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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, March 14, 2014

Moab's Best New Bike Trails Plus Bears In Canyonlands

With the weather warming, Moab is coming to life. The next few weeks will be perhaps the best of the year to bike, hike, jeep and explore the Moab area including Arches and Canyonalds national parks. And publications around the world are taking note. Here's just a sample of articles I saw today. describes and shows photos of new trails that are just as good as some of the classics. Their list includes:
  • Magnificent 7 (actually a network of trails)
  • Great Escape
  • Gold Bar Trail
  • Amasa Back trails
  • Captain Ahab Trail
  • Klondike Bluff trails
Top Five Reasons To Mountain Bike The White Rim Trail
Julie Trevelyan has an excellent blog post, with photos, touting the White Rim experience.

"1) You get to cycle through an abundance of jaw-dropping landscape that will nurture, soothe, and simply exhilarate your soul. Many consider this the most scenic bike ride in the country."

Canyonlands National Park now requires backcountry campers to use bear resistant contains in the Upper Salt and Salt-Horse backcountry zones in the Needles District. Bears wander down from nearby mountains and sometimes encounter humans.

"In recent years, there has been an increase in the frequency of black bear sightings and signs (including tracks and scat) in the Salt Creek watershed. Other negative wildlife-visitor interactions in the Needles backcountry have involved repeated instances of rock squirrels and raccoons aggressively damaging visitors' gear in efforts to gain access to food. The behavior of these animals indicates that they have become habituated to human food that has not been adequately secured. The intent of the new bear-resistant container policy is to prevent wildlife access to human food, and to ultimately help protect visitors and wildlife from harm."

The Road Through Amazing Moab
Two Australians describe their Moab adventures.

Though it’s flanked by some the world’s finest scenery, the town is no Brigadoon. Its main road is a sea of neon-lit, garish little motels and fast food outlets with names like Eddy McStiff’s and Love Muffin. Yet there’s a certain endearing kitchiness about it (as with many tourist towns across the US built post World War II). The motel chains and fast food joints are purely there to cater to the tourists (who hold up the local economies), and good taste has never been a priority when there’s a fast buck on offer.

In Arches: "Around every bend on the Scenic Drive, we’d encounter formations so jaw-droppingly dramatic they made Ayers Rock seem like something of a beach pebble in comparison."

Heading Into Canyonlands: "The area is called Dead Horse Point, renowned as the most spectacular vantage point in Utah. With the snow-capped La Sal mountains in the distance and the Colorado River snaking thousands of feet below, it features some of the most breathtaking scenery we’d ever seen, easily rivaling anything the Grand Canyon has to offer." has a fun blog post providing an overview of the Moab area. This post also features beautiful photos.

Interestingly, one of the photos is of the famous Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River below Lake Powell. It's a great photo but it doesn't show the Moab area. Right river but wrong section.

- Dave Webb


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