From your car bike east on this track for 4.5 miles to the sign for Five Miles of Hell Trail (38.7643N, 110.6702W). This initial 4.5 miles is easy riding with just a few technical sections. Turn left at the sign for Five Miles of Hell. The Five Miles of Hell Trail is 5.4 miles long on the map, but around 7 on your bike computer. It is mostly slickrock with dirt and sand connections. When you get to the end of the trail (38.7540N, 110.6141W) turn around and retrace your route back to the car. (Alternatively, there are several ways to do this trail as a loop, but you'll need a trail map of the area.) The trail is well marked by motorcycle usage, painted dots, and rock cairns. The trail is extremely technical and is a favorite playground for trials motorcycles. You are constantly going up and down, but with very little overall elevation change. Caution - only attempt this trail if you are an expert rider; mobile phone doesn't work here; don't ride it in the summer; bring a camelbak, 2 bottles and a lunch as it takes 3-5 hours on a motorcycle, so more on a bike. Disclaimer - I love to ride a bike, but only ride a motorcycle in this area. However, I wanted to post this trail for bike riders who may be looking for an extreme technical challenge. (Any bets on how soon we'll get a review from some guy from BC who claims his grandmother rides stuff harder than this.)
From Green River, UT head west on Interstate 70 past Price exit, past Hanksville exit, then an additional 19 miles to Ranch Exit. Exit here, go under Interstate 70 heading south on unmarked dirt road. Proceed 7.5 miles on this road to 38.7889 N 110.7109 W. Turn left on small dirt road, proceed about 1/2 mile, then park. (Or, you can go further on this road if your vehicle is suitable and you want to minimize biking distance.)
Summary: This is one of the most epic rides around. It's really similar to The Edge in Fruita, except it's longer, more remote, more technical, and more fun. It's impossible to emphasizse how important it is to be prepared out here. Bring every tool you can fit into your Calembak, loads of water, more food that you think you'll need and start early. The 36-mile loop will take a fit rider at least 4 hours to complete (including a few feed stops). If you lollygag it can be more like 5-6 hours. Don't attempt if you aren't in extremley good shape, can't fix things like a broken chain or flat tires, or if the weather is looking bad. This is about as remote as you can get on a bike. Also, be careful not to take the wrong trails around Temple Mountain. There are dozens of jeep tracks criss-crossing the area and getting lost out here can literally mean death, especially if you're already exhausted from the long ride. And buy the guidebook I mentioned above. Unless you're intimately familiar with this network of roads and trails, YOU WILL GET LOST WITHOUT IT. Tear out the relevant pages, or, if your Camebback is big enough, just throw the whole damn guide in there. The section called Five Miles of Hell isn't too bad. There are a few hike-a-bike sections, and a number of other sections that I'm glad to have full suspension, but nothing there is too intimidating. The singletrack is fun, but a lot of riders are already worn out by the time they arrive to enjoy it fully. Try to conserve a little energy! The bottom line: This is a true epic ride FOR STRONG, ADVANCED riders only. It has every type of terrain you can hope for, and will wear you out. It's also remote, so be prepared for anything.
Recommended Route: There are a number of routes here, but the best I've found is the loop ride described in the Falcon Guide Mountain Biking Utah by Gregg Bromka. His directions are amazingly accurate and clear. It's impossible to get lost if you follow them closely.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Typical Moab & Fruita stuff, Red's Canyon, Buckhorn Wash, etc.
Review Date February 19, 2003
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Reviewed by: Scott Poole
, from Shelby, NC USA
Summary: For most fun and less frustration, do this ride while you are fresh and well rested. Four strokes are the funnest, but two strokes work just fine. Definetly, gear your bike down. You can't have enough torque or low enough gearing. The first time I did this ride, we had ridden four days previous. Although the ride is approximately 25-30 miles, make sure your bike has enough fuel to go 50-60 miles on an average trail ride. The sand washes and climbs suck the fuel. Do not take new riders, make sure your bike has lever guards, skid plates and other armor that protects precious and vital bike parts. Also, make sure that you have means to repair or replace tubes. If you have a major break down (in 5 miles of hell), the only way your bike is coming out is with a chopper lift. Take your time, rest often, if needed, take lot's of drinking fluid, and this is not a ride for the prideful person with something to prove. This is a ride that every inspiring rider needs to do at least once. Enjoy
Recommended Route: If you have most of the day and get an early start, I suggest going south on hwy 24 off of I-70, West of Green River. After approximately 26 miles, turn right at the Goblin Valley State Park entrance. At the park entrance, there is a dirt road to the right that takes you into the colored trails to the right. Then, after several miles of various types of terrain, 5 miles of hell is to the right.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Colored trails, Coal wash, and Black dragon wash
Review Date December 11, 2002
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Bruce
, from Alpine, UT
Summary: This is gonzo-abusive tech riding. I took 4 other mountain bikers back to ride it again the next week. If you don't mind pushing your bike up a few short unrideable sections, this trail is great fun for an advanced tech rider. I'd only suggest it for experienced, strong, advanced riders, bordering on trials-level. The sandstone is awesome, and the trail never lets up -- it just keeps hitting you with more. After riding 5MOH, every other trail is just a bike ride.
