Poison Spider Mesa
Moab, Utah (Grand) Technical Rating: 6-10
Last Updated: 06-19-2017
Moab Rim, Pritchett Canyon, Cliff Hanger, Kane Creek Canyon, Metal Masher
BLM/Moab Field Office
Poison Spider Mesa Highlights
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.
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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
GPS Exchange File:
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)
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.
3: Obstacle with Bypass (0.9mi)
Continue straight to take on the obstacle, or take the route to the left (southeast) to bypass.
7: Prelaunch Pad (2.0mi)
This is the first big optional big obstacle. The bypass is on the right (east).
8: Waterfalls (2.3mi)
Continue uphill. This is a series of sections. This is also the most difficult part of the trail without a bypass.
10: Obstacle with Bypass (2.9mi)
Continue following the trail around, just before you turn the corner there is a ledge that can be bypassed to the left (northwest). The next and immediate obstacle has a hard or easy line.
11: Obstacle with Bypass (3.0mi)
Continue straight to take on the ledges, or follow the trail to the left (west) for the bypass.
12: High Speed Mesa (3.3mi)
The easy part of this trail, High Speed Mesa gives you a change to take it out of 4wd and open it up.
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. As the story goes, a little girl got bitten by a poisonous spider costing her her life.
15: End High Speed Mesa (4.7mi)
The end of High Speed Mesa is greeted with several very steep drops.
16: Steep Obstacle with Bypass (4.8mi)
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.
21: Obstacle with Bypass (5.4mi)
Continue straight for the steep obstacle, or the bypass is on the left (north).
22: Obstacle with Bypass (5.6mi)
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 (5.6mi)
A large parking area on top of this slick rock, Little Arch is off to the Northeast Corner. It's 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.)
27: Hill with Options (6.6mi)
The main trail veers right (northeast) here. This slickrock in front of you is optional.
Camping and Lodging
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.
Questions & AnswersNo questions have been submitted.
Offroaded on 06-19-2017
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
Offroaded on 04-03-2016
Full Video of the lower part of the trail.