||Geyser Pass Singletrack
(Whole Enchilada, segment 1)
The Geyser Pass singletrack is the newest addition to the Whole
Enchilada mountain bike route. The Whole Enchilada is a 28-mile adventure
ride that descends from 11,200 feet elevation in the La Sal Mountains to
4200 feet at the Colorado River. Geyser Pass starts things out with 1.5
miles of high-altitude cruiser singletrack. The trail can also be done as
an out-and-back or short loop.
La Sal Loop road closure information
View toward the ridgeline east of
Haystack Mountain. Photos and review by Bruce
on September 18, 2015.
|Geyser Pass is easy to ride, with only a couple of very
short tech spots involving rocks and roots. It's aerobically easy as well,
although flatlanders -- and aging website authors -- may suffer effects of
the altitude when the trail turns uphill.
The trail starts at the Geyser Pass trailhead at 10,500 feet
elevation. There's a bathroom and trail kiosk, with parking for around 10
vehicles. The pass is also the drop-off point for the commercial
shuttle vehicles from Moab.
The trailhead at Geyer Pass. The
singletrack is between the toilet and kiosk. The doubletrack (which the ST
joins) goes around the pine trees to the right of the kiosk.
||When riding the singletrack as part of the Whole
Enchilada, you'll bypass some primitive and steep dirt road that
formerly was the only route to the Burro Pass
But you can also, should you be inclined, do Geyser Pass as a
three-mile loop ride (by returning to the pass via the doubletrack), or as
a figure-eight of just over 6 miles when combined with the shorter version
of Moonlight Meadows.
The doubletrack looking uphill, at the
point where the singletrack forks away to the east.
|From the trailhead, you have two options to find the trail.
You can go to the right of the kiosk, then veer left onto the Geyser
Springs road (071).
Most riders will hop on the singletrack between the toilet and the
kiosk. This will take you past a picnic table before dumping you onto the
doubletrack after about 100 yards.
The "WE" sign means
"Whole Enchilada this-a-way." Watch for them at any trail or
||You'll quickly come to a fork in the dirt road 0.1 miles
from the trailhead. The right fork is FR 071 heading east.
This is the old route, connecting by dirt road to the Burro Pass
trailhead. Instead, keep left on FR 243. The fork in the road
is marked with a nice sign (as of 2015). Just uphill along the side of the
left fork, you'll also see the little "WE" sign that marks the
Whole Enchilada route.
The trail meanders gently uphill
|Pedal on a bit uphill. In less than 100 yards, you'll see
the singletrack (marked with the "WE" sign) branching away from
the doubletrack on your right. The trail begins a gentle climb. You'll
gain about 150 vertical feet over the first mile of trail.
View to the east from one of the many
||You'll traverse meadows (and dodge the occasional cow -- or
cow pie) with views of the surrounding mountains. The trail will pass
through groves of aspen (with a few roots to bang across) as it skirts
stands of fir. To your left and slightly behind you is Haystack Mountain.
Straight ahead is Mount Tomasaki. In another mile or two, the Burro
Pass trail will take you north across the saddle between these two
Eastbound, with Mount Tomasaki
|The occasional trail boulders (and the mountains they came
from) are a form of granite called diorite. (The La Sals were built by an
igneous intrusion. Liquid rock pushed up and displaced the overlying
sedimentary layers.) There are a couple of rock gardens you'll need to
navigate, but they're not too tough when ridden west-to-east.
A few little rocks and roots as we
pass through an aspen grove...
||After a mile, the trail will begin to drop into the little
canyon south of Burro Pass. You'll lose 250 vertical feet. When you reach
a doubletrack heading straight uphill, turn left and climb. You're now on
segment 2 of the Whole Enchilada. The Burro
Pass trailhead is on your right, about 200 feet uphill.
View south. I believe this is Mount Mellenthin.
|If you're doing a loop or figure-eight ride instead of the
Whole Enchilada, drop to your
right downhill when you reach the doubletrack. At the Geyser Springs road,
fork right and climb back to Geyser Pass. If you're doing the little Moonlight
Meadows loop for the figure-eight ride, turn left uphill when you hit
the doubletrack fork just north of the trailhead. You've been at this spot
before. But instead of veering off onto the WE singletrack, keep left on the
doubletrack for about 100 yards before forking left on the Moonlight
Looking west as we reach the Burro
|Riding guide, loop or figure-eight:
0.0 ST between toilet and kiosk
N38 29.122 W109 13.940
0.05 L on DT N38 29.163 W109 13.932
0.1 L at DT fork N38 29.197 W109 13.913
0.15 R on ST N38 29.228 W109 13.930
1.5 R downhill on Burro DT
N38 29.756 W109 13.056
1.9 R on Geyser Springs Rd 071
N38 29.408 W109 12.906
3.0 Option: L to return to TH (at mile 3.1)
N38 29.197 W109 13.913
| ... or R for
3.0 R for Moonlight Meadows
N38 29.197 W109 13.913
3.1 L on ST (Moonlight Meadows)
N38 29.279 W109 13.966
4.7 L across creek (Clark Lake Tr)
N38 29.286 W109 14.922
Short hike-a-bike uphill
4.9 L on road (FR 071)
N38 29.177 W109 15.119
6.5 Back at parking, Geyser Pass
||Getting there, Geyser Pass TH:
On Moab's Main Street, head south on US-191. Zero your odometer at Center
Street Center Street and drive 8.2 miles. Turn left toward Ken's Lake - La
Sal Loop Road. At the T intersection 1/2 mile later, turn right. Stay on
the paved La Sal Loop Road to mile 20.6, then turn right on gravel Geyser
Pass road. After several miles the road narrows to a single lane. Drive 8
miles on Geyser Pass road (to mile 28.6) until you see a bathroom, kiosk,
and parking on your left with a road fork straight ahead. This is
Geyser Pass (N38 29.122 W109 13.940).
East end at Burro Pass TH: As you pass the Geyser Pass parking
area, go left (you should see a "Burro
Pass 1.2" sign as you curve around the fork), then keep right at the
fork that immediately follows. 1.2 miles later (mile 29.8) turn left off
the main road on an eroded doubletrack climbing steeply up the mountain,
with a sign "Burro Pass TH" (N38 29.408 W109 12.906). Go 1/2
mile up the mountain (4-wheel drive strongly suggested here) and park on
the right side where the DT disappears into some fir trees. The Geyser
Pass trail is 200 feet down the doubletrack.