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Level: Advanced
Length: 3.8 mi (6.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: One-way
Elevation: +406/433 ft
Total: 137 riders

Mountain Biking Captain Ahab

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#13 of 691 mountain bike trails in Utah
#137 in the world

Ahab is a little under 4 miles of singletrack slick rock climbs and drops interspersed with small sections of dirt singletrack. It is rated as a double-black diamond trail and is quite technical. Everything is rideable; most drops roll right off though some may seem intimidating. There is a section of cliff exposure but it's not nearly as exposed as some other trails in the area and is easily walkable. At the end you'll meet back up with the Amasa Back trail and ride it back to the entrance, hike out and head back to your car.

First added by Julie Hughey on Apr 22, 2013. Last updated Dec 10, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: no
  • Lift service: no
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: no
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: no
  • E-bikes allowed: no
  • Fee required: no
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Start from the Amasa Back parking area out on Kane Creek Road. Ride .5 miles up to the Amasa Back trailhead. Captain Ahab starts 2.7 miles up the Amasa Back Trail.
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Sam Tarling (on Oct 13, 2019)
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(on Jun 13, 2019)
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Captain Ahab Trail
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Moab, Utah

Intermediate | 15 mi
Intermediate | 20 mi
Advanced | 3.9 mi
Advanced | 10.7 mi

Rider questions

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  • Mattlestarge

    My new favorite trail in the world!! The tech climb up Hymasa is extremely fun, and i don’t particularly enjoy climbing. Once Ahab begins it’s a whole different level of tech skills. The ride up is filled with punchy climbs on slick rock and a plethora of lines to take near the blue painted marks.

    Once the downhill sections begin the riding is bliss. Total nirvana. You’ll want to be a comfortable black diamond level rider, if not double black diamond ability. Almost everything is rollable but there are many small drops, mostly optional to make things even more fun. The views, the flow, the trail aesthetic. This is a masterpiece of trail building, desert riding doesn’t get better than Captain Ahab. Don’t miss it.

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  • Gdb49

    This trail is an adventure in itself. Sustained tech, backcountry feel, rugged beauty. If you're going to ride this clean, bring your extra sack. Legit Black Diamond trail. If you have the skills, this is a must ride- loved it!

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  • Richard Hespen

    This is in the Amasa Back Area and it is one of the best trails I've ever ridden. It is gnarly, chucky slickrock that is still somehow flowy. Also the scenery is epic. I used Hymasa to get to the beginning.

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  • Jake Alongi

    This trail is part of the Amasa Back Area and has to be accessed by climbing up an intermediate trail, but it is the gem of the trails in the system. I did a review on the amasa back area that is more descriptive but this is truly an amazing trail. I don't think this trail should be separated from the Amasa back area since it is the MAIN TRAIL. its 2 trails that make one loop with some options to go ride to some view points, or leave the area. One blue up and one black diamond down.

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  • Jim Cummings

    It's best ridden as a loop, climbing up Hymasa Trail to join Captain Ahab near the top...

    The Hymasa Trail is magnificent advanced climbing singletrack. There are lots of rock steps and lots of short steep pinches you have to punch up. When you reach Captain Ahab you continue climbing for a while - only steeper and more challenging. Captain Ahab is a double black diamond trail! It is relentlessly and intensely technical with steep ups, steep downs, rock steps, rock drops, side exposure, rock gardens and very little easy going. Expert riders will be in nirvana. Advanced riders will probably survive with some dabbing and walking.

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter

    I like this trail. Some drops, slight exposure and absolute fun from top to bottom.

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  • Winston Behle

    Words do not do it justice. Go ride it for yourself!

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  • Aaron Chamberlain   ✓ supporter

    A phenomenal trail. All rock. Very technical. Recommend expert riders only. Pretty much everything is rollable, but there are plenty of small 2-3 ft drops. Exposure in places. Very easy to hurt yourself out here. Bring your big bike for big smiles.

