9.3 miles
Distance
1,569 ft
Climb
-1,571 ft
Descent
4,919 ft
High Point

If you've ridden the classic "life or death" Portal trail in Moab, it's a bit hard to see why Captain Ahab also warrants an expert-level rating.

There are a few exposed spots on Ahab, but no mandatory gaps or massive drops.

But most folks that ride this trail suffer from selective amnesia, conveniently forgetting about the number of times they had to hop off their bikes and walk around all of the real deal climbing challenges.

I will admit that Captain Ahab is a "soft" double black diamond, but it still requires a TON of respect. You'll need all of your expert-level skills to get through this trail without walking.

If you're going to Moab for an expert-level experience, THIS is the trail you want to start your trip with. If you can make it through the entire trail without walking then you'll be ready for the next challenge of The Whole Enchilada. If Captain Ahab is a bit too much then you'll want to go ride some loops at Klondike Bluffs or Navajo Rocks.

Detailed Description
Trail One List - Captain Ahab is a 9 mile popular extreme route located near Moab Utah. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction. This route includes 6 trails. This route climbs 1,569 ft with a max elevation of 4,919 ft then descends -1,571 ft.
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48 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
nofunstravaguy (May 29, 2022 at 15:53)
More flowy and rock rolls, drops and less climbs than lower Ahab. Easier than upper Ahab. More consequence. More flow, less jank.
[Reply]
  • + 0
nofunstravaguy (May 29, 2022 at 15:51)
More tech and janky rock rolls, drops and climbs. Harder than lower Ahab in a janky way.
[Reply]
  • + 1
dkrk279 (May 15, 2022 at 5:38)
One of the best trails in Moab. If you do the Hymasa-Upper Ahab-Lower Ahab loop it can be pretty challenging even for intermediate riders. However, this past trip I rode Hymasa and cut across to Lower Ahab skipping the upper portion. We rode Porcupine Rim the day before and still had 2 more days of riding so I didn't want to over do it on this particular day. There are only a few sketchy sections. The scenery is amazing as you work your way down around whale rock. The trail has plenty of flow mixed with climbing and technical challenges - what more can you ask for from a trail? A must ride if you are in Moab.
[Reply]
  • + 0
keeglebiker (Mar 24, 2022 at 14:35)
What a rip!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
bkxc (Mar 23, 2022 at 11:33)
Still the one! Love this whole ride, great way to get started on a trip to Moab. I have to laugh about everyone saying it's not a double black, remember when you had to push your bike up a few of the climbs? Some of us ride that stuff! If you walk ANY of the stuff (up or down) here you're going to have a pretty rough time hitting Gold Bar Rim + Portal.
[Reply]
  • + 0
eeshtar (Oct 16, 2021 at 19:24)
Why are we not using chili pepper ratings? Black, double black, idk just say this is 4 chilli peppers out of 5... good and spicy!
[Reply]
  • + 0
heephop (Oct 9, 2021 at 6:16)
Maybe the most fun trail in Moab. Has an amazing flow if you are skilled enough to carry speed through the whole trail. The climb is really fun if you can keep your speed up in the technical areas and although challenging it’s a great feeling cleaning the uphill techy sections. If you’re an average or advanced intermediate rider you may struggle to find flow and will probably hate the climb but if you’re a more aggressive rider with good bike handling skills the hits keep coming back to back and you can get a great flow on this trail that combined with the drops and techy sections makes for an amazing ride. Definitely my favorite trail n Moab. Anyone who’s complaining about lack of flow or the climb probably just thinks they’re a better rider than they are and are the reason why trails like slickrock are now rated black when they should be an easy blue. My message to those complaining, get better at riding.
[Reply]
  • + 0
mcurtis125 (Oct 7, 2021 at 14:52)
