||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
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)
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
38° 34.897 W 109° 28.982
Follow signs through camp area
9.8 Back of Campground E
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.
Copyright 2006 Mad Scientist Software Inc