The Klondike Bluffs Trail is a modest climb, but isn't too
technically difficult. It's a good trail for someone who's in good shape, but is
inexperienced in mountain biking. It makes an excellent first "slickrock
adventure." Round trip, it's 9.6 miles on the bike and 1 mile on foot (bikes aren't
allowed off-road in Arches National Park, so you hike the last half mile).
hits the end of the hiking trail in Arches National Park. Photo April 18, 1999 by Bruce.
|If you want to stay away from ATVs and jeeps, there are
bicycle-only singletrack routes in this riding area. For example, you can
bypass the first half-mile of Klondike's doubletrack by using the Inside
Passage singletrack. Other nice rides that
interconnect with Klondike Bluffs (such as Baby
Steps) are described on the Klondike
Bluffs trail system page.
Dinosaur footprints are found in newly exposed areas of
Entrada sandstone. April 18, 1999 by Bruce.
Highlights of the Klondike Bluffs ride include dinosaur footprints, fun and not-too-tough rock to
practice on, and a fabulous view of Klondike Bluffs at the end of the ride.
The trail climbs 800 feet in four miles. Give yourself about three hours,
Chad heads up a slickrock ramp. The
riding surface here is Entrada sandstone. The boulders of Salt Wash
sandstone have dropped down from the top of the brown dirt layer (Curtis
Formation). These rocks are from the Jurassic Period.
|The trail begins with just over a mile on modestly smooth double-track with a short sand
dig as you cross the wash. At mile 0.5 you'll pass the reconnection of Inside
Passage, Jurassic at 0.7, and Dino
Flow at 0.9. After turning uphill it covers 2-1/2 miles on slickrock (mostly
fairly smooth Entrada sandstone). You'll find a connector to Baby
Steps and UFO here. Then there's a mile more on rocky road. At the end of the road is a
short section of single-track that climbs to the border of Arches National Park.
great memories of this trail, including three tire changes and a derailer adjustment.
Photo April 18, 1999 Bruce Argyle
||If you want a longer ride, you can start at the highway. (Our trail
description assumes you'll drive the first 2.8 miles of graded road, then unload your
bikes at the gate to the double-track trail.) Or, ride uphill via the Baby
Steps trail. This adds a few extra miles, and requires advanced
Just before the end of the trail, the abandoned Brontosaur copper mine
can be reached via a short spur. It's worth a look. (Watch for a spur on
the right as you head east uphill and are approaching the badland hills.)
Climbing up the trail. The white
stripes show the trail route. You'll share this route with jeeps.
|At the end of the bike trail, a 1/2-mile foot trail takes you to a
breath-taking view of the Klondike Bluffs of Arches National Park. The
fractures in the rock that created these fins were created by thickening
of the salt dome found deep underground. As the salt "flowed"
under heat and pressure to thicken in this area, the overlying rock was
pushed up into a curve, developing multiple fracture lines as it bent.
Dominic heads up the slickrock.
||Klondike Bluffs is a starting point for riders headed for Jurassic,
Steps, EKG, Little
Salty, Dino Flow, and Mega Steps,
and more. These trails can be
combined with Klondike Bluffs into many ride variations.
This is what you came here for. View from the top looking
into Arches National Park. The arches of the park are formed of Entrada
sandstone, formed from sand dunes like the Navajo, but with finer
Photo April 18, 1999.
Copyright 1999 Mad Scientist Software Inc