The “Klonzo” Mountain Bike Focus Area, north of Moab recently doubled its trail mileage. The new carnival themed southern unit, Klonzo II, includes trails for every skill level, but some of the new trails are specifically designed for young kids, and it is exciting! I’m talking about kids as young as 4 or 5 who shred the fun mountain bike trails around Moab. For them, there are slickrock trails that are super fun and have dinosaur tracks, and sweet, flowy, singletrack dirt trails. I’m also talking about the adult kids like myself who will be totally entertained by intermediate routes spiced up with a bit of advanced technical.
The Carousel Loop trails are for beginners of all ages, and these are the first in the Moab area that contain a good amount of slickrock appropriate for the younger ripper crowd. Besides Carousel, this area includes Magician, Gypsy and Wizard. They are rated beginner with just a bit of easy intermediate terrain thrown in; and there are climbs but they are fairly gentle for fit kids. When riding on rock, it’s important to be competent with the brakes and always wear a helmet and gloves at a minimum. One little secret – downhill on Gypsy is a total blast and at any age! The dino tracks are located close to the northern Carousel/Midway intersection. There are two ways to get to this area: 1. Park at the trailhead where Midway starts, and ride up and over the ridge and down to Carousel. This requires a bit more fitness and technical skill since the trail is more intermediate. 2. If you have a vehicle with high clearance, you can drive to the start of Houdini and then turn right, and follow the jeep road downhill to the Carousel trailhead, (shown in gray on this map).
The Hot Dog trail is a flowy red dirt trail that is so much fun for the young ones that they may be doing laps on it. If you park where the Willow Springs Road intersects with the Midway Trail be sure to check out the dinosaur tracks just up the road from the parking area, look for the sign.
For the “older kids”, welcome to the sideshow at this carnival. There are many options to enjoy these intermediate and advanced new routes, but one of the cool ways to play here is to do laps on the Red Hot and Roller Coaster trails which are one-way, downhill only. Ride the many curves and bumps cautiously the first time, then build up speed, as you master the trail with your “progressive skills”.
Intermediate riders - start on the Edge trail, which plays among the boulders, and then take a turn on Topspin, the cliffy high point trail, which has some challenging rocky sections. The Houdini trail is a slickrock funhouse where you will ride over a rock and roll Curtis layer (AKA - Moab Tongue) of sandstone. Then head for Zoltar . . . you remember Zoltar right – the mechanical guy in a box who tells your fortune? This slickrock trail connects the north and south Klonzo units at the Borderline trail. From this point your riding options are countless! Be sure to include the Wahoo trail for off the chart fun factor.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a tip of the hat to the Grand County Trail Mix Crew for all their hard work and the particularly tough conditions they experienced to construct these trails. They had to endure the infamous June gnat season, which can drive anyone crazy. Then there was the discovery that the beautiful purple scorpion weed spread all along our route causes dermatitis like poison ivy, and let’s not forget all the sand that was shoveled for hours on end causing several sore backs. Kudos to Scott, Geoff, and Sandy, who scouted and designed most of the trails. Just between you and I, these guys are also looking at a connector trail to the Moab Brands System, and something called Gravitron for the advanced bikers in northern Klonzo.
Directions: About 1.8 miles north of the Hwy. 313/191 intersection, exit to the east off of Hwy. 191 onto the Willow Springs Rd. Travel about 2.75 miles to the first Klonzo Trailhead & then another .5 miles to the Midway parking area on the right. High clearance vehicles are good and 4X4 is preferable since you have to cross Courthouse wash, occasionally in deep sand.
About the author: Brooks Carter is a mountain bike guide at Rim Tours. As a volunteer to Trail Mix, he designed and helped build EKG, Mega Steps, Little Salty, UFO, Alaska, Nome, Homer, Miner’s Loop and Houdini trails, (more to come in 2015). Life is good!