Navajo Rocks Chaco Loop

 94 votes

17.6 Miles 28.3 Kilometers


95%

Singletrack

1,467' 447 m

Ascent

-1,448' -441 m

Descent

5,607' 1,709 m

High

4,970' 1,515 m

Low

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

All Clear

2 days agoUpdate

A little bit of everything from flowy to technical. Very scenic and fun riding.

Scotty Vina

Overview

KEEP SINGLETRACK SINGLE! Moab's dirt is alive and very fragile! The desert dirt is made of fragile biological soil crust that ranges in color from black at its most mature to light brown as it begins forming. Tiny tendrils of crust hold particles of sand in place and help keep moisture in the soil, allowing plants to survive. Soil crusts prevent erosion and without the crust holding in the soil, wind storms are more likely and erosion occurs.
This trail system that has some great flow and technical riding. No matter which way you do this ride, you'll be surprised by how energy sapping the consistent ups and downs are. The trail is all singletrack as you head back to your car with a few little tiny straight up climbs....don't feel bad if you walk 25 yards up the steep sections....everyone does it :)
SCENIC FUN!!!

Need to Know

Just when you think you have enough water, BRING MORE. It's a long ride, and you'll be having so much fun that you'll forget how much water you need to be drinking! No camping along the trail...BUT...Dubinky Well Road is just west of the trailhead on Hwy 313 and has some great dispersed camping.

Description

This is a unique ride. It uses several linked trails starting with Rocky Tops then Coney Island then Big Lonely to Big Mesa and the "grand finale" Ramblin'. You start on Rocky Tops, which is a nice warm-up. Its climbs are quick and painless while the legs tune up for the large ride. It's tighter riding around desert juniper bush/trees mixed with sand, slick rock and pack clay. As you get towards the end the views start to open up and bring you closer to the beauty of Big Mesa.

Rocky Tops is not bad, but you need to leave a little energy in the bucket for the incredible grand finale. You'll see people coming up from the other side, and they look in anguish. This is a painful climb from the other side! Just don't do it! Rocky Tops is a unique trail in that it seems as if a non-mountain biker designed it....which might be the case. But there are two little climbs that make you think..."Hmmm...this 6' jump onto the rock doesn't seem ride-able, but I'm sure there are talented people out there that have ridden it." Anyway, this section of trail undulates quite a bit but has some truly amazing views. Juniper berry trees, sand, cactus etc. quickly become your high-speed obstacles on the descent with some technical slick rock.

Then you come to Coney Island trail, which is a brutal, lonely climb. However, once it's done, this is where speeds increase, and it gets "buttery" or some would say flowy and fun. In this area, it starts to be more open singletrack grassland riding mixed with the occasional slick rock. Then this brings us to Big Lonely. You're finally feeling some nice relaxing, but techy downhill. Some of it's on old doubletrack that has been decommissioned.

Next is the Big Mesa trail which is the jewel of the Nile of this ride. Take your time, stop to take pictures, go slower, and LOOK UP! Enjoy the scenery of this incredible ride. Sure the trail is awesome and real buttery, but take your time and enjoy this one. There is a cool little rebar bridge which I would think some would find "interesting" especially if you are on foot. Truth be told.....I can see how some would find it intimidating as the re-bar welded slats on this bridge are separated by about 6". Ride across it without any issue..uhhhh hmmm....don't stop on the bridge!! If you're on foot....you'll have a bit more of a challenge. This shouldn't keep you from this trail, however.

This is a loop that if you don't race it....and take your time to stop and smell the roses....can be MAGICAL!

History & Background

This is a trail that was collectively created by Moab Trail Mix, BLM-Moab and Moab Trails Alliance. This trail was created in 2014.

Contacts

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4.6 from 94 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Oct 14, 2017
Clare Liu
Oct 14, 2017
Nick Nedostup
15mi
Oct 13, 2017
Pascal Andre Vendittoli
2h 15m
Oct 13, 2017
Edward-Bam Lopez
Oct 12, 2017
D.E. Abert
Complete Chaco Loop. Chocalty Delicious! Started from upper parking lot dropped in on Middle Earth then took a right onto Coney Islands... 18.8mi
Oct 11, 2017
Dustin Vasquez
wonderful ride. definitely expect to see traffic. enough trails to spend a couple days in that area. maps at every intersection. 18mi
Oct 7, 2017
Nick Disparti
Oct 7, 2017
Todd Taylor
First time riding Navajo Rocks. Fantastic ride, reminded me of Little Creek Mesa without the mesa. Primo fall conditions yesterday! 17.7mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 93 votes

#1

in 7-Up

#10

Overall
  4.5 from 93 votes
5 Star
62%
4 Star
32%
3 Star
4%
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1 Star
1%
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#1

in 7-Up

#4

in Utah

#10

Overall
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39,780 Since Sep 27, 2015
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Conditions


All Clear 2 days ago

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An amazing ride to do. Rode it clockwise so we could finish on Big Mesa and Ramblin and this seems like the better way to go but you could go either way. Start early and bring lots of water! The last couple of miles were tough in the heat. Rocky Tops has some fun slickrock to start on and Big Mesa is one of the coolest trails you'll find anywhere. May 10, 2017
Amy PJ  
I'm a fairly solid intermediate rider, who is new to riding sand and slick rock (I ride the more flowy trails in the northern Wasatch.) I found the climbs on this ride to be a cakewalk, but as an intermediate rider who has some holes in the skill set and lacks some braveness at times, this trail was exhausting and above my comfort level on a lot of sections. Just a head's up. Gorgeous views!!! May 22, 2017
Ben Carelock
Cortez, CO
Ben Carelock   Cortez, CO
I'd say this trail is good, but not great. Definitely would be about 1/2 way down my list for rides to do in the Moab area. Aug 30, 2017

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