Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gemini Bridges Trail

The Gemini Bridges Trail is a popular mountain bike and 4WD route north and west of Moab, in southeast Utah. The Bridges are two side by side large openings in Wingate Sandstone with wide level tops that can be walked across.

The best access for hikers is from Utah Route 313, the road leading to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands. At mile post 9.4, the Gemini Bridges Road is a well marked turn to the east. After 3.7 miles on a normally smooth dirt road, there is a major junction of three rougher roads. Following wet weather, the road might be rutted or have muddy spots. I started my hike at this junction. From the junction, it is about 1.5 miles to the start of the short Gemini Bridges Trail. Most of the visitors will be arriving on a vehicle or a bike. One of the other roads at the junction is the Metal Masher Jeep Trail, marked with small MM signs. In spring there are good views toward the snow capped La Sal Mountains.
This hiking route arrives at the top of the Gemini Bridges. Some areas around the parking area have been closed off for vegetation restoration. There is a long 4WD route that arrives in the bottom of Bull Canyon below the Gemini Bridges. The hike from the parking area to the top of the bridges is about 0.2 miles.

The two side by side bridges are 89 and 70 feet long, 10 feet apart, and both are 26 feet wide. It is about 250 feet to the bottom and there aren’t any safety fences here. There is a large cavern further inside the rock formation behind the bridges that has a thin layer of rock covering it.

About half way to Gemini Bridges there is a side road leading into Four Arches Canyon that makes a good combination hike with the Gemini Bridges hike. About 1.7 miles down this road are four arches that are close together. My hike to Gemini Bridges and the Four Arches took 4:00 hours for about 7.5 miles on a 55 F mid March blue sky day. I carried 3 liters of water and drank two.


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