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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.

Pedaling 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 climb.

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 south.

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 miles. Park
        near wash just before road starts climbing.
        Bike up 0.1 miles and find ST on L
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 area)
        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 road
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.
Riding resources:
Printable one-page ride summary
GPS track file (right-click and select "Save Target as..."):
     Gold Bar ST to Rim only  
     Area trail tracks    GPX Mag 7 as single route 
Topo maps for printing:   Low Res Mag 7   High-Res Gold Bar
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Link to Moab area resources

Copyright 2011 Mad Scientist Software, Inc
latest update 2020