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Klonzo South Trails

The Klonzo Trail system is non-motorized singletrack designed for mountain biking. It lies east of the Sovereign / Salt Wash trail system near the border of Arches National Park. The trailhead is on Willow Springs Road 10 miles north of Moab. This page covers the south trails, which were finished in fall 2014 (additional information for beginners and children is found on the Klonzo Beginner Slickrock page). For riding north of Willow Springs Road, see the Klonzo North page.

View to the southeast of the La Sals as we follow Hotdog toward the top of Redhot. Photos and trail review by Bruce on October 22, 2014.

The Klonzo south system has much more variety than the original Klonzo North trails. There are long sections of rolling upper-intermediate slickrock on the Houdini Trail, undulating high-speed dirt ribbon on the one-way Redhot and Roller Coaster trails, and super-easy gentle slickrock on the Carousel trail loop and its connectors. For jumping-junkies, Redhot and Roller Coaster are loaded with little hopping ramps.

A sample of what awaits on Roller Coaster -- lots of little hops as you twist downhill.

There's 8.9 miles of trail south of Willow Springs Road (not counting the 4-mile Zephyr trail that connects to the Moab Brand Trail system). Add the northern Klonzo trails, and you've got 20 miles of continuous looping non-motorized trail -- all packaged into a compact area that means you're never too far from your car to grab lunch or more water. 

Looking southwest on Houdini, which offers 1.8 miles of continuous undulating slickrock. Not too tricky and not too much work. Just right for an intermediate rider.

The sheer number of trails can be a bit overwhelming at first. There are 12 named trails in southern Klonzo and 10 in the north (includes two advanced-tech trails finished November 2014). But don't agonize over an "ideal" route. Just pick a starting point and ride. Each individual trail is short. Conditioned riders can hit everything in one day.

The second personality of Klonzo South -- high-speed twisting dirt ribbon. We're looking west at Roller Coaster.

Trail signs at each intersection keep it from getting confusing. Each sign has a "you are here" smiley-face. Colored stripes on the rock or color patches on signposts identify the trail. (The colors on the rock correspond to the map's colors.)

A sample intersection, looking west as Hotdog crosses Midway. Trail maps and lots of signs.

Base altitude is 4400 feet at the lower parking area. From the high point where Houdini leaves the Willow Springs road, the terrain angles gently downhill about 250 vertical feet to the bottom of Midway.

Looking southwest at the Chinle skirts and Wingate cliffs west of the Moab fault. In the foreground is the 4x4 path down to the "Kiddie and Newbie" parking area on the Carousel loop.

Aerobic requirement is easy to moderate. Out-of-shape riders can mosey along. Expert riders can hammer it and get a good workout while covering big miles. Because there are so many opportunities to "finish" the ride at the next trail fork, you can tailor your path to the time available and to your exercise tolerance.

A couple of riders cruise Midway down toward the beginner slickrock on the south end.

As you ride, you're almost constantly treated to impressive views to the south and west. You'll see the La Sal Mountains in the southeast and the cliffs along the Moab Fault to the south and west.

On the ridgeline of the western Topspin loop, we're looking northwest.

The lower smooth sandstone on the Carousel Trail area is the top of the Entrada Formation from the late Jurassic Period. It's about 140 million years old. The red clay above the sandstone -- which provides the base for the zipping twisting Redhot and Roller Coaster trails -- is part of the Curtis Formation, formed in fresh-water lakes around the middle of the Jurassic.

On a spur from the Midway trail, we've reached a bit of sandstone with a dinosaur trackway. Sauropod. The individual footprints are about 16 inches across.

You'll find dinosaur footprints in the sandstone here. There are tracks from sauropods (the long-necked vegetarians with bodies like elephants, such as diplodocus) and theropods (meat-eaters walking on two legs, such as allosaurus).

There are more dino tracks to find. Look along the edges where roughened sandstone meets the red dirt. This is a theropod (three-toed upright dino) track, about a foot in diameter.

