Many people ride North Backbone as an out and back from south to north and back. The first third of the trail is rolling contour across dry, open rocky hillsides with a few pockets of pinion and pine.
From there the trail descends towards a drainage and transitions from hard packed trail to firm sand and then pink granite boulders and slabs. Through this middle section of the route expect to be challenged. To add to the fun, the trail has some quick and steep transitions. It's all rideable but not necessarily all at once.
The last part of North Backbone mellows back out to contouring singletrack that twists and turns to Ute Trail (Road 175).