The Jurassic Trail is a smooth singletrack on the west side of the
Klondike Bluffs riding area. There's very little elevation change over
the ride, as it skirts the edge of the mesa to the west of the Copper
Ridge road. The trail is suitable for beginners. There's little
elevation change on the trail. There are no stiff climbs and nothing
View northbound along the Jurassic
Trail as the ribbon of singletrack twists among boulders that have
fallen from the mesa above. Photos and review by Bruce on October 24,
|The views aren't as boring as you might expect. The
scenery changes quickly because you're zooming right along. The trail is
3.2 miles in length but is a very quick ride. To get to Jurassic, you'll
need to connect via other trails, so your minimum out-and-back ride from
the north would be 10.2 miles and from the south 7.6 miles.
Connection of Jurassic at the north
end. The trail starts on the connecting trail that runs from southern
Jasper to the Copper Ridge Road.
||Combining Jurassic with Agate and Jasper creates a
5.2-mile route along the west side of the valley. If you add Dino Flow
on the east side, it makes a nice easy 11-mile loop. More on this option
View southbound as we start
|Jurassic begins on a connector from the south end of the
Jasper Loop to Copper Ridge. This connector hits Copper Ridge just north
of the bottom end of Little Salty. If your ride has taken you down
Little Salty, take the connector to Jurassic for the next leg of your
ride instead of riding Copper Ridge road.
Cruising along, we see the La Sal
mountains in the distance. The Salt Wash sandstone slopes of Baby Steps
are visible to the left.
||In the middle of Jurassic, a connector heads east to
Copper Ridge at the bottom of southern Baby
Steps. This connector
creates more singletrack loop ride opportunities -- you can skip the
flat doubletrack of Copper Ridge road and use Jurassic instead. For
example, you can ride north from the parking area on the southern half
of Jurassic and connect to Baby Steps as a change-up from the classic
Baby Steps loop ride.
The trail hugs the edge of the
skirts of Brushy Basin clay and shale. The boulders are cap-rock of
Buckhorn Conglomerate. We're looking north.
|In October 2013, the trail base was butter-smooth and
high-speed. Riding south-to-north, the 3.2 miles of Jurassic took only
18 minutes. The entire 4.8 miles from the junction with Klondike
continuing on via West Jasper, Midline, then West Agate to the parking
area was 29 minutes. And I wasn't trying to hurry. It's a real cruiser.
Heading southbound at 12 mph.
Nothing tricky here, just smooth singletrack.
||The trail hugs the edge of the mesa at the base of the
Brushy Basin member of the Morrison Formation. This colorful clay was
deposited in a tidal area about 150 million years ago at the very end of
-- can you guess? -- the Jurassic Era. The Buckhorn Conglomerate at the
top of the bluff is the start of Cretaceous deposits.
At the southern end, the trail
detours into a canyon to hug the edge of the shale. We're looking north
near the northern end of this bend in the trail. See the map.
|In one afternoon, I test-rode two different loops using
the west-side singletrack -- one ride in each direction. I started from
the small parking nook at the top of the Agate Loop. To get there, you'd
take the Northern Klondike Trails road (a few miles north of the
Of course, you can do either loop by riding north from the southern
trailhead. It's only 0.6 miles via Inside Passage and
Klondike to the
south end of Jurassic.
View west. At the near-horizon,
we'll cross a wash and start coming back east.
||My first ride was a quick zip south on West Agate then Midline
then Jasper then Jurassic. Then I turned north on Klondike, crossed
the wash and took Dino Flow to EKG. I enjoyed the length of EKG, then
dropped down Mega Steps at the north end for an 11-mile loop with 1200
vertical feet of climbing.
Almost done with Jurassic
southbound. We're looking at the Entrada sandstone on the skyline in the
|The second loop I'll call "The Klondike Big
Easy." I took the doubletrack back to the Dinosaur tracks road and
zoomed to the Dino Tracks parking to catch Dino Flow southbound. At the
end of Dino Flow, I continued south on Klondike 0.2 miles, then forked hard
left northbound on Jurassic. I retraced the Jurassic - West Jasper -
Midline - West Agate singletrack back to parking. This loop tallied 11.8
miles in 75 minutes with only about 400 feet of total climbing.
Threading the needle through
boulders of conglomerate.
||Bottom line: Very much worth doing for riders of any
ability level. For beginning riders it's much easier than Dino Flow,
with nothing to make a newbie nervous. It's a great trail for
youngsters, assuming they've got the leg to pedal for a while.
