bikepacking moab

The Desert Ramble: Bikepacking Moab’s Kane Creek Trail

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

The Desert Ramble proved to be just that – a ramble through the desert. We started out with a plan, but the wet, muddy conditions, photo ops and numerous hike-a-bikes slowed us down, way down, so the group made new plans. We ended up having more time in Moab and less time on the Kokopelli Trail but in the end we had one unforgettable adventure! I hope to complete the entire Kokopelli someday, maybe with some suspension and a lighter setup. One thing I did learn is that the fatbike is one capable machine. I plan on letting the fatbike take me many more places in the future.

Our last adventure would be another epic ride. This trip was full of epic rides. Every day brought something new and challenging. What a trip. This time Cass with advice from his friend, a Moab local from the Poison Spider Bike Shop, suggested Kane Creek Trail. It is ridden by motorcycles and ATVs. We would do it on fatbikes.
bikepacking moab

 The day started at the Love Muffin and then we had an easy spin out of town on fully loaded fatbikes.

bikepacking moab

It didn’t take long to get on some desert gravel. bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

 Everywhere I looked, it was simply beautiful. The desert was sprinkled with cottonwoods, cliffs and a stream that we would end up following.

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

 Many times it looked like we were riding in an old western movie.

bikepacking moab

We got to a place where we went off-road onto the ATV trails. The trail was fast and flowy and a lot of fun.
bikepacking moab

We found a spot of shade to have lunchbikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

We got back on the bikes and continued on. Soon we were led to the stream – I assume Kane Creek. This meant lots of water crossings, river rock, sand and mud. It was quite beautiful and challenging to ride. All of our bikes sounded terrible from the sand and grit getting deep into the crevices of our bicycles.

It was getting later and some group members were getting tired and wanted to stop for the night. I was feeling good and wanted to keep going to get out of the sand to make camp. Sand gets everywhere and the place we decided upon was a sandy shore next to the creek. I wasn’t sure my tent stakes would hold, my feet were soaked from the dozens of water crossings and my mood was almost getting foul when Lelan reminded me that we should just make the best out of the situation because this was definitely going to be our campsite. It’s so easy to let little things like damp feet ruin a great experience. I was bikepacking along a stream in some beautiful country for crying out loud. I know better than to focus on what I don’t like. I changed my attitude and chose a spot to set up my tent.

I used larger rocks to stabilize the tent stakes and was careful to keep sand out of my tent. Some of the other guys started a campfire and soon I was enjoying the bliss of camping. We all were able to dry out our shoes and socks around the fire. Jason brought beers to share with the group and soon, dinner, beers and whiskey were consumed.     bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

There is something about sitting around a campfire with friends after a full day. I can’t give it justice with words, it is something everyone should experience. That evening around the campfire will be an experience I will always treasure. And for all my worry about the campsite, it ended up being perfect. Once again, a tweak of my attitude changed everything. This was something I learned a few times this trip. Change your mind, change your life.

bikepacking moab

The last shreds of sunlight would disappear and then we would wait. A full moon would soon crest over the cliffs to the east.

bikepacking moab

Stories, and gear discussions around the campfire.bikepacking moabThe western cliff was soon lit by the rising moon, but we still couldn’t see it over the eastern cliff.

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

The moon finally reveals itself and quickly rises into the night sky, lighting up our campsite.

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

Mathy’s Surly ECR in the moonlight

bikepacking moab

The moon really lit up the campsite!bikepacking moab

Lelan, myself and Jim’s tents in the moonlightbikepacking moab

My Beargrease and tentbikepacking moab

Jason getting ready to call it a night and bivy for the night.bikepacking moab

The fire soon went out and we all went to sleep next to a babbling stream. It was heavenly.bikepacking moab

Good Morning!bikepacking moab

Lelan attempted to clean and lube his noisy chain before taking off. This day would take us through many more water crossings.bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

It was a beautiful, sunny morning. We rode away from our campsite and followed the stream out of the valley. We crossed and rode through the stream many times. It was pretty great and could not have been ridden on a normal, skinny tired bike. There was too much sand, loose river rock and mud, but it was the perfect ride to do on a fatbike.

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

bikepacking moab

There would be a big climb to get out of the valley with many scenic vistas.

We made it out of the valley and rode pavement back to Moab. I think we had a 16 mile ride back into town. My body was tired and I felt extremely slow on the pavement. Soon I saw Bobby get on Erik’s wheel just ahead of me and I gave it all I had to attach to the fatbike peloton that was forming. Cass stopped on the side of the road so we caught him and he joined the group. Then we caught up with Jim and he joined too. We were hammering it back into town with a fatbike paceline. It was like no paceline I’ve been in before. Our fat tires made it sound like a big truck coming down the road. We took turns pulling for the group and made great time back into town. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I love a good paceline and to have one with fully packed fatbikes was pretty cool! And usually, I get spit out the back because I can’t keep up, but I kept up this time. It was an exhilarating ride.

Since we hung out in Moab we wouldn’t be able to ride the Kokopelli back to Fruita so we hired a shuttle. Ten guys, ten bikes plus the driver. Wow.bikepacking moabThis trip was one great adventure. It didn’t go as planned, but ended up being some of the best riding I’ve ever done. Once again I learned that a bike can take you further than you think – mind, body and soul.

Feed Your Monkey!
Eric