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Poison Spider Mesa 4x4 Trail, Moab, UT

Unforgettable stunning scenery over very difficult terrain
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 11.3 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview:  This is one of the most popular trails in Moab and is often combined with Golden Spike and Gold Bar Rim. (Both available as FunTreks... more »

Tips:  Allow half day minimum. Will likely take longer, if only to gawk at the incredible scenery. Take plenty of drinking water especially... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start of Trail

Start of trail is well marked with large parking lot and vault toilet. Soon after leaving parking area, you’ll bear right and climb rocky switchbacks to top of mesa.

2. The Waterfall

After stretch of easy trail, you enter narrow, sandy canyon and encounter the first big obstacle called “The Waterfall.” Carefully choose a line to avoid tipping over. We go up the right side.

3. The V Notch

Also called the Wedgy, this obstacle is easier than it looks if you stay centered down the middle. For extra thrills, drop a tire into the bottom and see what happens (can you say rollover?). This obstacle can also be entirely bypassed on the left side. Some incredible views follow. Watch for lots of hikers, mountain bikers and dirt bikers.

4. Drop Down Big Ledge

After a long flat stretch across “High Speed Mesa,” you’ll return to slickrock and drop down a big ledge on the right. Left is a bypass.

5. Start of Golden Spike Trail

You’ll climb a ledge up onto a slickrock fin and swing left. Stretched out in front of you is the famous Golden Spike Trail. To continue on Poison Spider, bear right down the other side of the slickrock.

6. Start of Loop

The trail is nearly invisible at this point. Look for Jeep symbols painted on the rock. Follow tracklog left to drive loop in clockwise direction. Right goes direct to Little Arch, which you’ll see later as you complete the loop.

7. Sand Hills

Cross small area of fun sand dunes. Make sure to stay clear of cryptobiotic crust and desert wildflowers.

8. Official End of Poison Spider

To reach the overlook at the end of Poison Spider, you’ll head northeast from the loop up a series of small ledges. Great views looking down on Moab. When done, return to loop and turn left.

9. Another Overlook

Take another side trip from loop to another overlook, then return to loop and continue south.

10. Little Arch

Trail curves downhill as it passes to the west of Little Arch. You have to walk east a short distance to see the arch. After stopping to see arch, you’ll drop down a steep section and head west back to start of loop. From here, return the way you came. Many people continue north on Golden Spike Trail.