Grand Junction – Norwood – Moab

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: We start riding in Whitewater to avoid the traffic on
busier Hwy 50. Almost immediately you enter a small canyon and begin a
twenty-mile (gradual to moderate) ascent through ranch country, feeling very
much like “the Southwest.” From the high point there is a very fun downhill for
twenty or so miles into Gateway. Facilities are minimal. We picnicked on the
church steps. Although you begin riding up the Delores River at this point, an
optical illusion makes it feel like a gradual down. In any case, the next fifty
miles down (up?) to Uravan are very pleasant. From Uravan to Naturita is the
least attractive part of this ride (if you want to drive a section). It is uphill
from just outside Naturita onto the plateau into Norwood. Some of us rode it
uphill which is quite beautiful, but the downhill the next morning when we back-
tracked was awesome. (Note: you can stay in Naturita but we think Norwood is
much more appealing.)

The back road through Paradox is definitely off the beaten track. It starts
with a moderate climb before entering the Paradox Valley with a long straight
rolling highway with views for miles. After Paradox the road climbs rather
steeply for several miles before a steep, curvy descent into canyon country.
Another significant climb takes you up over the south end of the La Sal
Mountains (lovely scenery) before the ten-mile (more-or-less) descent to
Hwy 191. There was a lot of traffic and road construction on 191 so we drove
into Moab (22 miles).

Road biking is not the most prominent sport in Moab – but there are some
lovely day trips.
1. Ride into Arches National Park early in the morning before the traffic
begins for a lovely tour with great early morning shadows in the rock.
2. Ride on Hwy 128 along the Colorado River with a side trip to Castle
Valley and back to Moab.
3. You can ride a loop through the La Sal Mountains & Castle Valley
returning to Moab. There are a few miles of dirt road that we were told
would be doable on road bikes (we’ve not ridden this route.)

ITINERARY:
Day 1
Exit I-70 westbound at exit 37. Go 3/4 mile to first stop light. Clifton Inn
is the first right after the stop light.
Clifton Inn, (East side of Grand Junction) 970-434-3400

Day 2

Route:
Hwy 141 south from motel to junction
with 50. Stay on 141/50 a couple of miles to
Whitewater where we begin riding. Leave 50,
continue on 141 through Gateway, Uravan, to
Hwy 90, ending in Norwood (115 miles).

The Black Narrows Inn,
Route 145, Norwood
970-327-4417 (or 4260)

Day 3
Route: Backtrack on 145 to 90 going toward Naturita, the Paradox Valley and
La Sal. Ride on 90/46 (Colo/Utah) to junction with 191 (80 miles to La Sal
Jct). Note: Hwy 191 into Moab is busy with poor shoulders.
Desert Chalet, 1275 E San Juan Drive, Moab 800-549-8504 or
435-259-5793
Between mile 123 & 124 there is a little green sign: Holyoak Lane (right)
– go down hill to 4 way stop – go straight – take next right on San Juan Dr.
Big brown log house 3 blocks down on left. (Note: new owners – looks nice)