The landscape of the American southwest is an ethereal place. The cathedral towers, deep canyons, and crushed red dirt produce terrain with endless riding possibilities. One is only limited by his efforts to push further. Pedaling along the sun drenched plateaus and in the shadowed canyons, all while sleeping below the stars in the cool night, you can start to feel displaced from the daily grind. That is until the beer runs low, the skins begins to redden and you head back to civilization to refuel. The deserts of the southwest are like a second home for many mountain bikers, providing a sanctuary in the winter months as an escape from whatever ails.
The last few miles of the Porcupine Rim Trail are some of the best riding in Moab. No matter where you started, from Burro Pass in the high elevations to the lower rim, it all ends here, spitting you out along miles of singletrack adjacent to the mighty Colorado River. If you time it right you can have the trail all to yourself, free from the shuttling masses as the light fades.
Traveling south from Moab to Sedona there are many sites along the way. While these diversions are often bypassed to keep riding, we detoured off course and headed into the Canyonlands. We rested our weary legs and spent a few days off the bike wandering above canyons and sleeping under the vast night sky. As the days passed, we became restless as stopping reminded us that our purpose here was to ride.
Sedona's trails are an interconnected maze that weave between the giant sandstone formations that jut up from the landscape. Relying on your own ad hoc knowledge and not carrying a map and a headlamp can get you in trouble. Sedona’s sun-bleached days turn midnight dark as soon as the sun sets. The skies do not hold the amber dusk prevalent in most desert regions. After making this mistake more than once, we tempted fate by heading out late on the Hangover Trail. As the sun set and the trail disappeared beneath our wheels, we were left standing at the edge with no apparent route home. It took some local knowledge to point us down the faceless ledges of the final descent.
The endless vistas of southern Utah makes a person wonder about the trails out there that have never been ridden and are only known to a few rock squirrels and mule deer. SOUTHWEST. PROVEN HERE.
Cinematography and Photos By: Craig Grant
Directed and Edited By: Craig Grant
Additional Photography By: Joey Schusler
Sound Design: Keith White
Joey Schusler & Michael Larsen
A River’s Journey by Todd Hannigan
Illuminate by The Earth and Arrow
Skylight by The Earth and Arrow
Cloudine by Joseph