Utah Multisport Trip, May 2007 Itinerary

This trip is a long time in the making and, if you could see me right now, I am grinning from ear to ear knowing that we've finally found time to sit down and fine-tune the itinerary. It's going to happen. Finally. I can remember back in my high school days, paging through various photography books by guys like David Muench and thinking that I too would one day make the pilgrimage to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. The images on those pages were so otherworldly from my New Jersey surroundings that it was as if I refused to believe they even existed unless I saw them with my own eyes. In a way, I never stopped feeling that way. Kristin and I weren't married for even a year before I started accumulating maps and guidebooks to various Utah and Arizona destinations. As time went by and my love of photography and mountain biking grew, this desire to plot a worthwhile trip to the region only intensified. After all, smack dab between the aforementioned National Parks sits the Utah town of Moab, the Mecca of mountain biking. Now, as we near our ten year wedding anniversary; as I continue to prepare for a serious foray into endurance mountain bike racing; and as Kristin prepares to submerge herself into the Executive MBA program at the UW (hopefully!) later this year, we find ourselves with multiple reasons to finally put this trip together. And none not to.

Wednesday, May 2nd

  • Kennel dogs, load the truck with camping gear, kayaks, and mountain bike. Depart Snoqualmie, WA for Moab, UT by 9pm. Drive through the night.

Thursday, May 3rd

  • Arrive in Moab, check into motel, and collect our bearings. Rest.

Friday, May 4th

  • Meet up with Kenobonn (arriving separately) and mountain bike the Slickrock Trail for a warmup.

  • Gather gear and combine equipment for Kokopelli's Trail multi-day ride. Get a good night's rest.

Saturday, May 5th

  • Mountain biking the 142-mile Kokopelli's Trail with Kenobonn. Kristin will take support vehicle and meet us at Castle Valley Road for camp #1. Roughly 25 miles, mostly uphill. Camp at Rock Castle campground.

We're travelling from right-to-left as shown on the profile.
Day 1 is gonna suck!

Sunday, May 6th

  • Day #2 on Kokopelli's Trail. Riding from Castle Valley Road to Cisco Landing. Kristin will meet us at Dewey Bridge for water refills and food. Roughly 62 miles. Camp near Cisco Landing.

Monday, May 7th

  • Day #3 on Kokopelli's Trail. Riding from Cisco Landing to the trail's terminus near Loma, CO. Kristin will meet us at Rabbit Valley for water refills and food. Roughly 57 miles.

  • Return to Moab, UT for dinner, drinks, and to check back into motel. Bid Ken farewell.

Tuesday, May 8th

  • Full day whitewater rafting on the Colorado River with Adrift Adventures guide service. One more night in a Moab motel. Going to find a bike shop to store my mountain bike for several days.

Wednesday, May 9th

  • Sunrise start for hiking Arches National Park in the morning.
  • Check out of motel, lunch in Moab, start driving south.
  • Evening hiking in Canyonlands National Park and camp the night at Willow Flat Campground near Green River Overlook. Sunset hike.

Thursday, May 10th

Friday, May 11th

  • Load up kayaks with camping gear and paddle upstream in Lake Powell towards Moqui Canyon for some canyon hiking.
  • Spend the day paddling the lake. Will camp on an isolated beach.

Saturday, May 12th

  • Day #2 on Lake Powell. Paddle kayaks back to Hall's Crossing and, if time permits, head downstream to Lost Eden Canyon for additional photo-ops.
  • Return to the car at Hall's Crossing and make the drive back to Moab to retrieve my mountain bike.
  • Begin drive back home. Drive through the night and arrive home Sunday afternoon.


Maarten said...

With all the training you're doing, day 1 of the Kokopelli trail won't be that big a deal. It's a 3300 foot climb, mostly on a dirt road, right? You'll be done by noon.

You might as well ride up, catch UPS/LPS/Porcupine Rim down, have Kristin meet you at the Porc Rim trailhead, and then drive to the campsite.


Doug Walsh said...

That's a good suggestion. We've thought about shuttling Porc Rim on Friday, but I want to ride Slickrock Friday. As for Day 1 of the KT, ideally we'll continue on to Fisher Valley and just refuel Camelbacks at Castle Valley Road, but we're not expecting the road that leads to Fisher Valley to be passable in my Element in May. And I certainly don't want to risk it with Kristin driving the truck off-road alone.

So, the short day won't be that rough, you're right about that. But I'm fine with that, as it will give me a chance to acclimate to the aridity and the elevation, and also leave something for the next day which will be a long day.

But you never know, maybe I'll shuttle Porc Rim later in the week. Thanks for the suggestion.

Pete Parry said...

Hi, I'm a 30 year resident of Moab and the former Supt of ARCH, CANY and NABR. It sounds like your trip is more of an athletic experiment than a visit to truly enjoy the Canyon Country. Your schedule for CANY is almost laughable. You entirely miss the heart of CANY, the Needles district. Here's the time you should really schedule: ARCH 2 full days of touring and hiking. CANY 2 days exploring the Island in the Sky district while based in a Moab motel (the campgrounds will be full). Then 3 days exploring the Needles district, camping there or outside the Park on BLM lands. You will miss the Maze district of CANY, the ultimate back country experience. To bad you'll not get the real feel for the Canyon Country.

Pete Parry

Doug Walsh said...

Pete, thanks for the reply. You're absolutely right that we are indeed going to be missing the heart of a lot of things. But, then again, this is a multisport trip and certain to not be our last trip to the region.

While your suggestions do sound interesting, they do not mesh with what the goals of this trip are. The primary purpose of this trip is to ride the Kokopelli's Trail for training. The rest is just gravy.