||Gold Bar Singletrack
The Gold Bar ST is a nice but steepish climb up tilted slickrock. It's
a good ride all by itself, although only about 2 miles. Then the trail joins the Gold
Bar 4x4 route, which is considerably less fun. The combined route is
3.8 miles with 900 vertical feet elevation change; about 1100 feet of
climbing. Top altitude is 5400 feet.
Gene turns away from the slickrock
ledge above the Gold Bar Rim jeep road. Photos and ride description from a
4/13/2011 visit. Latest update June 2020.
|The Gold Bar ST is the 4th segment of the Magnificent 7 epic
trail. As of 2020, the Gold Bar singletrack forks away from the Little Canyon ST
just after the Great Escape trail fork. From
here, it drops through the Little Canyon wash then crosses the Gold Bar Rim jeep
road before beginning a long grunt up to the rim.
At the trail fork where Gold Bar begins on the Little
Canyon ST. The left fork is Little Canyon, which heads out to the Gemini
Bridges road on Little Canyon. Right starts the Gold
Bar ST for the Mag 7 ride.
||If you're doing Gold Bar as a stand-alone ride, it's best to
drive about 1/2 mile up the Gold Bar 4x4 route and find the small parking
spot at the road fork with Two Tortoise Rock. From there, it's about 1/10th mile of pedaling uphill
to catch the Gold Bar ST where it crosses the 4x4 route.
along the edge of Little Canyon before crossing the Gold Bar 4x4 route.
Note that this section of trail was formerly part of the Little Canyon
trail but now it's part of Gold Bar.
|The Gold Bar singletrack is almost entirely slickrock. There's some dirt riding as the trail crosses the Little Canyon wash area. It's
a very strenuous ride aerobically and requires a bit of muscle strength to
power up the steeps. I'd recommend it only for strong upper-intermediates.
Gene puts some vertical behind him as
he follows the paint splotches up the tilted slickrock.
||The trail is fairly straight-forward once you begin climbing. There are
occasional technical features, one or two of which may get you off your
bike. But mostly, it's just climbing uphill while admiring the views.
Derek and Gene continue uphill. It
will be further than it looks.
|When you reach the closed area (this part of the old Blue Dot route is
illegal), the trail begins a rough descent to the south. It joins the Gold
Bar 4x4 route near Gold Bar Canyon. Enjoy the views and begin a stiff
At the Gold Bar Overlook, the Blue Dot route continues as the Gold
Bar Rim slickrock route.
Looking northeast as the trail skirts
the edge of a draw.
The northeast section of the Blue Dot trail is closed to
protect bighorn sheep. The closed area is plainly marked with a sign and
stenciled notices on the rock. Stay on the official route.
Don't be that guy.
Special Note for the Humor Impaired: This photo was
staged. We didn't ride on Blue Dot. While the portion of
the Blue Dot trail along the rim between the viewpoint and the north end
of Poison Spider is now a legal route (October 2015), the Blue Dot
trail that bypasses the upper Gold Bar 4x4 route is NOT.
|The Gold Bar 4x4 road has some big ledges and significant
tech challenges. Keep cranking. Near the top, you'll pass the Golden Spike
connector on your right. If you're doing the classic Mag 7, note this spot. You'll come back to it after
visiting the viewpoint above the cliffs.
Gene grunts out the last 100 feet
before the cliffs. We've done 1000 feet of climbing to get here.
||The views from the rim are impressive. You can see all the
way to the Book Cliffs on the north, and to the end of Spanish Valley on
The techy Rim singletrack
begins just a few feet away from the viewpoint. If you're doing Golden Spike,
drop down about 100 feet and veer left southbound. Note that you can
follow Golden Spike to Rusty Nail for a loop
ride. If you're dropping back down via Gold Bar, drop rightward off
the rock and keep heading down.
Looking north at slopes of Moenkopi
below Wingate cliffs.
|My track file continues down the Gold Bar Rim road. But it
would probably be more fun to fork R on the Gold Bar ST at mile 5.3 for a
pure out-and-back, and return via the singletrack.
We made a loop out of the first half of the Mag 7. We hit
Bull Run, Arth's, Little
Canyon, and Gold Bar ST, then descended Gold Bar road to
Gemini Road and cranked back to 313. It's probably more work than riding
the whole Mag 7, but we didn't have a shuttle. Distance 27.5 miles,
vertical 3500. If you want to do it, combine the Magnificent7 and
GoldBarGemini tracks from the area GPX file.
Gene and Derek at the top.
|Clockwise loop w Gold Bar:
Suggest drive into Gold Bar 0.4
near wash just before road
Bike up 0.1 miles and find ST
0.0 Northeast uphill on ST, leave Gold Bar jeep road
N38 35.881 W109 40.143
1.1 Stay L. Alternate track on R
N38 36.543 W109 39.961
1.5 Alternate rejoins N38 36.682 W109 39.698
2.0 Straight (R), L=closed area
N38 36.635 W109 39.295
Descend toward Gold Bar
2.3 Join Gold Bar rd, fork L
N38 36.419 W109 39.233
|3.7 Keep R (L=return from closed
N38 36.817 W109 38.562
3.8 Straight (L) to viewpoint (R=Golden Spike)
N38 36.849 W109 38.525
3.8 Viewpoint, backtrack downhill
3.9 Mag 7: L on Golden Spike
Loop ride: descend Gold Bar
5.3 Pass ST connector (option: fork R)
6.0 Keep R (L=return from Rusty Nail)
N38 36.097 W109 39.346
7.0 At singletrack crossing (see 0.0)
7.2 Stay on main road (L=primitive camp)
7.5 At Gemini Bridges Road
||Getting there, Magnificent 7:
From I-70 and Crescent Junction, drive south on US-191 for 20 miles (about
9 miles north of the Colorado River if you're driving out from Moab) to
Highway 313. Drive 13 miles on 313 to the Gemini Bridges sign and turn L
onto dirt road. Find a spot to park if you're doing the Mag 7.
Gold Bar 4x4 road for loop: From I-70 drive south on US-191 for 22
miles (about 7 miles north of Moab). 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'. Drive up the Gemini Bridges road about 4 miles, and fork
L toward Gold Bar Rim and drive along the wash 0.4 miles. You can park
near the wash at N38 35.849 W109 40.304. Begin riding up the hill. Within
0.1 mile, you should spot a singletrack crossing the road. Fork left to
start the Gold Bar ST.