Recommended Route: Follow the mapped route at UtahMountainBiking.com: 3 miles to where 5MOH forks off the Red Trail, then 8 miles to the trailbox at the end. Loop back on ATV-track to the north for a 20-mile ride.
Other recommended trails in the same area: San Rafael Devils Racetrack
Review Date October 20, 2002
Overall Rating 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Please Select
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: Scott Frazier
, from Alpine, UT
Summary: Yesterday I rode this trail on a trials motorcycle, but with the perspective that I would come back and try to describe it more fully to my fellow mountain bikers. My first observation is that the trail is not suitable to mountain bikes at all, and that I have done a disservice by originally posting it on this site. Still, the best I can do now is to describe the trail more specifically and let you make up your own mind. For a general idea of this trail imagine the Slickrock Trail in Moab no overall elevation change, but constantly going up or down hills of up to 100 vertical feet. On the Slickrock trail the steepest climbs are perhaps 30-35 degrees, and the rock is smooth. On 5MOH the steeper climbs are perhaps 40-45 degrees and made of broken rock with ledges of up to 18 inches. On Slickrock there are easier alternatives to many of the hard spots, but on 5MOH usually the only alternative to the designated trail is a cliff. Let me try to provide a more specific description of the different terrains youll encounter on 5MOH. Terrain #1 is dirt or reasonably smooth rock, and fairly flat 10% of total mileage. Terrain #2 is reasonably flat, but on an undulating or broken-rock surface 15% of total mileage. Advanced riders will have fun here, but watch out for endos a long travel bike would be ideal. Terrain #3 is moderately steep over broken rock with ledges up to 18 rideable uphill only by expert riders, preferably on a light bike 40% of total mileage. Advanced riders will have fun riding these sections in the downhill direction on a long travel bike. Terrain #4 is very steep, up to 45 degrees, and made of broken rock, usually with ledges 20% of total mileage. This terrain is unridable uphill, but expert riders will have fun going down on a long travel bike. Terrain #5 is fine, deep sand that is unridable, even in what passes here for wet conditions 15% of total mileage. If you are still interested let me add a few things that might help. First, you can take your truck much further than I suggested in the original posting getting you to within about a mile of where the 5MOH trail branches off from the Red Trail. Second, there are three well-marked outs at approximately miles 2, 4 and 6 on the trail. These take you to a road that is north and somewhat parallel to the 5MOH trail. Third, forget my suggestion about riding 5MOH as an out-and-back. Either park a second car at the end of the trail, or take a left at the end onto the road north of the trail, and take it back to your truck.
Review Date June 8, 2002
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Justin
, from Parachute, CO
Summary: I did the entire loop. Temple Mtn. to 5MOH to those damned sandy gulches to those painful climbs along the swell and finally back to Temple Mtn. It is one of those rides that will go proudly on my resume for epic bike rides. 5MOH is some of the most interesting, bizarre rock formations you will ever see. Nearly unpassable. Yet here is this painted trail that leads you onward. Winding and grinding over these sandstone ledges that are truly a scene from Dante's "Inferno". Take a camera. (Honestly, I walked a good portion of the trail because I was alone and did not want to die out there.) The rest of the trail was mediocre. It was pretty deep in dust so that made riding hard. This land hasn't seen rain for a long, long time. The dirt is pretty loose. However, the scenery is spectacular. Temple Mtn. resembles Tolkein's "Mt. Doom" in LOTR. It is ominous and you are winding your way toward it like Frodo Baggins. Overall rating: I have to give it high marks but it is a technical monster.
Recommended Route: Shuttle the ride from Temple Mtn. to the trail head for 5MOH. Ride thru 5MOH, down Cement Hill and onward back to Temple Mtn. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE this ride. Bring LOTS of water, food, tools and tubes. If you break down of break yourself on the first dozen miles of this ride you will be dried beef jerky before anyone finds you. It doesn't get traveled that often.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Don't know many. Just Black Dragon Canyon. It was pretty neat. You don't have to shuttle it either. Just start at the bottom (the most scenic part) and pedal up hill. Get tired, turn around, and go through the scenic part again. Double bonus.