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Moab Off-Road Trail Spotlight: Gold Bar Rim, Rusty Nail Version

Honestly, the best thing about off-roading in Moab is the variety. Whether you want to take time and enjoy the stunning scenery, or you’re after a hardcore trail that’ll put you and your machine to the test; Moab has got the one for you. 

There are plenty of popular off-roading trails in Moab for you to explore. Plus, we organize some fantastic trail rides so you can safely explore off-roading and learn from the best.

But this trail isn’t for the faint-hearted. Gold Bar Rim, the Rusty Nail version will pit you against one of the most challenging trails out there. 

Gold Bar Rim, The Rusty Nail Version: Trail Overview

The Rusty Nail segment of the Gold Bar Rim trail is short, at only 1 mile, but packs a real punch with a rating of 8. With lots of ledges and obstacles, it’ll take your best off-roading skills to pull you through. 

A fantastic trail that’ll be sure to get your blood pumping, make sure you’ve brought a well-equipped 4WD rig with at least 35” tyres. Front and rear lockers for better traction are essential. You could bring along a winch, just in case, but it’s not required. 

The beauty of the Rusty Nail of Gold Bar Rim is that you have an opportunity to keep your adrenalin pumping by combining it with the toughest part of the Golden Spike Trail; the Golden Crack. You’re able to do this because the Rusty Nail provides a shortcut to the Golden Spike. Combine all of it with the entire Gold Bar Rim Trail, and you’re in for an off-roading experience that’ll thoroughly test your 4WD equipment. 

Gold Bar Rim, The Rusty Nail Version: Trail Scenery And Surface

The Rusty Nail will demand a lot of your attention, but if you can catch a moment to take in the scenery, you’ll be stunned. There are vast panoramic views that encompass the Colorado River, along with the canyons and mesas that surround it. Make sure to look out for the Gooney Bird Rock; thankfully, you’ll pass it twice, so you have a few chances to catch a glimpse. 

When you make it to the top of the Gold Bar Rim, you’ll be rewarded with clear views down into the Moab Valley. Not to mention you’ll get picture-perfect views of the Arches National Park and some of it’s 2,000 strong natural stone arches. 

You get real variety with the surfaces of Rusty Nail. Expect to tackle ledges and challenging off-camber sections. There are climbs over boulders and even a few smooth slick rock sections. Rusty Nail really delivers if you want to put yourself to the test. 

Gold Bar Rim, The Rusty Nail Version: Trail Obstacles And Other Details

Although you’ll be expected to tackle numerous ledges in Rusty Nail, only two have earned names. First up is “Riff Raff”, halfway into the trail. Being in two sections, you’ll only just have made it up onto a slanted slab before you’re climbing up more large rocks with undercuts and wide holes between them. 

Your second obstacle, “No Left Turn”, will, unsurprisingly, demand a hard right turn from you. Keep your wits about you as this obstacle will see you deal with slick rock and narrow paths; all the while attempting to avoid connecting the top of your rig with an oppressive wall. 

Once you’ve negotiated the Rusty Nail, you can look forward to the final Golden Spike obstacles. If you continue with the rest of the Gold Bar Rim Trail, you’ll get a chance at “The Waterfall” too. Visit our shop for trail maps and resources if you want to add these trails into your Rusty Nail experience. 

Don’t forget to visit your premier auto shop in Moab for a thorough fine-tune before you go out in your 4WD. 


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