Golden Spike

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4.9/5 (11 reviews)
Moab, Utah (Grand County)
Last Updated: 04/09/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

Desert Category Icon Desert
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Rock Category Icon Rock
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Easly one of the most famous off-road trails in the United States, if not the world. Golden Spike, home of the famous Golden Crack obstacle, is at the top of people's favorite trails in Moab, Utah. Full of amazing scenery, challenging obstacles, and even better stories, this trail is the perfect receipt to make any 4x4 trip legendary. You can easily say that this trail is one of those trails that offers it all. The trail has slickrock, fins, sand, narrow scenic canyons, waterfalls, ledges, long steep hills, amazing overlooks & viewpoints, wild obstacles, and sometimes standing water. If you are lucky, you might even see Golden Eagles soaring high above or catch a glimpse of a natural arch. So whether this is your first time in Moab or you are a seasoned vet, if you haven't done Golden Spike yet, this trail needs to be put at the top of your list to see why most people call this the best trail in Moab.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Golden Spike comprises a combination of trail surfaces from dirt to sand to slick rock; this trail will provide you with a wide variety to keep things interesting. The trail does have moments of reprieve on the sections south of Golden Crack, as where from Golden Crack to the Gold Bar Rim Trailhead is one obstacle after another. There are seven named obstacles along the route: Launch Pad, Skyline Drive, Zuki Hill, Golden Crack, Golden Stairs, Double-Whammy, and Body Snatcher. Best suited for lightly to heavily modified vehicles. Golden Spike also connects to Where Eagles Dare and Rusty Nail. Getting there: According to how you think about time on the trail, the good or the bad news is that the trail is out in the middle of other trails, meaning there is no fast way to either trailhead. You can come in from Poison Spider or, on the other side Gemini Bridges. Either way, you will spend an hour or two getting to the trail and need that hour or two to get off the trail.

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (11)
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700
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/16/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great trail! Give yourself plenty of time as it will be slow going the entire way with no open sections for getting up to speed.
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700
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/03/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

If doing The Trifecta, start early and plan to drive out in the dark. You can hope to be done or nearly done with Goldbar before the lights go out but it's unlikely in the fall and winter months. My group had to finish half of Gold Bar and all of Gemini Bridges in the dark. The trail is not well marked so it's easy to get lost. Paint markers are faded and hard to see/spot from the driver's seat. Trail signs/arrows would be better. Difficulty: Hard to tell when Golden Spike ends and Gold Bar begins so I'm going to rate both here. These trails are rated a 6 but are more like a 7 minimum. For Jeep's, this is a Badge of Honor Trail. You will feel like you've really earned your Badge when done. The ledge you come down on Golden Spike challenges all but the most experienced drivers and spotters. Going up the waterfall in Gold Bar will intimidate most drives. They put a winch anchor in place for a reason. JKUR on 37's did fine with some scraping, bumping, etc. JKUR on 35's did the same but with more of it. No line pulled on any obstacles.
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This trail has spectactular views, so don't forget your cameras. The obstacles come fast and often. We did have a great time on them. We thought the difficulty was similar to the Rubicon mandatory sections which we had done a few weeks earlier. We (my spotter and I) ran Poison Spider with the loop before going onto Golden Spike, then connected to Gold Bar Rim. Along the way, we made a wrong turn onto Where Eagles Dare. It was a great mistake. But, It was a 10 hour day on the trail, with no stops for lunch. It's a lonely trail, and we didn't see anyone on the Monday we ran the trails. About halfway thru this trail, we were overtaken by a couple from Idaho in their Razr. We were unsure of the route out and it was getting to a few hours from sundown. They helped us navigate out and stayed with us. When it became clear we were racing the sun, we became more quick and efficient at assessing obstacles and just getting on with it. If you run these 3(or 4) trails in one day, start very early and move at an efficient pace. It will be a long day.
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Open
Visited: 09/22/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

A great trail that has some very challenging parts. The trail is NOT marked well in a lot of places, and I was having issues with the "follow me" on Trails Offroad. We started late in the day from Poison Spyder, and in hindsight, should have just finished up there. We pushed onto Golden Spike, and finished up around 1 am. The trail is much harder in the dark, LOL.
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400
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/11/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Trail not marked very well, came up on lots of intersections that weren’t even mentioned. Some bypasses couldn’t be located making things a bit more difficult for smaller rigs. Great trail, lacking signage.

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