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Porcupine Singletrack
These trails are also part of The Whole Enchilada ride.

The Porcupine Singletrack runs along the edge of Porcupine Rim through a region of brush and pinion pine. It's higher on the mountain than the more famous Porcupine Rim trail. Both of the rides we describe here use part of the Porcupine Rim trail.

Note: 2017 La Sal Loop road closure information

View down the Porcupine Rim from the Kokopelli. September 3, 2007.

(1) Shuttled Downhill:  Kokopelli trail (or a longer fun route on singletrack Jimmy Keen) to the Porcupine Singletrack, then down the last 11 miles of Porcupine Rim.
(2) Loop:  From the Porcupine Rim trailhead, go up Sand Flats Road to one of three possible intersections of the Porcupine Singletrack, descend the ST then go the "wrong way" on the first 4 miles of Porcupine Rim to close the loop.

The Porcupine Singletrack is a nice combination of twisting singletrack, open rock, and small challenges. It's pretty straightforward to ride downhill. We did it uphill as well, and found it a significantly-harder challenge both in riding and following the trail as we hit open rock areas.

Upper Kokopelli Trail, shortly after leaving the La Sal Loop Road for the shuttled downhill version of the ride.

For a shuttled downhill ride, intersect the Kokopelli trail on the La Sal Loop Road. (It's right across from the downhill end of the Hazard County trail.) The Upper Porcupine Singletrack is found about half-way down, just after passing over a cattleguard in a fence. The singletrack is on the right heading uphill. [Note: In the past, the UPS was considered an "outlaw trail. As of April 2009, the UPS is now legal.]

Follow the singletrack down. If you're confused as you reach open-rock area, just keep to the right and north as you descend the steepest side of the rock. When the trail hits an open area at the rim with a doubletrack, cross to the ST on the other side. The DT is a bailout route to the Sand Flats Road. At the next ST trail fork, go right (left takes you to Sand Flats Road by the cattleguard). A bit later, cross the big gulley by dropping to your right off the cliff. (Yeah, go ahead and ride it. I'll watch.)

The singletrack ends on the Castle Valley overlook of the Porcupine Rim trail. You'll know the spot -- there's a broad area of rock right on the cliff edge, with a doubletrack skirting it on the downhill (south) side.

From the overlook, head to the right and slightly uphill. Follow the Porcupine Rim trail for the next 11 miles.

On the lower Kokopelli, Mike navigates through a slickrock area.

The loop ride uses the Sand Flats road to get you to the top of the Porcupine Singletrack. If there's no parking at the Porcupine Rim trailhead, go on up the Sand Flats road and find another spot. There are three opportunities to catch the singletrack, depending on the length of ride you want. See the map.

(1) Shortest ride. As you head uphill on Sand Flats Road, find the singletrack on your left just before a cattleguard on the road. Fork left at the trail fork 1/2 mile later. 

(2) Funner, longer. Continue past the first trailhead, another mile up Sand Flats Road. Turn into the doubletrack on your left as the road turns hard right. The DT takes you through a camping area. Proceed to the rim and find the ST on the left at the overlook. (3) Whole UPS. Continue on Sand Flats until the doubletrack Kokopelli Trail forks left uphill. Follow the Kokopelli uphill until you reach ST on your left, about 100 yards before a fence that crosses the Kokopelli.

Dominic rolls out of the Kokopelli as it reaches Sand Flats Road.

Loop ride, counterclockwise from Porcupine Rim Trailhead
0.0    Start up Sand Flats Road
         N38 34.906 W109 25.014
3.8    Cattle guard, first access is ST on L (fork L in 1/2 mile)
         N38 34.709 W109 21.510
4.1    DT on L, access #2 at end of DT (3/4 mi @ N38 34.529 W109 20.767) 
         N38 34.428 W109 21.351
5.1    Kokopelli Trail on L, go uphill
         N38 33.880 W109 21.114
6.5    Upper Porcupine Singletrack forks L uphill
         N38 33.706 W109 19.649
8.2    Overlook at DT, cross to ST
         N38 34.529 W109 20.767
9.1    R at ST fork (L=Sand Flats Rd)
         N38 34.842 W109 21.453
         Hike through Big Dip
10.9  At Porcupine Rim overlook
         N38 35.656 W109 22.637
.        South (left) on Porcupine Rim DT
14.0    Back at Porcupine Rim TH

Mike rocks along the Porcupine Singletrack.

The Porcupine Singletrack has a lot of quick turns and fun but not-too-hard rock drops. It will remind you of Gooseberry Mesa. Here Mike hits a bit of rock.

Downhill, starting with Kokopelli, ending at Colorado River
(Shuttled ride)

0.0    Left off  La Sal Road onto DT
         N38 32.545 W109 18.736
1.8   Through fence over hiking cattleguard
        N38 33.652 W109 19.599
1.9   Upper Porcupine Singletrack forks R
         N38 33.706 W109 19.649
Fork R for UPS option, L for Kokopelli Options

UPS (Upper Porcupine Singletrack) Option
         Fork R on UPS at mile 1.9
3.7   Overlook at DT, cross to ST
         N38 34.529 W109 20.767
4.6    R at ST fork (L=Sand Flats Rd)
         N38 34.842 W109 21.453


All options now converge on same ST fork. See below

Kokopelli Options
         Stay on Kokopelli at 1.9
3.3    Sand Flats Rd, fork R uphill
         N38 33.880 W109 21.114
Sand Flats Road Option 1
4.3   Fork R on DT
         N38 34.428 W109 21.351
4.9   At overlook, find ST on L
         N38 34.529 W109 20.767
5.8   R at ST fork (Add 1 mile)
Porcupine Singletrack
         N38 34.842 W109 21.453
Sand Flats Road Option 2
4.3    Stay L on Sand Flats Road
         N38 34.428 W109 21.351
4.6    Cross cattleguard, R on ST
         N38 34.709 W109 21.510
4.8    L at ST fork onto LPS
Porcupine Singetrack
         N38 34.842 W109 21.453

...From the T intersection of Lower Porcupine ST
   (mileage assumes UPS route)
Lower Portion, Porcupine Singletrack
4.6    From ST fork proceed northwest
          (L if coming from cattleguard, R if on LPS)
          Hike down Big Dip
6.3   At Porcupine Rim overlook
         N38 35.656 W109 22.637
.        West (right) on Porcupine Rim DT
         Follow Porcupine Rim down
17.4  At highway

Chad drops down some open rock to grab some more twisting singletrack.

Getting there, loop ride from Porcupine Rim trailhead: The Porcupine Rim Trail begins on the Sand Flats Road, reached by turning left off Moab's main drag onto 300 South, then right when the road ends, then second left. From the entry gate, drive 7 miles. The trailhead is on the left, near the small cattle-watering tanks.
Shuttle ride from La Sal Loop Road:
Leave your shuttle car in Moab, or at the Negro Bill Canyon parking area on highway 128 north of Moab. On Moab's Main Street, head south on US-191. Zero your odometer at Center Street Center Street and drive 8.2 miles. Turn left toward Ken's Lake - La Sal Loop Road. At the T intersection 1/2 mile later, turn right. Climb uphill on the paved La Sal Loop Road. Around mile 25, watch for a doubletrack on the left with a sign "Kokopelli Trail." Start your ride downhill here.
Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guides:  Loop Ride   DH Shuttled Ride
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
    Garmin       GPX
Large-format topo map (loop, 1.1 MB): View map
Lodging, camping, shops:
      Links to Moab area resources

Copyright 2007 Mad Scientist Software Inc