Metal Masher Trail

 

A major trail goal is Arth’s Rim, which overlooks Highway 191about 1300 feet below. The route first angles up the sloping part of the cliff to a gap in the vertical rim. It follows Little Canyon partway into the mesa to resume the climb along the more gentle slope of the tilted rock strata. Much of the trail is routine four-wheeling, but there are a few spots, notably Mirror Gulch and Widowmaker Hill, where many will not make it on the first try. The narrow Mirror Gulch often damages full-width vehicles, and it is especially difficult for those with long front or rear overhangs. We have decreed that Widowmaker Hill is off-limits for long wheelbase vehicles because they become high-centered amidships.

 

Scenery

The road notched into the slope below Arth’s Rim climbs to increasingly fine views of Arches National Park, Moab Valley, and the La Sal Mountains. That is just a warm-up for the later perch on the cliff top. Little Canyon has beautiful vertical walls, and a few arches may be spotted by alert riders. Frenchie may have time to include Gemini Bridges and Long Canyon at the end of the day.

 

Road Surface

This trail varies from easy dirt to some tall sandstone ledges, with some relatively level slickrock and sand mixed in.

 

Obstacles

The slickrock slopes on the way to Arth’s Rim have one step that will warm up a few tires. Near the rim the trail passes Rock Chucker Hill, once the way to go but now a 4+ playground that triumphs over some awfully good equipment. The “easy” route through narrow Mirror Gulch includes difficult rock steps. A few miles farther is Widowmaker Hill, which climbs a big ridge in two stages. The lower section is tippy and narrow at its top and warrants care in choosing a route. The second section is steep and has a smooth rock ledge with a low-traction base. Long vehicles are unable to do anything but break something and/or take a winch. There is another short, but vexing option called Mother-in-Law hill.