Posts

Poison Spider down Gold Bar Rim

The Poison Spider Mesa Trail and the Gold Bar Rim Trail, 2 of Moab's greatest rides

 

The Poison Spider Mesa Trail combined with the Gold Bar Rim trail is one heck of a mountain biking epic not to be missed.

This combination offers the experienced Mountain biker hours and hours of fun, scenic, fast, scary, and technical mayhem under the Moab sun.

 

Poison Spider Gold Bar Rim Trail Map

Poison Spider Gold Bar Rim Trail Elevation

 

  Trail Stats & Information

Nearby Town: Moab
Length: I clocked 22.14 miles
Trail Type: P2P [ Point 2 Point ]
Skill Level: [what the books say] no info
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically moderate to challenging. Physically challenging. Navigating Gold Bar Rim can be quite a challenging
Duration: It took me 8.50 hours, but can be done in 6 hours
Trailhead Elev: Poison Spider = 4,037 ft – Gold Bar = 4,576 ft
Top Elev: 5,446 feet

 

Book Description

 

POISON SPIDER :

This technically and physically difficult ride can be done as a loop or as an out-and-back, with a turnaround point at a beautiful arch or at the rim overlooking Moab Valley a few more miles to the north. The trek starts with a relentless climb over little babyheads, leads through areas of deep sand and technical bedrock, then eventually flattens out into a ledgy romp. After some sandy curves and a bit of confusing route finding you are presented with some outrageously steep slickrock knobs that are a blast to ride for advanced cyclists. Once on the slickrock the ride can be free formed by those with good navigating skills, or you can follow the trail markings that appear as little jeeps. Keeping the jeeps oriented in the same direction is the secret to following the trail out to the rim. At any point you may also simply turn around and go back the way you came in. Trail Surface: 4WD doubletrack, slickrock, and extremely technical and dangerous singletrack, if you choose to take the Portal Trail option. Loose rock, stream worn rocks up to the size of babyheads, deep sand, slickrock, hardpack to loose sedimentary soil, and bedrock ledges on a classic technical 4WD track.

 

 

GOLD BAR RIM :

This is the deep end of the pool, the brink of mountain biking, the pinnacle of the sport, a ride only fit for the strong, smart and skilled–a place where others can qualify for the Darwin Awards. The surface is the most varied possible. The only missing ingredients are mud and water crossings. There are ledges, deep sand, loose rock, hardpack, slickrock, gigantic rock rubble, and every combination of these you can imagine. This ride is extremely dangerous! Despite the inherent danger of the exposed cliff, the Portal Trail is the emergency hatch to and from Poison Spider Mesa and the Gold Bar Rim in case of a storm or accident. Two deaths almost closed the trail in 1998. If we are to believe the BLM, one more is all it is going to take. This is the most challenging, beautiful, and awe inspiring mountain bike ride on earth. Treat it like it’s sacred. Respect it. Love it. Care for it. Most of all, fear it.

 

.

My Experience

 

The Poison Spider Mesa Trail is one of my favorite Moab rides, but I always loop it with the Portal Trail.

The Gold Bar Rim Trail is listed in my “Best 15 mtb trails in the USA” but I have only ever come up the Gold Bar Rim and down Portal as a P2P.

I was really stoked about combining these two fantastic trails and riding them as a P2P.

I knew from experience it was going to be a long day, but I didn’t realize just how long it was going to take me. Luckily I had a very early start, at the crack of dawn, I was on the Poison Spider, I knew I would easily clear the Poison before anyone else even started on the trail.. Great, I was all alone on the Poison, this gave me plenty of time to take pics, shoot vids, and to just relax and enjoy the the trail.
The sun was still on the horizon, so the temp. on the Poison was very comfortable, I was on top form, and so was my loyal steed. We cleared the Poison incl. a side trip to the Arch in under 3 hours.

Once at the top of Poison, on the “Rim” I relaxed and prepared for the long and tricky Gold Bar Rim. For some reason I thought it was gonna be all downhill from this point, I was wrong in a big way, it was a lot of up’s and down’s, and by now the sun was high enough for the Rim to start heating up.

I veered off the Gold Bar Rim and took the extremely technical “Blue Bar” Trail. I will not say much about this trail, except that it is an Illegal Trail, closed to protect the Big Horn Sheep. I did not know this at the time, and going down Gold Bar Rim it is not at all clear that this trail is illegal, however coming “up” Gold Bar Rim it is clearly stenciled in the Rock. I will add that the “Blue Bar Trail” is extremely technical, and certain areas are VERY Dangerous, certain sections on this trail makes the “Portal Trail” seem like a walk in the Park.

Please respect the Laws of the Trails, and stay on the Gold Bar Rim

If you have never done the Gold Bar Rim Trail before, it can be very tricky to navigate, at one point you will be following the “Gold Spike Trail” and then it will be the “Gold Bar Trail” you should not attempt this trail without a good map.

The Gold Bar offers some fantastic technical sections, I was happy to have cleared a few, but most of them were too tricky for me.

Remember, this is a long and very remote trail, do not take any risks on this trail, if anything goes wrong, you are a long way from anywhere, and it could be days before you see someone else.

 

 

Conclusion

Well, I have to be honest, we are talking about two of Moab’s greatest trails, no matter how you approach them, you are going to be guaranteed a ride of your life. The Poison is scenic, fun and moderately technical, and can be done as an Out and Back, or looped with the Portal Trail, or as a P2P with the Gold Bar. As a P2P with Gold Bar, this becomes a technical and remote trail. 24 remote miles of Moab splendor, don’t under estimate the Gold Bar Rim, it’s a tricky trail, and a LOT can go wrong on this Trail.

