MTB Project Logo

Mellow riding, an intimidating shelf road descent, and terrain just as staggering as in the adjacent National Park.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key






5,936' 1,809 m


3,951' 1,204 m


263' 80 m


2,193' 668 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Features Commonly Bikepacked

Family Friendly If you ride one-way with a shuttle vehicle at the end, this ride can be almost all downhill on a road. Come at an off time to avoid Jeeps, OHVs, river shuttles, White Rim support vehicles, etc.

High water on the Green River can inundate the road.

Need to Know

Don't expect to be alone out here unless you come on a weekday off-season, or start at dawn.

Summer sun is intense and inescapable on the mesa top. Best to avoid riding up this road midday in summer. Bring all the water you need: river water is often silty and will clog your filter unless you settle it overnight.

Here, you are just outside the boundary of Canyonlands National Park, so the use restrictions are a bit looser. You have to camp in the designated sites, but unlike on the adjacent White Rim Trail, you actually stand a reasonable chance of getting one.

While the actual riding is unremarkable, the amazing location, distance, and sense of adventure makes this a great ride as long as you know what you are getting into and aren't going to whinge like a loser about some sand and the lack of flowy singletrack... I'll tell you now: there's not an inch of that.

Riding out is almost effortless, but getting back without a shuttle will make you dig deep.


Mineral Bottom Road is a 4WD route that takes you from the Islands-In-The-Sky/Deadhorse Point plateau into Mineral Canyon, dropping you to the Green River where the views as you ride along the river will have you feeling like you are in a John Ford western.

You can start your ride from anywhere along the Horsethief Trail, which is unremarkable but passable for most cars for much of its run across the mesa top. Remember that to reach the river, this road trends downhill for roughly 2000 vertical feet, steeply at times. Save some energy for the ride out, or shuttle from somewhere closer to the river.

If you want to ride the whole thing, start on U-313, just past the turn off for the BLM Horsethief campground. Follow the dirt road S and stay on it for about 15-miles downhill as it bends westward. At the canyon rim, the world falls away, and the road begins to switchback down off the cliffs. Though the road is wide and usually well-maintained (check before you drive your car down it), there's an airy feel to this stretch, and the views are awe-inspiring. If you are interested, detour right before you reach the rim to visit the Fruit Bowl, where bold slack-lining happens.

At the bottom of the switchbacks, continue following the road until you reach a fork. Turning left leads you to the White Rim Trail. Go right. The road takes you to the river, then bends right to follow it upstream beside the riparian vegetation. You'll soon reach the Mineral Bottom boat ramp, where boaters both take out and put in.

Continue following the road past the boat ramp and parking as it leaves the river and passes the Mineral Bottom air strip. You'll soon rejoin the river vegetation and continue upstream. The sidehilll steepens and the vegetation thins, allowing unobstructed views of the water.

Eventually, the road turns right to enter Hell-Roaring Canyon. When you reach the canyon bottom, the road ends. You may wish to invest some time looking for the 1836 Denis Julien inscription near the mouth of the canyon. Julien was a trapper who was one of the first white guys to visit the Canyonlands, and apparently the first to (up)run the river.

If you are massively adventurous, try dragging your bike up the 12-mile canyon and locating a break in the rim to join the Hey Joe - Spring Canyon Loop, Chisholm Trail, or Big Lonely. NOTE! I'm not sure this is possible: climbers rap in. But with a canyon as long as Hell-Roaring, wouldn't you think it could go?


Land Manager: Grand County

Shared By:

F Felix

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote


  4.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Utah


23 Views Last Month
1,334 Since May 5, 2019



Mineral Bottom switchbacks
Nov 26, 2020 near Moab, UT
Enjoying a fast descent.
Aug 24, 2016 near Moab, UT
The endless Horsethief Trail (Mineral Bottom Road) across the I-Sky mesa top.
Nov 26, 2020 near Moab, UT



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 46 days ago
Add Your Check-In