||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
For riding north of Willow Springs Road, see the Klonzo
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.
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
||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
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.
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
Link to Klonzo Beginner Slickrock page
||Connector 4x4 (to top of Redhot and for vehicle access to
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
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
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
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
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,
Length: 0.3 mile
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
Configuration: One-way singletrack undulating westbound. Marked with red
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
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.
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
Character: Easier-intermediate dirt singletrack.
Length: 0.6 mile
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
Length: 1.3 mile
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,
Length: 0.2 mile
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
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.
Length: 4 miles
to Zephyr trail page
||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.
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.
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
||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
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
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
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
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