First time riding on red dust and the ride was a spiritual experience for me. Growing up riding PNW in BC I agree this could be a single black but, the parts with exposure could make it a double. I agree with some comments that you need some speed to get the flow.
[Reply]
  • + 1
actin (Sep 23, 2021 at 9:59)
So many gatekeepers saying it’s not double black. I think it boarders between double black and just black. If you can ride black it’s a good step up. Plenty of aggressive spots that are decent consequence. I think people knock the double black rating more because it’s an amazing trail that feels really well thought out for biking making it seem easier than it is. Absolute must ride if you’re up for it.
[Reply]
  • + 0
SlideReady (Sep 1, 2021 at 7:25)
Great trail. I rode it blind solo and found lots of flow but look before you leap on the bottom section. Mostly a blue/black with a few options to get sketchy and a few challenging consequential spots toward the bottom.
[Reply]
  • + 1
dkrk279 (Jun 7, 2021 at 4:42)
The upper section of Ahab has a good bit of climbing which makes thing interesting given that you climbed HyMasa or Cliff Hanger to get there. There is definitely downhill too but don't think that once you start on Upper Ahab that it is all down from there. The view in the first few minutes is definitely spectacular.
[Reply]
  • + 2
tommymcsass (May 14, 2021 at 11:26)
Upper Ahab is listed as less technical than the lower part. I think this was a bit more technical then other black diamonds in the area but very enjoyable and if you're a n00b like me there are just a few hike-a-bike sections. Would highly recommend a snack break at the ridge overlooking the Colorado.
[Reply]
  • + 1
wildmeff (Oct 18, 2021 at 13:42)
Agreed, I thought Upper was harder than Lower! Definitely walked more on Upper...
[Reply]
  • + 2
tommymcsass (May 14, 2021 at 11:23)
Trail HyMasa
Climby, but not too brutal. A great way to get up to the Ahab loop, or if you're like me and not great at this, climb this up and do the upper Ahab loop, then send it down this trail. It's a bonefide good time. That whole loop is an enjoyable ride from town.
[Reply]
  • + 1
tommymcsass (May 14, 2021 at 11:21)
A fun launch into the Hymasa/Ahab stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 1
tommymcsass (May 14, 2021 at 11:21)
A fun launch into the Hymasa/Ahab stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 2
michaelnill (Oct 30, 2020 at 6:18)
From a mediocre Northwest rider, everyone's comments are correct. It's definitely not a double black. The climb is as bullshit as everyone says. The flow is there, but you have to work for it (what kind of flowy DBs are you all riding, and when can I hit them?). It's a 4.5 star route.
[Reply]
  • + 1
WillieB (Oct 15, 2020 at 15:30)
Lots of effort, not super flowy, very technical with many ups and downs, and oh yeah...totally awesome!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
WillieB (Oct 15, 2020 at 15:28)
Fun trail that would definitely be considered double black in most anyplace other than Moab
[Reply]
  • + 0
provin1327 (Sep 26, 2020 at 13:08)
This trail is fun to finish up a Captain Ahab loop on but its more fun to start by riding up the road and dropping in on Lower Hyamasa.
[Reply]
  • + 0
provin1327 (Sep 26, 2020 at 13:08)
This trail is fun to finish up a Captain Ahab loop on but its more fun to start by riding up the road and dropping in on Lower Hyamasa.
[Reply]
  • + 0
provin1327 (Sep 26, 2020 at 13:05)
Same as lower Hymasa, a good climb but not totally draining.
[Reply]
  • + 2
provin1327 (Sep 26, 2020 at 13:04)
Trail HyMasa
A brutal uphill? Not even close. This is an awesome climb. It is just steep and technical enough to make it a fun challenge without sapping all your energy. Obviously best when paired with Captain Ahab but definitly still a fun trail in its own going up or down.
[Reply]
  • + 4
provin1327 (Sep 26, 2020 at 13:01)
This trail requires a lot of endurance and power to make it flow but it is for sure there. If this trail is above your skill level it will not flow and you will hate it.

