Baby Steps Loop

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 14.3 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Skill level:
Elevation: 4607 - 5262 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Time: 4 hrs.
Trailhead: Klondike Bluffs
Fee: none
Attractions: Tour de force




The Baby Steps Loop is located in the Klondike Bluffs Area north of Moab, Utah. The loop is made by combining the North and South Baby Steps trails with sections of the Klondike Bluffs and Copper Ridge roads. The traditional route for the loop is a mostly doubletrack that follows old jeep roads. Beginning at the South Baby Steps and EKG trail junction some new single track alternative routes have been added. This post follows the traditional route for the most part but we did go back and do the new trails also.


To get to the trailhead either drive 17 miles north of Moab or about 14.1 miles south from Crescent Junction on Highway 191 and turn east at the Klondike Bluffs sign. From the turnoff on Highway 191 it is 2.7 miles to the trailhead. The road is rough in spots and best avoided after a heavy rain. We have driven the road in a passenger car but something with a little more clearance would be advisable. There is one fork in the road a short distance before the trailhead where you will want to stay to the left.


Follow the road across the cattleguard and bear left at the quarter mile point to get out of the sandy wash. An alternative to following the road is to take advantage of the Inside Passage trail which avoids even more sand.


At the 0.63 mile point bear to the right. The trail to the left is the relatively new Jurassic trail.


The next turn is to the left at a 4-way junction that comes up at 0.79 miles.


Continue north on the Copper Ridge Road to where the loop begins at the 1.7 mile point.


This portion of the route follows the South Baby Steps trail across the Dino-Flow trail and up the bluff.


At the 2.17 mile point the South Baby Steps trail is intersected by the EKG trail. It is also at this spot that the north branch of the Sidestep trail begins.


The trail continues climbing the bluff, leveling off and becoming dirt once past most of the slickrock, and at the 2.7 mile point it is met on the left by the Instep trail and on the right by a single track section of the Baby Steps trail.


At the top of the hill the trail bends toward the northeast and begins skirting the hillside along the edge of a massive expanse of slickrock.


At the 3.2 mile point there is a new section of singletrack that departs on the left. The single track loops around the area heading west and then turns north and east before rejoining the traditional doubletrack less than a quarter mile from this point. The single track route adds a little over 1 mile to the total distance. For this post we took the left turn and road the new single track. It looked like it had only been finished just the day before.


At the 3.76 mile point the singletrack is met by the upper end of the north branch of the Sidestep trail which began down where we crossed the EKG. The north end of the Instep trail begins a hundred yards or so to the left off of Sidestep.


At the 4.45 mile point the singletrack rejoins the traditional route and at the 4.67 mile point it is met by the UFO trail which runs from here down to the Little Salty trail.


The Baby Steps Loop joins up with the Klondike Bluffs Road at the 5.52 mile point and follows it the rest of the way over the hill and down into the Salt Valley. At 5.65 miles it passes the turn for the hiking trail that leads to a scenic overlook in Arches National Park. The Klondike Bluffs Road is a rocky mess at the point where it drops into the Salt Valley.


Watch for a sign at the bottom of the hill that directs riders on the Baby Steps Loop to take the road to the left.


Around the 7 1/2 mile point the route turns back toward the west and begins climbing the hill back to the top of the bluffs. The climb at this point is a lot easier than the descent into the Salt Valley was. About halfway up the hill there is an abandoned copper mine on the right.


The trail reaches the top of the ridge at the 8 mile point where it is met by the upper end of the Little Salty trail. From this point the Baby Steps Loop gains more elevation as it heads north climbing in and out of some scenic valleys until it comes out on top once again.


At the 9.34 mile point the loop is met by the upper end of the Mega Steps trail. From here it continues down the hill along the North Baby Steps trail.


At 10.38 miles the EKG cuts across the route again and at 10.49 miles the Dino-Flow trail does the same. At 10.64 miles the North Baby Steps trail ends and we take the Copper Ridge Road back to the trailhead.


The Baby Steps Loop covers a lot of ground taking you from one side of the bluffs to the other and back again. We made the trip in 4 hours but that was stopping to take about 400 pictures along the way. We also spent some time around the abandoned copper mine looking at discarded ore samples and rocks spotted with malachite and azurite. All in all it was a fun time. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.