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Porcupine Rim

Difficult
 4.7 (373) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

The world famous Porcupine Rim ride; a bone jarring route with a sweet singletrack finish.


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Map Key

14.7

Miles

23.6

KM

30%

Singletrack

6,803' 2,074 m

High

4,022' 1,226 m

Low

1,195' 364 m

Up

2,962' 903 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Features -none-

Overview

The world famous Porcupine Rim ride is a must-do on any mountain bike bucket list and is a classic Moab ride.

The route takes you to the edge (literally) of Castle Valley and then down a thrilling (and bone jarring) descent to the edge of Jackass Canyon where you'll ride sweet singletrack around and down to the Colorado River.

The ride is best done as a point-to-point from Sand Flats Road to minimize climbing and maximize the downhill. Numerous shuttle companies operate in Moab, so hitching a ride is as easy as making a reservation and slapping down some cash.

The upper reaches of the ride can be extended by including The Whole Enchilada or Beans and Cheese (starting from Kokopelli and riding UPS and LPS).

Need to Know

Being one of the most popular rides in one of the most popular riding destinations on the planet, be prepared for a day with hundreds of best friends. The commercial shuttles do a good job of staggering drop-off times, but you'll encounter other riders, so be prepared to share the route.

The ride is a true backcountry experience. More than once, a supposed shortcut across open country has led to dire consequences. Carry plenty of water and food and be prepared to be out longer than you expect.

The route ends near the Grandstaff Canyon Trailhead where you can shuttle into town with a vehicle or pedal back along the highway.

Description

Porcupine Rim starts with a pedal up from Sand Flats road on two track to the top an intersection with LPS. This is a busy area of people transitioning from the upper trails along the rim or others just starting the ride.

From here the route is rolling and ledgy giving riders a chance to spin their legs before hitting a short technical climb. Enjoy shady pinion pines at the top to refuel and grab a drink of water - a very welcome rest on a sunny day.

From here the road descends quickly and constantly down multiple broken slickrock sections before tightening up through some long smooth bits. For every welcome segment of hard-packed smooth sand, there is a teeth rattling section just around the corner.

As the route descends it opens up to spectacular 360 degree views, a sight that will make you stop in wonder. The varying colors of the sandstone landscape seem to go on forever.

The bottom of the doubletrack follows along a ridge funneling onto a large slick rock expanse. This is where the first Porcupine singletrack sign and gate is encountered. Dont be fooled, the singletrack doesnt acutally start here, but the fun factor does get higher.

At the second signed gate area the singletrack begins. Here the trail gets faster and the rocks start sloping sideways, making things a little more off camber. The trail drops steadily down to the rim above Jackass Canyon. Glimpses of the Colorado River begins to show. Exposure is definitely on your mind now so balance your time between looking at the trail and the amazing views around. The tight, twisty singletrack takes you round the corner and right above the Colorado River.

The trail stays narrow and the exposure ratchets up a notch once above the river. From here its almost all downhill over rock slabs and smooth packed tread (minus one hike-a-bike) to the parking lot on the Upper Colorado Scenic Byway.

If you left a car here, crack open a refreshment and lick your wounds. If your final destination is Moab, then start the easy ride back into town. You'll be riding on the road for a bit before transitioning to a bike path. As of writing this, the remainder of the bike path is under construction from the Porcupine Rim Trail terminus all the way into town.

Contacts

Shared By:

Leslie Kehmeier with improvements by Moab Trail Mix

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 373 votes

#1

in Moab

#3

Overall
  4.7 from 373 votes
5 Star
79%
4 Star
16%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Moab

#2

in Utah

#3

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133,291 Since Apr 27, 2013
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Photos

Get ready for another classic from Tec-Gnar: this time ripping up Porcupine Rim!
Jan 31, 2017 near Moab, UT
The Whole Enchilada....
Aug 14, 2016 near Moab, UT
Refuel over Castle Valley
Oct 3, 2013 near Moab, UT
This view of Castle Valley and the entire trail experience was well worth the price of a shuttle ride.
Oct 13, 2015 near Moab, UT
Brandon and Ashley race to the bottom ahead of an autumn storm.
Nov 10, 2020 near Moab, UT
Overview
Jun 26, 2019 near Moab, UT

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 8 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Nov 17, 2020
Chris Wiley
14.5mi — 1h 49m
Nov 16, 2020
Mike Schen
Nov 13, 2020
Wesley Hartman
14.7mi
Nov 6, 2020
Timothy Howard
Long day on an epic trail. 2nd trail after UPS — 3h 38m
Nov 3, 2020
Will Herrmann
Oct 30, 2020
Lowell Smoger
tacky 14.7mi — 3h 00m
Oct 25, 2020
Zach Rochon
Oct 24, 2020
Sue U.