The connection between Poison Spider Mesa and Gold Bar Rim was first developed as a jeep trail during the 1989 Jeep Safari. Some folks seem so fond of damaging their equipment that we have made it available most days. Much of the route is near the rim above Moab Valley and offers gorgeous views in all directions. Its main claim to fame, however, is that some bypasses (where they exist!) still rate a 6. Approximate mileage: 7 miles off highway (See Poison Spider Mesa Trail and Gold Bar Rim Trail to figure total mileage.
Most of the trail is just atop the sloping layer of Wingate Sandstone and offers vistas to the west and north. Of note are the Colorado River canyon in the vicinity of Amasa Back, the fin country of the north end of Behind the Rocks, and Jeep Arch. The higher north end of the trail opens vistas in all directions. Especially rewarding are the breath-stopping peeks over the cliff rim toward Arches National Park. (Warning! The cliff rim here overhangs in places; the last rockfall was only a few years ago!)
The easy parts are layered broken rock and dirt, while the challenges are solid rock ledges. There is some slickrock, but it is those short, vertical sections that favor tall tires and locking differentials.
After passing the Poison Spider Mesa obstacles, there is some easy slickrock driving on fins. The first obstacle is the steep uphill of the "Launching Pad". After this they keep on coming: "Skyline Drive", "Zuki Hill", "Golden Crack", "Golden Steps", "The Wall", "Double Whammy" and the "Body Snatcher". Bring the best of equipment; the tow truck can't make it.