 
Trail Details
Carousel
Configuration: Loop ride in the flat slickrock area on the south end. Marked with dark yellow stripes.
Connections: Reached via Connector 4x4 (0.4 miles from Willow Springs Rd) or by spurs from Midway trail at mile 0.4 and 0.6. Gypsy, Magician, and Wizard are contained within this loop.
Character: Very easy smooth slickrock and easy singletrack
Length: 1 mile
Connector 4x4 (to top of Redhot and for vehicle access to Carousel)
Configuration:  Broad path for bikes and vehicles, extending southeast and downhill from Houdini parking. Marked with white paint stripes. (The red stripes alongside the white paint on the upper trail mark the climbing route to the top of Redhot.)
Connections:  Starts at trailhead of Zoltar, Houdini, and Redhot. Redhot leaves after 200 feet. Houdini crosses at 0.3 miles. Ends at parking area on northeast corner of Carousel loop.
Character: smooth doubletrack on slickrock and dirt, beginner-level riding
Length: 0.5 mile
Gypsy
Configuration: Short slickrock trail cutting across southern side of Carousel Loop. Marked with reddish-purple stripes.
Connections: Ends on Carousel at both sides
Character: Smooth beginner-level slickrock with a bit of dirt.
Length: 0.2 mile
Hotdog
Configuration: East-west easier trail joins west end of Houdini to The Edge trail just south of main trailhead. Used as quick access to Redhot. Marked with light purple.
Connections: Forks off The Edge 0.1 miles south of Willow Creek Road (backtracking on spur from main parking), crosses Midway at mile 0.6. Crosses Redhot on short bit of two-way at mile 0.7, route continues uphill on Houdini then Connector 4x4.
Character: Winding dirt singletrack, beginner-level technical.
Length: 0.7 mile
Houdini
Configuration: Long U-shaped route extends south on undulating slickrock on east side of area. Marked with royal blue.
Connections: East side starts at Willow Springs Rd at Zoltar and Redhot TH, after completing the deep "U" it returns to the Connector 4x4, crosses and ends on a short two-way section in Redhot.
Character: Fun rolling slickrock with occasional sand patches between. Easier clockwise, more fun counter-clockwise.
Length: 1.8 mile
Magician
Configuration: Short route connecting the two sides of the Carousel loop, running east-west. Lies between Gypsy and Wizard. Marked in pale purple.
Connections: Begins and ends on Carousel loop. Splits off northeast Carousel just past the Wizard fork, about 200 feet south of the fenced parking.
Character: Smooth slickrock, a bit of dirt singletrack. Very easy riding, beginner-level.
Length: 0.3 mile
Midway
Configuration: Runs southbound from Willow Springs Rd, providing connections to multiple trails in the center of the system. Marked in turquoise. 
Connections: Starts at its own TH on Willow Springs Rd. Crosses Hotdog at 0.1, reaches 5-way at 0.3 with end of Redhot, beginning of The Edge and Roller Coaster. Spur to Carousel at 0.4 and at 0.6, Roller Coaster joins a few feet later. Zephyr (route to Brand Trails) at 0.7, ends on southeast corner of Topspin loop.
Character: Rolling dirt singletrack, easier-intermediate
Length: 0.8 miles, plus two 0.1-mile spurs
Redhot
Configuration: One-way singletrack undulating westbound. Marked with red stripes.
Connections: Starts at the Houdini parking on the 4x4 connector, leaves after 200 feet. Briefly joins Houdini, forks left as Houdini becomes Hotdog. Ends at intersection with Midway, but one-way continues as Roller Coaster.
Character: One-way narrow snaking singletrack, mostly downhill. Frequent dirt-bump jump opportunities. Upper-intermediate tech.
Length: 0.6 mile
Roller Coaster
Configuration: One-way twisting dirt ribbon heading southwest from 5-way intersection on Midway -- forms continuous one-way route from Redhot.
Connections:  Starts at mile 0.3 of Midway or mile 0.6 of Redhot. Receives short connector from Topspin at mile 0.4. Joins Midway near the south end.
Character: Twisting, up-and-down narrow singletrack with dirt-bump jump opportunities. Intermediate-advanced tech.
Length: 0.6 mile

Note, fastest way back to the top: At the bottom of Roller Coaster, turn uphill and connect via the Midway spur to Carousel. Go left (clockwise) on the north side of the loop. In the middle of the parking area at the northeast corner of Carousel, hop on the white-dot doubletrack and pedal to the top of Redhot.

