Overview

This popular but strenuous mountain bike and 4x4 route climbs high above Moab to a pair of majestic natural stone arches known as Gemini Bridges. Over the course of 8 miles, the trail climbs more than 1,000 feet before arriving at the twin spans that tower over Buck Canyon. A short 300 yard hike leads to the arches, which are seen from above. This trail is popular with a variety of users, including mountain bikers, ATV riders, jeeps and other 4x4 vehicles. While the trail is beginner to lower intermediate in technical mountain biking difficulty, the long distance and strenuous climb may make it unsuitable for beginners or anyone that is not in excellent physical condition.

Hikers with a capable 4WD vehicle can drive the Gemini Bridges Road to the Gemini Bridges Hike and walk 300 yards one-way to see the bridges. Good 4WD driving skills are required to access the bridges from the bottom of the road near Highway 191. Less skilled drivers can also easily access the bridges by only driving the upper section from Highway 313 down to the parking area to hike to the bridges.

Trailhead

The Gemini Bridges Trail begins near Highway 191 north of Moab. To reach the trailhead from Moab, UT:

  1. Drive north on Hwy 191 for 9.4 miles.
  2. Turn left at the signed junction for Gemini Bridges.
  3. Turn immediately right into the Gemini Bridges parking area.

The Gemini Bridges Road can also be accessed from the top at it’s junction with Highway 313 near Canyonlands National Park.

The Route

From the parking area near 191, begin riding on the south-trending dirt road adjacent to the highway. After a short distance, the trail turns west and begins climbing steeply up the slope ahead. From below, it looks improbable that a road could possibly penetrate the towering cliffs above. Continue climbing through several steep, rocky sections as the road climbs quickly over the landscape below. At times the road is very narrow, with a sheer drop on one side and vertical cliffs on the other. Use caution and be courteous to other trail users who may need to pass.

After approximately 2 miles and 500 feet of climbing, the trail turns south and descends into Little Canyon. As you continue, the walls of Little Canyon close in and the scenery continues to amaze. As you gaze up at the soaring walls above you, you may wonder who would name such a grand and majestic place “Little Canyon.” Soon a junction is encountered on the left for Bride Canyon. This canyon has 5 designated campsites for those looking to spend the night. If doing so, be sure to pack everything you need, including a portable toilet if you plan to stay in one of the sites. All camping on the Gemini Bridges Road is first-come, first-served and is only allowed in designated sites.

Keep going past Bride Canyon to the base of a steep hill. The road splits here – to the left is the Gold Bar Rim Trail, but you’ll turn right and climb the hill that continue on to Gemini Bridges. As you climb, look back the way you came to see a unique stone tower known as Gooney Bird Rock. From here it’s another strenuous climb of about 500 feet before reaching the parking area for the Gemini Bridges Hike. The road is a mix of sand, gravel and solid rock with several steep, rough sections.

After approximately 8 miles, turn left at the signed junction for Gemini Bridges. A short spur road leads to a parking area including a designated area for parking mountain bikes. An easy 300 yard hiking trail leads to the top of the Gemini Bridges, which are seen from above. Be careful as you walk around the bridges. Only a small crack separates the two massive stone spans.

When you are done, ride back the way you came. It’s a fast ride downhill with the exception of another 500 foot climb back through Little Canyon before the final descent to Highway 191.

Rules & Regulations

  • Clean up after pets.
  • Pack out all trash.
  • Stay on designated trails.

Special Considerations

Mountain biking can be a dangerous activity. Ensure your equipment is properly maintained and appropriate for the terrain. Be sure to wear appropriate safety gear including a helmet.

Credits

This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.