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. The riding is fun and easy. This page covers the north trails.
For more riding in this area, see the Klonzo
South, Gravitron/Vertigo and Klonzo Beginner Slickrock pages.
Typical trail view on slickrock, with
green paint stripes indicating the riding line. Green means we're on the
Dunestone Trail. Original photos and trail review
November 5, 2012 by Bruce. Latest update
The trail system has multiple interconnected loops. Each segment is quite short.
You'll rarely ride more a half mile before reaching another trail fork. The ten trails of northern Klonzo are Boondocks, Borderline, Dunestone, Cross Canyon,
Gravitron, Secret Passage, Snippet, VertiGo, Wahoo, and Zoltar. The multiple connections between loops
offers many different riding experiences.
Trail fork where Dunestone meets
Boondocks. Now purple paint indicates the riding line.
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-coded carsonite markers identify the trail. (The
color codes correspond to the map's colors.)
Color coded map. Color coded ID posts
on the trail. Color-coded paint stripes on the rock. Seriously. If you get
lost on this trail, it's time to give up the booze.
There's a total of 12 miles of trail at Klonzo north of
Willow Springs road (with more great trails in Klonzo
South). Some are pure undulating dirt
singletrack (example Secret
Passage). Others are
almost all rock (example Dunestone). It's a good mix for pedaling around in circles and just
enjoying the ride. To hit every piece of every trail requires some short
"do-overs" so your "do it all" ride of Klonzo North will be
13 to 14 miles.
Looking west from the trail as Bruce
hits Dunestone to make a trail video.
Base altitude is 4400 feet. Total altitude change is 400 feet from the
parking area to the top of the Wahoo trail. There's a lot of up-and-down riding,
though. A do-it-all ride will total about 1500 vertical.
Cactus and paintbrush were blooming during
my May "update" ride.
Technical difficulty: early intermediate to advanced. With
the exception of the two new advanced-tech trails on the north end, there wasn't anything
tricky on this ride, so I'd rate the trails as appropriate for advanced
beginners. True beginners may struggle on the narrow slope-hugging
trails in the red dirt section and on a couple of short stiff climbs.
as tricky as it gets. The connector of Boondocks climbing up to meet
Dunestone. This is the steepest roughest 20 feet of climbing on the entire
Klonzo trail system. And
it's not that hard.
Aerobic requirement: easy to moderate.
Out-of-shape riders can mosey along. Expert riders can hammer it and get a
good workout. And because there are so many opportunities to
"finish" the ride at the next trail fork, you can tailor your
ride to the time available and to your exercise tolerance.
The higher spots on the Klonzo trails give you great
views of the La Sal
Mountains in the southeast.
There are wide views to the south and west from the mesa. But this is
not a "destination ride" that goes someplace. It's a riding area
where you select among route options and just enjoy pedaling along.
Looking southwest from the Wahoo trail. The break in the
cliffs on the left side of the photo is where 313 heads west to
The sandstone is the Salt Wash member of the
Morrison Formation from the late Jurassic Period. It's about 140 million
years old. There's a gentle upslope to the rock as you ride from west to
east and from south to north.
Typical view on the
Boondocks trail. Solid intermediate riding.
Nothing tricky here, but a great system to improve your bike-control
Configuration: Loop with connecting trails at top and bottom
Connections: Dunestone at mile 0.2 from parking, Dunestone at top of loop via
0.2 mile connector.
Character: Winding dirt singletrack west, hugging edge of mesa among rocks on
Length: Around and out clockwise 1.8 miles (with 0.4 mile repeat segment)
Boondocks: heading north clockwise.
Winding fast-paced dirt ribbon.
Configuration: Straight up the hill going northeast
Connections: Parking B 0.5, Cross Canyon 0.6 and 1.0, Snippet 1.3, Wahoo 1.7
Character: Winding dirt to mile 1.0, then slickrock and rolling rock on upper
Length 1.7 miles
Borderline: climbing north. Undulating
dirt ST on lower half, slickrock upper half.
Configuration: Winding North to South from Yahoo to Borderline
Connections: Starts on Borderline 0.6, Dunestone 0.2, Secret Passage 0.3, upper
Secret Passage 0.9, Snippet 1.0, Wahoo 1.3
Character: Winding dirt singletrack, tends to follow ridgeline
Length 1.3 miles
Cross Canyon: heading south. Carves a
dirt path between lower Borderline and Wahoo, connects to just about
Configuration: Loop with connecting trails bottom (TH) and at top
Connections: Boondocks 0.2 and 0.8 clockwise, loop fork 1.0.
Character: Slickrock and rollovers among juniper
Length: Around and out clockwise 2.1 miles (with 1 mile repeat section)
Dunestone: heading east. Rolling
sandstone; a nice confidence builder for beginners.