The Edge
Configuration: Two-way trail joins the main (west) trailhead to the 4-way of Midway and Roller Coaster/Redhot.
Connections: Starts southbound on Willow Creek Rd across from the spur to the main parking lot, ends on Midway at 5-way (end of Redhot and beginning of Roller Coaster).
Character: Easier-intermediate dirt singletrack.
Length: 0.6 mile
Topspin
Configuration: Loop ride, west side runs along top of ridge north-south, east side hugs skirts of mesa.
Connections: Enter loop from the north on The Edge 0.6 miles from parking, or from the south at the end of Midway. East side of loop offers connection into the midpoint of Roller Coaster.
Character: Dirt and rock. Some climbing (not steep), a few short spots flirting with advanced tech. Nice views from the ridgeline. Upper-intermediate overall.
Length: 1.3 mile
Wizard
Configuration: Short route connecting the two sides of the Carousel loop, running east-west. Lies north of Wizard. Marked in dark red-purple.
Connections: Begins and ends on Carousel loop. East end lies a few feet south of fenced parking on Carousel.
Character: Smooth slickrock, a bit of dirt singletrack. Very easy riding, beginner-level.
Length: 0.2 mile
Zephyr
Configuration: Connector trail joining south Klonzo to the Brand Trails.
Connections: Forks left just before end of Midway at south end of Klonzo, passes through Arches National Park, ends on north end of Bar M trail in the Brand system..
Character: Mostly doubletrack w some rock surface, a couple of loose wash crossings. Singletrack north of park border. Easy riding except for wandy wash crossings and loose surface on singletrack. [Link to trail page]
Length: 4 miles
 
Sample Ride
The Intermediate South Klonzo Tour

This route can be done either direction, although I describe a clockwise path. You can also interrupt it to play around on the beginner-level trails in the Carousel area before continuing on. This ride is 7.0 miles, mostly on intermediate-level trail.

Fun stuff. Middle of the ride; we're about to enter the Roller Coaster.

The ride starts from the main parking. (If the lot is full, just drive on and catch the loop further east. There are three more parking areas.) Start eastbound on Borderline -- to your right as you entered the parking lot.

Here's the main parking area. "The Edge" is where we'll finish. "Borderline" is where we'll start.

Stay on Borderline as you zip through the second parking lot, and keep to the right at the fork with Cross Canyon. Keep climbing gently uphill. When you reach the 5-way where Cross Canyon and Borderline intersect, turn right and downhill on Zoltar.

Looking southeast from the intersection of Borderline and Zoltar. We'll quickly drop off the dirt onto fun sandstone.

Follow Zoltar's pale green stripes as it undulates slightly downhill to the south. When you reach Willow Creek Road, go straight across and through the gap between the posts of the cable fence. You're now following the blue stripes of Houdini.

Following the lime stripes southbound on Zoltar.

Houdini undulates over the sandstone, heading downhill to the south. After a mile, it turns back to the north and climbs very gently. When you reach the doubletrack (marked with white stripes), angle left and downhill for a few feet, then head uphill and right on singletrack in the dirt.

The entry to Houdini, straight ahead. The red sign says that Redhot is down the ramp to the right.

Keep straight as Houdini joins Redhot, then stay left on Redhot. Hit the turns and catch a little air on the bumps until you reach the Midway intersection. Head into Roller Coaster, the second trail on the left. (Left-most and right-most is Midway; straight ahead is The Edge. Your trail will veer left and over the ridge southbound.)

Heading west downhill on Redhot. Note the two jumps in the foreground. Lots of these.

Enjoy Roller Coaster all the way to the south end. Keep straight and southbound onto Midway. Midway will begin to climb and turn to the right. Keep right as Zephyr forks off. When you reach Topspin at Big Joe Bend, go either way (my track goes left, clockwise) because you'll return to this same spot.

Looking west on Roller Coaster.

Begin climbing up through the broken sandstone chunks. The slope is gentle and there's not much that's tricky here. You're climbing up to the Salt Wash sandstone which forms the top layer of the bluff.

View west as Midway reaches the Topspin loop. Our route takes us straight ahead uphill.

At the top, take a minute to enjoy the nice views from the top of the ridge. As you begin to drop off the ridge, there will be a bit of upper-intermediate (or moderate-advanced) riding. No big deal.

Looking southeast from the ridgeline of Topspin. We'll be coming back on the trail in the mid-photo.

When you're back to Big Joe Bend, backtrack about 1/4 mile on Midway. Veer right to cross the wash (at the bottom of Roller Coaster), then keep left to climb Midway. Or not.

Dropping off the ridge westbound. This is about as techy as Klonzo South gets. Not too scary.

Here's your chance to sneak over to Carousel and fly through a few miles of easy cruising. Might as well.

When you're ready, continue up Midway back to the 5-way. Take The Edge back to the parking lot.

A string of riders cranks up Midway toward the 5-way.

