Distance: 23 km
Time: 2 – 4 hrs
Elevation Gain: 437 m
Elevation Loss: 1,003 m

Technical Rating: Advanced – Expert
Physical Rating: Hard
Season: Year round
Permit Required: Yes ($5/vehicle)

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Porcupine Rim is an exciting advanced singletrack taking the rider down to the Colorado River. It may be accessed via shuttle or ridden to from town. My recommendation is to take a shuttle, yours or one of the daily shuttles offered up by the local bike shops. You may choose to ride up the jeep road, but it’s not all that fun. Doing so will add another 15 km to your ride.

Porcupine Rim is best ridden on an all-mountain bike, but most will manage on an x-country rig. The ride starts with a moderate climb for about 5 km before you reach the rim and begin your descent. From there the trail heads down along the rim and overlooks the Colorado River below. There is plenty of exposure along this trail, along with several technical moves next to deadly drops. Go forewarned if you’re not comfortable with heights and walk the techno bits if they make you uneasy. The trail itself is a sweet singletrack that hugs the rim, and offers up several boulder rolls, rocky ledge drops, and numerous twists and turns to keep you on your toes. The ending spits you out next to the Colorado River, from where you’ll have to pedal Hwy 128 west back to town. Total road ride of 9 km is to be expected once you finish your mountain bike ride, unless you’ve arranged for a shuttle.

If you enjoyed the Porcupine Rim trail or would like to extend the downhill, check out the Kokopelli Down ride. Kokopelli Down combines several trails, including Porcupine, to form a must do ride when visiting the area. This is a popular choice among locals and visitors.

TRAILHEAD | N38 34.922 W109 24.978

Hire a shuttle or drive to Sand Flats Road located on the east end of town. Take Sand Flats east out of town. You will pass the entry gate (car passes are $5) and continue on up the road for about 11 km from the gate to the trailhead. The trailhead is on the left, near the small cattle-watering tanks. It is well marked.

bikepirate rating: 5 Skulls