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Level: Intermediate
Length: 13 mi (20.9 km)
Surface: 4x4 Trail
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,752/ -492 ft
Total: 87 riders

Mountain Biking Poison Spider Mesa

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#136 of 693 mountain bike trails in Utah
#3,627 in the world

This is a technically and physically demanding trail which can be done as a loop or an out and back. Those willing to take great risk can try their skills on the famous Portal Trail singletrack descent to finish the loop. Warning! The Portal Trail has some "really extreme" exposure and people have paid the ultimate price negotiating certain sections of this trail.Portal Trail is a very narrow singletrack that skirts the face of a near vertical cliff. Many people walk this part of the trail. Poison Spider Mesa is a challenging ride due to the attention required to negotiate loose terrain, babyheads, bedrock ledges, slickrock (lots of slickrock) and at times deep sand all on one of Moab's classic Jeep 4x4 trails. Once on the mesa ,there is much slickrock to play around on. The ride starts with a tough climb on bedrock and the occasional alluvial terrace or deep sand and then on to a flatter ledgy surface. The trail turns curvy a bit then some confusion awaits for finding the route to the slickrock. Once on the hallowed surface you can freeform ride to the mesa or follow the trail markers which are little painted Jeeps. If you choose to make your own way to the mesa, study the trail map first and keep a look out for certain landmarks to help you navagate to the rim. At any point along the trail you can turn around to make it an out and back ride.The mileage count is assuming you follow the painted markers to the top, however, mileage becomes a moot point if you decide to freeform ride once on the slickrock.

First added by david_darling on Mar 6, 2009. Last updated May 8, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Moab. Go North on HWY 191 from Center and Main St. intersection 4mi. to Potash Road (UT279) Turn left. Continue for 6mi. until you see a sign that reads:"Dinosaur Tracks" -turn right up the hill to the trailhead parking area.
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Poison Spider Mesa Trail map

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straubad (on Oct 26, 2018)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Dec 18, 2017)
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Poison Spider Mesa videos

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Poison Spider Mesa 1x1x1
BBTC Mountain BIking: Moab Portal and…
Poison Spider Mesa
Portal Trail - Moab, Utah
Moab Utah, Poison Spider Mesa (Slickrock…
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Rider questions

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  • blutzski

    This use to be one of the best rides in Moab. Now that ATV drivers outnumber bikers 100 to 1, this trail has been torn to $#| . That and they have built a lot of good trails in Moab since the days when this was one of the better options. Not recommended unless you doing this as the last leg of Mag-7, and then I'd probably recommend coming out on Portal. If you do come out on Poison Spider, make sure you take the southern leg that is more on slick rock, the northern leg is completely torn up and sandy.

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  • Smeiser

    I feel that this trail is more suited for jeeping than mtn. biking. My issue, as with other jeep trails that mtn. bikers attempt, is that there is too much sand. The rocky portions are fun to play around on, but overall I would spend my time on something else such as Porcupine Rim.

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  • rangelinenaturepreserve

    There is so much good trail in Moab. Don't waste your time on this one. Ever ride a bike on the dry part of a beach? Then add 4x4's. And I never saw single track. The Portal trail mentioned in other reviews is very kewl and life threating, but use a different route to get to it. You will have to use a part of Poisen Spider to get there, but I suggest staying off it as much as possible. Poisen Spider is not bicycle friendly.

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  • kuala_tahan

    This trail sucks. There's no flow to it and only about 2 actual fun parts to the trail. TONS of sand, so you have to get off and walk a lot, only a few fun techie climbs, the others are just quick grunt climbs. Definitely one of the worst trails I've ridden in Moab

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  • Grunk

    I think overall this trail is a bit overrated. There are some fun slickrock sections but WAAAYYY too much sand between the better sections. It's hard to get into the flow when you're hiking your bike over deep sand every 5mins.

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  • [email protected]

    I enjoyed the trail, but with the jeep traffic some of the sandy areas were a pain, deep and hard to ride. Technical sections are fun.

    * Review edited 3/10/2012

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  • david_darling

    Laborious climb,slickrock play area,route finding.Portal Trail!

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  • david_darling

    Tough climb through ledges,slickrock and some sand. Once on the slickrock you can follow the Jeep markers painted on the rock or navagate your own way to the rim. Be sure to study a map and have good route finding skills if you decide to freeform ride to the rim.* Review edited 3/6/2009

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