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  • ForrestGladding

    Technical mountain biking at its finest. The uphill sections are demanding and the downhill requires focus. If you like to be challenged then this trail is for you. It does have flow but does require skill. I think every mountain biker should test themselves on this trail at some point.

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  • spiderlogic

    Kudos to the trail makers. Pure awesomeness throughout.

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  • Jon_Gotow

    Ahab is beautifully laid out and an absolute blast to ride!

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  • Chris Daniels

    Rode Hymasa up to a small connector putting us on the halfway point of Ahab. I was told the full Ahab wasn't worth it, rather doing two half Ahabs was a better use of our time and energy.

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  • GTXC4

    So this was the last part of my "break-in" to Moab ride. Took Hymasa up to this one and of course by the time I got started on Ahab, it was night. The GoPro footage turned out alright. The ride was EPIC! Loved every bit of it, rolled right through this, Praise The Lord for safety. Had a blast!! Gnarly and there are drops, getting speed, close calls, don't fall to the right and die, and so on. This deal is an absolute must and you can crash next to the water on Kane Creek Rd when you're done and sleep happily ever after... zzzzzzz

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  • Jim Cummings

    It's a great trail but don't under-estimate it because it will try to maim and kill you!!! If you survive you will have found enlightenment and will never be the same again. It is a truly epic trail.

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  • Phillychris498

    So sick! Techy trail, the most technical I did while in Moab. Aerobically not as hard as Slickrock, but there are some crazy options for drops and some inevitable rock rides that make the trail so sweet! A must ride.

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  • k2rider

    I guess I'll be the odd man out by knocking this off the 5 star list. I did the ride up Hymasa and down upper and lower Ahab. I guess I expected a lot more down and more flow after riding up Hymasa 2.7 miles. Lower Ahab was fun and I liked the techy nature of it but for me, this isn't the be all to end all trail that a lot of others think it is.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Wow! The Hymasa/Captain Ahab loop may just be my favorite loop-style ride of all time. But since this is the Captain Ahab listing, I'll focus specifically on this trail.

    Captain Ahab is an absolute masterpiece of a descent! I say descent, as that's mostly what it is, but there are a couple of short, pedally climbs mixed in. Also, especially at the top (but really all the way down) the views off of this trail are to die for!

    But back to the descent. This new-school Moab trail is an absolute riot of twisty turns, exposure, technical moves, and air opportunities. But the beauty of this trail is, that for the most part, you can make it as difficult as you want. Don't want to take air? That's ok, all of the drops are rollable or set off of the main line. But if you DO want to get air, there are plenty of rollers to launch, optional ledges, and essentially air opportunities of all size and kind! Just make sure that you don't try taking air near the sign that says "walk your bike," as you could find yourself flying off into a beautiful abyss.

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  • sandyfun1

    Start on the new single track to bypass the drop in, cross the creek and go right onto the new Hymassa singletrack. This bypasses all the jeep road to Captain Ahab(signage good}. You can continue over to Pothole Arch on double track and slickrock for a side trip at this point. Out and back is sufficient. Return to Jct at 4.5 miles to Capt. Ahab. Be prepared this not a trail for the faint hearted. It includes drops and high exposure ramps. It has good flow but is worth the double black rating.

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  • Ben Sloman

    Great ride, signage could be a little better but i liked the blue lines on the rock

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  • bonkedagain

    I really loved this trail. It serves up the best of what Moab can offer the advanced rider, with lots of technical slick rock, but nothing terribly scary. Almost all the steps and ledges had ramps built into them so it is possible to roll practically everything on this trail without having to do any hucking. One section is marked "Walk your bike" but it is easily rideable -- I mean, if you got that far without dismounting then you shouldn't have any trouble negotiating that rock shelf. Don't be put off by the double black diamond rating that is posted for the trail; anybody with decent tech skills should be able to ride this trail without risking their body. The trailbuilders obviously put a lot of time into figuring out the route and building the rail. Well worth the ride.

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