Arches National Park Gravel Ride

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Location:
Moab, UT
Date Published:
April 6, 2019
Distance:
36.50
mi
Elevation:
2953
ft
Gravel Ratio:
85% G / 15% P
Difficulty Rating:
⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰
Enjoyability Rating:
⭐️⭐️
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⚠️ We don’t recommend following this route as ridden. See our notes below

Highs:

Biking into Arches National Park for free without having to contend with car traffic and the park entrance line!

AMAZING views of Arches (especially Balanced Rock) and the La Sal Mountain Range.

It was nice to have the opportunity to practice on some basic slick rock terrain without fear of falling!

This was a true groad with an immaculately smooth paved downhill section in the park where we almost hit 40 mph (Fun!!)

Lows:

SAND! It really doesn’t matter how thick your tires are, when you are in a super sandy creek bed, there isn’t any hope of riding. The second half of this ride ended up being a lot of “hike-a-bike”. We had to get on and off constantly based on deep sand and rocky terrain that was impassable on a gravel bike.

Do this ride if you want to walk your bike a lot in the second half 🤪. Seriously, WE DON’T RECOMMEND THIS RIDE AS WE DID IT!

Other Notes:

For a more enjoyable ride, we would have preferred an out and back ride, turning around at mile 13, or staying on the paved road till it ends, then turning around and going back the way we came. For a few more miles, you could turn around at mile 20 since Arches Salt Wash Road is passable (but it is very bumpy with chunky stones and was not our favorite.)

Without all the sand and walking, this ride could have easily been rated a 4-star in enjoyability and 3-4 difficulty rating, so don’t let it deter you from biking in the area- just don’t follow our exact route.

There were plenty of outhouses/bathrooms along the entire route because of the national park amenities.

Another option that would add a lot of paved miles would be to start from Moab on the bike trail and turn off on Willow Springs Road/BLM378.

We started this ride a few miles down Willow Springs Road/BLM378 from the turn off of US Highway 191 at the Willow Springs Trailhead. If you wanted to bike the entire Willow Springs/BLM378 road there is also parking at the beginning of the road.

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Laura & Rose

Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.

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