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Portal

Consensus:    (details)
 3.7 from 6 votes
  Extremely Difficult from 2 votes
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Rating: -none- change
Rank: #29 in Moab
#93 in Utah
#2,461 Overall
Trail near
“A dangerous challenge for true experts. A scenic hike-a-bike for mortals.”
Nick Wilder on May 1, 2013
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2.5 Miles Singletrack Type 52’ Ascent -1,100’ Descent 3,977’ Low 5,033’ High
Restrictions
Only rideable downhill.
Description
Usually done as a finish to Poison Spider, this trail drops 1,000' in a mile, with huge exposure next to a 1,300 foot cliff. People have fallen and died here. It's incredibly unique and scenic, but riding it should only be attempted by experts, and intermediates with a great attitude should be willing to walk most of it.

Starting from the end of the Poison Spider trail, the Portal Trail hugs the rim with a nice easy downhill grade and smooth, easy surface at first. This doesn't last long and it's time to wake up when you see the "Dismount Here" sign from the BLM. They mean it. Unless you've done this section before, really know what you're doing, and are prepared to die to do it again, go ahead and dismount. It's not that the moves are all that impossible, but the consequences are all that bad, and several boulders want to push you right off the trail and over the cliff.

Continue for about half a mile right on the edge of the rim. Several sections are ridable by intermediate riders, but most people will dismount for many short sections. Enjoy the amazing views of Moab and the La Sal mountains beyond.

The trail takes a sharp right and is now directly above the Colorado River. It is no longer right on the edge of the cliff, so that danger is mostly past, but now the descent begins in earnest: the next mile loses 1,000' over many drops, ledges, and pinches. Most people will feel more comfortable walking many sections, though about half might be ridable by intermediates.

The trail finishes along the highway, where you'll either ride back to town or to your car at the Poison Spider trailhead.
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COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of Portal
 4.3 from 3 votes
The big boulders seem to reach out and want to push you over the cliff! (Moab, UT)
 4.0 from 4 votes
Top of Poison Spider and beginning of Portal Trail. (Moab, UT)
 4.0 from 3 votes
Hard to see how a trail fits on that ledge... or who thought it was a go... (Moab, UT)
 4.0 from 2 votes
The trail eases off a bit near the bottom (Moab, UT)
 4.0 from 2 votes
High over Moab (Moab, UT)
 3.7 from 3 votes
Top of Portal Trail is deceptively easy. (Moab, UT)
 3.5 from 4 votes
Portal trail (Moab, UT)
 3.0 from 2 votes
Typical of the drops that most people walk. (Moab, UT)
 3.0 from 2 votes
One of the more ridable sections (Moab, UT)
 3.0 from 2 votes
You were higher than that formation less than a mile ago! (Moab, UT)
 3.0 from 2 votes
A brief break from the steep drops (Moab, UT)
 3.0 from 2 votes
They're not kidding. (Moab, UT)
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