Quantcast

Who here has ridden Porcupine Rim?

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
I'm pretty damn stoked, it looks like our trip to Moab the last weekend of March is on the road. We've gotten the double wide behind the Apache Inn, I've dropped 20 of the 50 pounds I want to drop before we go, and I'm starting to get really back into riding.

I've been to Moab a few times. I really have always had an awesome time. Last time with my buddies Rob and Bill was still the best trip yet, but this year is shaping up to be the true cream of the crop.

One of the few things I've never ridden in Moab are Porcupine Rim and Gooseberry Mesa. Anyone ridden them?

I hear the trick with Porcupine is to take the shuttle from the top, and then do the boogie on the way down.
Here are my questions:
- Would my ASR5 or my Intense SS be better for this trail?
- How off putting are the cliffs? I have a friend who has a pretty serious fear of cliffs on our ride.
- How "in shape" do I need to be for this? I'm 240 at the moment, the goal is 210. Realistic is 220.

Gracias in advance for the **** giving and any relevant advice.
 

Dirtrider

Monkey
May 2, 2006
683
639
Asheville, NC
Poison Spider bikes offers the shuttle to Porcupine and is worth the $. I really don't think you néed to be in great shape to ride it if you do the shuttle. Bring extra tubes. I rode it on a Morewood 6.5 inch travel bike and it was perfect. As far as Gooseberry, thats not in Moab, but about 40
Minutes NE if St. George
 

?????

Turbo Monkey
Jun 20, 2005
1,685
2
San Francisco
- Would my ASR5 or my Intense SS be better for this trail?
- How off putting are the cliffs? I have a friend who has a pretty serious fear of cliffs on our ride.
- How "in shape" do I need to be for this? I'm 240 at the moment, the goal is 210. Realistic is 220.

Gracias in advance for the **** giving and any relevant advice.
I would take the SS. I've always done this ride on a Socom. The first time I used single ply tires and hated life. Since then I've used my trusty 823 and Michelin DH24 tubeless combo and haven't gotten a single flat. A lot of the trail is wide open and fast. A gravity oriented all mountain bike with downhill tires would be ideal.

You don't actually ride on the edge of the cliff. They are close, but you have some space to fall over. I never thought twice about it.

If you can coast down hill you are in good enough shape for the Porcupine Rim trail.
 

j.les

Monkey
Jul 21, 2007
475
0
Chicago
Definitely take the shuttle and the SS. There's a bit of climbing in the beginning, but after that it's a fast descent.

Last time I rode it was with my 4" travel bike, really had to slow it down in many spots.
 

Mike B.

Turbo Monkey
Oct 5, 2001
1,522
0
State College, PA
I've ridden it three times, most recently this past September.

Trip 1 - 7ish years ago, Titus Loco Moto (4.5") with our old Olympic XC wheels and the prototype Crow tires for testing. It was mid-April and we got dropped at the top of UPS, couldn't go any higher due to the snow. We were the first shuttle down from that elevation for the year.

Trip 2 - 4 or so years ago, Titus Racer X 29er with even lighter Race 29er wheels but larger volume XC tires. This trip was in early October and we got dropped at the Hazard lot. It started to hail as we neared the top and the driver wouldn't take us any higher. Rain a bit lower turned the lower part of Hazard and the top of UPS into unrideable mud. We had to detour a short section but otherwise great.

Trip 3 - last September, Niner WFO with our Flow wheels and 2.4 Ardents (18psi). The first and only time we've been able to go to the top and do Burro. The climb sucked a bit on the heavier bike and from being a low-lander, but it was worth it. Easily the fastest and most fun I've had doing the ride even though some of the others flatted on their rental bikes (stupid tubes) and it was the first trip for some so lot of pics taken.

