Chisholm

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 1.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 5815 - 5978 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Horsethief Campground/Horsethief
Fee: none ($15/campsite)
Attractions: Fun singletrack




The Chisholm trail is part of the Horsethief Mountain Bike Trails system near Moab, Utah. The trail begins at the Horsethief Campground where it travels through a pinyon and juniper forest over slickrock and dirt singletrack. After 1 mile the trail crosses Highway 313 where it begins again at the Horsethief Trailhead. After another half mile the trail comes to an end at its junction with the Mustang Loop from where the rest of the trails in the Horsethief and Gemini Bridges areas can be accessed.


The trail begins at the Horsethief Campground between sites 48 and 49 in the Cayuse Loop. (cayuse is an old American West word for an unexceptional horse or one of low quality.) The Horsethief Campground is 12 miles on Highway 313 from its junction with Highway 191 about 9 miles north of Moab.


From the campground the Chisholm trail passes over a cattleguard and begins crossing a stretch of slickrock.


Within a short distance it is connected to twice by the Rowdy Loop.


As the trail continues away from the campground it alternates between patches of dirt and more stretches of slickrock. There are several minor ledges and small hills but nothing very taxing.


The biggest thing to watch for is an awkward pipeline crossing which can always be walked.


Most of the next stretch of trail after crossing the pipeline is fast and fun.


Near the 0.7 mile point the Chisholm trail crosses the Mineral Bottom Road.


The trail continues with a slight uphill pitch but not enough to slow things down much.


At the one mile point the trail crosses Highway 313.


The Horsethief Mountain Bike Area trailhead is on the east side of Highway 313. There is additional parking here but no camping is allowed.


The trail continues for another half mile from the Horsethief trailhead. There is a minor bit of climbing after passing a stock pond. After that the trail works its way around the north side of the hills. The trail gets a little loose for one short section but pretty smooth overall.


The Chisholm trail comes to an end at its junction with the Mustang Loop. There are a multitude of options from this point on to combine the various trails and segments and come up with just the outing that you are looking for. For those that are new to mountain biking, or that are a little rusty, and not camping at the Horsethief Campground, you might consider parking at the Horsethief trailhead and riding toward the campground and around the Wrangler and Rowdy loops. They are all good trails for honing your skills or for quickly getting back into the swing of things. As on most of the mountain bike trails around Moab don't be surprised to encounter a few hikers or ultra marathoners. Everybody gets in on the action around here. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.