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  1. #1
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    Mar 2014
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    Looking for drivable warm weather mountain bike destination

    Wanting to escape the mud season in mid November. Coming from N Idaho. For reference, St George is 14 hours. Not really looking to exceed that. Thinking Moab/Fruita might be too chilly? Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    san diego
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    I went to Moab/Fruita/GJ for Thanksgiving week a few years ago, the holiday was early that year similar to your timing. Temps were good during the day except when it was windy - mid to high 50s in Moab and mid 40s to low 50s in CO. And it went below freezing at night, high 20s. It rained the second day of the trip which shut down trails in CO for a few days so that can happen. There are ride options in Moab for when things are wet. If it's dry you just have to deal with the cold. Not a big deal IMO, and that's coming from a Socal cold weather wimp. I might do Moab for Thanksgiving this year, but will keep some options open in case conditions don't look good. I've done StG/Hurricane that week and its a bit warmer than Moab, but fewer options if there is rain.

    If you want guaranteed good weather fly down to AZ if the drive is too far. Sedona is 4-5 hours past StG. Flying with car rental would be pretty easy in AZ. Sedona can be a bit chilly but like StG nice during the day. Prescott, Phx, BCT, Tucson are all prime riding then. Another fly-in option is LA. Seriously. There is some awesome riding above Pasadena in the San Gabriel Mtns, think 4-5,000ft descents. You could also hit the Santa Monica Mtns, Ojai, Santa Barbara, even Palm Springs/desert ride season would be starting.

    If flying isn't an option consider Norcal. You could do a loop hitting Redding, Chico, Auburn then over to Santa Rosa, Mendocino, Paradise Royale, redwoods, and back. Can give you more specific suggestions for any of these if interested.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Thanksgiving TR for reference: https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...highlight=ahab

    406 did a similar trip there the following year https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...t=thanksgiving

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Rossland BC
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    1,557
    Moab is fine that time of year, with good deals on cheap hotels (itís too cold to camp) and uncrowned trails. Just sleep in late and ride during the warmest parts of the day. Depending on the year the high elevation trails might be snowed out, but the sandy rides can be in their prime. After more Fall bike trips to the desert than I can remember, and now that bikes are free on most airlines, Iím going to try Bentonville in Arkansas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    21,729
    Quote Originally Posted by Kootenai View Post
    Wanting to escape the mud season in mid November. Coming from N Idaho. For reference, St George is 14 hours. Not really looking to exceed that. Thinking Moab/Fruita might be too chilly? Thoughts?
    not excited about the drive?
    or the location?

    or come north and ski in the CND rockies


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    7,577
    Coming from Nidaho the decision to go south or east from SLC gives about the same distance to StG or Moab. Maybe a game time decision based on weather?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    5,087
    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    now that bikes are free on most airlines
    Wait...what? Is this true? If so, how did I miss this?

    Really? Which airlines?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Banff
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    Quote Originally Posted by beece View Post
    Wait...what? Is this true? If so, how did I miss this?

    Really? Which airlines?
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/delta-...ing-bikes.html


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Shadynasty's Jazz Club
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    9,801
    Went to Moab last November. Got into the 20s at night, but was perfect during the day. AM shuttles are still running, thereís hardly anyone there so plenty of camping spots and empty trails. Maybe the best time to go now that it gets so crazy down there.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    SLC
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    386
    I'll echo what Evdog said. I'm a pretty big fan the riding in AZ during the winter. Coming from Salt Lake, we have much closer access to St. George and Moab but IMO AZ is better. Lots of variety even just in the Phoenix area. Vegas is also super fun if you're up for the gnar at Bootleg. You also have all the Vegas shenanigans if you're into that kind of thing. And flights are usually pretty cheap to Vegas or Phoenix.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    27,640
    Flying into Vegas and drivivng north was the cheapest way to get to Moab for us, i think i will be going back next fall