Configuration: One-way arc ride from top of Wahoo to Gravitron
Connections: Starts north end of Wahoo, ends in middle of Gravitron
Character: Advanced tech trail, a lot of whoops and drops, generally
Length: 1.9 miles
Gravitron: an armored
turn-and-drop, whoosh up and drop again, early in the ride heading
Configuration: Arc circles away from Cross Canyon and rejoins
Connections: Leaves Cross Canyon at mile 0.3, rejoins after 0.7
Character: Winding dirt ribbon, counterclockwise (from top) offers fun descent
Length 0.7 miles
Secret Passage: counterclockwise,
looking west -- whoosh.
Configuration: Shortcut between Borderline and Cross Canyon at midmountain
Connections: Starts at mile 1.3 of Borderline, mile 1.0 of Cross Canyon
Character: Ridgeline ST
Length 0.2 miles
Configuration: Arc ride connecting Cross Canyon to middle of Secret Passage
Connections: Cross Canyon just below Wahoo Loop, Secret Passage at west end
Character: Advanced technical, some tight squeezes and traverses on steep slope.
Length 1.1 mile
VertiGo: Dropping to the south on bendy twisty fun
Configuration: Loop at top of trail system
Connections: Secret Passage ends on lower loop; Borderline ends near top of loop
Character: Half rolling slickrock and half winding dirt ribbon, recommended
riding direction counterclockwise
Length: 1.7 miles
Wahoo: Cruising through the sandstone
on the south end of the loop.
Configuration: North-South route on east side of riding area.
Connections: Extends from from junction of Borderline with Cross Canyon (1 mile
up Borderline from main parking) to the beginning of Houdini (see Klonzo
South page) on Willow Springs Road
Character: Rolling patches of slickrock in area of juniper and brush
Length 0.6 miles
Zoltar: Looking north, heading toward the
junction with Borderline.
Dunestone as a loop ride...
If the above video does not appear on your
browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking
Beginner Sandstone Ride: Dunestone Loop
This loop is quick and fun with great views and non-threatening sandstone.
From the west
trailhead, climbhill. Go right at the first fork to stay on Dunestone. Keep straight
(left) at the next fork (if you
even see it). Keep right as Boondocks rejoins.
Juniper, bitterbrush, and pinion pine
erupt from the sandstone of the mesa.
Fork right at the prominently paint-marked green-to-green intersection
at 1.0 miles to stay on the Dunestone loop trail. (Straight takes you down
off the mesa.) Ride around the mesa, then fork hard left to return the way
you came. This ride is 95% sandstone, just two miles long, and has about
100 vertical feet of climbing.
We're heading south along the mesa
edge on Dunestone.
Intermediate Quick Ride: Perimeter 5.3 miles
The perimeter ride will give you a quick taste of what's out there,
without a big time commitment. For this ride, just go right. Every time.
Go right out of the parking lot to ride uphill on Borderline to Wahoo.
Heading uphill on Borderline.
When Wahoo brings you to Cross Canyon, turn right and head
south. Turn right again to take another whooshing downhill on Secret Passage. Climb up
to Dunestone. Then drop to your right off the mesa on Borderline and head
back to parking.
Rebel bike at the junction of
Borderline with the Wahoo loop. Counterclockwise is the recommended riding
direction, so you can enjoy a whooshing downhill without pausing for
climbers on the narrow ribbon of singletrack.
Strong Intermediate Do-it-all Loopy-Loop: 12 miles
This ride starts from downhill left and progresses, loop by loop, to
uphill right. An exact description of every trail fork gets pretty
tedious. Just ride around in circles until you get there. Who cares if you
don't follow my exact itinerary? It's all good. If you're up to it, you
can add the advanced-tech trails VertiGo and Gravitron to the north end of
Here's the description of the ride on my downloadable GPS
track (see riding resources below):
We've reached the Salt Wash sandstone
and are heading uphill east along the escarpment.
I started with the Boondocks loop clockwise. After repeating
the western 0.4 miles, I caught the connector to Dunestone.
I rode Dunestone clockwise, repeating the north segment before dropping
to Cross Canyon.
Climbing back uphill on Secret
Passage, southbound and heading for Cross Country.
I dropped south (right) on Cross Canyon to Borderline and
climbed uphill until I reached again reached Cross Canyon (but uphill from
where I left it). I took Cross Canyon
north and forked left (west) on Secret Passage. Secret Passage looped back
to the Borderline-Cross Canyon junction.
At the top of the Wahoo loop, we're
looking west. Lots of downhill curving turns ahead.
Next I climbed Borderline to Wahoo. Once around Wahoo
counterclockwise (full loop). Down the rock of Borderline to Snippet, Snippet to Cross
Canyon. Cross Canyon back up to Wahoo. Loop around Wahoo again, all the
way back to the Cross Canyon junction.
Climbing back uphill on sandstone
toward the junction of Borderline and Wahoo.
Now I turned on Cross Canyon and rode all the way south to
Borderline. I forked right on Borderline and followed it back to Parking A.
Looking toward the La Sals from
Borderline as we head home.
Western 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 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 and Redhot TH: Keep on Willow Springs Road past the first
trailhead, then keep right at the fork (at mile 3.0 from US 191). There
will be a few parking spots at the entry to the Midway trail and at the
Bathrooms: 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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