Last week, Grand County officially opened a new mountain biking trail in the Sand Flats Recreation area. The 5.4-mile long Falcon Flow is the first in a series that will constitute an alternative ending to the widely popular Whole Enchilada, providing riders a more moderate option to the sometimes-treacherous Porcupine Rim.
The new alternative to Porcupine Rim will be named Raptor Route, formerly known as the Big Burrito, is meant to be a “more moderate singletrack option to get back to town,” according to Madeline Logowitz, Grand County’s director of Active Transportation & Trails Division. Once completed, Raptor Route will be 9.5 miles in length; Falcon Flow constitutes the first and longest part of the three-route series.
“Previously, the only alternative option [to Porcupine Rim] was for users to ride about 13 miles on the Sand Flats Road, which has been seeing increasing traffic over the past several years,” Logowitz said about the planned Raptor “This route doesn’t extend all the way back to town, but when complete, it will cut out about half of the mileage needed to travel on the road to get back to town.”
According to Logowitz and trail databases MTB Project and Trailforks, The Whole Enchilada is one of the most popular mountain bike networks in Moab, despite typically being open for only two to three months at a time due to snow in the mountains. Logowitz said the route has seen over 20,000 visitors over the “last several years,” and with more visitors come more emergencies.
“This addition to the network has been needed because the Porcupine Rim section is not only an extremely difficult section at the end of a long ride, it is also extremely difficult to access if someone is injured,” Logowitz said. “The new Raptor Route will be a fun singletrack route with stunning views, but more moderate and accessible in case of emergency.”
Falcon Flow is the result of 1,800 hours of volunteer work, according to Logowitz. The project broke ground Sept. 1, and work was completed Feb. 29. The timeline for the project was such that it did not interrupt bird nesting, she added.
“To make sure bird nesting wasn’t disturbed by trail construction, the trail could only be built during that timeframe,” Logowitz said. “We were only able to complete it during the narrow window because of the enormous amount of support that we received from the community.”
Read a trail rider’s review of the new trail in next week’s issue of The Times-Independent.