For experts, it's a high-speed "shake out the legs"
recovery cruise at the end of the day, or a zip-line connector to your
Riding the Big Easy
Klondike loop, we're heading southbound on Dino Flow.
|Riding notes, Big Easy Klondike Loop w
0.0 From Agate's northern end, northwest on doubletrack
N38 49.095 W109 45.631
0.5 Hard left on Dino Tracks dirt road
N38 49.115 W109 46.048
1.4 R into parking N38 49.804 W109 45.874
1.5 Find ST on southeast corner of parking
South on Dino Flow N38 49.799 W109 45.786
1.6 Keep R N38 49.766 W109 45.714
(L = Homer)
2.1 Keep R N38 49.471 W109 45.432
(L = Nome)
2.4 Veer L uphill, then R to stay on Dino Flow
N38 49.351 W109 45.181
(Cross Mega Steps)
3.4 Cross Baby Steps North
N38 48.899 W109 44.717
4.6 Cross Little Salty N38 48.248 W109 44.148
5.7 Cross Baby Steps South
N38 47.591 W109 43.552
|6.2 Keep R as EKG joins and
N38 47.375 W109 43.262
6.7 EKG joins, keep R
N38 47.119 W109 42.984
6.9 Straight onto southbound Klondike Bluffs DT
N38 46.997 W109 43.072
7.0 Hard L onto northbound Jurassic
N38 46.870 W109 43.064
8.6 Keep L (R = connect to Baby Steps)
N38 47.440 W109 43.718
9.9 Fork L (R = to Copper Ridge near Little Salty)
N38 48.201 W109 44.503
10.0 L on Jasper West N38 48.200 W109 44.551
10.8 L on Midline N38 48.589 W109 44.902
(straight = Baby Steps N, R =
11.1 L on Agate West N38 48.763 W109 45.089
(straight = Midline, R =
11.8 Back at parking
||Overview of Big Easy Klondike loop. From the north end,
the ride is a quick 11.8 miles.
From the southern (Klondike Bluffs Road) parking, the loop will be 13
miles. Just take Inside Passage to the Klondike doubletrack, then
continue another 0.2 miles before forking left onto Jurassic. Keep left
at all intersections, including at the exit out the gate at the Agate
trailhead. Take the doubletrack out to the Dino Tracks road and turn
right. At the Dino Tracks parking, find Dino Flow southbound and stay on
Dino Flow until you rejoin the Klondike Bluffs road.
|Riding notes, counterclockwise with EKG:
0.0 From Agate's northern end, south on West Agate
N38 49.095 W109 45.631
0.8 R on Midline N38 48.763 W109 45.089
(L = Midline, straight =
1.1 R on Jasper West (L = Jasper East)
N38 48.589 W109 44.902
1.9 R on connector (straight = Jasper East)
N38 48.200 W109 44.551
2.0 R on Jurassic N38 48.201 W109 44.503
3.3 R to stay on Jurassic N38 47.440 W109 43.718
4.9 L on Klondike Bluffs DT N38 46.870 W109 43.064
5.0 Straight onto Dino Flow N38 46.997 W109 43.072
(L = Copper Ridge DT, R =
5.2 R on EKG (L = continue Dino Flow)
N38 47.119 W109 42.984
|6.0 Join Dino, cross wash, fork
R for EKG
N38 47.369 W109 43.253
6.6 Keep straight, cross Baby Steps South
N38 47.743 W109 43.286
8.4 Cross Little Salty N38 48.598 W109 43.910
9.7 R to join Baby Steps N, then L on EKG
N38 48.954 W109 44.620
10.7 L downhill on Mega Steps
N38 49.420 W109 45.038
(Straight = Alaska, R = Mega
10.9 Keep on Mega Steps straight westbound
N38 49.353 W109 45.171
(Join and split off from Dino
11.2 Mega Steps parking, R on DT
N38 49.179 W109 45.412
11.4 Back at Agate parking
Getting there, Agate Northern Klondike TH: On Highway 191 8.5 miles
south of I-70 and 6.5 miles north of the southern Klondike Bluffs road
(and about 5 miles north of the airport), watch for a "Northern
Klondike" sign at N38 49.504 W109 46.893. Turn east (toward the
sandstone bluff). Keep to the right as the road winds south around a small
hill. 1.2 miles from the highway as the road is heading east toward the
bluff, fork right on a fainter jeep road N38 49.103 W109 46.061, as the
main road continues to the dinosaur tracks. (Park here if the road is in
bad shape.) At mile 1.6, you'll come to the TH for the Jasper and Agate
loops (N38 49.087 W109 45.625) on your right. (If you continuye on,
you'll arrive at a larger parking area N38 49.179 W109 45.417 at the
bottom of Mega Steps.)
Getting there, Klondike TH: Starting at the Colorado River, drive
15 miles north from Moab. Look for a turnout with parking on the right and
a sign for Klondike Bluffs Road. There will
usually be cars parked there (GPS N 38° 44.452' W 109°
44.037'). For a longer ride, park here and ride up the road. Most cyclists will choose to go through the gate and drive 2.7 miles. Keep left at
the fork. At 2.8 miles, park your car in the broad parking area by the
fence. Go eastbound across the cattleguard for the Klondike trail, or find
the singletrack Inside Passage at the north corner of the fence.
Toilets: Chilkoot Pass parking, Dino Tracks
No water. No camping in this area.