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Isisrider
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We just returned from Moab last weekend, and talked about doing this ride, but were told by some locals that it was about a six hour ride and to bring a sleeping bag. We have rode Gold bar and over part of the Golden Spike trail. We have also done poison spider to portal, but we have never connected the two. What is it like?? Is the spike trail marked all the way over?

thanks for your help.
 

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Not too Bad

A year ago I proposed to some friends that we ride from Gemini Bridges to Poison Spider via the Gold Bar Rim. It was a long, tiring ride, but was reasonably fun. We dropped from the road from above gemini and then down to the junction with Gold Bar Rim. The trail was well marked from all the jeeps that go through there, but the trail drops far away from the rim and then climbs back up at least 3 times, so you burn a lot of energy for not a lot of mileage. We never did that ride again, but it was a good way to see that whole area. I would say six hours is a good estimate for a reasonable pace going that route. Do it on a cool day as there are numerous extended climbs on open slickrock with the typical amount of shade you get in Moab (less than none).
 

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Gold Bar to Portal

We do that ride every Spring and Fall. At our slow pace it takes us 4 - 5 hrs depending on how often we stop to take in the views. It is a strenuous ride that has us in our granny gear on many of the slickrock climbs. It's pretty well marked however there are a few places that you could miss a turn and add time getting lost. The ride is best done as a shuttle so decide if you want to leave a car at the end or ride the extra 5 miles into town.
 

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GoldenSpike to Portal is a blast!

Just rode this the past weekend for the first time. Agree with the other post here, good climbs and 5 hours to do the ride from Gemini lot to JayCee CG via the Portal. The GoldBar/Spike trails are all very well marked. Lots of slickrock climbs (HOT!) with lots of jeeps. Not usually a fan of big wide trails, but this had some cool spots to play, and the jeeps were hitting some cool stuff too!

The highlight of this trail is the connector to the Portal Trail from Gold Spike. It's not very well marked, but if you can find it (Thanks to the Chili Pepper crew!!) it's great fun single track along the rim!! Then of course, the downhill on the Portal trail itself cannot be beat!
 

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It's long, bring water, GPS, maps, better yet, bring two...

I've done that ride twice and it was awesome. I almost spent the night on Poison Spider Mesa b/c the first time we opted to skip the Portal. I missed the hard left in the ascent to the top of Gold Bar Rim. If you are doing that climb don't start downhill until you have looked over the eastern edge of Moab Rim.

Having someone who's been once is a good idea. Otherwise, plan on extra time for navigation. The route to the start of the Portal Trail is not direct. You end up "tacking" in a zig-zag up and down the sandstone ridges until, blamo, your at the edge of the Portal Trail. Be ready for classic Moab drops, sand traps and Epic views.

Lavaman
 

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contains quinine
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I did it as a shuttle last year. Some wise sage left a cooler full of beer in the car at the bottom of Portal, which made the waiting for car retrieval that much better!
 

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MGDs...nice. Had one at just about the same exact spot 10 days ago.
Look up the wall to the West there above the bathroom and on the wall is a giant hand giving you the finger.
It's pretty cool.
I also heard about the singletrack connector from another group that was with us and did an out and back addition off the standard Poisin Spider/Portal loop.
They also said that it was reasonably easy to find and stellar.
 

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Chilling out
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Gemeni -> Gold Bar -> Golden Spike -> Portal

Good combo, imho.

Just got back a week ago today, that was one of my fav rides of the vaca.

We had one guy who was recovering from food poisioning (we think) from a couple days prior, so he did only the Gemeni section and that worked out well. The rest of us did the balance, and it was a 6+ hour day out.

Packed some nicely small packaged Glenfiddich for a couple special stops along the way.

:D
 
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