The double black rating is warranted but only for the very end. It gets very technical and very exposed. The majority of the trail is black diamond and is tons of fun. It will push your technical riding for sure.
[Reply]
  • + 1
palantir0 (Jul 14, 2020 at 15:03)
I loved lower ahab - just need the endurance to keep the speed up. I did the Hymasa/Capt Ahab loop. My main complaint is that I didn't leave early enough and in July its bloody hot. Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 0
Sweetlew10 (Jul 12, 2020 at 22:53)
Trail HyMasa
This is a brutal uphill grind to get to Ahab. I honestly did not enjoy it. I'm sure riding downhill on this trail would be much more enjoyable but you don't ride this thing up and not ride ahab down. Giddy up.
[Reply]
  • + 10
mtbxyz (May 26, 2020 at 13:41)
If you think Ahab is a one star trail you need to find a new sport.
[Reply]
  • + 0
bensgig (May 26, 2020 at 9:13)
Trail HyMasa
This trail is okay. If you like climbing for an hour before going back down capt ahab etc. People rave about it, but I would say it wasn't worth it for all the climbing. Just not that much flow or fun.
[Reply]
  • + 2
hi-dr-nick Reporter (May 24, 2020 at 20:56)
To say lower ahab has no flow, well I hate to say it but get better...
[Reply]
  • + 0
MtbSince84 (Jan 11, 2020 at 19:11)
No flow? I agree that *upper* Ahab lacks flow, but lower Ahab has plenty.
[Reply]
  • + 1
GrahamForbes (Oct 12, 2019 at 6:19)
awesome trail, highly recommend. technical but fast a flowly
[Reply]
  • + 1
jimjames47 CMBC (Jul 10, 2019 at 9:40)
Must ride if you are in the area!
[Reply]
  • - 1
MattK619xx (May 16, 2019 at 16:36)
I’m 13 and I can do it.
[Reply]
  • - 2
atfarley (Mar 1, 2019 at 18:13)
Absolutly no way this is double black. This is a recent change made to water down the rating for so many new riders.
[Reply]
  • + 3
todd Trailforks (May 17, 2019 at 7:18)
I know, but that is what the sign says on the trail, and that is how the local association wants it marked on the map. But you can vote for it to be a different difficulty
[Reply]
  • + 2
palantir0 (Jul 14, 2020 at 15:05)
I think they mark it that way to keep all the travelers here from attempting something way out of their range.
[Reply]
  • + 3
twowheeledwanderer (Mar 16, 2021 at 9:40)
If you take some of the alt-lines it's definitely a doubleblack. Depends on how you ride it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
shred-harder (Mar 30, 2018 at 12:55)
This trail can be difficult due to short punchy climbs and tight corners (no switchbacks though). Much more fun second lap once you know where to shift and keep speed
[Reply]
  • + 0
Zachjackson (Mar 24, 2018 at 20:29)
Good downhill with some big rock drops.
[Reply]
  • + 1
IamZOSO (Feb 25, 2018 at 7:46)
If this is double black, then Jackson's is as well. Jackson's is harder imo.
[Reply]
  • + 4
atfarley (May 21, 2017 at 18:58)
This trail paired with hymasa is pretty brutal, physically. People I ride it with who are not in great shape, though skilled technically, don't like it nearly much as people who are in real solid physical shape. Ride at the end of your biking season for maximum enjoyment.
[Reply]
  • + 0
ericneely (May 10, 2017 at 15:17)
Trail is now shown as double black on trail signs and that is accurate when compared to surrounding trails.
[Reply]
  • + 1
jarretw (Apr 30, 2017 at 7:49)
My favourite trail in Moab!
[Reply]
  • + 4
Anthonyfonzi (Mar 31, 2016 at 5:08)
One of the coolest trail I have ridden.
[Reply]
  • + 5
todd Trailforks (Mar 25, 2015 at 20:40)
I rode it at the end of a long day, and it seemed harder then it was. I got out there last week, and relative to the other trails and moab in general, definitely more of a single diamond. It is officially changed.
[Reply]
  • + 5
Blawrence (Mar 25, 2015 at 7:41)
Double black is probably there for the 5% of the trail with exposure and drops--mostly near the bottom.
[Reply]
  • + 9
danny (Nov 9, 2014 at 21:10)
double black rating seems a bit exaggerated. I would consider this a black.
[Reply]
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Trails in Route

Details

  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Double Black Diamond
  • Route Type
    Loop
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
    AM
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Ridelogs
    296
More Stats for Trail One List - Captain Ahab mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    3,977 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,002 ft
  • Altitude end
    3,999 ft
  • Grade
    -0%
  • Grade max
    -54.5%
  • Grade min
    53.5%
  • Distance climb
    4 miles
  • Distance down
    4 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
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DONT LOOK DOWN - Overcoming My Fear of Heights...
DONT LOOK DOWN - Overcoming My Fear of Heights | Moab, Utah
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Captain Ahab (lower) - unedited full trail
Captain Ahab (lower) - unedited full trail
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