Moab – Fallen Peace Officer Trail & Onion Creek – Mar 2014

Mar. 21-22, 2014

Jamie wanted to go someplace warm to celebrate passing her preliminary PhD exam at the University of Utah. Our original plan was to go mountain biking near Moab, but Jamie had a severe cold, so we decided to bring the motorcycles instead.
Fallen Peace Officer Trail
Last year, Ride With Respect helped develop a new ATV trail just north of Moab, dedicated to police officers and rangers that lost their life, or sustain injury, trying to protect our way of life. The “Fallen Peace Officer” trail was opened in April of 2013.
Jamie and I were actually on our way to ride the Gemini Bridges trail when we saw the sign pointing to the Fallen Peace Officer trailhead. We decided to give it a try.
The trail is a loop, approximately 14 miles long (although our odometers indicated just under 13 miles). The trail has a mixture of dirt, sand, sandstone, small ledges, and loose rocks. The southern portion is pretty rocky, but not overly technical. I suspect it would be pretty easy on an ATV, but also pretty bumpy.

Fallen Peace Officer Trail

Fallen Peace Officer Trail

 

Rocky southern section

On a motorcycle there were only a few challenging spots, one of which caused Jamie to crash. She isn’t yet quite used to the larger KTM 350.

Update:  Clif from Ride With Respect informed me that these rocky sections of the trail either have been or will be repaired, making the trail a lot more enjoyable to ride.

Jamie takes a spill

I was following Jamie with the helmet camera and noticed that she was really deflecting off of the rocks. We decided to soften up the clickers on her suspension, which seemed to help quite a bit. We still need to spend some time tuning the suspension, but it was clear that softer worked better for her.
The eastern part of the trail was perhaps the most enjoyable. The trail was smoother and faster, with some nice views into Arches National Park.

Orange bikes and red rocks

 

 

Onion Creek – Cottonwood Canyon – Hidden Canyon
On Saturday we drove up Highway 128 and parked at the base of Onion Creek. Our family rode this several years ago, but Jamie was feeling sick and opted to stay in the car and rest. I knew she would enjoy this trail because it has something like 27 stream crossings.

Onion Creek GPS track

Onion Creek GPS track

 

Jamie enjoying the stream crossings

We were surprised that the weather looked a little threatening, so we wore our rain coats. We got a few sprinkles in the higher elevation, but luckily the trails didn’t get too muddy or slippery.

Heading towards the storm

After reaching the top of Onion Creek, we turned east into Cottonwood Canyon and rode over to the base of the famous Jeep obstacle, Rose Garden Hill. The first part of this trail is really fun as it undulates through the Juniper trees. It does get fairly rocky the last mile or so before Rose Garden Hill.

Rose Garden Hill in the background

We returned to the main rode and continued south, into areas I had not ridden before. We turned left again and rode up and over the pass in Hidden Canyon. We explored the area for a while, and then decided to head back to the car and prepare for the 4 hour drive home.

Looking east, towards the Little Dolores River

The return ride down Onion Creek was really enjoyable since the weather had warmed up and we didn’t mind getting our boots wet again. It was a really fun ride!

Jamie in Onion Creek

 

Dee making a splash

 

Riding up:

 

Riding back down:

 

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A really great family!
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