It is with trepidation, as a Brit, that I dare to write a trail guide for the famous Porcupine Rim Trail. I have to, as I have travelled 4000 miles to ride this! Much has been written and said about it in numerous magazines and publications. The Porcupine Rim Trail, in my view, is one of the few rides with everything, climbing, singletrack, technical, fast fire road, ledges etc. It is a great ride which will get the adrenaline pumping and leave you with a BIG smile on your face, an 11 mile, downhill smile!!!!
This is a point to point trail so you need to get a lift to the top and/or leave a car at the Highway 128 pull out.
1. From Moab drive up Sand Flats Road up and past the Sand Flats Entrance Station. There is a $5 fee to enter. You can pick up a trail guide here which will render this useless!!! Continue along the paved road which eventually turns into a dirt double track for 7 miles.
2. The trail is signed and starts with a 3 mile 900 ft ascent along a jeep trail. This is technical in places.
3. From here on you have an 11 mile descent (2,800ft)!! There are many spurs off the main trail but it is well sign posted. Just keep your wits about you so that you do not fly past a sign.
4. Stop for the photo opportunities with Castle Valley to the right!
5. After about 5 miles there is a left spur to access Coffee Pot Rock.. If you miss this the you can catch the next left spur.
6. After 11 miles the singletrack starts at the sign, you can't miss it. This follows along a ledge with steep drop offs to the right. Nothing too drastic but maintain concentration.
7. The descent is fast, technical, twisty and bags of fun.
8. The trail descends to Highway 128, 6 miles from Moab.
Get on the I 70 to Crescent Junction. Head south to Moab on the 191. Sand Flats Road is easily found. Off Main St go up Central down 400 East leading to Mill Creek Dr. Follow straight ahead and it becomes Sand Flats Road.
Go through the Entrance Station and drive for 7 miles. You'll pass Slickrock Trailhead on the left. The ride will take between 3 - 5 hrs 'cos you'll be taking loads of photos for mbpost!!
When to Bike
Best time is between Feb and Nov. Ice can be found on the trail so care will need to be taken. In the summer temperatures are sky high and real risks of dehyration if insufficient water is taken. The best time in the summer is at dawn. A 5:30am start will mean that it is cooler and you will finish early too! Back to the motel for a second breakfast!
The trailhead has toilets and not a lot else.