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  1. #1
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    Klondike Bluffs access from Salt Valley Road?

    I'm camping in Arches (Devil's Garden Campground) next month with my non-MTB riding family. I'm looking to get some solo riding in, and I want to minimize the amount of time my family has to spend waiting for me to drive around to trailheads. It looks like Salt Valley road provides nice access between the inner part of the park, where the campground is, and the Klondike Trail system. Is it reasonable to drive out Salt Valley road from the NPS campground to access the Klondike Bluffs trail system via Baby Steps? Is a Subaru ok on this road, and is it ok to leave it parked there while I ride? Or will this add a enough boring dirt road pedaling or drive time that I'd be better off driving out of the park the normal way, then riding somewhere else?

    Thanks.

    edit: Salt Valley road, not Salt Flats
    Last edited by elesquiador; 02-10-2021 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by elesquiador View Post
    I'm camping in Arches (Devil's Garden Campground) next month with my non-MTB riding family. I'm looking to get some solo riding in, and I want to minimize the amount of time my family has to spend waiting for me to drive around to trailheads. It looks like Salt Flats road provides nice access between the inner part of the park, where the campground is, and the Klondike Trail system. Is it reasonable to drive out Salt Flats road from the NPS campground to access the Klondike Bluffs trail system via Baby Steps? Is a Subaru ok on this road, and is it ok to leave it parked there while I ride? Or will this add a enough boring dirt road pedaling or drive time that I'd be better off driving out of the park the normal way, then riding somewhere else?

    Thanks.
    Not sure about that but you can drive into the park from Willow Springs Road, past the Klonzo trailhead, in a high clearance vehicle. I'd be VERY cautious to take a subie on the road mentioned, and I've never heard of a connecter to Klondike Bluffs, seems likely it would be a bit of a struggle with a Subaru if it existed at all. If its a weekend, or a holiday weekend, you could very well be spending an hour in line to get into the park, especially in the spring (March-June). You're probably best off sneaking out, driving to the Moab Brand trails, then back, closest trail network to the park itself. Or, if your family wanted to go walk around Moab, drive the La Sal Loop Road, etc you could always have them drop you at those trails then you can ride the bike path back into town. Another good option for that would be having them drop you at the South end of Pipe dream and it spits you back out at McDonalds in town. Easy win/win if they were looking to do something else for the day.
    Edit to add: if you were to try to ride from the park out to Klondike on that road, be prepared for a VERY sandy double track that will make you hate life, more than likely.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    Not sure about that but you can drive into the park from Willow Springs Road, past the Klonzo trailhead, in a high clearance vehicle. I'd be VERY cautious to take a subie on the road mentioned, and I've never heard of a connecter to Klondike Bluffs, seems likely it would be a bit of a struggle with a Subaru if it existed at all. If its a weekend, or a holiday weekend, you could very well be spending an hour in line to get into the park, especially in the spring (March-June). You're probably best off sneaking out, driving to the Moab Brand trails, then back, closest trail network to the park itself. Or, if your family wanted to go walk around Moab, drive the La Sal Loop Road, etc you could always have them drop you at those trails then you can ride the bike path back into town. Another good option for that would be having them drop you at the South end of Pipe dream and it spits you back out at McDonalds in town. Easy win/win if they were looking to do something else for the day.
    Edit to add: if you were to try to ride from the park out to Klondike on that road, be prepared for a VERY sandy double track that will make you hate life, more than likely.
    Good info. Thanks.

    Here's what I was thinking:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Overlay is the Strava heatmap. So driving(not pedaling) Salt Valley road, then riding the part marked with the arrow. Based on the heatmap, it doesn't look like many people ride there, so it doesn't surprise me if it's soul-sucking sand. If Salt Valley road is true 4WD / high clearance terrain, the idea is DOA anyway. Probably better to just take the car for a day and go ride where I want.

  4. #4
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    Id much rather drive around and not have to deal with the variables, but Ive never seen or been on Salt Valley. Maybe someone with better knowledge of the specific road will chime in but its either fine, Sandy enough that the subie is a bad idea, or has some 4x4 mixed in, given what I do know that the road past Klonzo, dalton wells/ willow is only recommended for high clearance and can get bad in a hurry. Klondike bluffs is good riding but if I had the option to take a day Id go ride hymasa to Ahab or bull run/getaway mag 7 area 3 times over before riding kb.


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  5. #5
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    I think your plan is solid. Nobody goes that way to bike because bikers usually camp anywhere but a NP if they are there to bike. Salt Valley road is gravel and flat. The visitors center can confirm or deny your plan over the phone or while you are there in person in case I'm wrong. There is always some old coot behind the counter that knows whatever zone you have questions about, it's kind of an amazing resource. Or ask at the gate at Arches.

  6. #6
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    Devils Garden CG is amazing, but it does feel DEEP into Arches NP. I can see wanting to try this too, rather than driving out of the park to the highway

  7. #7
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    Sweet! I knew someone would have some better beta^ that was my big concern about the road, as some other roads out that way are pretty sandy. I think your plan does sound good now, but if you can take a day, theres some great riding as mentioned above.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  8. #8
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    I knew this was the right place to ask. Thanks, mags.

  9. #9
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    Closing the loop here in case anyone else searches and finds this thread -- Klondike access from Salt Valley road is easy. It's about 30 minutes from the Devils Garden campground. The road is good, and you can drive right up to the bottom of the Baby Steps North climb - no high clearance required. It's a quick and easy climb on your bike from there to be on the trail system. Definitely recommended if you're camped in the park.

    I had an awesome week in Moab - rode Porcupine, Ahab, Mag 7, and Klondike. So good to finally get out of town after a long year at home!

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