    I did Vegas 15 years ago and it is now way more expensive, i wonder if thats because it appears that there are less losers gambling and the gambling subsidized the price of everything ?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Paper St. Soap Co.
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    I-15 is an easy drive, so don't let the drive discourage you from St. George. I have done thanksgiving week mtb trips in SW UT a couple times, Sedona a few times, Moab, and Santa Cruz. I think about 50% of them had 1 loss or shortened day due to rain. Sedona has really got busy in the last ~5 years, but maybe just before t-giving would be fewer hikers. It will be cold at night, but nice when sun is up, these days I spring for hotel or condo over 12 hours in cold tent :-)

    Might be worth checking flights to Bay area, PHX, LAS if you can get nonstop on airline that doesn't charge for bike bags from GEG.

    What kind of riding are you looking for? Been to any of the places listed above before?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    7B Selkirks USA
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    859
    All good advice! Particularly on the airlines (now we may forego the driving...) So now just looking for sweet pre-powder season trail riding. I have made a couple trips to PHX/Sedona. So I don't need to go there for awhile. Tucson seems like mixed reviews? That brings back St George/Moab or..... tell me more about SoCal. And what kinda riding? Good all day rides 3-6 hours. Single track techie, xc, trail, with views. No need for shuttles but not against them as long as it involves climbing along the way. Gotta digest more of these trip reports.

  14. #14
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    If you have never biked in Moab or SW Utah(stay in Hurricane ), I would recommend those...The NorCal loop Evdog mentioned would also be good, but involve more driving.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Eugenio Oregůn
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    7,781

    Looking for drivable warm weather mountain bike destination

    Evdog nailed it.

    And donít underplay NorCal. It can ride amazingly in mid November with perfect weather. UC Santa Cruz, Soquel Demo / Nisene Marks, Annadel SP, Henry Coe, Camp Tamarancho, Napa Skyline, UC Berkeley Side O, and possibly Mendocino/Jackson Demo state forest can all be *amazing* in mid November if dry or light rain. Packed fast clayey loam with redwood needle duff. To die for.

    I canít speak to SoCal as I only Road rode when growing up down there.
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Donner Summit
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    Bump... The wife and I will be kidless for Thanksgiving this year for the first time in forever, and thinking about a road trip. Want to stick with driving for maximum flexibility (we'll probably just stay home and ski if there's snow) and to avoid hassles flying close to T-day. Santa Cruz, Soquel, etc. are definitely an option but we've ridden there a ton and are looking for something new.

    Looking at options - Hurricane is a 9 hour drive from Tahoe, Sedona, Moab, and Fruita are all 12-13. All doable in a day but Hurricane is closer. Looking for long rides, not-too-techy trails, and views. Is there enough to keep us busy for a few days in SW Utah? Seems like we could check out the JEM trails area, Wire Mesa, Guacamole, and maybe some of the easier options in Gooseberry? How busy are the trails over Thanksgiving?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    Quote Originally Posted by teledad View Post
    Bump... The wife and I will be kidless for Thanksgiving this year for the first time in forever, and thinking about a road trip. Want to stick with driving for maximum flexibility (we'll probably just stay home and ski if there's snow) and to avoid hassles flying close to T-day. Santa Cruz, Soquel, etc. are definitely an option but we've ridden there a ton and are looking for something new.

    Looking at options - Hurricane is a 9 hour drive from Tahoe, Sedona, Moab, and Fruita are all 12-13. All doable in a day but Hurricane is closer. Looking for long rides, not-too-techy trails, and views. Is there enough to keep us busy for a few days in SW Utah? Seems like we could check out the JEM trails area, Wire Mesa, Guacamole, and maybe some of the easier options in Gooseberry? How busy are the trails over Thanksgiving?
    Hurkin can def keep you busy for a few days. Not sure how busy it is over T'giving, though...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by teledad View Post
    Bump... The wife and I will be kidless for Thanksgiving this year for the first time in forever, and thinking about a road trip. Want to stick with driving for maximum flexibility (we'll probably just stay home and ski if there's snow) and to avoid hassles flying close to T-day. Santa Cruz, Soquel, etc. are definitely an option but we've ridden there a ton and are looking for something new.

