Portal Trail

4.00 out of 5
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Trail Description
About this trail
Very technical with extreme exposure. There are signs that say riders were killed on the trail - likely by falling over the cliff. Do not ride this from the bottom up, but use this route to finish riding Gold Bar Rim or Poison Spider (for a loop). Bring a camera and pay attention.
added by dauwSingletrack
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions


Q: Location of trailhead on Porash road -Guest

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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Red Hill
Porcupine Rim
Mary's Loop / Horsethief Bench
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (4 total check-ins)
  jrfranklake   on Feb 10, 2019
  rbeeler   on Nov 7, 2017
  samersen   on Oct 20, 2017
  BRM   on Nov 8, 2015
Photo & Video Gallery (16)
Trail Photos & Videos (16)
Reviews (7)


September 5, 2018
stumpyfsr Singletrack  
Review: This trail has double black diamond rating for a reason, which isn't exposure but very technical descent. For me this is another example of hiking trail that only true experts can actually ride without walking.

Similar Trail: Atalaya Mt in Santa Fe, NM


April 30, 2013
drtaylor Poseur  
Review: Who decided to put a trail here?! It's breathtaking. Do it just to say you were there. It's a thrill but not for the quality of biking. This is as extreme as it gets.

Similar Trail: Cliffdiving


May 6, 2011
Review: This trail, although not one of my favorites in the area (but a good ending to PS Mesa), is something of a classic rite of passage that you must do at least once.

The exposure section is reasonably safe except a short 10 meter section that's obvious. Otherwise you probably won't feel like you're on the edge of a cliff. After that, like others have said, the descent is just super technical with several walking sections (unless you're either insane or that skilled).

* Review edited 5/5/2011


March 15, 2011
Review: This trail is possibly ridable by the truly insane. As a hike-a-bike it's actually quite interesting with incredible views.

I used it to complete GoldBar rim -> Golden Spike without having to backtrack.


May 7, 2009
Review: Death defying descent. Super Sketchy. Thrillseekers only. I love it. Not recommended.

Similar Trail: Moab Rim


April 17, 2008
frking Poseur  
Review: This trail prevents the Poison Spider Mesa trail from being an out-and-back, and has a fierce reputation as a man-eater. It is hard to find, and the one section where people died is clearly marked - although most people's common sense will be screaming out warnings without needing a sign to tell you to dismount. The spot marked as the falling point for the fatalities is a perfect storm of a high rock obstacle ready to catch chain rings or bash guards, a protruding rock leaning into the trail at rider height, and exposure to a short, steeply pitched slope falling off hundreds of feet to the river.

The rest of the trail is technically challenging and not especially death-defying. There are some gonzo moments, though with rock ledges and limited exposure, as well as some dips that will exert g-forces on the fast moving rider.

At the bottom it is just a short ride up the road back to the parking lot for Poison Spider Mesa trail.

Similar Trail: Porcupine Rim Trail


September 5, 2007
Review: Portal is sort of a necessary evil after Gold Bar or Poison Spider. Great views over Moab but the riding is pretty sketchy since there are many places that you will die if you fall. Once you get around the corner and face the canyon instead of Moab the descent is a lot more fun with some very tight and technical drops and little flumes.

I think a lot of people might opt to ride this because of its reputation as a killer but it's not a great ride-- it's just a great short cut.

Similar Trail: base jumping

Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
Feature Article
8 of the Most Technical Mountain Bike Trails in the USA, According to the Singletracks Community
Watch: Taking Chances on the Deadly Portal Trail
Watch: Nate Hills and Kyle Mears Blast the Portal Trail, the "Roughest, Sustained Downhill Section in Moab"