Porcupine Rim Trail Moab

Early Morning on one of the worlds greatest trails, the Porcupine Rim Trail in Moab


The Porcupine Rim Trail in Moab is together with the Slickrock Trail the most popular Moab ride. This trail is probably on the wishlist of more mountain bikers than any other trail, and not just in the USA, but worldwide.
The Porcupine Rim is a fantastic trail, physically it’s an easy ride, 90% being a very fast downhill, however technically this trail can rip you and your steed to pieces.

Many a Mountain Biker has lost the battle on the Porcupine..

Porcupine Rim Trail Map

Porcupine Rim Trail Elavation


Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town: Moab
Length: I clocked 14,74 miles
Trail Type: P2P [ Point 2 Point ]
Skill Level: [what the books say] Technically very difficult to abusive. Physically difficult.
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate to very challenging. Physically moderate
Duration: 2-5 hours
Trailhead Elev: 6,000 feet
Top Elev: 6,800 feet


Book Description

Porcupine Rim is arguably the most diverse of all local Moab rides and definitely one of the most memorable. Aerobically it is moderately difficult, with an 800-foot elevation gain right off the bat. Technically, it’s extremely challenging. An extended climb to the head of Negro Bill Canyon (named for mulatto William Granstaff, a prospector-settler who came to the area in 1877) on a narrow mining track is followed by an unforgettable stretch of double-track leading along the edge of Porcupine Rim, with stomach-churning views straight down on Castle Valley. From a jungle of juniper-piñon, sandstone outcrops, and cacti, you’ll begin a long descent down rugged double-track teeming with drop-offs that often come at you when you least expect it. This leads to single-track, sometimes smooth and other times boulder-strewn. The trail deposits you onto UT 128, and the final six miles back to town are paved. General location: 10 miles east of Moab.



My Experience

There is a very good reason why The Porcupine Trail is on the wishlist of so many Mountain Bikers, it’s one hell of a ride, and deserves a spot as one of the Best trails to ride.

I was dropped of at the Trailhead at the break of dawn, the sun had not yet shown herself. This trail can get very busy, and I wanted her all to myself. At 7 am I started my ride.
The first 45 minutes is a climb, nothing serious, and actually even the climb is fun trying to tackle the obstacles.

You know when you are “Topped Out” when you get the fantastic view of Castle Valley. Enjoy the views from here, and take this opportunity to prepare yourself and your steed for the adrenalin pumpin’ mayhem ride that will either put a smile on your chops for a few days, OR have you cryin’ for your “mummy” like a little baby!

The Porcupine has no mercy at all with mountain bikers, go too fast.. you’re fucked, go too slow..you’re fucked, choose the wrong line.. you’re fucked, hesitate .. you’re fucked… So basically if you don’t find the right balance on the Porcupine, either you, your steed, or both are fucked.

Physically this trail is pretty easy, nothing too serious, however technically this trail CAN be severe. The very time I did the Porc. I ended up walking out with my tail between my legs, after destroying TWO derailleur hangers, and shreddin’ my back tire.

The dragons teeth on this trail are brutal, and appear out of nowhere, just when you think it’s safe to open up, a carpet of dragons teeth appear out of nowhere!. Just make sure you have max. puff in your rubbers, otherwise you to, will be walking out.

From the view point to the singletrack section is very technical, not technical because of drops or other dangerous obstacles, but more because of speed issues, clipping, and very sharp and loose terrain that will cause you to wipeout at the blink of an eye, and doing a face plant on the Porcupine is gonna hurt big time!

The fun continues on the singletrack section, this section is VERY technical as well, but different technical to the previous 8 miles. The singletrack has some VERY gnarly stretches that will very quickly put an end to your ride, and a lot more if you are out of luck.

The singletrack is very narrow, and clipping your pedals is inevitable. The speed that can be reached on this section is scary, so you have to make sure your steed is is optimal working order, doing 35 mile on a trail that is less than a foot wide and having a 7 foot gap appear out of nowhere is scary, just hope your brakes are working…

” Well going 35 miles on a trail that is less than a foot wide with a sheer drop on one side is just crazy shit!!. Use your common sense.. “

Yeah, right, that’s what I would think as well, but once you are on the Porcupine, all common sense goes disappears like a fart in the wind, and just like that fart, you just gotta go with the flow on the Porcupine.



Dude, I was on fire, and my loyal steed was smokin’!!, This is the FIRST time I have cleared the Porc. without any need of Trail side maintenance, and / or body bacon.
This time it was a Perfect Storm, the weather was great, I had the trail to myself, I was in top form and my steed was running like a greased whippet.. things just could not have been better.

The Porcupine Rim Trail is unique, and it’s not hard to see why this is one of the greatest trails in the USA and even the World.


Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : I started at 7 am and finished at 11am and saw NOBODY!!
Wild Life : none
Scenery : Absolutely Fantastic Moab Scenery
Other : The Porcupine is a very technical trail, but don’t be put off by this, unlike many technical trails, the Porcupine is 95% doable. It’s VERY hard on your bike, take ALL the parts you have, incl. extra inner tubes, tire, chain and derailleur hanger(s)


My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 with a GOLD Star

Moab Rim CamparkPorcupine Rim Trail review is proudly sponsored by :

Moab Rim Campark

At Moab Rim Campark mountain bikers will definitely feel at home among other mountain bikers at this Mountain Biker Friendly Camp groud.
Bike wash, grassy shaded tent sites with stunning views, Full hook ups, semi hook ups, cabins, group shelters, sheltered areas to tinker on the bikes, and lots more.

The Porcupine Rim Trail is just 20 min. drive from your campsite.
Moab Rim Campsite has been recommended by “Mountain Bike Mayhem” 5 years running.

Mountain Bikers get 10% discount, just bring your bike(s) and mention MOUNTAIN BIKE MAYHEM

For more info vist : Moab Rim Campark


Trail Videos taken on the Porcupine Rim Trail. Oct. 2011








Henry W Coe State Park Mountain Biking

Henry Who?? … Yep, that was my first response when I knew I was gonna ride in this area.. Now let’s be honest how many people have heard of the Henry W. Coe State Park in California? 
In the Henry W. Coe State Park brochure they call it ” A Mecca for Mountain Bikers”.. Yeah sure I thought to myself, if I had a dollar for every park that said that, I would be rich.
But anyway, I was here for a few weeks and decided for myself if this really was a “Mecca for Mountain Bikers” or just another false alarm..

Henry W. Coe Trail Map


I spent 3 days on these trails, but because you can link and loop however you wish, I’m just going to write about the area in general in one review rather than 3 separate  trail reviews

For a LARGE Map click here


Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town : Gilroy – Morgan Hill

Length: Your call

Trail Type: Loops

Skill Level: [what the books say] no info

Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate. Physically demanding –  mental





Day 3


Book Description

Within the over 81,000 acres of Henry W. Coe State Park are about 100 miles of roads and trails that are open to mountain bikes.  The rugged terrain offers a variety of riding options ranging from moderately difficult to extremely difficult.   There are practically no easy trails for bikes.  One intermediate to advanced mountain biker, after a ride in Coe Park, commented, “The riding was the most physically demanding I have ever done!”


Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


My Experience


Day 1 Trails :

Start at : Coyote Creek TH >> head up Coit Rd >>Pick up Ansa Trail on the right >> then onto Jackson Trail >> at the top veer off onto Elderberry Trail >> then make a right and climb Tower Trail >> after a short ride veer onto [Rock] Spring Trail >> onto Jackson Rd >> to Wasno Rd >> take a right onto Dexter Trail >> head down and take a righ onto Grizzly Gulch and take it all the down to Coyote Creek TH where you started.

Day 2 Trails :

Start at : Coyote Creek TH >> head up Coit Rd  for a short while >> veer right onto Grizzly Gulch for a few minutes >> then take a right onto Spike Jones Trail >>bare left on Steer Ridge Rd. >> then take the Serpentine Trail to the end >> left on Grizzly Gulch >> take a right and climb [walk] Tower Trail >> left on Jackson Rd >> continue down Jackson Trail >> left onto Anza >> onto Coit Rd and back to Coyote Creek TH

Day 3 Trails :

Start at : Coyote Creek TH >> head up Coit Rd  for a short while >>veer onto Grizzly Gulch >>then take a left onto Cullen Trail >> trail becomes Anza Trail stay on it >> then head up the Grapevine Trail >> then onto Cattle Duster >> down the Domino Pond Trail >> take a right on Wasno Rd >> sharp left onto Kelly Lake Trail >> down to Kelly lake and then extreme climb [walk] to Wagon Rd. >> right onto Wasno Rd for a short climb >> downhill on the Tule Pond Trail >> right onto Grizzly Gulch and take it all the down to Coyote Creek TH where you started. 


As I mentioned above, I had never heard of Henry W. Coe State Park, now that doesn’t mean much at all, there are 1000’s of places I have never heard of, but I am pretty updated and well informed about [most] Top Mountain Biking Destinations.
I enjoyed every second I spent on these trails, the trails are 95% sweet singletrack, and I mean singletrack!!
The trails are very well marked, but not overdone, the free maps at “Hunting Hollow TH” are excellent, and it would be pretty difficult to get lost on these trails. ( note that there are NO maps at Coyote Creek TH )
All my rides started at Coyote Creek, that offers free parking ( unlike Hunting Hollow that is $6 )
All the trails start by going up, and I don’t care how fit your are, you will spend some time walking with your steed. The views are fantastic, as is the scenery 360 degrees around you.
You would have noticed that some of the trails are roads, but don’t let this fool you, these are not roads, Yes in theory they are “Fire Roads” but even these are a hell of a sweet ride, and better than most trails you find elsewhere.