    Looking at options - Hurricane is a 9 hour drive from Tahoe, Sedona, Moab, and Fruita are all 12-13. All doable in a day but Hurricane is closer. Looking for long rides, not-too-techy trails, and views. Is there enough to keep us busy for a few days in SW Utah? Seems like we could check out the JEM trails area, Wire Mesa, Guacamole, and maybe some of the easier options in Gooseberry? How busy are the trails over Thanksgiving?
    Santa Barbara is generally great that time of year. Lots of DH hoping in the front and back country.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Donner Summit
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    Quote Originally Posted by supermodel159 View Post
    Santa Barbara is generally great that time of year. Lots of DH hoping in the front and back country.
    Interesting... I went to school there but at the time the riding was mostly fire roads. I'll check out what's been built since then.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,394
    We did a Hurricane Thanksgiving trip, great riding imo, techy but lots of it really fun for a strong intermediate. Amazing views from Gooseberry, Wire, and Guacamole. Camping on Gooseberry was pretty cold though, and days are short. All kinds of fun stuff between Tahoe and there, Caliente and Ely especially, but they're going to be even colder. Sedona's probably the warmest spot on your list.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by teledad View Post
    Interesting... I went to school there but at the time the riding was mostly fire roads. I'll check out what's been built since then.
    Message if you have questions. Tons of epic DH, Endless miles of fire roads.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Tahoe-ish
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    2,367
    Quote Originally Posted by panchosdad View Post
    We did a Hurricane Thanksgiving trip, great riding imo, techy but lots of it really fun for a strong intermediate. Amazing views from Gooseberry, Wire, and Guacamole. Camping on Gooseberry was pretty cold though, and days are short. All kinds of fun stuff between Tahoe and there, Caliente and Ely especially, but they're going to be even colder. Sedona's probably the warmest spot on your list.
    Vegas has a ton of riding now too, and some of it is really excellent. Caliente it's very worth a stop.

    The Hurricane/St George area has at least a week's worth of great riding. Temps can be significantly different between the two as well, depending on what you need.

    Or just come to New Zealand with us for the month of November.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    SLC
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    1,629
    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    And donít underplay NorCal. It can ride amazingly in mid November with perfect weather. UC Santa Cruz, Soquel Demo / Nisene Marks, Annadel SP, Henry Coe, Camp Tamarancho, Napa Skyline, UC Berkeley Side O, and possibly Mendocino/Jackson Demo state forest can all be *amazing* in mid November if dry or light rain. Packed fast clayey loam with redwood needle duff. To die for.
    I have a preference for loamy trails, and I would say that western Washington and the Bay Area (specifically the greater Santa Cruz area and Mendocino) have by far the best riding in the country. November is perfect in the Bay Area so its a no brainer to go there if you want good weather and trails. Moab, St George, and Arizona are pretty but the trails are more bumpy and rocky (some are more into that, no judgement). So Cal is kind of a mix between the desert southwest and Nor Cal, some rough rocky trails and some good dirt, but they do have the mega long descents that are usually in prime shape in November.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Paper St. Soap Co.
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    Yeah, I have done Santa Cruz, Mendocino, Santa Cruz last three thanksgiving trips. Planning Santa Cruz for this year's. Fewer days of riding for me though, kid activities the other days.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by teledad View Post
    Looking at options - Hurricane is a 9 hour drive from Tahoe, Sedona, Moab, and Fruita are all 12-13. All doable in a day but Hurricane is closer. Looking for long rides, not-too-techy trails, and views. Is there enough to keep us busy for a few days in SW Utah? Seems like we could check out the JEM trails area, Wire Mesa, Guacamole, and maybe some of the easier options in Gooseberry? How busy are the trails over Thanksgiving?
    Plenty of intermediate options in Hurricane, inexpensive hotels too. Shouldn't be too busy, but who knows now that nobody works.

    Sedona will definitely be busy that week...lots of hikers.

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