MTB Project

Porcupine Rim

Consensus:    (details)
 4.7 from 102 votes
  Difficult from 18 votes
Rank: #2 in the Moab area
#3 in UT, #9 Overall
Views: 9,998. Last 30 days: 725
Sep 20 Chunky!
Featured Ride near Moab,  area, 
“The world famous Porcupine Rim ride; a bone jarring route with a sweet singletrack finish.”
Leslie Kehmeier on Apr 27, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
13.922.4 milesKilometers 1,190’363 m Ascent 6,806’2,074 m High 6% Avg Grade (3°)
30% Singletrack -2,898’-883 m Descent 3,991’1,217 m Low 22% Max Grade (12°)
3:49 average ride time for 21.8 miles. Details

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 Negro Bill Canyon Trailhead where you can shuttle into town with a vehicle or pedal back along the highway.
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. Don’t be fooled, the singletrack doesn’t 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 it’s 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.
View in 3D
5.0 (32)
One of the world's great rides, with 7000 ft of descent from the high alpine ...
near Moab, UT
4.7 (13)
Stunning scenery and great singletrack. One of the very best beginner/interm...
near Moab, UT
4.5 (21)
Visually stunning, technically thrilling, a true gem. You'll not want it to end.
near Moab, UT

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PHOTOS of Porcupine Rim
 4.3 from 3 votes
Porcupine Rim, Moab Utah (Moab, UT)
 4.3 from 3 votes
Even the unicyles like the technical sections. (Moab, UT)
 4.0 from 4 votes
Riding Porcupine singletrack out of Jackass Canyon (Moab, UT)
 3.8 from 6 votes
This Whole Enchilada video covers Burro Pass, Hazard, Kokopelli, Porcupi... (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.8 from 4 votes
Scary cliff!!! Are you scared of height? (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.8 from 4 votes
Refuel over Castle Valley (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.7 from 3 votes
Hitting the Porcupine Rim singletrack high above the Colorado River. (Moab, UT)
 3.7 from 3 votes
Trail junction of LPS and Porcupine Rim, with an overlook to the La Sals... (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.5 from 4 votes
Loose on ledges makes for some interesting climbing, but still fun. And ... (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.5 from 4 votes
Some of the best sections of the entire trail are in this area. (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.4 from 5 votes
Rounding the bend for the last descent to the Colorado River (Moab, UT)
 3.3 from 3 votes
Heading up the gradual climb to the top. The trail varies from this to d... (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.3 from 3 votes
Porcupine is a lot of bone shaking, broken slickrock riding (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.3 from 4 votes
The top of the world famous Porcupine Rim (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.3 from 4 votes
Let the final section of fun begin. (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.3 from 4 votes
Some narrow sections of singletrack along the edge of the gully here, bu... (Moab, UT)
 3.0 from 3 votes
One of the quieter overlooks to Castle Valley as most stop at the previo... (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.0 from 3 votes
The trail is pretty chunky and loose on the final section of the climb. (Castle Valley, UT)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Porcupine Rim (Moab, UT)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Porcupine Rim (Moab, UT)
 2.6 from 5 votes
One of several overlooks to Castle Valley along the top here. (Castle Valley, UT)
 2.7 from 3 votes
Probably the smoothest section on the entire trail. (Castle Valley, UT)
 2.7 from 3 votes
Afraid of heights but couldn't resist the trackstand. (Moab, UT)
 2.5 from 4 votes
The end of the trail is down by the highway, but still a fun section yet... (Moab, UT)
 2.5 from 4 votes
Starting up the classic Porcupine Rim route from the water tanks. (Castle Valley, UT)
 2.3 from 3 votes
Porcupine Rim (Moab, UT)
 2.3 from 3 votes
Despite the "singletrack signs", there are many lines to several ledges ... (Castle Valley, UT)
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