro Pass trail which starts just behind the pit toilet at the parking area.

Once you hit the road again, turn left and the trail will change to singletrack (Burro Pass Trail #315). Climb hard as the oxygen rarefies. Reach the above-treeline pass at 11,150-ft and catch your breath for the spectacular down that is about to start.

The section of trail dropping from Burro Pass is narrow, has tight switchbacks, steep grades, sharp rock and slippery roots through a damp evergreen forest. There are occasional stream crossings. It's a bit much for many riders, so don't feel bad if you have to walk a fair bit for a while.

Eventually, the singletrack rejoins dirt road and you contour around through aspen glades, alternately climbing then dropping, until you reach scenic Warner Lake. From the lake, continue contouring around until you reach the start of Hazard County. Climb the stout hill at the beginning of this trail, then drop singletrack through the Gambel Oak hillside. This trail is not as hairball as it was when it was illegal, but there are still plenty of armored features, including gap jumps. You can hit them, or not, as your conscience dictates--the trail allows for both.

Hazzard spits you out on the Lasal Mountain Loop road. Cross over and descend the Kokopelli Trail, a warp-speed dirt road that leads you onto the southwest wall of Castle Valley: the Porcupine Rim. The road begins to diverge from the developing rim as you cross a small cattle guard ride-over through a fence. The guard is your signal to watch out for a singletrack exiting right to hug the rim: this is UPS (Upper Porcupine Singletrack). Take the singletrack, or, if need be, bail out down the Kokopelli Trail to Sand Flats road.

UPS climbs a bit, then begins to roll along the Porcupine Rim, eventually connecting to the somewhat more technical LPS (Lower Porcupine Singletrack). UPS and LPS are the favorite part of the Whole Enchilada for most riders, with ledges, swooping turns, tricky little drops and slickrock sections through Ponderosa and Pinyon/Juniper forest. Here, beside the abrupt scarp of the Porcupine Rim, the views are astounding. While mostly very rideable, there are some ridiculously difficult features in these two trail segments, like the (optional) Notch.

While technically, you can ride both directions and session the tricky bits, in reality, this is a busy, de facto downhill trail, so be forewarned! Come at an off-time if you want to dawdle. Come early (be first) if you want to dive-bomb it.

The singletrack ends at the view point where the traditional Porcupine Rim trail climbs up to join the rim. Continue out the Porcupine Rim jeep road, which is ledgy, fast and fun. It hugs the rim for a while, then deviates to the left to find a way down off the mesa. Passing through various rock levels yields fun drops and slickrock sections.

Eventually, the road narrows to singletrack again as the trail enters Jackass Canyon to descend through major cliffs to the Colorado River. This is (or was) the most technical part of the ride, though recent modifications have destroyed much of the challenge in this classic test-piece. Please write to Grand County to request that they stop modifying existing trails that have been world-class attractions for 30-years.

Reaching the river, join the jaw-dropping new bike path leading back to town. Due to the narrowness of the road corridor between the cliffs and the river, this path is built for part of its length on expensive elevated pilings! Where it runs on the actual roadbed, there is a separating curb. The path joins with the Moab Canyon bike path out to Arches and I-Sky at the highway. Praise the Lord! Mention how great this is in your letter to Grand County!

History & Background

The Whole Enchilada was originally conceived and ridden as a monstrous loop. From town, back to town: a ride in the same vein as the utterly psychotic Moab Centurion.

While few riders actually do the Enchilada without a shuttle--adding 30-miles of up to an already big day--it's nice to recognize the burly visionaries who gave us such an amazing experience.

Help preserve this experience by not altering the trail! In the past year, many sections of this magnificent ride have been seriously diminished by well-meaning riders who lever boulders out of the way, cut tree branches, build unnecessary ramps and otherwise dumb things down to an easy level.

Give your future-self a brilliant gift and keep it challenging: if you can't ride it yet, then walk it until you can!

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4.8 from 141 votes


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Check-Ins

Nov 16, 2016
Peter Moore
Nov 12, 2016
Eyal Litman
Great conditions. Best ride of my life ! 26.7mi — 5h 04m
Nov 11, 2016
Corin Kwasnik
Nov 11, 2016
Chad Grossman
Nov 9, 2016
Elise Paré
A few rideable patches of snow in the alpine, but otherwise in perfect condition.
Nov 7, 2016
Nicholas Ryan
Nov 3, 2016
Josh Spoores
Thankful that the weather was clear for the full ride 33mi
Nov 2, 2016
Kyle Oswald

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 141 votes

#1

Overall
  4.8 from 141 votes
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Conditions


Bad / Closed 16 days ago
Almost all of the route is closed
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i'm there the 2nd of november.. someone joins me? Would be fun! Oct 11, 2016


Great series of different trails linked into one huge ride. You start in the mountains and transition through different eco zones down to the Colorado river. Epic views the whole way. Its not for every one however. Its extremely technical the whole way down, especially at the bottom. 2x black for sure unless you get off your bike 50+ times. There is a lot of uphill along the way too. 6hrs Oct 31, 2016


The first part up Barrow pass and down was not a lot of fun. Pushing the bike up and burning up the brakes going down. After that, it is a really good ride. I learned that speed helps on the straight rocky sections, just watch out for drops and turns. Nov 16, 2016


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