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May 9, 2011

Moab: Sovereign Singletrack

Filed under: MTB Travel, Southern Utah, Southwest United States, Travel, United States — anotherheader @ 11:24 pm

Our ride started simply enough.  With Patty, Becky, and Reba the Trail Dog, we headed out to ride Moab’s Sovereign Singletrack.  The plan was straightforward.  We’d park off of Dalton Wells Road and ride the loop as I had before.  Things did not work out as planned, though.  Our route soon fell victim to the allure of newly minted trails.  Soon the standard route turned into a distinctly non-standard route.

Patty heads to the red rock slab tunnel

Sovereign is a newer riding area on the border of Arches National Park north of Moab.  The singletrack trail options at Sovereign have continued to evolve.  Here mountain biking trails comingle with the ATV routes creating a web of route possibilities.

Our ride started on Dalton Wells Road.  The standard route was abandoned quickly when a sweet new piece of singletrack veered off to the left from the dirt road.  This tricky fun trail moves up a rocky drainage and passes under a red rock slab tunnel.  Soon after this first track ended another piece of trail, this time a somewhat sandy though appealing piece of an ATV route, tempted us in to the right.

The standard track had vanished into a maze of new trails.  Before long, our location was uncertain.  Perhaps that’s just a polite way of saying that I was lost.  Nevertheless, the new trails, though not expedient for the days ride goals, were interesting.  Indeed, there’s plenty of cool stuff to ride in the Sovereign area.  It would be cool to revisit some of our ride’s discoveries.  Too bad I’m not sure how to find them.  It’s a downside of not knowing where you are.

Eventually we did manage to find Sovereign’s main trail corridor.  As usual, the trails here roll with pleasure over slick rock and through the desert.  All too soon though, we were again off the “standard” route and heading to the truck on a most unfortunate ATV trail.  The low points of this ATV track were filled with sand so ultra fine that it could be used in ashtrays and egg timers.  Pushing the bikes through the trail’s all to frequent sand traps ultimately took us back to Dalton Wells Road and the truck.

Perhaps this particular ride was not as much fun as it could have been.  No matter, we would be sure to remember it for days to come.  After all, Sovereign’s fine sand would take time to work its way out of our shoes, ears, teeth, and other unmentionable locations.

Really, though, Sovereign is a great place to ride.  It’s even better if route is well planned and executed.  The lines are creative and entertaining.  Desert singletrack and slickrock synergistically intermingle in one mountain biking venue.  Plus Sovereign is a great place to explore new trails, whether you want to or not.

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