I enjoyed the climb, even though it was brutal and I spent a lot of time walking, this did not matter, I was already sold by these fantastic network of trails. Once you reach the “Top” you are gonna get blown away by the miles and miles of the sweetest open singletrack you could ever wish for, and the hours you just spent climbing and sweating is all forgotten.

I did these trails in the beginning of September, now I’m not a 100% convinced if this is the best time or not, what I do know, is that it was HOT!!, and I mean hot!. Luckily I like all things hot, but I would love to know when the best time is to ride these trails.. If you are a local, please post a comment and let me know. 

The 3 days I spent on these trails, were fantastic, but I just touched a very small portion of what Henry W. Coe has to offer. I’m glad there is so much more to experience here, ‘cos I will definitely be back to get some more.



YES, I can confirm that Henry W. Coe State Park is a mecca for Mountain Bikers, I will even go as far as to say that it is even in my Top 3 of MTB destinations.
The tails are fantastic, REAL singletrack, the trails are really well marked, the trails are empty, in the 3 days I was on the Trails I saw ONE hiker, and I was even on the trails during Labour Day Weekend. The views and scenery are fantastic, and there are so many fantastic trails here, you can decide on how long a loop you want to ride. 

Your biggest enemy on these trails is the sun and heat, do not under estimate these, I started my rides at the crack of dawn, and by 10 am it was getting pretty unbearable.


Other Info:

Traffic on Trail: EMPTY, 3 days on the trails even during Labor Day Weekend, and I only saw 1 hiker

Wild Life : PLENTY – Bob Cat – Coyote – Wild Boar – Skunk – Deer – Wild Turkey

Scenery : Fantastic views and scernery

Getting There : From Gilroy take Leavesley Rd to New Avenue, then Right onto Roop Road, follow all the way till it becomes Gilroy Hot Springs Road. Pick up map at the Hunting Hollow TH, then continue till the road dead ends at Coyote Creek  TH

Other : It gets HOT here, take extra fluids and nibbles, try and get a very early start. Check yourself for Ticks after the ride, I had a few using me as an “All you can eat”
“Stickers” are a pain here, I actually threw one pair of socks away ‘cos they were covered in them so if possible wear long trousers or a really old pair of socks. 


My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 with a GOLD Star






Downieville Classic

Enjoying the early morning views on the Downieville Classic


For years now I have been hearing lots of fantastic stories about the Downieville Trails. I almost made it here last year, but the South Lake Tahoe Trails kept me occupied longer than planned, so I never made it. As I’m sure you can understand, I was pretty stoked about riding what a lot of people call “The hottest mtb destination in the USA” .. I have been to a lot of fantastic mtb destinations, and was really curious if Downieville would come close to some of my all time favorites, or would it go down as Just OK …


Downieville Classic Trail Map

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town : Downieville / Sierra City

Length: 21.94 mi

Trail Type: Point to Point

Skill Level: [what the books say] no info

Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate – challenging. Physically demanding.

Duration : My time was 04:31:17

Elev Gain: 3,907 ft

Top Elev : 5,177 ft

Min. Elev : 2,886 ft


Book Description

The trail begins with an 8 mile, 3,000′ climb up the face of the Sierra Buttes, a metamorphic crown that stretches 8,600′ towards the wide-open sky. This legendary climb is known to many as the “Trail of Tears”. It starts with pavement, turns to dirt, and then gradually steepens and narrows to a loose, exposed, shaly doubletrack. We try to make things more comfortable by providing an overhead water mister at the 2 mile point, and Clif Bar supported aid stations at the 4 and 7 mile markers.
After cresting the saddle, the route follows a rolling jeep road to the east rim of Gold Valley and the top of “Baby Heads” – a fast, loose, rocky descent that is responsible for numerous flat tires, get-offs and lead changes. At the bottom of this anarchy awaits Gold Valley and the Pauley Creek crossing. This 30′ wide crossing can be as deep as 3′ during the race, often making it difficult to navigate across at high-speed.
Once across, the route turns to singletrack on the Pauley Creek Trail, a 17 mile creekside plunge that blends flowing turns and rolling jumps with jagged rocks and slippery roots. After descending 2,000′ and crossing three foot-bridges, the trail climbs from the Pauley Creek Canyon to the Lavezzola Creek Canyon, and to the trailhead of the world famous Third Divide Trail. Third Divide is known for it’s Star Wars like speeds, magic carpet tread, bermed corners and lofty airs.
After a thrilling 3 miles, Third Divide Trail dumps out onto Lavezzola Road, which descends to the upper First Divide trail, a 150 year-old water flume built to provide water to a nearby hydraulic mining site. This stretch of trail requires a ton of pedaling as it winds its way downstream through the Lavezzola Creek Canyon, across a saddle, and into the Pauley Creek Canyon to the long awaited streets of downtown Downieville for the finish.