Riding notes, Klonzo South Loop:
0.0   Main parking, east (right) on Borderline
        N38 42.129 W109 39.131
0.4   Parking, continue east on Borderline
        N38 42.195 W109 38.743
0.6   Keep R on Borderline (L = Cross Canyon)
        N38 42.275 W109 38.724
1.0   5-way, R on Zoltar  N38 42.524 W109 38.555
1.6   Cross Willow Springs Rd to Houdini
        N38 42.077 W109 38.240
3.4   Veer L to join red/white path
        N38 41.964 W109 38.487
        R uphill on ST N38 41.956 W109 38.505
3.5   Join Redhot, stay left (R = Hotdog)
        N38 41.967 W109 38.545
3.7   2nd trail L to Roller Coaster
        N38 41.920 W109 38.743
4.1   Pass connector to Topspin
        N38 41.847 W109 38.878
4.3   Join Midway, keep straight south
        N38 41.691 W109 38.875
4.35 Keep R (L = Zephyr) N38 41.670 W109 38.868
4.4   L on Topspin N38 41.654 W109 38.928
5.2   Keep R (L = to The Edge)
        N38 41.895 W109 38.907
5.3   Keep R (L = to Roller Coaster)
        N38 41.852 W109 38.888
5.7   L on Midway N38 41.654 W109 38.928
5.8   Cross wash, keep L (R = to Carousel)
        N38 41.696 W109 38.871
6.1   Keep straight (R = to Carousel)
        N38 41.819 W109 38.762
6.3   2nd L on The Edge N38 41.920 W109 38.743
6.7   Keep L (R = Hotdog) N38 42.004 W109 39.137
6.9   Cross road to DT N38 42.097 W109 39.155
7.0   Back in parking

Getting There:  To safely navigate Willow Springs Road, I strongly recommend an SUV. A low-clearance sedan may have problems with ruts and sand.
Western (main Klonzo) Trailhead: Willow Springs Road forks east off Highway 191 18 miles south of I-70 and about 10 miles north of Moab (1.8 miles north of the junction with Highway 313 (to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point). Turn onto Willow Springs Road. Keep straight as spurs go to camping areas. At mile 1.4, turn left to cross Courthouse Wash (may not be passable in wet weather). At mile 2.0 pass the Sovereign Trail parking area, a flat area outlined in rocks on the left (north) side of the road N 38 41.876' W 109 39.868', with a natural gas pump building on the right. At mile 2.7, turn left off Willow Springs Road onto a small doubletrack. 100 feet later, park and begin your ride. The trail on the left takes you clockwise and immediately to the slickrock.
Eastern (Borderline) TH: Keep going on Willow Springs Road past the west trailhead. At mile 3.0 from US 191, turn left on doubletrack. Drive 0.2 miles to a small area of slickrock. The trail to the left goes toward the western trailhead. Right climbs up for a counterclockwise loop.
Midway Trailhead: Keep on Willow Springs Road past the first trailhead, then keep right at the fork about 1/10 mile later (at mile 3.0 from US 191). A half-mile after passing the spur to the main trailhead, there will be a few parking spots on your right at the entry to the Midway trail.
Dinosaur Tracks:  Not really a mountain bike trailhead, but if you're not pedaling past, it's worth a visit. Head for the Midway Trailhead as above. Drive past Midway as the road climbs. 1/4 mile past the Midway Trailhead, the road curves around a cleared area on sandstone, and you'll see a sign on your right explaining the tracks.
Redhot (Houdini) Trailhead:  On Willow Springs Road, pass the spur to the main trailhead and keep right at the fork in the road, passing the spur to the second (Borderline) trailhead. Pass the Midway trailhead and the Dino tracks. A mile past the main trailhead, there's a cable fence on your right. The Zoltar trail is on your left and Houdini is on the right. There's enough room here for a car or two, but be sure you aren't blocking access to the 4x4 route to the left of the Houdini trail entrance.
Carousel Trailhead:  This is a good starting point for young children (including stroll-a-bikes) and very out-of-shape true beginners. Go to the Redhot trailhead as above. Now turn 150 degrees hard right and descend the broad path marked with white and red stripes. The red stripes will head up onto singletrack, leaving only white stripes. A half-mile after leaving Willow Springs Road, the path will enter a parking area outlined by a post-and-cable fence. Park here. The trail passes directly through this parking area on each side.
Brand Trailhead (pedal by bicycle):  See the Zephyr Trail page.
Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide (Intermediate TOUR above)
See also:  Klonzo North pageBeginner slickrock page
                Gravitron page
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   GPX individual tracks   Intermediate TOUR track  
Maps for printing:  View area topo 
    Trail Mix Map (updated 11/1/14 for new trails)    Zephyr Trail
Lodging, camping, shops:
      Links to Moab area resources

Bathrooms and Water:  None at Sovereign or Klonzo
Camping: Primitive spots along Willow Springs Road. Commercial camping across from 313.
Nearest supplies: Gas and quick-stop on 191 across from 313, 1.7 miles south of Willow Springs road.

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