Moab UT Area: Up from US 191 to Gemini Bridges and Back Down Via Pucker Pass - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Moab UT Area: Up from US 191 to Gemini Bridges and Back Down Via Pucker Pass

While recently in southeastern Utah, I drove a route not personally visited before. Well, at least the uphill portion. After a coin toss with my wife to choose between two different trails, tails won out and she got to pick. We departed up off of US highway 191 and ascended the climb up to Gemini Bridges and view them from above. The trail begins at US 191 and ends at UT Hwy 313. Hwy 313 takes you to Dead Horse Point State Park and the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park.


The route can be taken both ways; however, the route UP to the Bridges is definitely more interesting than the way DOWN from RT 313. You can manage the down route on roller skates. In fact, as we were departing Gemini Bridges, a Mini Cooper was arriving coming from the DOWN hill way. That would not be possible going UP.

From US 191, you leave the highway and parallel it for a ways. Then you begin climbing up to the rim. The ascent, while moderate compared to other Moab area challenges, is not too bad. A few sections may require 4W lo.
Doing the uphill route to Gemini Bridges takes you by a rock formation named "The Goonie Bird." Local tradition has it that if you run over the Goonie Bird's toes, it will bring you good luck. If being out in nature and enjoying its many beauties is considered good luck, I'll take it.

From a distance, Gemini Bridges appear as one thick bridge. But upon closer inspection, you can discern two separate side by side spans. Each are about 250 feet off of the deck. There is an approximate 8 foot gap separating them. In the past, some overly inebriated knuckle heads have tried to jump from one bridge to another. Back in 2010, an 18 year old discovered the deadly consequences of making the attempt. The human body encounters unhealthy consequences in an uncontrolled gravity descent of 250 feet. So sad. Additionally, as of recent, Jeeps have been driven across the spans. Getting a vehicle within a 100 feet is not an option as there is a fenced parking area now.

We departed by heading out the near hard top like road over to ST Hwy 313. We then descended back down to Moab by way of Long Canyon and Pucker Pass.

(About half way up the US 191 way to Gemini Bridges is a turn off to Bull Canyon. We did not take this road, but you can get close up to the bottom of Gemini Bridges for another perspective).

Some pics. (not necessarily in order: climbing up the trail above US 191 with views into Arches National Park; view of The Goonie Bird; views of Gemini Bridge; descend down Long Canyon and Pucker Pass.
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Last edited by taatmk; 11-12-2015 at 04:33 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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A couple more...
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Last edited by taatmk; 11-12-2015 at 04:33 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 03:27 PM
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 03:40 PM
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Such beautiful scenery, the TH looks at home there!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 03:43 PM
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Awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 03:58 PM
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I always enjoy your posts and pics. Thanks for continuing to share!

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 04:04 PM
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Fantastic pix. Many thanks for sharing! - Ted

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 04:33 AM
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Too much snow in Moab this week . . .

I was going to try this same trip yesterday—west on Gemini Bridges road, and back on Long Canyon road through pucker pass—in the V6 Tralhawk that Enterprise Rental gave me this month for my regular work trip from Salt Lake down to NM. Unfortunately, after a half mile of mud, the trail turned to very hard-packed snow verging on ice in the shadow of the Moab Rim. As the road got steeper, the confidence inspired by "easy" rating in the FunTreks guide to Moab 4WDrive trails, and by the lady at the Moab Visitor Information Center ("Gemini Bridges should be fine. Long Canyon might be a little icy") was slipping away. So, when the Trailhawk started slipping at 1.35 miles, in 4Low snow mode, I got out of the vehicle to asses the situation, and found that I could barely stand on the slick, packed snow. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, I put some calming Bach piano suites on the stereo, made a hesitant ten-point turn, and descended very slowly.

Consolation Prize:I drove to the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, and hiked to the upheaval dome overlooks, and several other short hikes, wearing my YakTrax mini-crampons.

I did have a more successful off-road venture last week when I drove the Trailhawk right up to the base of the Shiprock Diatreme, driving along the igneous dike that extends south from the volcanic plug.

More importantly, I suppose, is that I enjoyed the Trailhawk on the highway. Since I pass through Moad twice every month, usually spending the night, a Cherokee Trailhawk would make for a great commuter.

Anyhow, I've enjoyed silently lurking here on your forums for the last 10 days while I've had this rental—Thanks!
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