Poison Spider Mesa

Moab, Utah (Grand) Technical Rating: 6-10

Last Updated: 06-19-2017

Poison
Status: Open
Difficulty: Moderate-Extreme
Length: 15.4 Miles
Category: Altitude, Desert, Iconic, Overland, Rock, Sand, Snow Wheeling
Highest Elevation: 4,980 '
Duration: about 5 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Go: N/A
Connecting Trails:
Golden Spike
Nearest Town:
Moab
Nearest Town w/ Service:
Moab
Nearby Trails:
Cliff HangerKane Creek CanyonMetal MasherMoab RimPritchett Canyon
Forest Service Road: # Poison Spider
Forest Service / Park District:
BLM/Moab Field Office

Poison Spider Mesa Highlights

Highlights: Poison Spider Mesa - Moab, Utah

Moab, Utah is one of the premier off-road and four-wheel drive destinations. Comprised of some of the most well-known trails in all of the United States it has trail types that suit all drivers wheeling desires. Some would call it an "off-roader's paradise". Amongst these trails, Poison Spider is one of the more popular "hard" trails in the entire area. Comprised of slick rock, sand, and dirt, this trail offers drivers everything they are looking for and more. Not only do you get amazing wheeling, you can take in the inspiring Little Arch with a view of the Colorado River behind it.

Technical rating: (6-10) Moderate-Extreme

Severe conditions. Extreme caution recommended. Impassable by stock vehicles. Winching required. Trail building necessary. May be impassable. Impassable under anything but ideal conditions. Vehicle damage probable. Personal injury possible. Extreme caution necessary.

Read more about our rating system

Video

Directions to Trailhead

From Moab UT, head north to Highway 279 (Potash Road), turn left. Take Potash Road 5.9 miles to the trailhead and parking lot on your right.

 

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:

38° 31' 59.84"N
109° 36' 28.51"W

Topo Maps:

GPS Exchange File:

Download

Route Description

The trail is comprised of slick rock, sand, and dirt with plenty of waterfalls and hill climbs. Even though most obstacles have a bypass, there are still several obstacles that you have to run. Expect 6 ft+ waterfalls, steeper than 50 degree inclines, and plenty of drops that you drag off. It is recommended that you have a lift and lockers before trying this trail.

Note: The .gpx track available here is of the hardest lines possible on the trail. Stop at each obstacle and pick your route. When in doubt, follow the white tracks painted on the road surface.

1: Trailhead (0.0mi)

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 1: Trailhead Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 1: Trailhead Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 1: Trailhead

There is plenty of parking area to air down before taking on the trail. Travel straight up the trail. This follows a shelf road with easy switchbacks.

There is also dinosaur tracks to the east of the bathrooms. There is a sign with more information to the east of the bathrooms.

2: Switchback Ledge

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 2: Switchback Ledge Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 2: Switchback Ledge Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 2: Switchback Ledge

Continue uphill. There are multiple lines to choose from here.

3: Obstacle with Bypass

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 3: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 3: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 3: Obstacle with Bypass

Continue straight to take on the obstacle, or take the route to the left/southeast to bypass.

4: Obstacle with Bypass

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 4: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 4: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 4: Obstacle with Bypass

This is a double step obstacle with a bypass on the right/north.

5: Two Track

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 5: Two Track Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 5: Two Track Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 5: Two Track

Continue straight on the main trail.

6: Two Track

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 6: Two Track Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 6: Two Track Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 6: Two Track

Continue straight on the main trail.

7: Obstacle with Bypass (Prelaunch Pad)

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 7: Obstacle with Bypass (Prelaunch Pad) Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 7: Obstacle with Bypass (Prelaunch Pad) Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 7: Obstacle with Bypass (Prelaunch Pad)

This is the first big optional big obstacle. The bypass is on the right/east.

8: Obstacle No Bypass (Waterfalls)

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 8: Obstacle No Bypass (Waterfalls) Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 8: Obstacle No Bypass (Waterfalls) Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 8: Obstacle No Bypass (Waterfalls)

Continue uphill. This is a series of sections. This is also the most difficult part of the trail without a bypass.

9: Obstacle with Bypass (V-Notch)

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 9: Obstacle with Bypass (V-Notch) Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 9: Obstacle with Bypass (V-Notch) Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 9: Obstacle with Bypass (V-Notch)

The bypass goes up and around to the left/northwest.

10: Obstacle with Bypass

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 10: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 10: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 10: Obstacle with Bypass

Continue following the trail around, just before you turn the corner there is a ledge that can bypassed to the left/northwest. The next and immediate obstacle has a hard or easy line.

11: Obstacle with Bypass

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 11: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 11: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 11: Obstacle with Bypass

Continue straight to take on the ledges, or follow the trail to the left/west for the bypass.

