18 votes
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Featured Ride

2.5 Miles 4.0 Kilometers


52' 16 m


-1,100' -335 m


5,033' 1,534 m


3,977' 1,212 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (34°)

All Clear

21 days agoUpdate

A dangerous challenge for true experts. A scenic hike-a-bike for mortals.

Nick Wilder


Only rideable downhill.
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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3.7 from 18 votes

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Mar 17, 2017
Gregg Cummins
Oct 5, 2016
Craig Crawford
Apr 15, 2016
Ben Calvert
Apr 16, 2015
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Mar 16, 2014
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May 4, 2013
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May 1, 2013
Nick Wilder

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 18 votes


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  3.7 from 18 votes
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All Clear 21 days ago

Getting forecast...

Now I'm not that great of a rider, but I rode Portal years ago on an XC bike (71 degree head angle with 3" travel), and while challenging, I made it down fine. Perhaps this trail is a little over hyped on the difficulty scale or do I have a bad memory? Feb 15, 2017

My very good friend Kevin died on this trail in 1998. He was an expert rider. Please consider the consequences before attempting this trail. Apr 2, 2017

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