Bull Run

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 5.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate - Strenuous
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 5097 - 5730 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Mag 7/Arth's Corner
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic adventure




Bull Run is located in the Gemini Bridges Area near Moab, Utah. It is the first trail in the Magnificent Seven group of trails that stretch from the Magnificent Seven trailhead, through the Gemini Bridges Area, and end up connecting to Highway 279 along the Colorado River west of Moab. When beginning at the Mag 7 trailhead the trail is a downhill run that parallels Bull Canyon.


The most common beginning point for Bull Run is to start at the Magnificent 7 trailhead and ride it downhill. For this post we are going to do just the opposite and ride it uphill after having ridden the Getaway trail downhill to this point.


Bull Run has an average grade of 5% but there are some spots that are a lot steeper. As the elevation profile shows there are a few pretty good uphill places even going from the Mag 7 trailhead down to Arth's Corner.


The trail starts out coursing along the rocky ledges above the Gemini Bridges Road.


From there the trail cuts across the south end of Arth's Pasture where the track is pretty much all dirt surrounded by low brush. At the 3/4 mile point the trail crosses the Gemini Bridges Road and heads over toward Bull Canyon.


At times the trail travels right on the slickrock near the canyons upper rim. If you are coming down from the Mag 7 trailhead you will want to keep your speed under control in a few places that are close to the edge. Going in the direction that we are there is just enough uphill slope that it isn't really a problem.


It is hard to find anyone coming down this part of Bull Run that doesn't have a big smile on their face. This is some pretty good mountain biking.


At the 1.75 mile point Bull Run crosses the road heading into Four Arch Canyon. A detour into the canyon to see the arches will add about 5 miles round trip.


After crossing the road the trail begins to get a little steeper as it continues paralleling the rim on broken slickrock.


Other than a few minor ledges to pop over the track remains about the same as the lower section.


Near the 3 mile point a spur trail that connects to the Gemini Bridges Road and the Getaway trail breaks off on the right.


The steepness of the trail increases once again as the trail begins climbing over broken slickrock with loose rocks in places.


Near the 6 mile point the trail crosses over the ridge where there is now a canyon on the righthand side of the trail. The distant views of Monitor and Merrimac are pretty good from here.


There are a few spots in this area of the trail that are more technical in nature regardless of the direction that you are traveling.


The last section of trail running up to the trailhead follows a dirt track through the trees that is still uphill but not as steep. Riding Bull Run in the uphill direction is a good aerobic workout. If that is what you are looking for you won't be disappointed. Those that are in the best of shape might enjoy doing the entire Magnificent 7. Consider following the Poison Spider route to the highway rather than the Portal trail. There is a narrow extremely exposed section on the Portal trail that has claimed several lives already. The exposure is enough that we won't even hike across it yet alone ride it. As far as Bull Run itself goes, if you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.