My Experience

I decided for numerous reasons to base myself in Sierra City, just 10 miles from Downieville, and the actual start of the Downieville Classic. As usual I arrived without any maps, and with very limited trail intel. Lucky for me I arrived on a Sunday, and the last day of the Downieville Classic Race, which meant that about 900 mountain bikers had just ridden the trail, thus making it very easy for me to follow… Yeah!.. well that was my plan anyway.
So, very early on a very sunny Tuesday morning I set off with my very basic map, but my excellent plan to follow the well ridden trail.
I knew I had an 8 mile solid climb, but for some reason known to nobody, I kinda forgot how far 8 miles is when it’s all uphill, with zero shelter from the sun. The scary thing about the first 4 miles, is that you can actually see for almost 4 miles the trail you will be taking, and believe me, it’s a longgg climb.
The first 4 miles was a grunt, but at least you can’t go wrong.. this changes when you think you have reached the top, and you suddenly find yourself at a 4 way Trail junction.. that is NOT on the map, and all 4 directions are very well worn.. So, it was decision time, I had come from one direction, so I had a choice of 3 others, Left, Straight Ahead or Right… I decided to go left ( direction Downieville ) luckily for me, the trail dead ended after a mile, so that was an easy decision to return to the junction. My next guess.. Straight Ahead… Not quite lucky this time, the trail ran into a “Wall of Snow” 3 miles DOWN the trail, so I knew this was not the right way either.. So it was the Right Trail I had to take.
From the 4 mile mark, the trail continues to climb for another 4 miles, but nowhere near as bad as the first 4 mile climb. Once you hit the tarmac it’s a mile downhill to the ” Butcher Ranch Trail”…
Now this is the Starting Point to your Reward for the 8 mile climb.. And what a Reward it is..
The next 13 miles is 100% fun pumping fast manic and raw Mayhem!! .. I have not got a clue what was going on around me, all I saw was what was directly in front of me.. going by FAST!!
I was only 10 min. into the 13 miles downhill, and I was already making plans to come back and do this again!
Although this trail offers the max enjoyment level, and it is not extremely difficult, it really should be done with caution, I felt completely at home on this trails, but if you not like very rocky narrow trails with deadly drops, it could be very scary. There are sections on this trail, that will kill you if you fall, we are not talking the 200ft sheer drops that certain Moab Trails offer, but we are talking 30 ft sheer drops into the cold rapids of the Yuba River!..



I have to admit, this trail really is Kick Ass.. and YES, it probably has the highest adrenalin pumpin’ fun factor of all the trails I’ve been on ( joint 1st spot with Cold Creek to Star Lake to Armstrong Pass down Corral Trail in South Lake Tahoe )

The flow and speed on this trail is amazing, kudos to the Downieville trail builders for doing such an amazing job.
There are two ways of doing this Trail, one one I did, with a brutal 8 mile climb, or the easy way, getting a shuttle to drop you off, so all you have to look forward to is the sweetest 13 miles you might ever experience..


Other Info:

Traffic on Trail: I did this ride twice, and both times I had the trail to myself, however if you get caught on the trail between “shuttles” it might be a completely different story..

Wild Life : I would not have a clue.. Way too much fun to notice wildlife

Scenery : Great scenery

Getting There : From Downieville head towards Sierra Cityon the 49. The trail starts on the Sierra Buttes Road

Other : This downhill trail can be extremely fast, however it is shared with hikers and motocrosser’s always be on the lookout for other trail users.


My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 with a GOLD STAR




The Downieville Classic was proudly sponsored by :

Yuba Expeditions Downieville

Yuba Expeditions is the one stop bike shop in Downieville, For SALES • SERVICE • DEMOS • SHUTTLES • MAPS • SEMI-ORGANIZED ANARCHY and lots more.

Yuba Expeditions is THE place to get all the up to date trail intel, as well as any parts you or your steed will need while in Downieville.

Yuba Expeditions is also the choice shuttle service of Mountain Bike Mayhem, High on Mountain Biking and Mountain Bike Trails USA.


Yuba Expeditions – Downieville Downhill
208 Main Street, Downieville CA 95936
Tel: (530) 289 3010


10% discount

Mention MOUNTAIN BIKE MAYHEM and receive 10% discount on the Shuttle Service.