Summary: The 4+ rated Porcupine Rim Trail is long and bumpy but affords fantastic views of Castle Valley and the La Sal Mountains. Many take the trail just to get a picture of their side x side on “Picture Rock” which protrudes out over the 1,500 drop off into Castle Valley.
Location: The trail leaves Sand Flats Road around 9 miles from Moab. It covers the country north of Sand Flats Road and west of Porcupine Rim which forms the west wall of Castle Valley.
Scenery: Scenery is the main attraction on this trail. The views into Castle Valley are awesome and will keep your camera very busy. The La Sal Mountains make an appropriate backdrop to the upper end of Castle Valley and add variety to the view. On the way in, the steep walled Negro Bill Canyon is very interesting, if not a little intimidating as you drive along the top of its steep walls.
The Trail: Not too long after beginning the trail, it begins to closely parallel Negro Bill Canyon. The canyon was named after a small rancher who, many years ago, fenced off the lower end of the Canyon by the Colorado River and grazed cattle here. There was no need to fence any of the rest of the canyon. The trail crosses the upper part of the Negro Bill drainage and quickly climbs toward Porcupine Rim. The most spectacular views are from the Porcupine Rim edge which the trail closely follows for about 1 1/2 miles. Toward the end of these spectacular views is “Picture Rock” where you can drive your rig out over a 1,500 foot drop off and get pictures of it with the La Sal Mountains as the backdrop. After this there is one challenging sand hill that is complicated with larges pieces of rock mixed in with the sand.