Gemini Bridges (Moab)
This route's namesake attraction, Gemini Bridges, is a massive rock span that has been cleaved down the center into two parallel bridges. But what makes this ride so unique is that the trail dumps you on to their flat tops, where you peer over the edge into the 250-foot void of Bull Canyon. No neck craning required; rather, tolerance for heights. Naturally, the vistas from this elevated perch are sublime. The sandstone stumps of Monitor and Merrimac Buttes guard the northern horizon, features of Arches National Park can be seen to the far east, and the 12,000-foot tall La Sal Mountains float in a sea of red rock.
Farther on, the route wanders through Little Canyon, which is less a canyon and more a narrow valley bound by cliffs. The Gooney Bird, a rock tower straight out of Sesame Street, nests alongside the road. Just when you think the end is near, the trail rises up a modest half-mile hill to crest a rim that locks in the north end of the canyon. But reward for your effort is a screaming descent to the lower trailhead on a jeep road that is etched precariously into the redrock palisade.
Gemini Bridges is best ridden as a 13.5-mile, point-to-point route with the aid of a car shuttle. Novice riders will enjoy the generous descending but the upper body will take a beating from the jeep road's rough conditions. You'll need some energy to slog through sand traps in Little Canyon and for the climb to the rim overlooking the trail's end. No shuttle? No problem. Gemini is a great out and back ride for intermediate or stronger bikers.
By Gregg Bromka, author of The Mountain Biker's Guide to Utah.
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