Porcupine Rim Trail

 

This trail leaves the graded Sand Flats Road not far beyond the Slickrock Bike Trail and soon rides a ledge above Negro Bill Canyon. It crosses the headwaters of that canyon and is the only vehicle access into the vicinity of Coffee Pot Rock, a prominent landmark seen from several other trails. The climb is gradual to the cliff rim, called Porcupine Rim, above Castle Valley. The trail has good variety with some challenges for stock or slightly modified vehicles and some of the best scenic vistas we have. Be advised that much of the trail is continuously bumpy. The Sand Flats Recreation area fee required of ordinary visitors is waived for our Easter Jeep Safari trails because we pay land-use fees in another way.

 

Scenery

There are canyon’s edge views into little-visited Negro Bill and Rill Canyons. Along Porcupine Rim, elevations are as high as 6,800 feet, and vistas are superb in all directions. 1,500 feet below is Castle Valley with its prominent buttes, Castle Rock, Priest and the Nuns, and Round Mountain. Farther away are the Colorado River canyon, the Book Cliffs and features in Colorado. The La Sal Mountains are nearby, and a look to the west reveals parts of Moab and surrounding canyons.

 

Road Surface

There is much sandy dirt, some loose sand, and oodles of rock in various forms. Although there is some slickrock, most encounters are with bedrock poking through in knobs and ledges that may spill your soda-pop onto the carpet. Because of its elevation, the trail occasionally has some snow or residual mud at Easter.

 

Obstacles

Early in the day are a few sandy hills and some slickrock slopes. Along the rim of Negro Bill Canyon are some small ledges that may hold up traffic. One of those can test the drive-train warranty on stock vehicles, but it has a bypass. The vicinity of the rim has a few more ledges and some of the bumpiest driving.