I don't know what kind of winter they're having but getting to the top might be difficult at that time of year. The exposure is really no big deal in my opinion. Jackson and Portal have a lot more exposed areas if you've ridden either of those. I'd go with the SS since there is little climbing outside of the Burro Pass area, might as well have a little more fun in the rough sections. Lots of small ledges and drops, nothing that technical except possibly the notch, which has changed significantly in the years I've been going there. I'm only about 180 and run everything tubeless but I've yet to flat on any of my Moab trips running single ply tires. Grab the shuttle from Chile Pepper for the best experience in the stretched VW, any of the other shuttles if you like the comforts of a modern vehicle.

Gooseberry is one of my favorite rides having been there 3 or 4 times as well. You can ride the main loop in a couple hours but you can spend all day playing around on features. As mentioned though, it's not in Moab but just outside Zion. We usually stay in Springdale and do a few of the rides in the area.
 

Leppah

Turbo Monkey
Mar 12, 2008
2,300
3
Utar
You don't have to be in that great of shape for Porky rim. You do need to have some good endurance though. Depending on how high up you start, you're going to be doing a long ride that is bumpy as hell most of the way down. You won't get tired from climbing on that ride (especially if you start at Hazard), but you'll get tired from the constant beating all the way down. There's a lot of traversing too. Lots of lunging, lots of traversing, lots of sections that don't have smooth lines. You won't really find out how good of shape you're in as far as pedaling. You'll find out how strong your core, arms, hands and back are if you're doing the ride from Hazard or Kokapelli.

Gooseberry isn't close to Moab at all. The Goose is fun, but different than Moab. Not as high speed as some of the stuff in Moab.
 

4130biker

PM me about Tantrum Cycles!
May 24, 2007
3,904
441
Lizard Town
My buddy and I are going back in may. It's been a couple years and I was following friends, so I didn't pay attention to navigation much. Is it a pretty easy trail to find your way on?

By the way, I don't like exposed riding much after a hair ball trail at syncline (witches brew?)but I remember there was nothing bad on porcupine.
 

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
12,522
1,783
North Van
It's pretty much all down. I started from MDS drop off point(or whatever it's called) and did a pretty casual ride down. I think it still took me almost 2 hours. But again, it was pretty much all down, and not super technical.

But there may be children on the trail, do act appropriately.
 

Mike B.

Turbo Monkey
Oct 5, 2001
1,522
0
State College, PA
My buddy and I are going back in may. It's been a couple years and I was following friends, so I didn't pay attention to navigation much. Is it a pretty easy trail to find your way on?
Yes, it's easy to find your way. Moab in general has greatly improved the trail marking since I first started going.

If the link works, here's my gps track http://connect.garmin.com/activity/117145212
You can save yourself some time riding the road back to town if you can leave a vehicle at the Negro Bill Canyon parking lot.

Dirt, if you're going to be driving from Moab to Gooseberry or vice versa, it's worth stopping near Bryce to ride Thunder Mountain. It can be done as a loop climbing back up the paved bike path or shuttled in probably an hour and a half if you have multiple vehicles or want to split the runs among your friends. Smooth trail in general but fast with good flow, little climbing and amazing views.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
4,143
1,926
I last rode it in September and was surprised to see the Whole Enchilada is signposted pretty much the entire way down now compared to my last visit in '08. Highly unlikely you'll get to do the upper sections because of snow. Yes it's mostly downhill, but there's a lot of pedalling and small sections of climbing.
 

4130biker

PM me about Tantrum Cycles!
May 24, 2007
3,904
441
Lizard Town
thanks guys, Dirt, sorry to steal your thread for my own question. We used the extended vw bus service when I was there and I'd reccomend it as well. The driver who built them was a kick.
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
The only thunder I bring any more is in the bathroom! No worries.
 

