Moab - EKG to Baby Steps
The problem with traveling on your own is you're often freaked out at night for no reason. The other problem is that when you bring your bike and no one who knows how the new trails are laid out, you end up with a slightly disoriented feeling, mostly because some things change over time that you aren't expecting. Such is the case with this ride.
The EKG trail picks up in the middle of the south section of Baby Steps as it climbs up the anticline there in an eastern direction. It's well marked out there with plenty of these maps:
These maps are very easy to follow because there aren't a whole lot features that go unmarked. I was impressed. The large scale of the map made it reliably easy to read. I ran into a problem only once though and was grateful that I'd taken this picture of the map, and also that I know this terrain very well...
So I wanted to follow EKG and see what they were thinking when they named this trail. I found that it should have been called "Jerky", not because of the food but because of the way it rides. It was clearly designed by walking, without much consideration for the slower type of turns that a bike makes. Don't look at this as a downer. This type of trail keeps you on your game and is ever present with technical features. Always out of the saddle. Always making sudden moves.
Follow them orange paint stripes. You'll intersect with "Little Salty" and the northern part of Baby Steps. That was my exit. I wanted to see what I hadn't ridden before on this anticline. Following Baby Steps up the slope in a northeastern direction you're on singletrack. Singletrack and some techy slickrock sections. But then it dumps you out onto a road. Following the road in a southeastern trend you'll come to the top of Little Salty.
I'd drop in on Little Salty and pick up EKG next time I ride this trail system. Then I'd take EKG back to Baby Steps. But this isn't what I did. I followed the road and dropped in north of Little Salty. This follows the road, part of the Baby Steps loop. It takes you down a pitch of washed out road to an old mine, one with a vertical shaft.
These vertical shafts weren't too common in the mining days here. Most prospectors dug straight into the hillsides, looking for ore rich in Uranium and Vanadium. It was said at some point that you'd mix Uranium powder in water to make a cure for rheumatism. The term was a reference to all aches and pains now found to be associated with serious medical conditions. Look it up. Well, after they drank the mixture, it works. They also died. Don't go drinkin' Uranium water.
Leaving this mine site I followed the road for a bit where I found my climb up to the top, a mangled, old washed out road. I started but it was so loose I had to dismount and walk. I came across the an old miners cabin, which at some point was complete with all the furnishings of a normal home. It was a wreck though.
When you crest this nasty road you'll come down onto the upper sections of Klondike Bluffs. This old ride was one of the first rides I ever did in Moab, preceded by Slickrock and Amasa Back. I was 14 years old and this place was already on the map. From this point you can work your way down onto the return track of Klondike Bluffs, indicated by the white paint strips that are fading from too much sun. You can also find your way down onto the Baby Steps singletrack sections.
In the case that you take the singletrack out, there are a couple of sections. Be careful not to lose your path or direction. Even if you don't think you're off track there's always a possibility. Pay close attention to the trail markers and the landmarks. Happy Trails!
Klondike Area Trailhead
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