12: High Speed Mesa (2.7mi)

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 12: High Speed Mesa Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 12: High Speed Mesa Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 12: High Speed Mesa

The easy part of this trail, High Speed Mesa gives you a change to take it out of 4wd and open it up.

13: Mesa Trailhead

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 13:  Mesa Trailhead Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 13:  Mesa Trailhead Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 13:  Mesa Trailhead

Continue straight on the main trail.

14: Grave Site (Fake)

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 14: Grave Site (Fake) Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 14: Grave Site (Fake) Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 14: Grave Site (Fake)

A popular attraction, the fake grave of Mary Jane was rumored to be the reason for the trail getting its name. The story goes a little girl got bitten by a poisonous spider costing her life.

15: End High Speed Mesa (4.4mi)

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 15: End High Speed Mesa Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 15: End High Speed Mesa Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 15: End High Speed Mesa

The end of High Speed Mesa is greeted with several very steep drops.

16: Steep Obstacle with Bypass

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 16: Steep Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 16: Steep Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 16: Steep Obstacle with Bypass

The bypass is to the left/west that wraps around these steep obstacles. There is plenty of space here to play on the slickrock obstacles or lunch down below at the Sand Bowl.

17: Sand Bowl

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 17: Sand Bowl Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 17: Sand Bowl Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 17: Sand Bowl

The trail continues to the north. This is fun play area to kick up the sand.

18: Golden Spike Trailhead

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 18: Golden Spike Trailhead Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 18: Golden Spike Trailhead Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 18: Golden Spike Trailhead

Continue right/northeast.

19: Begin Loop

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 19: Begin Loop Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 19: Begin Loop Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 19: Begin Loop

Run the loop counter clockwise, stay right/east.

20: Big Hill

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 20: Big Hill Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 20: Big Hill Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 20: Big Hill

The trail goes uphill.

21: Obstacle with Bypass

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 21: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 21: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 21: Obstacle with Bypass

Continue straight for the steep obstacle, or the bypass is on the left/north.

22: Obstacle with Bypass

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 22: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 22: Obstacle with Bypass Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 22: Obstacle with Bypass

There is a bypass before the hill on the right/south. There are two options for this hill; straight up, or making the turn along the slope for off-camber fun.

23: Little Arch (5.5mi)

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 23: Little Arch Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 23: Little Arch Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 23: Little Arch

A large parking area on top of this slick rock, Little Arch is off to the North East Corner. Its a very short hike to the arch and if you are daring you can walk out on it. (FYI, there is no recovery if you fall from the arch.)

24: Big Hill

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 24: Big Hill Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 24: Big Hill Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 24: Big Hill

Follow the marks uphill.

25: Big Hole

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 25: Big Hole Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 25: Big Hole Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 25: Big Hole

As you come up the hill, mind the big hole.

26: Barnes Overlook Trailhead

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 26: Barnes Overlook Trailhead Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 26: Barnes Overlook Trailhead Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 26: Barnes Overlook Trailhead

Continue the main trail straight.

27: Hill with Options

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 27: Hill with Options Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 27: Hill with Options Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 27: Hill with Options

The main trail veers right/northeast here. This slickrock in front of you is optional.

28: To The Overlook

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 28: To The Overlook Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 28: To The Overlook Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 28: To The Overlook

Continue the main trail southeast.

29: Sand Dunes

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 29: Sand Dunes Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 29: Sand Dunes Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 29: Sand Dunes

Continue straight down the dunes.

30: End

Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 30: End Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 30: End Poison Spider Mesa - Waypoint 30: End

Return the way you came.

Camping and Lodging

Camping & Lodging: Poison Spider Mesa - Moab, Utah

There is no dispersed camping in the immediate area.

Remember, when using free designated sites, you are required to remove all solid human waste from the area. Campers are required to possess, set up and use portable toilets. Campers may not bury, or leave exposed, solid human body waste and soiled toilet paper. The disposal of solid human waste off public land is required. You must camp only in marked sites, and no wood cutting is allowed. Following these simple rules will ensure that the sites are attractive to future campers. Enjoy your stay! The Moab Field Office maintains 26 campgrounds. Many of the campgrounds are located close to Arches National Park along the Colorado River. These campgrounds offer views of spectacular red rock cliffs amidst a green ribbon of vegetation.

http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab/recreation/campgrounds.html

Me in jeeps

Josh Noesser

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to...

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Questions & Answers

No questions have been submitted.

Trip Reports

20170418 104021

Jason Snider

Offroaded on 06-19-2017

Status: Open

Conditions: Sunny

Low Temperature: 94° F

High Temperature: 105° F

Had a great time on poison spider with very few people out there. Probably due to the heat. The trail was clearly marked and presented a good challenge. I recommend high clearance and having lockers would be a great help. I also recommend having a spotter on obstacles like the waterfall which do not have a bypass

Me in jeeps

Josh Noesser
Official Crew

Offroaded on 04-03-2016

Status: Open

Conditions:

Full Video of the lower part of the trail.

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