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Fins & Things

Fins & Things is a loop ride off the Sand Flats Road about a mile past Slickrock. Terrain is varied, with rolling fins of Navajo sandstone and rough doubletrack on Kayenta sandstone. 

Typical trail view in the Navajo sandstone area. The trail is fairly easy to follow. On the rock, there are little stegosaur paint spots. Most intersections have trail signs. Photos April 2006.

The "& Things" includes a bit of sand. Like Slickrock, this is a trail for conditioned, skilled riders with intermediate to advanced technical skills. The loop is 10.5 miles, but there are multiple "bailout" routes that take you back to the Sand Flats Road for a shorter ride. Absolute elevation change is only 400 feet, but the up-and-down riding will clock over 1000 total climbing -- and it feels like more than that.
This ride requires good sand skills. Many descents dump abruptly into sand pits. Most sandy sections can be ridden with the right technique and fat tires. But there will also be a few spots where you'll hike. The sand, and the up-and-down attacks, will wear you down faster than you think.

Fins & Things joins the Porcupine 4x4 Trail for a few miles. Here, the trail is on Kayenta bedrock, with lots of small ledges. (The Porcupine 4x4 Trail is NOT the "Porcupine Rim Trail." It branches off it right at the trailhead.)

I recommend riding clockwise, so you cover the best slickrock while you're still fresh. The north side of the loop is more fun, and longer, than the south end. If you need to skip something to save time, ride the north end slickrock, then bail onto Sand Flats Road.

Fins & Things is primarily a 4x4 trail (as are many of the "bike trails" in Moab). But it's a ride worth doing, especially the north side. There's a fair amount of Jeep traffic on the southern side of the loop. 

The north side offers a bit more solitude. I saw a group of ATVs in the distance, and three motocross riders passed me while I was hiking in sand. And that was all, for 6 miles until I hit the Porcupine connector.

Another look down the trail, with the La Sal mountains in the background.

Parking N 38 34.945 W 109 109 30.587
        Go east (away from Moab)
0.2   L (N) off road
N 38 34.937 W 109 30.376
0.75 Keep L (R=shortcut)
1.0   L up wall (straight=continuing trail)
1.8   Keep L (R=shortcut back)
   
     N 38 35.302 W 109 30.496
2.5   L (R=Porcupine)
4.2   L (R=Sand Flats Rd)
5.8    R (L=Porcupine 4x4)
   
      N 38 35.048 W 109 28.176
6.5    R (straight = road)7.0 R on Sand Flats Rd
7.5    At mile marker 3, L off road
        
N 38 34.897 W 109 28.982
         Follow signs through camp area
9.8    Back of Campground E
   
      N 38 34.806 W 109 29.969
9.9    Left at campground exit
10.5  Back at parking

Getting there: Head uphill on the Sand Flats Road. (Left off Moab's main drag onto 300 South. Go east on 300 South until the road ends, then turn right. Take the second left, heading east uphill.) Drive to the entry gate and pay your fee. From the entry gate drive 1.4 miles (go past Slickrock). Look for "Trailer Parking" near a tiny camping area on your right. Park here. The trail starts about 100 yards east, further up the Sand Flats Road, on the left side. You'll finish at the back of the larger campground you can see on the right side of the road.
Riding Resources for Fins & Things:
  Large-format Topo map:  View
  Single-page riding guide for printing.
  Lodging, camping, shops:
      Links to Moab area resources
 
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
     Garmin    National Geographic    Google Earth    GPX

Copyright 2006 Mad Scientist Software Inc