One-way Distance: 3.5 miles
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 4643 - 5083 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hrs. 15 mins.
Trailhead: Arth's Corner/Little Canyon
Attractions: Scenic canyons/distant views
The Great Escape trail is located in the Gemini Bridges Area near Moab, Utah. The trail begins at the Arth's Corner trailhead on the Gemini Bridges Road where it follows a mostly slickrock route that parallels Bull Canyon. Near the halfway point of the trail it crosses the Bull Canyon Road and continues over dirt track and slickrock to where it meets the Little Canyon trail. A short hiking trail near the top of Great Escape leads over to a good view point of the Gemini Bridges.
To get to the Arth's Corner trailhead drive 9 miles north of Moab on Highway 191, turn left onto Highway 313, and continue for about 13 miles to the Gemini Bridges Road. Follow the Gemini Bridge Road for 5.5 miles to the trailhead. Under good conditions the trailhead is accessible by 2-wheel drive vehicles. Vehicles with very low clearance might want to park at the Gemini Bridges trailhead which is probably not more than a quarter mile away.
For this post we are starting from the lower end of the Great Escape trail which is at the 1.5 mile point of the Little Canyon trail and 3.1 miles from Arth's Corner trailhead via the Arth's Corner and Little Canyon trails. If you are making a loop out of the 3 trails the total distance comes out to about 6.6 miles.
From the Little Canyon trail the route follows the green stripes over patches of slickrock and red dirt.
As the trail works its way toward the west it loses 30-40 feet of elevation before it gets a little more serious about climbing.
The profile shows how the elevation transitions over the length of the trail.
The lower part of the trail can be fast even in the uphill direction.
The slickrock has an awkward transition at one point where caution is advised.
There are a few ledges where an aggressive approach makes for an easier time of it.
For the most part the trail was designed to keep everything within an intermediate skill level taking advantage of the routes natural transitions.
At the 1.72 mile point the Great Escape trail crosses the Bull Canyon Road not too far from where it meets up with the Gemini Bridges Road.
After crossing the Bull Canyon Road the trail begins paralleling Bull Canyon and the climb gets steeper.
Much of the climbing is up long sections of smooth slickrock.
Near the upper end of the trail is a short hiking spur that leads to the edge of the canyon about a hundred yards away.
From here you can get a decent view of the Gemini Bridges. The two parallel natural bridges look more like a single arch from here but it is still worth checking out. The views of the canyon from here are pretty incredible also.