Desert season is upon us and it’s as glorious as ever. When it’s raining and snowing in the mountains and Boulder can’t make up it’s mind if it should be hot or cold, it’s time to head to the desert. It’s truly the best way to make the most of the pesky shoulder seasons.

Not only is it dry and the temps are finally tolerable, but it’s always perfectly acceptable to get a little weird when you’re in the desert. Which is why a giant group of relative strangers descend upon Moab each Halloween weekend to do just that. This was my second year joining in and can’t imagine spending Halloween another way now.

Halloween Camping Moab

We packed as many tents, bikes, and camp chairs along the Colorado as we could for a weekend of biking, camping, and well—getting weird.

Last year, I rode the The Whole Enchilada with the crew. This year, Mag 7.

A group of us shuttled Mag 7 via 313 and Bar M trails. We popped back out to 191 and the Bar M trails on Gemini Bridges road before the super technical Gold Bar Rim, Poison Spider, and Portal trails. As incredible as those views look, I knew I’d be walking nearly all of those trails. Fortunately, the upper trails did not disappoint. There were endless ledges mixed with a few super fun flowy sections. It was a trail worthy of plenty of whooping and hollering—I was grinning from ear to ear the entire time.

Mag 7 Mountain Biking

Mag 7 Mountain Biking

Even the climb out on the road was surprisingly decent. Despite a few gnarly sand pits, it was a quick climb and definitely worth skipping the second half of Mag 7 if you don’t have the skills just yet. My crew got back to our cars four hours earlier than those who chose to continue on.

I’m incredibly glad we bailed early. Not only did we return four hours earlier, but we got the chance for a quick ‘shower’ in the Colorado before the sun set the the temps dropped. A few days in the desert always requires a serious shower. This was especially true this weekend; I didn’t want my kangaroo costume getting gross.

Jumping in Colorado River Moab

After a long day of biking, naps were had, dinners were made, logs were being put on the fire, and the costumes were coming out.

I’ve learned that campfires always bring out the best and weirdest aspects of all those around you. Normally you have hilariously fun conversations. But given the date, this campfire was going to be a little different.

Someone brought speakers and lasers to this campfire.

So, as the sun went down and the flames grew bigger, the dance party in Halloween costumes began. All of the Wizard of Oz characters, a space man, pac-man, Saucerboy, and nearly every animal made it to the party. While we were all were equally poor dancers, our incredible enthusiasm made up for our lack of rhythm.

Watching a lemur pop, lock, and drop it alongside the Colorado River is a truly wonderful sight to see.

Despite sore legs and very little sleep, we knew we had to squeeze in one more ride the next day.  This time, in our costumes, of course.

Mountain Biking Moab Halloween

Photo: Michael Gilbert