Moab 4: Porcupine Rim (no porcupines present)

The Moosling and I spent a morning around camp – mostly climbing the mountain and going exploring – while Alex and Greban went riding on the Slickrock trail.

Later in the morning our messiah (aka Jeremy) turned up, and Alex & Finn performed shuttle duties, dropping us off at the top of the UPS trail (no higher, thanks to muddy trails) to start Porcupine Rim. Porcupine Rim is one of the ‘must-do’ trails of Moab, and though it largely consists of double track, it certainly has spectacular views. Most people do it as 23km of mostly downhill (although it’s far from easy, effortless downhill), and a few mad folk do it as a 50km loop. I have a suspicion that Alex and I would fall into the latter category were it not for the limiting factors of offspring and riding with more mentally stable companions.

After an initial uphill slog, we started winding our way downhill on pleasant single track through the trees.

The trail kept sneaking up to Porcupine Rim, with outstanding views of Castle Valley, so there were quite a few photo stops.

I was nursing my bike a little, as I’d realised that not only were my front shock seals gone, but my front and rear brake pads were both close to worn through as well. Nonetheless I mostly managed to hang onto Jeremy and Brendan’s tail as we flew downhill, and it was a good crash course (thankfully with no crashing) in remembering how to descend on dirt.

The last section of single trail by the Colorado River gets a little more interesting and exposed, but in a thought-provoking rather than mind-numbingly terrifying sort of way (despite Brendan’s attempts beforehand to ensure I was well and truly worried about falling to my doom on this part of the trail). By the time we descended to river-level and the car, I was just ready for the trail to keep going and going, and was more than a little disappointed that it had ended.

We did treat ourselves with showers in town though (Sand Flats has no running water), and then we even bought dinner instead of cooking back at camp. Luxury.

Distance biked: 27.5 km
Elevation gain: 176 m

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