Leppah

Turbo Monkey
Mar 12, 2008
2,300
3
Utar
Coyote shuttle is the shuttle service with the extended vanagons. We use them every time we go out there. They always know what trails are open and how far up you can start.
there's another trail that's fairly new called Magnificent 7. It's fun too, mostly downhill, pretty flowy. It won't beat you up as much as Porcupine rim.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
5,599
1,345
[303]
Shuttle is the way to go, I always call Acme shuttle but have also used Coyote. Any are good, and well worth the $20+ to get to the top of Porc. Either bike will be fine, but honestly if you can do some OTHER trails while you're there I'd rock the 5. I've ridden Porc on a hardtail Klein with 2.5" travel fork, a DH bike, and all manner of "all-mountain" bikes from 4-6" of travel. I prefer the all-mountainy bikes with a stout tire. Don't listen to them people about "needing to slow down" on a lesser travel bike, just pick good lines and let 'er rip. Also: Take tubes. Take water. Take food. If for no other reason than it's friggin' awesome to take your time on the ride, stop and look around at the scenery. It's pretty dope out there.

To-dos when in Moab:


  1. Porcupine from as high up as you can manage. In March, tho, you won't be able to ride much above Porc proper, me thinks. But if you can get UPS/LPS in at least, that would be ideal. Porc proper isn't that long of a ride, really, and it's mostly downhill. Taking your sweet-@ss time you'll probably get that done in 3.5 hours or so. Probably less, unless you're really out of shape.
  2. Amasa Back/Jackson's/Rockstacker: Holy FACK this is a fun ride. Take it easy though: there's some exposure and some really nice techy movies. There's also some route finding and some getting lost to do. AND there's some isht on that ride that takes man pants to bone up to clean. Not super long either, unless you get lost. Just keep a lookout for the red paint and you'll do fine (ish). This one can be ridden as a loop, or you can also just do an out-n-back on Amasa, which is also really really good. Semi-mellow, techy climb which turns into a blazing fast descent with ledge drop after ledge drop. So fun.
  3. Magnificent 7: and be a fvcking man about it and ride it all the way through Portal. If you don't ride the Gold Bar Rim/Portal section, then you've only done Mag 5. Portal is the trail that people die on, and there's some SERIOUS exposure. Enough exposure that I walk it, since I've got nothing to prove there. Not that I'm some über badass or anything, I'm just saying I'm like George Michael: CHOOSE LIFE. Anyhows, after the cliff-edge stuff (which is fairly short), Portal gets really freaking fun&#8212;chundery, rocky, fast, and awesome. Remember: Man Pants... Bring them. All of Mag 7 wil take some time, even if you're in shape. This is a long ride, and gets really techy, especially towards the end. SO worth it though. Best done as a shuttle. Actually, I think that's really the only way you can do it.
 
Last edited:

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
My only worry about the really exposed stuff is I do have one of the group who locks up on stuff like that. Like cannot/will not ride the trail.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,077
1,564
Yakistan
Once a buddy of mine took a k-mart special down lower Porcupine. It broke and we fixed it seven times on the way down. It was definitely a single speed by the end. I've ridden it on a hardtail and on a 5.5" travel AM bike. I'd do it again on a hardtail no problem but it is faster on a squishy bike.

If I remember right, the exposure isn't in your face until parts of the bottom section. It's really not bad at all, as far as exposure goes. It is basically a 15 mile descent that is one long rock garden.

Gooseberry Mesa is great fun too. (5 hour drive from Moab) The trailhead (for JEM at least) is pretty far back off the main road. When I was there in mid March the road in was muddy and rutted in places. I was glad to have clearance in my 4x4. The camping was 5 star in my book. Very beautiful and quiet out there.

Closer to Moab than GM, but equally fun trails, is Phils World just outside Cortez, CO. We usually do the NASCAR loop and its about 20 miles if you skip the short cut. Lots of up-down and rippin fun. Not nearly as remote or equally striking scenery as Gooseberry but the trails kick ass. We've ridden it in March more than once.
 

