Porcupine Rim

Negro Bill Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Utah 84532

Distance14.1mi
Elevation Gain5,460ft
Trailhead Elevation5,842ft
Top6,828ft
Elevation Min/Max3991/6828ft
Elevation Start/End5842/5842ft

Porcupine Rim

Porcupine Rim is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Grand County, Utah. It is within Negro Bill Canyon Wilderness Study Area. It is 14.1 miles long and begins at 5,842 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 28.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 5,460 feet. The Porcupine Rim and Porcupine Rim Trailhead Parking are near the trailhead. The Granstaff Campground camp site can be seen along the trail.

Porcupine Rim Professional Reviews and Guides

"This route takes you to Moab’s high country, by local standards, and to an overlook of redrock monoliths poking up from Castle Valley. For millennia the formations Castle Rock and Priest and Nuns have preached a silent sermon to a congregation of canyons, mesas, and mountain peaks. You, too, will be enlightened by their desert oration from Porcupine Rim’s 1,000-foot altar. Riding conditions are bittersweet, and your upper body will receive a bigger workout than your legs.

The climb to Porcupine is a constant battle against sandstone ledges outcropping in the sandy doubletrack, and you’ll yank on your handlebars to lift your front wheel time and again. The rim road is more agitating than a paint-shaker and leaves you blurry eyed. And the famous Jackass Canyon singletrack descent is a true test of one’s handling savvy and capacity for high places; it’s blissful for some or a despairing walk for others. But when you factor in where you’ve been and where you’re going and the sights enjoyed along the way, Porcupine Rim truly is a world-class ride. Tread: 11.7 miles of sand, pebble, and broken slickrock doubletracks; 3.1 miles of dirt and ledgy singletrack."

"Next to the Slickrock Trail (Ride 1), this is perhaps the most notorious of Moab’s rides. The view from the rim is as breathtaking as the cigarettes whose ads use the same background.

It’s definitely an E-ticket ride to Moab’s original downhill romp. The ride has received mixed reviews; some find it too technical for their taste, but it induces perma-grin for those who like boulder boppin’ and ledge droppin’ along vertigo-inducing cliff sides."

"Incredible views of Castle Valley, featuring the La Sal Mountains, Castle Rock, and Priest and Nuns rock formation. A popular bike route. While there are no major obstacles, the trail is too tough for most stock vehicles. High ground clearance and skid plates recommended. Route-finding is easy."

"Porcupine Rim is arguably the most diverse of all local Moab rides and definitely one of the most memorable. Aerobically it is moderately difficult, with an 800-foot elevation gain right off the bat. Technically, it’s extremely challenging. An extended climb to the head of Negro Bill Canyon (named for mulatto William Granstaff, a prospector-settler who came to the area in 1877) on a narrow mining track is followed by an unforgettable stretch of double-track leading along the edge of Porcupine Rim, with stomach-churning views straight down on Castle Valley.

From a jungle of juniper-piñon, sandstone outcrops, and cacti, you’ll begin a long descent down rugged double-track teeming with drop-offs that often come at you when you least expect it. This leads to single-track, sometimes smooth and other times boulder-strewn. The trail deposits you onto UT 128, and the final six miles back to town are paved. General location: 10 miles east of Moab."

Porcupine Rim Reviews

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6/18/2010
It's been 10 years since my last visit. The New extended version is a awesome improvement. Single Track in the Alpine's down into the canyons. They have added a bike friendly paved trail away from traffic to get you back to the city. It even has it's own tunnel under-pass to cross the highway. NICE - A MUST DO TRAIL IN AMERICA !
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9/17/2009
Hardest ride I've ever done... We tacked this ride on to the end of our Telluride to Moab hut to hut bike trip. I wasn't quite expecting the ascent at the beginning, but once we saw the views at the top, it made it all worth it... and then the real fun kicked in. The downhill that followed was by far one of the most fun rides I've ever done. Stair-like steps, some quite bigger than others, make it daunting at times, but the fear-factor just adds to the fun. When you get to the single track, the dynamic changes a bit - equally as technically challenging, yet at about 1/4 (possibly less) of the width of the beginning of the trail. Overall... amazingly fun and challenging... words just won't do justice.
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3/25/2009
I loved this trail - take the shuttle to the top of Porcupine singletrack and ride all the way down to the colorado river. When you hit the notch you are still on the trail We were too early this year but next year I hope to ride the 30 mile Enchilada that hooks in higher elevation trails, part of the Kokopelli trail and the newly opened UPS All around must do for Moab
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10/20/2006
This could be the signature trail of the southwest. A don't miss. In Moab, be careful if the map says to be careful.
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4/29/2004
Most people take a shuttle to the trailhead from town (contact any local bike shop about shuttle schedules). Even taking out the significant distance and elevation to the trailhead, this is still a technically and physically challenging ride. But the effort is well worth it. The views at the top of the rim overlooking castle valley are phenominal. The descent down to the Colorado river is fantastic, but will challenge your bike handling ability. The road ride back into town is only a few miles, but not a great way to end the ride, so try to leave a car at the bottom to avoid this boring stretch back into town. Otherwise, be careful as the road is narrow and dangerous due to car and RV traffic.
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10/1/2002
This is the funnest trails in Moab. The views and trail are great with lots of diversity. There''s a spectacular view after a sweet moderate climb at the top where you can overlook Castle Valley. A friend of mine commented that it is one place where you can see two totaly different ecosystems right next to each other(desert and the snow capped La Sal mountains). After you grab a few snapshots and a snack comes a GREAT downhill! If you don''t like to use your brakes much like me, this is it. There''s a little bit of everything in this section - hard pack, loose, singletrack, doubletrack, jumps, bumps, and drops. For the not so "speed dependent" rider there are easier routs around the drops. Be sure to have your camera ready at end for some action shots, there is a perfect mound of dirt right at the end of the trail to catch plenty of air off of. From novice to expert this trail is sure to bring you back evrytime.
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3/22/2002
This is my favorite Moab ride. It has it all plenty of challenge & great scenery. There's a bit of climb at first which still had some snow when we rode it recently then moderate riding along the rim with great views. Don't get too complacent as you fly down the road as there are some good drops along the way. The final section is the single track. It's hard to believe when you start it & look down to the Colorado below that you'll be able to get there at all. It's a fun ride though there are some spots where you'll have to carry your bike.
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10/1/2001
The trail has a few technical areas that require a bit of expertise but the remainder of the ride has some excellent views and areas for high speed downhill riding.
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9/1/1999
Initial climb is very taxing. View from rim is HUGE payoff! Take extra water!!! *A couple of my buddies ran out, and it became a little dangerous (dehydration = poor judgement).
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6/8/1998
Bring lots of food, a camera, tons of water, and spare bike tubes/tools. Other than that, for the upward grind, brind your aerobic fitness, and for the second half (along the Rim) bring your guts, because if you're not used to that kind of exposure, you'll need it. After the end of the ride, you'll feel as if you've accomplished something for the day, though. If you're not used to this type of riding, I can see it as being an epic ride; if you're from this region, it could be standard(?) Kudos to YOU for trying it, though. I belive it's worth it.
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Porcupine Rim Photos

Trail Information

Negro Bill Canyon Wilderness Study Area
Nearby City
Negro Bill Canyon Wilderness Study Area
Parks
USGS Rill Creek, Moab, Windows
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018