Originally Posted by Mikkael
1. I'd love to ride the "3-day-white rim" or "4-day-the maze" as well as a few daily breaks around Moab. Should I rent a bike (More suspension or maybe an enduro?)
or bring my own (it's a TREK FUEL 95
with a Fox Float 120 mm front susp.)?
2. Is it a good idea to book bike tours in advance (
they are pricey, eg. Escape Adventures
, Rim Tours
etc.) or consult other local bike-shops on the arrival for last-minute prices? Any recommendations?
3. Clothing and "must-bring items": How's the weather in October?
4. Any other suggestions; for example about where to stay in Moab?
I've been to Moab numerous times over the past 20 years. I'm about 3.5 hours drive time away, so it's been a great get-away for many 2-5 day trips over the years.
The White Rim and The Maze are going to require a permit for overnight. You might be disappointed to find that you need to schedule your permit many months in advance. But call and see if there's an opening. You might find a tour operator that has a permit for the days you want. Another option is riding The White Rim in a day (~120 miles) without dropping two cars. I'm going to do my first overnighter this September on the White Rim. All the other times were in a day.
Although there are many places to rent very nice bikes from in Moab, I would bring my own if it's not a hassle. Flying with a bike is a hassle, IMO. If you're going to rent, check out Dream Bikes on Center Street. They have some very chi-chi bikes to rent and they do tours as well.
If you're going to have a car, I wouldn't bother with a tour. Get the book Above and Beyond Slickrock
and you'll have a very good guide of rides in the area plus a very nice reference of the area for coffee table talk with friends. Don't try to navigate rides without some sort of map and written guide. You'll get lost very easily. But with a discription of turns and landmarks, you'll be fine. A cyclometer will come in very handy since many ride descriptions will navigate by mileage. Practically none of the rides will require a 4x4 to get to the trailhead. If you are going the tour route for sure then I wouldn't wait until arriving to book. Moab is a small town with small town attitudes and small town pace of life. October isn't the height of the tourist season even though Fall is an awesome time to ride there. You might find that some operations are running pretty lean with resources like staff, bikes and so forth during the "off" season.
As you know, weather is hard to predict so far in advance. It can snow in Moab during that time but it's not likely. More than likely it's going to be 40 F at night and 65-85 F in the day. The White Rim will be much warmer (by about 10 degrees.) Plan on facing everything from wind, rain, snow and blistering heat. So, bring gear for getting wet and being cold as well as a couple of sleeveless jerseys too.
There are so many places to stay in Moab it's not funny. But since it's going to be the weekend of The 24 hours of Moab (October 16th & 17th) I would reserve before you arrive. I usually camp when I go to Moab/Fruita. But I've stayed at the Red Rocks Inn, Holiday Inn, Off Center Hotel (very funky place) and some others I can't remember. The Camber of Commerce can do you much better with this than I can.
If you have time, stop by and check out the race. Definitely plan a day to hike in Arches Natl. Park (no mtb bike trails.)
Some of my favorite rides are:
-Jackass Canyon to the Porcupine Rim and then back down Jackass Canyon - Difficult
Or as a whole loop up Sand Flats road to the water tanks and then up to Porcupine Rim down Jackass and back to town.
-Slick Rock - difficult. Although this gets lots of tourist types, it is an amazing experience to ride on the petrified sand stone. It has amazing views and the whole slickrock area is humongous. The trail is marked by white paint and cairns.
-White Rim - moderate/easy but long.
-Klondike Bluffs-moderate/easy. You'll be able to see lots of really cool dinosaur foot prints. At the end of the ride hike the extra 1/4 mile to the edge of Arches Natl. Park to veiw the bluffs up close.
You'll need to learn what a cairn is to help navigate rides. Basically, they're rocks stacked up to provide a visual marker. You'll also want to know what cryptobiotic soil is too. Basically it's everywhere and you don't want to step on it. Google it so you'll be in the know and not get busted for busting the crust.