Stats for Poison
Spider Mesa and Portal Trails
Vertical Drop: 1000 feet
Number of Trails: 1 main trail
Length: 13-mile loop
Terrain: Advanced and expert riders
Type: Slickrock, single track
Description: The Portal Trail is a
dangerous and overly confident bikers die.
Driving Directions: From the middle of Moab,
drive north on US-191 for 4.2 miles, turning left (west)
onto U-279. After another 6.2 miles (10.4 miles from
Moab's center street), turn right on a short dirt road
with a sign that says "Dinosaur Tracks." The
trailhead is at GPS N 38° 31.917' W 109° 36.473'.
Biking Directions: After you've finished your
1000 vertical, you'll be grinding up one sandstone dome
You'll navigate a path past the towering Wingate sandstone
cliffs along the Colorado, up onto the domes and bowls
of Navajo sandstone of the mesa. At the top of
the mesa, slickrock sections are scattered between short
sections of sand that are rideable, but will suck the
life out of your legs. Watch for the fork where the
Golden Spike Trail separates from the Poison Spider
trail at GPS N 38° 33.728' W 109° 35.800'. Make
sure you follow the little jeeps, not the spikes.
The Portal Trail heads back south (to your right)
when you reach the viewpoint overlooking Moab at GPS
N 38° 35.033' W 109° 35.688'.
The Portal Trail starts as a narrow single-track,
edging ever-closer to the vertical cliffs above the
Colorado River. After clearing the cliffs, it drops
1000 feet in around a mile, with narrow squeezes, ledge
drops, loose rock, and insane turns. When you hit the
paved road, go west downriver a couple of miles to your
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