gold bar w/out a shuttle- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    gold bar w/out a shuttle

    Rode Gold Bar for the first time this weekend, as part of the Mag7->GB->Portal shuttle/ride. Thought it was awesome.

    Any options for doing the Gold Bar (and ideally Portal) as part of some loop w/out a shuttle? ( or 30+ miles of pavement? )

    I'm not really seeing it. Obviously you can ride up Poison Spider and that gets you to the Portal side ... but GB sure seems like it was meant to flow North->South.

  2. #2
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    Up Poison Spider-Golden Spike Jeep trail/Gold Bar Rim Jeep Trail-Blue Dot-Portal.

  3. #3
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    Another option that features some pavement but nowhere close to 30 miles is to park at the Lions Park area (Rts 191 and 128) north of Moab, go up the bike path past Arches NP, go up the bottom of Gemini Bridges Rd (about 5 miles of Dirt/Sand), do Gold Bar Rim Singletrack & Portal, then take 279 back to your vehicle.

  4. #4
    Thin Man on a Fat bike
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    [QUOTE=11053;11856728]Up Poison Spider-Golden Spike Jeep trail/Gold Bar Rim Jeep Trail-Blue Dot-Portal

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^^^
    With a whole lotta water

  5. #5
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    cool. thats about what I guessed. I forgot about the sort of "standard" route up Gemini. How annoying is that climb? Its much more dirt/sand than rock down low ... and busy with jeep/car/moto traffic on the weekends, right?

    Anyone have stats on those 2 versions (length, elev) before I go about messing around in mapmyride or something?

  6. #6
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    I don't have stats. Once you get into the flatter part of Little Canyon, it gets a bit sandy with the worst sand just before the start up the Gold Bar jeep road. Not that bad, though. I got through it all about a week ago. Can you get dusted by motorized traffic? Yes, but I guess it comes down to timing. Some weekends will see quite a bit of traffic.

  7. #7
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    I consider the pedal up the Gemini Road to the turn off for Gold Bar/Blue Dot to be fairly easy. The traction/dirt/rock on the initial climb is pretty good and the steep part is over quicker than you'd think when first looking at it. The pedaling on the sandy flats is ok too, although it will be a litter box near the end. Positive attitude and a willingness to walk a bit in the last mile or so will limit frustration and spare your quads. Overall it really isn't bad. Depending on your start time, expect some ATV/Jeep traffic. The pedal along the bike path from Lions Park feels long but it goes quick and doesn't take a ton of effort.

    The route I described up Poison Spider will be SIGNIFICANTLY harder. Be prepared for sand traps, steep sections, and the opportunity to get "lost" on the approach to the upper jeep trails. If you opt for this loop, it is best to follow the main jeep routes on Poison Spider and Gold Bar/Golden if you aren't VERY familiar with the approach. Follow the largest rubber and oil stains.

    I recommended the Poison Spider approach because I did not detect an enthusiasm for pavement in your request.

  8. #8
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    We rode from the top of Gemini Road, Mag 7, Gold Bar, Portal just last week, great ride, very technical across the top. About 30 miles back into town.
    It may be worth it trying to hitch a ride to the top if you don't want to spring for a shuttle. Seems like plenty of trucks heading up towards Dead Horse.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  9. #9
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    11053, thanks for the extra info. I just didn't want a ton of pavement - sounds like the Gemini route is pretty logical. I'll make sure to properly prepare if I ever go for the harder PS route as you suggest. ( I looked at that on the map, and it was clear it was going to be long/complex and interesting

    cbrossman: Thanks, but I wasn't trying to avoid shuttles for $$$ sake alone ... sort of feel they are asthetically less pleasing to a real ride under your own power for the whole loop. But point taken.

  10. #10
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    Up the highway to 7-up > Mag 7 > Blue Dot > Portal. 7-up can be sandy but would think this time of year it is in pretty good shape.

  11. #11
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    Rode mag7 to portal 2 weeks ago and had a question. I was following blue dot for a while but ended up on a trail marked with yellow stripes, decently technical(fun) and seemed to parallel the cliffs, eventually running into portal. Any idea what trail this was?

    Also, portal was probably the most fun I've had on a bike. Fastest way to shuttle this trail? I'm assuming parking at the base of gold bar?

  12. #12
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    pretty sure the old illegal "blue dot" has been morphed into the new "gold bar" ( ie: yellow stripe ). Generally the blue dot route (when it differed from the bold bar) seemed to have more tech features ( bigger more committing rollovers/drops ). There is some info that suggests portions of the old blue dot are still illegal - but I have to think its not along the rim ... because the two trails are basically side by side/overlapping. Something about the bighorn sheep....they've probably all run up there trying to escape the jeepers.

    there are a ton of posts about it, search blue dot and you'll find them.

  13. #13
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    Without a shuttle: park on Potash road near start of Poison Spider. Ride Potash to Long Canyon road. Up this to 313, then down Mag 7, up to Gold Bar rim and across. Finally down Poison Spider.

    This route is for those pedal spinners out there not averse to some jeep road climbing. But eliminating shuttles usually comes in exchange of uphilling.

  14. #14
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    nifty - go the "wrong" way on Potash. i'll have to figure the mileage on that one ... looks cool tho' ( as far as abusive/long rides with a big payoff go ) How's that Long Canyon road, sandy, rocky or not too bad?

  15. #15
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    RE: Long Canyon- not too bad in my experience...but steep.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  16. #16
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    Long canyon has a bit of sand at the beginning and some more near the top, it's just a jeep road otherwise, most of the grind is at the back of the canyon , definitely more scenic than the bike path.

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