Great desert views high above Moab
6.7 miles for Golden Spike proper. 20 miles for all required trails.
My GPS tracked 1650 feet ascent and 800 feet descent from the Poison Spider trail head to the start of Gold Bar Rim
Bring plenty. It can be very hot
Any. May not be passable on heavy snow years
Very rough 4x4 trail
At trail head
Its a long trip. I would pack a lunch at the very least.
Poison Spider Mesa Trail Head:38.53316 N, 109.60677 W
Golden Spike Start:38.59803 N, 109.61251 W
Golden Spike End/Gold Bar Rim Start:38.60823 N, 109.63671W
Gemini Bridges Trail Head:38.65653 N, 109.67614 W
Golden Spike is a very popular and challenging 4×4 trail in Moab. It offers great scenery the entire way. The trail is doable on ATV’s with some partner assistance. It should not be taken lightly and is not for beginning riders. You will need 4×4. UTV’s do very well with proper riding technique. Dirt Bikes also do great but you better be an experienced rider. 4×4 vehicles will need at least 35 inch tires and will need front and rear lockers. We had 3 ATV’s, 1 UTV, and 1 dirt bike. Doing this trail will require most of the day. The Golden Spike trail itself is only 6.7 miles but it is constant obstacles. Rarely will you exceed 10 mph. To do the trail also requires riding half of Poison Spider Mesa, all of Gold Bar Rim, and most of Gemini Bridges. You will need a shuttle if you don’t have street legal vehicles to get back to the trail head when you are done. All these can be found in separate treks here:
We started our trip at the Poison Spider Mesa side. The parts of Poison Spider you ride are lots of fun.
Just before the half way point of Poison Spider you will see the turn signed for Golden Spike on your left.
You will very quickly hit the first obstacle called the launchpad. This is a great spot to see if this trail is for you. Its very steep but not overly hard. See the video at the end of the trek for good views of the hill.
The next obstacle is called skyline drive. It is optional but I highly recommend it for the good views at the top. It is not as steep as the launch pad but is much longer. Once at the top you get great distant views toward Canyonlands. If you do not want to try then the rest of the trail is on the left with the right taking you up skyline drive.
If you look far below you you will see the white dashes of the trail you are about to do.
Once back to the trail you will pass the turn for where eagles dare. You will need to stay right here for golden spike. Where eagles dare has even larger obstacles. The next obstacle is called Zuki Hill. It starts with a pothole often full of water and then a technical climb. ATV’s and bikes can bypass the steepest part of the hill.
Next is a set of easier climbs.
You will then come to a T in the trail. Left is the rest of the trail. I highly recommend the short side trip to the right. It takes you to the edge of the rim with great views. This was an awesome place for lunch.
The views down into the valley are great.
You can see into arches as well!
From here it is a long set of short but some very steep ledges that will test the wheel base of ATV’s. Don’t be afraid to ask for a hand.
The last and most popular obstacle you will encounter is called the Golden Crack. This is a wide and deep crack that can really test a vehicle. Our dirt bike was able to jump right across but the others all took some finangling. Again be sure to watch the video for better detail.
From the crack it is just a short distance to where Gold Bar Rim starts which is covered in a separate Trek.
Here is a video showing our ride.