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Level: Expert
Length: 1.6 mi (2.6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: One-way
Elevation: +27/ -337 ft
Total: 52 riders

Mountain Biking Portal Trail

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#40 of 693 mountain bike trails in Utah
#723 in the world

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.

First added by dauw on Mar 14, 2007. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • 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, take HWY 191 north to HWY 279 (Potash Rd.). Take HWY 279 south for about 3-4 miles. Trail can be accessed from one of the pullouts on the road, or at Lion's Park Campsite.
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Portal Trail Trail map

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jrfranklake (on Feb 10, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Open (on May 7, 2009)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Moab, Utah

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Rider questions

Q: Why is this so easy?

Q: Location of trailhead on Porash road

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter

    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.

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  • drtaylor

    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.

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  • fickle_hellcat

    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

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  • Corey Maddocks   ✓ supporter

    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.

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  • david_darling

    Death defying descent. Super Sketchy. Thrillseekers only. I love it. Not recommended.

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  • frking

    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.

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  • BobinConifer

    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.

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