Gemini Bridges Trail
The Gemini Bridges ride is one of the more famous mountain bike routes in
Utah. It's popular with families and beginning riders. It's also popular
with the moto crowd, so be prepared to share the road with motorcycles and ATVs.
The trail isn't tricky, but it's long. Beginners can do this ride, but consider the length of the ride and the long uphill
climbs before deciding whether it's right for you.
and Dominic ride toward Gemini Bridges.
Original ride review October 15, 1999 by Bruce.
|Option: Up-and-back to the bridges.
As an out-and-back to Gemini Bridges from the highway, it's 16 miles round trip.
Total climbing is about 1500 feet, in 3 sections of 500 feet each (two on the way out, one
on the way back). This trip (with one short push-a-bike, see below) is
within the ability of most fit beginner riders.
We're about a mile into the ride,
heading up and over the first hill, looking south. The cliffs are Wingate
sandstone; the skirts are Chinle.
||There's one section of steep loose rocky dirt
above the Gold Bar turnoff. Even the toughest bikers will walk up this
one. (When you get back to this section going downhill, riders who aren't
experienced "sand surfers" should walk down also.)
From the top of the first climb, we
pause to look southeast to the La Sal Mountains, with Highway 191
following the Moab fault line down towards the Colorado.
|Option: Shuttle from the top!
Many riders -- particularly those with less leg power or "early
season endurance" will want to consider a shuttle ride. Drop-off
is at the top of the Gemini Bridges Road where it leaves Highway 313 (13
miles from 191). It's
all downhill until you hit the little hill near the end, where you'll do
about 300 vertical to get up and over to reach Highway 191. From here, you
can coast all the way back to Moab via the paved Old
191 bike path.
Dominic, and Mike cruise the road near the "Gooney
Bird." The sheer cliffs are of Wingate Sandstone. The ledge near the valley floor is the Chinle
formation. These formations date to the late Triassic to early
Jurassic Era, 200 to 170 million years ago.
||For those with some time and leg power, you can pedal to the
top of 313. Leave Moab on Old 191 and go to its end on 313 (8 miles),
pedal uphill through beautiful rock formations to the top of Gemini
Bridges road (13 miles). Do the ride (16 miles). Now coast back to Moab on
Old 191 (7 miles). Total 44 miles, but not too tough.
rides old Banana Thunder. There are constant views as you head uphill.
|The trail is a broad rocky dirt and gravel road, with some steep sections and
some slickrock. The route is
well-marked. At each fork, a sign shows you the right way. It's a
"four-wheel drive" road, but well-maintained and graded
frequently. It may be muddy after rains. If you decide to drive in, the
upper road from 313 is smoother and easier to drive than the lower half
As you approach the bridges, the road forks into a small
loop. There are a couple of viewpoints, then a 1/4 mile hiking trail that
takes you to the arches. GPS N 38° 35.123' W
109° 42.456'. A bike rack is provided for cycle parking.
Looking at the arches from one of the
viewpoints as you approach the parking area.
|| The downhill run is fast. If you've got time and leg power,
you can consider scenic side trips into Bull Canyon or around
Rock. If you're up to a little singletrack, consider Arth's
Corner, Great Escape, and Little Canyon ST as
alternatives to descending the Gemini Bridges road. These trails can be
done by good beginning riders.
Dominic rolls down an
area where the road is on open rock. That's about as "technical"
as this ride gets.
|Getting there: Drive north from Moab on US
191 about 7 miles north of the Colorado River (22
of I-70). Spot the parking area on the west (right as you
head toward Moab) side of the road. GPS N 38° 39.381' W 109° 40.672'. Park in front of
the railroad tracks, and head out west on the road. As of 2009, a $5 fee is
required to park here (it's private land). But you can park across the
road at the Bar M lot and ride back.
By bike from Moab: Pedal 7 miles up the Old
191 bike path. For the out-and-back, turn off at the Gemini Bridges
road. For a big loop, go another mile up Old 191 then 13 miles on highway
313 to the top of Gemini Bridges.
Camping: Primitive, in designated sites along Gemini Bridges road
Copyright 1999 Mad Scientist Software Inc