Leppah

Turbo Monkey
Mar 12, 2008
2,300
3
Utar
[*]Magnificent 7: and be a fvcking man about it and ride it all the way through Portal. If you don't ride the Gold Bar Rim/Portal section, then you've only done Mag 5. Portal is the trail that people die on, and there's some SERIOUS exposure. Enough exposure that I walk it, since I've got nothing to prove there. Not that I'm some über badass or anything, I'm just saying I'm like George Michael: CHOOSE LIFE. Anyhows, after the cliff-edge stuff (which is fairly short), Portal gets really freaking fun&#8212;chundery, rocky, fast, and awesome. Remember: Man Pants... Bring them. All of Mag 7 wil take some time, even if you're in shape. This is a long ride, and gets really techy, especially towards the end. SO worth it though. Best done as a shuttle. Actually, I think that's really the only way you can do it.
[/LIST]
THis guy here knows Moab. THe comment about going fast on Porky, correct.

The comments about Mag 7, correct. I did that one in the fall and it is a BRUTAL ride. It took us over 4 hours because none of us were prepared for that brutal sh!t! That being said, the exposure is scary as hell. Signs stating riders have died there and you should walk your bike. Also, I remember a spot at the top where you have to walk around a rock on the ledge side. SCARY!
the portal is fun, the rest of Gold Bar wasn't. It seriously feels like you're climbing up to the sky on that ride. That being said, i will never do that ride again. It destroyed pretty much 6 out of 7 of us. Five of us ran out of water, one guy bonked.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
47,766
2,354
In a van.... down by the river
THis guy here knows Moab. THe comment about going fast on Porky, correct.
Indeed... he does.

The comments about Mag 7, correct. I did that one in the fall and it is a BRUTAL ride. It took us over 4 hours because none of us were prepared for that brutal sh!t! That being said, the exposure is scary as hell. Signs stating riders have died there and you should walk your bike. Also, I remember a spot at the top where you have to walk around a rock on the ledge side. SCARY!
the portal is fun, the rest of Gold Bar wasn't. It seriously feels like you're climbing up to the sky on that ride. That being said, i will never do that ride again. It destroyed pretty much 6 out of 7 of us. Five of us ran out of water, one guy bonked.
Destroyed 6 of you in 4 hours? Maybe you should have ridden a bit slower. :p
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
Went 10 years ago, had two days in town, couldn't get to Porc.

Went 6 years ago, had the ex-wife with me. She didn't want to ride much as she was on a new bike with clips for the first time and was being a pussy.

Went three years ago. Don't know why we never made it to Porc.

Going this March. Gonna ride Porc.
 

Leppah

Turbo Monkey
Mar 12, 2008
2,300
3
Utar
Indeed... he does.


Destroyed 6 of you in 4 hours? Maybe you should have ridden a bit slower. :p
I had no choice. I went on the shuttle with three fat germans. They had no idea where to go and neither did I. As soon as they dropped us off, they busted out maps and I busted out on the trail to follow a group of guys that i'd seen ride in my local areas a bit here and there. Those guys were prepared, I was not. I had no idea where to go, so I had to just keep going. That last climb killed most of us. THere was only one guy that rode the whole way up. And he was on a Specialized Big hit. Animal.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,060
62
chez moi
It's a 5-6 hour drive to the Zion area, not 40 minutes.

There is so much amazing riding in both places it's probably worth two separate trips. Hitting up Gooseberry and all the trails out there, even Brian Head (Blow Hard shuttles!!), is most worth it in the fall. Camp. Have an amazing time.

MD
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
I'm thinking that's the trip I want to do in September after my brother's wedding. He's getting married in Boulder, so I am thinking I could throw some bikes in the back of the truck, and hit up a few places between here and there and there and here to do some riding.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
5,599
1,345
[303]
Indeed... he does.
I learn from ze best. I felt like I knew Moab before that trip, now I feel likes I really knows it. Next time: Top of the World. And The Whole Enchilada. And... and... and...




Mmmm... exposure. Of the Indecent kind.

P1010719.JPG
 
Last edited:

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
5,599
1,345
[303]
I'm thinking that's the trip I want to do in September after my brother's wedding. He's getting married in Boulder, so I am thinking I could throw some bikes in the back of the truck, and hit up a few places between here and there and there and here to do some riding.
Hmmm... you could also ride a bunch in COLORADO... you know, we ride bikes here too. :D