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Abajo Loop: Spring Creek to Robertson Pasture

Difficult

Trail

14.7 mile 23.6 kilometer loop
80% Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,544' 775 m
Descent: -2,545' -776 m
High: 10,516' 3,205 m
Low: 8,279' 2,523 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Nick Wilder

A superb alpine adventure with forests, meadows, rocks, and epic views.

Nick Wilder

Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

No bicycles or motorcycles October 1 - May 15.

Overview

Many people consider this the finest singletrack ride in the Abajos: it has a bit of everything from deep, dark pine forests, aspen glades, meadows, rock gardens, and views of the entire area, including distant mountain ranges and desert canyons nearly 8,000 feet below.

Description

From the huge parking lot with amazing views, head east on the road just a couple hundred yards to Road 5113/0172. Start a steep climb and grind up until you reach the Spring Creek Trail (159) intersection on the right.

This trail is quite easy and pleasant for the first half mile as it winds through aspen and pine forest. It breaks out into semi-desert territory and begins to climb for quite a while, and some folks will have to hike-a-bike, though the only excuse is lung capacity! Enjoy some nice high views before heading back into forest for a technical, rocky section. Though the trail doesn't climb or descend much here, it will take some time to navigate the rocks. You'll eventually hit the Robertson Pasture Trail, where you take a right.

Robertson Pasture Trail has got to be one of the finest trails anywhere in North America. You'll start by climbing a mile. For most cyclists, parts will be hike-a-bike. The first 0.7 miles are the hardest. Top out at 10,522 feet and begin an exhilarating cross-country descent.

You start out on switchbacks that comprise what amounts to a superb natural flow trail. You zip in and out of alpine meadows and very dark forest areas, going from the landscapes of Crested Butte to British Columbia to California's Lost Coast and back again in just a couple of miles. When not in the forested parts, you have views of and beyond Canyonlands National Park that probably extend more than 100 miles to the north and west.

There are moderately technical rocky parts and moderately steep parts, but an intermediate rider should be OK with a bit of walking. Then, around 9500 feet elevation, you traverse Robertson Pasture, a first-class alpine meadow, on pleasant, mellow singletrack. Still descending, you reach aspen stands around 9000 feet and you feel like you're in Park City, Utah or the Gunnison/Crested Butte area again.

Below that, you reach what feels like the best of Southern California, with rocky desert trails and some stiff power climbs (hike-a-bike for some, but short) and beautiful views into a typical mid-elevation Utah valley.

Once you hit the bottom, follow a short stretch of road back to the parking area.

Contacts

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Check-Ins

Sep 21, 2019
Spencer DelaLuna
Practically the only half-decent trail in the Abajos. 16mi — 3h 00m
Aug 23, 2019
Scott G
Great ride, I live in Moab and I finally made it down. Some (many) will hike-a-bike a bit, not much. But it's no walk no the park! Worth it. 15mi
Jul 16, 2017
Mark Mastalski
Sep 30, 2016
Nick Wilder
Great day in the changing aspens! 15mi

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 10 votes

#2308

Overall
  3.5 from 10 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
20%
Ride Rankings

#89

in Utah

#2,308

Overall
121 Views Last Month
6,147 Since Sep 22, 2016
Difficult

0%
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88%
13%

Photos

Tight switchbacks with big views near the top of Robertson Pasture Trail
Oct 5, 2016 near Monticello, UT
The trail is smooth, but you need solid lungs to crank up the aspen-covered hills.
Oct 5, 2016 near Monticello, UT
Awesome fall colors on Spring Creek.
Oct 5, 2016 near Monticello, UT
Great aspens on Robertson Pasture Trail.
Oct 5, 2016 near Monticello, UT
Great aspens mid-way up Robertson Pasture Trail.
Oct 5, 2016 near Monticello, UT
View of Canyonlands National Park from parking lot on North Creek Road No. 101.
Nov 3, 2016 near Monticello, UT

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