Metal Masher

A major trail goal is Arth’s Rim, which overlooks Highway 191 about 1300 feet below. The route first angles up the sloping part of the cliff to a gap in the rim rock. 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 the approach to the rim though Mirror Gulch is difficult and threatens sheet metal. Widowmaker Hill could be considered a “8” rating with few vehicles making it under their own power. Your leader is likely to take the roundabout bypass to the top of Widowmaker, but he may authorize the original route for vehicles that have very short overhangs, very large tires, both differentials locked, and 100+ inch wheelbase. In the past, it has simply taken too much time to winch or drag most of the vehicles up.

Scenery: The road portion on the slope beneath 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. The trail leader may have time to include Gemini Bridges or 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 used occasionally as a 7+ playground that triumphs over some awfully good equipment. The “easy” route through narrow Mirror Gulch includes difficult rock steps. The original route via Widowmaker Hill climbs a big ridge in two stages. The lower section is a tippy, narrow cliff-side 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 that is being dug increasingly deeper. Trust your trail leader for guidance to avoid this one; it has the same overhang and center clearance problems as the Dump Bump but is now taller. There is another short, but vexing option called Mother-in-Law hill.

Trail Rating: Red

Trail Description Courtesy of RR4W