Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Porcupine Rim was originally a 4x4 route and as such, is a Moab classic.
Along with nearby Slickrock and other 4x4 routes like Amasa Back, Porcupine Rim was one of the first trails that mountain bikers started riding in the 80s.
Nowadays, most riders choose to ride Porcupine Rim as the final section of a shuttle run on The Whole Enchilada.
That said, even if the higher sections of TWE are snowed in, odds are good that Porcupine Rim is still rideable.
The first roughly 2/3 of this route is 4x4 road—but extremely gnarly 4x4 road.
Massive ledge drops, deep sand pits, and never-ending rock gardens will challenge mountain bikers despite the width of the road.
The harrowing technical challenges lead to drop-dead-gorgeous views off of the Rim itself.
Lower down, a singletrack portion of Porcupine Rim branches off the 4x4 road, and the technicality of this route goes through the roof.
While a good bit of it is rideable by mere mortals, portions of this trail reach double black diamond difficulty—and beyond.
A few corners and rock moves are only rideable by professional-level mountain bikers and will require less-skilled riders to carry their bikes.
Some parts of this trail are also very exposed, but the gorgeous views of the canyon, and finally the Colorado River, are well-worth the challenge. While Porcupine Rim is now best enjoyed with The Whole Enchilada, on its own it's still an epic mountain bike ride in every sense of the word!