Deadman's Ridge

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 3.7 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Skill level:
Elevation: 4542 - 4809 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Moab Brands
Fee: none
Attractions: Challenging trail




The Deadman's Ridge trail is in the Moab Brands Mountain Biking Area north of Moab, Utah. The trail begins off of the Bar M Loop and follows the ridge heading south to the point where it makes its quick descent down to the Moab Canyon paved path. Much of the ridge is very rough and rocky but the trail as a whole probably has just as much smooth track as it has rocky patches. The trail gets its name from a bend in the old highway below the ridge that was called 'Deadman's Curve' by the locals. It is rated both difficult and technical.


By starting at the north end of the trail the steep climb at the other end can be avoided. The trailhead is about 3 tenths of a mile from the trailhead that is along the Moab Canyon paved path. To get there follow the Bar M Loop east past the EZ trail to the 4-way intersection of the Bar M, Lazy and Deadman's Ridge trails.


From the graph of the profile all of the ups and downs become apparent as well as the big descent at the other end of the trail. The total climbing elevation is 776 feet.


From the trailhead it is a short and easy climb to the ridge.


Once on the ridge the trail begins working out a path through the rocks.


Near the half mile point the Escape trail provides a quick 2 tenths of a mile route off of the ridge and down to the paved Moab Canyon trail.


As the trail continues along the ridge there are several places that offer good far off views of several arches in Arches National Parks to the east and the Klondike Bluffs area to the north.


Of course, you can't find views that are much prettier than those in the other direction on the west side of the trail.


The trail doesn't spend all of its time on top of the ridge. Eventually it drops down the hill a little and begins working in, out and around the various drainages.


The first of 2 spur trails that connect Deadman's Ridge with the Bar B Loop comes up around the 1.7 mile point and the second one comes up almost 3/4 of a mile further.


At the 2.9 mile point the Long Branch trail splits off on the left. The Long Branch trail runs for a little over 1 mile from here to the southern end of the Bar B Loop near the point where the Killer B trail begins.


From the Long Branch trail the route climbs a small hill to get on top of the ridge once again. From there the trail turns north, travels along the ridge a ways, and then makes the big 200 foot drop down to the Moab Canyon paved path. The descent is steep but nothing near as hairy as the Killer B trail. Once at the bottom we turned around and went back and did the Long Branch and Killer B trails before calling it a day. Deadman's Ridge is pretty bumpy in places and has a few technical spots but the trail seemed tamer than its name lets on. The following slideshow should have enough pictures to give a better idea what the trail is like. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.