North 40

Round Trip Distance: 4.2 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Skill level:
Elevation: 4495 - 4673 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Moab Brands
Fee: none
Attractions: Fun mountain bike trail

The North 40 trail is in the Moab Brands Mountain Biking Area north of Moab, Utah. The trail begins by climbing a bench where it begins a loop that spends the next 4 plus miles navigating around the hilly features of the landscape. While the difference between the minimum and maximum elevations is a mere 178 feet the total elevation gain for the North 40 trail is 688 feet. Most of the trail is suitable for beginner and intermediate level riders with a few more technical spots occurring as the trail progresses.

To get to the trailhead drive about 8 miles north of Moab and turn right at the Bar M Chuckwagon and Moab Brands sign. Follow the gravel road past the Bar M parking area to the BLM trailhead. The total distance after turning off of Highway 191 is about 3/4 of a mile. From the parking area follow the trail east for about 0.15 miles to where the North 40 trail begins.

The trail starts out by climbing a small hill. From this picture you can see that even very young riders are apparently able to manage the North 40.

The loop begins at the top of the little hill with the counter-clockwise direction being the preferred direction of travel to make a few of the hills easier to manage.

The trail continues to gain a little elevation as it progresses. Most of gain comes as the trail climbs small outcrops along the ridges.

About a third of a mile from where the trail began it passes the lower end of the Maverick trail. Maverick is a one-way trail that adds a fun downhill run to the North 40.

The North 40 trail has two jumping off points for the Circle O trail that come up as it continues along its eastern edge.

Near the 1 mile point the Maverick trail begins on the left. A lot of riders turn off at this point and ride the Maverick trail down to its lower end and redo the short section of the North 40 to continue around the loop.

After passing the upper end of the Maverick trail the North 40 works its way around the mountain and begins looping toward the west.

Whoever designed the trail made the most out of the natural features of the landscape like when the trail passes between the boulders in this photo.

The trail crosses the pipeline road just past the 2 mile point. From here the trail climbs around the mountain across the road and works its way up to its summit where it continues back down to this point. A little over 1 mile can be cut off of the total distance if necessary by going left at this point.

Getting to the top of the hill has a couple of more challenging spots but like most hills the views are worth the effort.

From the top of the hill the North 40 descends back down to the pipeline road where it skirts around the hillside and loops its way back around to the trailhead.

The North 40 trail is one of the more popular trails in the Moab Brands Mountain Biking Area. As you can see from the following slideshow riders of all ages can be seen on the trail. Some of the trails allure may be its close proximity to the trailhead but another big draw would have to be the scenery coupled with the relative easiness of the trail. That is compared to some of the more difficult routes in the area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.