Golden Spike


The Golden Spike Trail is located just a couple of miles West of Moab, on the West side of the Colorado River. It was named as an analogy to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, in that it joined two other existing trails: Poison Spider and Gold Bar Rim.  To get to the trailhead, take US 191 North. Turn left onto SR 279, which is a little over one mile past the Colorado River. Follow the river for just under 6 miles to the gravel road turnoff on the right. Ranging in elevation from 4,300 to 5,300 feet, the Golden Spike Trail is one of the more well-known (and hardest) slick rock trails in the Moab area. The first part of the trail is shared with the Poison Spider Trail (through waypoint GS07). Obstacles along this section include a couple of tall ledges (waterfalls) to climb and the Wedge (at waypoint GS04). The Golden Spike Trail actually starts at waypoint GS07 and features several famous obstacles, including the Launch Pad (at waypoint GS09), the Golden Crack (at waypoint GS12), the Golden Staircase (at waypoint GS13), and the Double Whammy (at waypoint GS15). There's also a breathtaking scenic overlook at the edge of a thousand-foot cliff along Skyline Drive (at waypoint GS11). (Warning: keep close tabs on kids and pets at this location)!  Since the majority of the trail traverses slick rock, you maintain your way by following the golden spike symbols painted on the path. After completing the trail, you must then take the Gold Bar Rim Trail South back to SR 279. The Golden Spike trail itself is only about 7 miles long. But coupled with the Poison Spider and Gold Bar Rim Trails to get in and out, plan on a solid 8 - 9  hour day.

Difficulty Rating:  Three (3) Hard
(based on my personal rating scale on the Trails Page)

Click HERE for a FULL-SIZE printable map

Here are a couple pictures from the Golden Spike Trail.  On the left, is the Wedge.
And on the right, webejeepin across over the famous Golden Crack.

Click on picture for larger view, then "back" on your browser to return here.




Cumm. Dist.






N38 31.939'

W109 36.760'



0.94 mi

0.94 mi

305 (NW)

N38 32.407'

W109 37.620'



0.37 mi

1.31 mi

52 (NE)

N38 32.603'

W109 37.298'



0.25 mi

1.57 mi

79 (E)

N38 32.644'

W109 37.021'



0.79 mi

2.36 mi

14 (NNE)

N38 33.309'

W109 36.804'



0.65 mi

3.01 mi

91 (E)

N38 33.298'

W109 36.080'



0.51 mi

3.52 mi

36 (NE)

N38 33.659'

W109 35.750'



0.17 mi

3.69 mi

329 (NNW)

N38 33.788'

W109 35.849'



0.68 mi

4.37 mi

320 (NW)

N38 34.241'

W109 36.336'



1.78 mi

6.15 mi

356 (N)

N38 35.781'

W109 36.462'



1.28 mi

7.43 mi

311 (NW)

N38 36.517'

W109 37.529'



0.58 mi

8.01 mi

273 (W)

N38 36.543'

W109 38.168'



0.26 mi

8.27 mi

278 (W)

N38 36.574'

W109 38.452'



0.13 mi

8.40 mi

317 (NW)

N38 36.656'

W109 38.551'



0.08 mi

8.48 mi

352 (N)

N38 36.728'

W109 38.564'



0.14 mi

8.62 mi

12 (NNE)

N38 36.847'

W109 38.530'

Notice: Off-highway travel is by its very nature potentially dangerous and could result in property damage, injury, or even death.  If you drive any of the trails on this web site, you acknowledge these risks and assume full responsibility.  You are the final judge as to whether a trail is safe to drive, whether your vehicle is capable of the journey, and whether your skills are up to the challenge.  The publisher of this web site disclaims any and all liability for property damage, bodily injury, or death that could occur to you or any of your passengers.  To the best of my knowledge, the information contained on this page was accurate as of the time I road this trail during the Spring of 2001.   However, things change over time.  And portions of this trail may no longer be legally accessible to motorized vehicles.  Therefore, please be good stewards of our sport--always stay on designated trails . . . and always, always remember to Tread Lightly!

Back to the Utah Trails Page