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Little Canyon Singletrack

The Little Canyon ST is 2.3 miles of fairly easy riding on slickrock and singletrack. The trail leaves the Gemini Bridges road at the Metal Masher intersection and descends to a spot near the beginning of the Gold Bar Rim trail. The vertical change is 350 feet, with top altitude 4900.

Note: Don't confuse this ride with Little Canyon Rim, which is nearby. Little Canyon Rim actually starts northbound on the Metal Masher road!

Looking south as Bruce and Gene hit Little Canyon. Photos and ride description from April 13, 2011.

Many riders will be doing this ride as part of the Magnificent 7, a 26-mile epic. It's the third segment. When you exit Arth's Corner onto Metal Masher, just continue straight onto the singletrack when you reach the Gemini Bridges Road.

From Little Canyon, you'll continue on the Gold Bar Singletrack.

A slickrock area. The route is well-marked with yellow paint marks, cairns, and logs.

For those who don't want to do the complete epic, the end of Little Canyon is a nice spot to stop and get shuttled back to the top. Just follow the loop instructions below, but meet your shuttle on Gold Bar 1/2 mile from Gemini Bridges Road. This makes a 10.8 mile cruiser that's mostly downhill. Or, you can cruise back to Moab via the Gemini Bridges road and the Old 191 paved bike path.

Derek heads southeast toward the La Sal Mountains.

You can also combine Arth's Corner and Little Canyon into a figure-8 ride of 7.3 miles with about 500 vertical feet of climbing. To do this ride, park at Gemini Bridges or near the bottom of the ST on Gold Bar. A nice variation on this figure-8 is Two Tortoise Rock as an alternative to the lower part of Gemini.

To do the smaller loop with Little Canyon only, find a spot to park on the side of Metal Masher near its intersection with Gemini Bridges Road.

The trail is mostly downhill, but there's enough climbing to keep you honest. Derek gets up to the top of a small rise.

The loop ride has an ugly 0.4 miles: The bottom of the 4x4 Gold Bar Rim has a lot of sand. I was able to ride it without stopping, but it's a bog. Then you'll hit the steepest 0.1 mile of the Gemini Bridges Road -- a hike if the 4x4s have been tearing it up. Once you get to the top of that steep spot, it's steady cranking back up the road.

Gene nears the end of Little Canyon, just before the Gold Bar Singletrack. The bailout DT used for the loop ride can be seen behind him.

Loop ride with road return:
        From parking on side of Metal Masher,
        go south to Gemini Bridges Road
0.0   Cross Gemini Rd, south on ST
        N38 35.773 W109 41.621
0.8   Cross DT N38 35.731 W109 41.006
2.0   Mag 7: keep R and begin climbing
        N38 35.724 W109 40.204
2.3  Cross Gold Bar Rim Rd N38 35.881 W109 40.143
                Begin Gold Bar ST

2.0   Loop: follow old DT along wash
        N38 35.724 W109 40.204
2.2   L on Gold Bar Rim road N38 35.830 W109 40.264
        Fight through sand and dust
2.5   L on Gemini Bridges Road  N38 35.999 W109 40.414
        Potential hike-a-bike
3.9   Back at Metal Masher fork
Getting there:  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. (For the Mag 7 ride, start here.) To start at Gemini Bridges (combining Arth's Corner), drive down the gravel road 6 miles then turn right to the Gemini Bridges parking area. To start at the Little Canyon ST, continue 1.4 miles past Gemini and turn L on the Metal Masher road and park on the shoulder.
Alternate from 191: Two miles south of the 191-313 junction, cross the railroad tracks to a dirt road. Climb a scary steep path over the skirts of the hill and follow the road 6 miles to Metal Masher.
Riding resources:
Printable one-page ride summary
GPS track file (right-click and select "Save Target as..."):
     Little Canyon ST only    Little Canyon Loop
     Area trail tracks    GPX Mag 7 as single route

Topo maps for printing:   Low Res Mag 7     Little Canyon
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Link to Moab area resources

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