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Moab’s Magnificent 7

Trails to the edge, and over

It’s all good, but these trails, the best of Moab, Utah’s renowned Mag 7, are a must.

A network of seven trails and counting, the Magnificent 7 vibe ranges from fast and smooth to downright lethal. We drop in with a few locals and see what this mega ride is all about.

You’re going to want to shuttle this one; It all starts about 23 miles out of town. Follow U.S. Route 191 north for 11 miles, and pick up Utah State Highway 313 and head west for 12 more miles to Gemini Bridges Road and drop in.

Linking up this point-to-point black diamond singletrack has options. A mile down Gemini Bridges road, head into 5-plus miles of Bull Run - fast, chunky drops and canyon views, or take the pedally Getaway singletrack (way cool) from the start. Crank a quick mile-plus through Arth’s Pasture to 2.5 more ledgy miles of Little Canyon, or take the Great Escape for even more downhill and slickrock. Just be ready: When Gold Bar picks up, everything changes.

After some tough climbing, Gold Bar Rim, a giant endless tilted slab of bare rock, brazenly flirts with some severe exposure mixed with engaging challenges for the next six miles. This is the hard desert riding of a lifetime, with a lot of up and down. Wrap it up with the Portal Trail, perhaps one of the most infamous two-plus miles in all of mountain biking. Dropping 1,000 feet per mile, it has taken a few lives with it.

Kyle Mears, owner of the Whole Enchilada Shuttle Company and notorious for high-stakes riding, called the route survival riding. “You just want to get your bike and yourself down in one piece.”

“It’s a full-body experience,” said Rocky Mountain Bicycle’s Gattis Tyler. “Every time I go out on a trial I find a new line.”

Mag 7 is all new lines. Perhaps no other ride anywhere will present such challenges, many riders come back reporting it’s the best they’ve ever performed. Or the worst. This ride is an open canvas.

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