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Deadman's Ridge Trail

Deadman's Ridge is a expert-level trail in the Brand Trails complex north of Moab. It connects the southern end of the Lazy-EZ loop to the northern end of the Bar B loop. From there, it connects to the Longbranch, then descends to the Old 191 paved trail.

Looking northwest near the north end of Deadman's Ridge. Photos and description from a ride on 3/23/2011 by Bruce. 

The trail is 3.4 miles in length. It will climb from 4200 feet elevation at the Bar B to 4500 feet, with a lot of short ups and downs along its length. It descends to Old 191 at 4100 feet elevation.

The trail is considerably more technical than Lazy-EZ.

Deadman's Ridge can be done by riders with upper intermediate technical skills. Even experts may not be able to clean everything. There are short cruiser sections. But much of the trail is butt-off-the-seat attack or descent.

The trail is lined with rock in many spots, probably an attempt to keep the riding line narrow. This does make the riding a little harder.

To reach Deadman's Ridge, start from the lower parking area. (Go past the first parking area, turn left when you reach the fence, then park in the gravel lot at the bottom of the little valley.)  Head east (continuing the same direction you drove in). 

Southbound, the Wingate sandstone cliffs tower over the ridge.

After 1/4 mile, just as you begin to climb the ridge, turn right on the Lazy-EZ loop trail. At the fork 0.1 miles later, take EZ (the right fork) southbound until it hits the Bar M doubletrack. The Deadman's Ridge trail is right across Bar M from the bottom of Lazy-EZ.

In the middle of the photo is the highway. The dark slash on the small hill is the paved bike trail heading up toward the Bar M parking and Gemini Bridges.

The initial segment 1.7 miles in length, where a short (1/10 mile) connector joins the western half of the Bar B loop shortly after Bar B starts at the south end of the Bar M loop. 

The trail gets more technical as you head south.

To do the Bar B, fork left off Deadman's Ridge, then fork right at the next trail fork to head southbound on the Bar B loop. If you're heading directly for Rockin A or the Bar M, fork left at this second intersection.

To continue on Deadman's Ridge, fork right (south).

The trail here is directly up the ramp in the middle of the photo.

Alternate route! To start at the midpoint of Deadman's Ridge:
From the southern tip of the Bar M loop, go south to the Bar B loop split and turn right to begin climbing the hill. As you reach the trail fork, keep right at the first intersection to leave Bar B. At the next intersection, go right for northbound Deadman's or left for southbound Deadman's.
From the Rockin A, just cross the eastern leg of Bar B and climb up to the trail fork as above.

Further south along the trail, we're looking across to the Wingate sandstone cliffs. The mid-section is Chinle, and the bottom cliff-line is Moenkopi.

The next segment of Deadman's is 1/2 mile where another connector forks to the western side of the Bar B loop, about 100 yards away. Keep right to continue on Deadman's Ridge.

Bumping along the trail, near the second connector to Bar B.

After another half mile (mile 2.7 of Deadman's Ridge), keep right at another trail fork on a ridgeline. Left goes to Longbranch. Longbranch is a one-mile technical trail that joins the southern end of the Bar B loop near Killer B.

Ah, winter riding. On sunny days, go early in the morning before the sun melts the muddy spots.

At the Longbranch junction, consider riding Longbranch to Bar B, then return northbound on the western side of the Bar B. When you reach the connector to Deadman's, fork left and ride the section of Deadman's again. This makes a nice loop to extend your miles.

We're poised on the edge of the ridge, ready to begin the drop down to Old 191.

Shortly after the Longbranch fork, Deadman's Ridge begins a curving descent down to Old 191 at mile 3.4. The descent is non-technical for the most part. And it's fairly easy to climb back up if you want to go back up to Longbranch.

Deadman's Ridge descends to meet the paved Old 191 bike path.

To head back to town, fork left downhill on Old 191. For more Brand Trails fun, climb Sidewinder Bar M back uphill. You'll find connectors on the west side of Old 191 0.2 miles uphill and at 0.4 miles downhill from the end of Deadman's Ridge. Of course, you can always turn around and climb back up Deadman's Ridge.

It's about 0.6 miles on Old 191 to reach the south end of the Bar M loop. The grade is mellow with total climbing less than 100 vertical feet.

Looking uphill just after joining Old 191.

Sample ride, Deadman's Eight (figure 8):
0.0  East on DT from parking (lower lot!)
       N38 39.107 W109 40.110
0.2  R on ST (Lazy-EZ Loop)
       N38 39.188 W109 39.990
0.3  R on EZ N38 39.165 W109 39.853
1.5  L to stay on EZ N38 38.517 W109 39.400
1.6  R on Deadman's N38 38.574 W109 39.280
3.3  R to stay on Deadman's N38 38.255 W109 38.671
3.8  Stay straight (R) N38 38.072 W109 38.586
4.3  Stay R N38 37.845 W109 38.612
       (L = Longbranch)
5.0  R on Old 191 N38 38.036 W109 38.905
5.2  Option: connect to Sidewinder Bar M
5.6  R at kiosk, take DT east
       N38 38.414 W109 39.461
5.8  L on Lazy N38 38.573 W109 39.280
7.4  Fork R  N38 39.165 W109 39.853
7.5  L on DT N38 39.188 W109 39.990
7.6  Back at parking
Getting there:  From the north, exit I-70 at Crescent Junction and drive south on US-191 for 22 miles. From Moab, drive 7 miles north from the Colorado River on 191. When you see the Gemini Bridges parking area, look for a gravel road on the opposite side (east, away from the cliffs). Turn onto the gravel road and immediately go right. Drive past the first parking lot. (This is restaurant parking or fee parking GPS N 38 39.38' W 109 40.66'.) As you approach the fence and kiosk at the paved trail, turn left and drive 1/4 mile to the gravel parking lot in the bottom of the valley N38 39.107 W109 40.110.
Alternate: From Moab, ride the Old Highway 191 (paved trail) until you reach the Bar M sign and kiosk. Turn left and follow the broad dirt trail, which is the southern end of the Bar M trail.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   GPX all Moab Brand area trails 
   Deadman's only    Deadman's Figure 8 as above
High-res topo for printing (500 KB):   View
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to Moab area resources