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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.

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 trailhead.

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 road fork.

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 through connifers.

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 meadows.

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 peaks.

Eastbound, with Mount Tomasaki straight ahead.

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 Meadows singletrack.

Looking west as we reach the Burro Pass trail.

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 figure-eight ride
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.
Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide, figure-eight as above
Whole Enchilada trail page
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
    GPX Geyser Pass only    Figure-eight ride
    Area multi-track file
High-res area topo for printing:  View topo  
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Moab area resources

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