Moab Canyon Pathway

Utah

Moab Canyon Pathway Facts

States: Utah
Counties: Grand
Length: 12.7 miles
Trail end points: Colorado Riverway Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge and Highway 313 and Highway 191 intersection
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 8474615
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Moab Canyon Pathway Description

Running along the southern border of Utah’s famed Arches National Park, the Moab Canyon Pathway offers plenty of “wow” moments. The nearly 13-mile route follows Old Highway 191, which was converted into a paved, off-road trail.

The trail begins on the north end of Moab and after about 2 miles arrives at the Colorado Riverway Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge (a beautiful structure itself), just off Highway 128. From there, it leaves the river valley and climbs gradually as it heads northwest through the red sandstone cliffs of Moab Canyon.

After traveling about 2 miles from the Colorado River crossing, you can leave the trail to enter Arches National Park (arriving at a visitor center and parking lot) or continue on the trail as it parallels Highway 191 to trail’s end at Highway 313. (If you’re not intimidated by on-road riding, you could continue biking on Highway 313 and head southwest for 24 miles to Dead Horse Point State Park or 35 miles to Canyonlands National Park, but note that the experience will be a challenging climb.)

As you approach the north end of the pathway, you’ll also pass the Gemini Bridges Trailhead, which sits at the beginning of a popular 16-mile roundtrip mountain biking and ATV trail.

Parking and Trail Access

At the southern end of the trail, parking is available at Lions Park, north of Moab. Near the north end of the trail, you can park at the Gemini Bridges Trailhead.

Moab Canyon Pathway Reviews

This is a very worthy trail to do, either on its own or a way to connect up to other trails/areas. The scenery is outstanding. One could skip the short, boring section that delves into north Moab town, unless you want the extra mile or so on your odometer. A good bit of the remainder is along highway but still mostly pleasant (especially the section along the river) depending on the amount of traffic. After you pass Arches NP bearing north and start up the healthy climb, it gets further and further from the road and its noise until you connect again to it around Gemini Bridges road.

The path itself is wide, in excellent shape, and amazingly smooth... especially for asphalt (they apply some sort of black sealant/coating to it). Unlike concrete, there are no expansion joints or other cracks. It is like having a perfect country road all to yourself. Heavy rains and/or winds could deposit sand and other things on the path. There are 2 cattle guards to be wary of that come up fast on the ripping downhill section... but I guess those help keep you closer to the 20 mph posted speed limit! ;-)

As to when do this path, this is the wide open desert on a very black surface; summer time would be blazing hot. To me, mid-late fall and early-mid spring and nice winter stretches are the time to be in the Utah desert. 

I was surprised to see a review saying there wasn't much of a hill(s). There is a 1.3 mile 7% grade and much of the way heading south it is downhill. It was certainly a challenge going back up! However - it was awesome and I am so happy it was here! The surface as of September 2017 was superb, and at one of the southern spots to get on the trail the county was out making sure they had removed sand from the trail which had washed in on it during some rains. Looks like lots of mountain bike trails which branch off from the Moab Canyon pathway. The views are grand and it is was just a blast!!

Accordion

This is a great ride for road and recreational riders, no hills to speak of and the scenery is beautiful. You can take along your swimming trunks just in case you want to cool off in the Colorado river. Even the hardcore mountain bikers would enjoy this ride after a few hard days on the slick rock.

Did this trail on inline skates in July 2015. A great excercise, especially the climb midway up on to the plateau. Downhill two cattle grids adds to the experience though...:)

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