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Falcon Flow Trail

The Falcon Flow trail is an intermediate-level trail in the Sand Flats area between Slickrock and Porcupine Rim. Unlike these rides, it can be hammered out quickly. And it does not require expert skills. For riders who want to turn it into a longer adventure, the nearby Fins 'n Things can be added to your loop or shuttled downhill. The riding season will be March through November.

While it's considered an intermediate ride, there are some stunt opportunities and challenges. Here Bruce launches a ledge. Review and photos March 9, 2020.

Falcon Flow is singletrack with a mixture of narrow desert ribbon and sandstone. The trail begins and ends on the gravel Sand Flats Road a few miles uphill from Slickrock.

The trail is 5.4 miles long. When descending top-to-bottom, you'll still put in about 450 vertical feet of climbing, most of it on the lower half of the trail. With the up-and-down riding, tackling the trail in the uphill direction will require around 1150 feet of climbing.

Bruce descends upper Falcon Flow westbound.

The upper end of the trail is about 0.1 miles west of the Porcupine Rim trailhead (toward Moab). Elevation is 5800 feet.

The lower end of the trail is at 5100 feet elevation. If you decide to ride the trail as a loop using the Sand Flats Road as your uphill, it's 700 vertical feet of climbing over 2.7 miles.

Entering Falcon Flow at the upper trailhead. (Note kiosk and trail signs were still under construction at the time of my ride.)

At this time, there's a temporary parking area located 0.3 miles uphill from the downhill entry. The parking zone is tiny, so on weekends an early start means you're more likely to find a spot for your car. I'm told that a large formal parking lot at the trail's downhill end will be built by the BLM in summer 2020.

Following a rim of Kayenta slickrock around a bowl.

Although the trail is intermediate overall, there a couple of quick challenges that require expert skills (or, at least, a few tries to clean them). There are some thread-the-needle passages where picking the right line gets you past, and a couple of steep drops that less-aggressive intermediates can walk.

Finding the correct line to: A. Not bonk my head, B. Not rip my bike shorts on the rock, C. Keep the bike rolling forward, D. All of the above.

While the trail is bi-directional, most of the riders will be going top-to-bottom, either via shuttle or as a loop with the gravel road for the uphill. The out-and-back from the bottom is a lot more work -- 1600 feet of climbing round-trip. And you'll encounter some dusty rock ramps that are almost impossible to climb.

Dropping a ramp. There's a little drop-off at the top. It stopped me cold when riding the uphill direction. I'd lose power, bump the lip, and my rear tire would spin out in the dust covering the slab. Every time.

A reasonable time estimate for a loop up Sand Flats and down Falcon (for a well-conditioned intermediate rider) is 90 minutes riding time. Add time for pictures, huddles with fellow riders, and re-tries of the fun stuff.

There's a bit of scenery, such as occasional views of the La Sal Mountains to the east, and of the sandstone humps of the Slickrock area along Negro Bill Canyon to the west. But you won't notice any of it, because you'll be too busy playing.

A lot of spots along the trail are armored with rock slab, as in this little up-and-over.

  Falcon Flow from the top down...

 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

Bottom Line:
Fun and quick. A good "intermediate rider's sampler" of Moab riding. An awesome "add-on" to a day's riding for expert groups, or a destination trail for intermediates.

Getting a good bounce to put the front wheel uphill.

Getting there: The Falcon Flow begins and ends on the Sand Flats Road, reached by turning left off Moab's main drag onto 300 South, then right when the road ends, then second left. From the entry gate, drive 4 miles, then watch for the lower entry on your left. Temporary parking is 0.3 miles uphill, also on the left. The upper trail will be on your left at mile 6.8 from the entry station (just as the road drops down to the Porcupine Rim parking area).

Bathroom:  Porcupine Rim TH
Water:  none
Camping: multiple primitive spots throughout the Sand Flats area

Riding Resources for Falcon Flow:
  GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
        Falcon track       Area tracks
  Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Moab area resources

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