Distance: 13.6 km (return)
Time: 2 – 4 hrs
Elevation Gain: 403 m
Elevation Loss: 403 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Moderate – Hard
Season: Year Round
Permit Required: No
Amasa Back is a classic Moab out-and-back x-country ride. It’s a favourite amongst the locals and I’ve been told that for those who like to downhill ride, this is one of the trails they ride/push up with their big bikes to come down again. Personally I’ll stick to an all-mountain or x-country bike when riding this one, as it’s a long push up otherwise.
The trail begins by dropping down “The Stairs” right off the gravel access road (Kane Springs Road), located to your right when approaching the trailhead. Look for the wooden trailhead indicating the direction of the trail. “The Stairs” are a short, but very technical set of boulders, rocks and slabs, which have formed to build a natural staircase. Negotiate your way down the slabs to get to the small creek crossing at the bottom. Cross the creek and begin the climb up along the ledge to the top of Amasa Back. The trail is mostly doubletrack, with several sections of tight technical moves that will challenge the expert rider. Once you cross over the pipeline there will be an option to turn right to head down Jacksons Trail. Continue on up to the sign for Pothole Arch. If you have time I recommend heading up Pothole Arch, adding 6 km to your ride. It is well worth the side trip. Otherwise turn left at the trailhead for Pothole and ride up the last 600 m of Amasa Back to a fantastic viewpoint. From there, turn around and begin your sweet descent back down.
Remember, this trail is also popular among Jeeps and motor bikes, so watch out for these vehicles when hauling down the descent.
TRAILHEAD | N38 31.443 W109 36.098
Drive or pedal south on Hwy 191/South Main Street over to Kane Creek Blvd. Turn west onto Kane Creek Blvd. and continue along Kane Creek until you hit the cattle guard. Parking is located just past the cattle guard on your right. If it’s full, use the pay parking right before the cattle guard. Park and continue on up Kane Creek/Kane Springs Road about 1.6 km to the trailhead.
N38 31.958 W109 36.020 (Parking)
N38 31.443 W109 36.098 (TH)
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls
Choose to extend your ride by adding an additional 6km by taking Pothole Arch (out-and-back) trail to a fantastic viewpoint. This extension to Amasa Back is well worth it; adding a fun singletrack trail combined with lots of slick rock.
For those a little more adventurous, consider taking Rockstacker to Jackson’s Trail to return to the parking lot. This is an expert ride along a very exposed and technical ledge making it very dangerous option. Ride at your own risk and get ready to be thrilled. Refer to the Amasa Back PDF map showing both trail options.