For everyone that like myself likes a bit of a challenge and remote rides, then this combination of coming up the Poison Spider, and down the Gold Bar Rim could be the best mountain biking experience you could wish for.

This combination is NOT suited for anyone without some navigation skills, the remoteness is your best friend, or your worst enemy on this trail.

And as the guide book states : Treat it like it’s sacred. Respect it. Love it. Care for it. Most of all, fear it.

 

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : 3 moto crossers, that were seriously lost, and needed my help 3 times to get back to the main road.
Wild Life : none
Scenery : Absolutely Fantastic Moab Scenery
Other : This is a very remote ride, carry ALL your spare parts in case anything happens. Carry a good Map, and know how to use it. and carry as much fluids as you can. If you get lost, head back up to the “Rim” and follow it back towards Moab and head down the Portal or back down the Poison Spider.

 

My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 with a GOLD Star


Moab Rim CamparkPoison Spider – Gold Bar 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 Poison Spider – Gold bar 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 Poison Spider and Gold Bar Rim Trail. Oct. 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amasa Back Trail
Amasa Back Trail Moab

The Amasa Back Trail in Moab, dangerously scenic

.
If planed well, and with a bit of luck, the Amasa Back Trail in Moab could become your all time favorite trail ever. I say this, because this trail can be unbearably busy on weekends / holidays, and this will definitely put a damper on things. However, if you can get an early start on a weekday, this trail will be yours, and believe me, it will blow your mind. The highest danger factor on this trail, is the scenery, it’s almost impossible to keep your eyes on the trail.
.
Amasa Back Trail Map

Trail Stats & Information Amasa Back

Nearby Town: Moab
Length: 11.06 miles
Trail Type: Out & Back (lollipop) or loop with Jackson (not recommended)
Skill Level: [what the books say] Technically very difficult to extreme. Physically very difficult.
Skill Leve
l: [My Opinion] Technically moderate to extreme . Physically moderate / demanding
Duration
: Book say’s 2-3 hours my time 4.02 hours
Trailhead Elev
: 4,000 feet
Top Elev
: 4,800 feet

.

Book Description

You’ll want to watch the first 100 feet of this trail. It can ruin your ride in a hurry. The entire trail should be approached with respect. It’s short, but it’s a grunt with technical challenges thrown in here and there, some on the edge of a 500-foot cliff. Ledges drop into deep sand at points. it asks for speed and can surprise you as you round a corner. The ride from here can be extremely rewarding for a very experienced riders with a good sense of direction and maybe a guide. There is a petroglyph panel worthy of a visit, but the riding just gets harder from this viewpoint as you climb on the very technical slickrock onto the huge sandstone monolith that is Amasa Back. Don’t even think about the singletrack that goes down the backside. it is scary and exposed the whole way. Trail Surface; Technical 4WD track. Ledgy bedrock, sand, slickrock, loose and hardpack sediments. Scary exposure.

 

.

My Experience

This is not the first time I have done the Amasa Back, the first time I did it,was on a Sunday, in combination with the Jackson Hole Trail. That time the Amasa Back was just bang out of order, there were 100’s!! of people on the trail, mtb’ers, 4×4’s, hikers, quads, trial bikes.. you name it… Seeing as I’m an unsociable bastard , I hated it!.

Luckily I did notice that the trail was fantastic, and I knew that I had to time it right to enjoy the trail to it’s fullest.
This time around I got an early start on a weekday ( Wednesday) and I had the whole trail to myself!!

Be very careful at the start of the trail, ‘cos lots of riders get caught out in the first 3 min on “Mr Toads”. Once past Mr Toads and down to the creek, the trail starts clinbing on slickrock. The climb is not bad at all, there are a few sections that you will have to get off your steed, but in general the trail is pretty doable. The highest risk on this trail, is the stunning scenery, and it is almost impossible to keep your eyes on the trail. The Amasa Back trail is very well marked, with maps on all the junctions. Once at the top, you can turn around and bomb back down, or you can loop back onto the Amasa Back by connecting the Pot Hole Arch Trail, and then onto the Rockstacker Trail.
The Rockstacker Trail is stunningly scenic, but it is riddled with some mental grade 5 sections, but I would highly recommend this connector. When you get back onto the Amasa Back Trail, you will now be back tracking, a slight climb until you top out, and from here it’s just a roller coaster ride back to the creek 100% fun!!

There is also option to loop the Amasa Back Trail by connecting to the Jackson Trail. Personally I would not recommend this, 80% of this section is not rideable, and you end the trail on a strenuous climb, it also means you don’t get to enjoy the Amasa Back downhill.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the Amasa Back Trail is one of, or even THE most scenic and fun trail in Moab. However,  this trail can for all good reasons be extremely busy. If possible do this beauty early on a weekday.  The views on this trail are unbelievable, the trail is well marked, the slickrock climb is not too strenuous, and the downhill offers maximum thrill level.

Do this trail early on a weekday, and it is without doubt one of the best trails in, not just Moab, but in the USA.

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail :  On this ride I had the trail to myself untill the downhill section. However this trail can be extremely busy
Wild Life : Definitely don’t need it on this scenic trail
Scenery : Absolutely Fantastic Moab Scenery. The best out there
Other : If possible do an early weekday ride. On weekends / holidays the trail can be VERY busy.

 

My Trail Rating : 10 / 10 [ if timed well ]

.

Moab Rim CamparkThe Amasa Back 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 Campgroud.
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.

Amasa Back  Trail is just a 12 min. drive from your campsite.
Moab Rim Campsite has been recommended by “Mountain Bike Mayhem” 4 years running.

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

For more info vist : Moab Rim Campark

.


.

.

.