Gemini Bridges Jeep Road – Moab, UT

Moab, UT

The weather in southern Utah has been very poor for the last couple of days.  We’ve seen rain, high winds, cold temperatures at various times.  Yesterday we even had some white flakes blowing around us.  We weren’t quite sure what they were, but a Google search indicated that it was a form of precipitation normally associated with Minnesota!

But we survived and finally headed out today for a Jeep ride.  Moab seems to be the Jeep capital of the world, as nine out of ten vehicles on the road seem to be Jeeps.   They even call dirt back roads Jeep roads and rate them in difficulty, going from one (easy) to ten (nuts).   Since we are experienced Jeepers (we made that word up!), we decided to really challenge ourselves and try a one.  Steve and Joan, fellow full-timers we met here in Moab, had told us to try the Gemini Bridge road, so off we went.  About nine miles north of town the trail begins in a large gravel parking area full of trailers hauling bikes and four wheelers.

Beginning of the trail

The road quickly rises as it takes you up along the side of a cliff.

Looking down at UT-191 headed toward Moab

After climbing up the side of the cliff for about half a mile, the road turns south into the canyon.

It then turns fairly smooth as it meanders through the rocks.

At one point we stopped to look around a bit.  Pam the photographer quickly spotted a beautifully colored bird sitting atop an old Juniper stump.  Knowing National Geographic would pay big bucks for a picture of this beautiful creature, she quickly adjusted the zoom on  the camera to get a great closeup, then snapped the picture.  But apparently this little guy didn’t want to be on the cover of some magazine, as he flew away just as she snapped the shutter.  But it still turned out to be a great picture.  You just have to use your imagination a bit and “see” the beautiful bird perched on the tree stump!

Picture of a beautiful bird

After about eight miles, we turned off the road on to one leading to Bull Canyon, where we understood you could see the Gemini Bridges from below.  That road was much rougher than the Gemini Bridges Road, but we got through with no problem.  After about three miles we parked next to a trail marker and hiked a short distance into the canyon.

Trail to the Gemini Bridges

As we rounded a corner we were treated to a great view of the Gemini Bridges.

The bridges look huge from below.  Note the hiker standing on some rocks in the picture below.  Before thousands of readers write to ask why they aren’t called arches, we’ll answer that question.  They are called bridges because they are formed by water, while an arch is formed by wind.  Now you know!

As we hiked the short distance back to the Jeep, Pam about gave John a heart attack when she shouted out some sort of unintelligible exclamation.  John looked around, ready to defend her from an attacking mountain lion or fend off some attackers.  But alas, her shouts were caused by the thrill of seeing a flower on a cactus!  She has been waiting a long time  to see a cactus in bloom, and there at her feet was a Hedgehog Cactus with one flower opened.  Oh, the joy ! ! !

We ate a bit of lunch before driving back down the Bull Canyon Road.  At times, there was no road at all, just a rocky wash to follow.

Back on Gemini Bridges Road we came to an intersection that gave us the option to take a Jeep road call “Metal Masher.”  We really wanted to test our skills on a road that promises to “mash metal” but felt we didn’t have enough time, so we’ll have to return to it in another life time.

Continuing, we came to the parking area next to a short trail leading to a view of the Gemini Bridges from above.

Heading to the Gemini Bridges

The view of the bridges from above is even more impressive than from below.

From a distance, there appears to be only one bridge.  But as you get nearer, the gap between the two appears.

There are many stories of daring, make that foolish hikers jumping the approximation six foot gap from one bridge to the next.  The picture below, taken off of the Internet, shows one of these fools in mid-air.  Pretty smart, don’t you think?

Gemini Bridges

Three years ago an eighteen year old boy scout tried it and fell backwards as he reached the other side, falling to his death.

Just east of the bridges are some large, rocky points that provide great views of the canyons below.  In the next picture you can see the trail we took earlier for our view of the bridges from below.

The snow covered La Sal Mountains to the east were spectacular!

Pam waves from atop the bridges

The Gemini Bridges Road continues southeast toward Canyonlands NP, but it was getting late in the day.  So we reversed course and returned back to the highway the same way we came in.

Gemini Bridges Road

There are at least two more Jeep roads in the area we want to check out, so we’ll be back in this area again tomorrow.  More on that later . . .

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24 Responses to Gemini Bridges Jeep Road – Moab, UT

  1. Sue says:

    you’ve burst my bubble….I was sure that was the nimble hiker leaping over the gap between the two bridges…..

  2. Paul Weaver says:

    I’m beginning to believe you two have some sort of death wish……be careful. Next thing it will be you jumping over the crevice.

  3. We may see a few of those white things tomorrow and then back to 60 on Monday…strange.

    Moab = Jeep capital; Texas = Truck capital

    I see bird prints on the rock, so I do believe there was one there. Nice try.

    What beauty Gemini Bridges are. So far removed from everything. Thanks for the explanation of the difference between a bridge and arch. Inquisitive minds want to know.

    To jump or not to jump….thank goodness you chose NOT!

    Your photos are absolutely awesome. The mountain photo is so beautiful. I think National Geographic would pay big bucks for that one. Another fabulous day of making memories.

  4. LuAnn says:

    Is the entire country experiencing wind and rain right now? All I can say about your photography and Utah is WOW! 🙂

  5. Lisa says:

    Fun! When we were there in 2007 we did the Gemini Bridges bike shuttle to the top and rode down. I only remember seeing the bridges from the top…guess I need to go back to see them from the bottom!

    I understand the flower excitement! 😉

    • placestheygo says:

      We saw many bikers riding up to the Gemini Bridge area to get to the many bike paths up there. Getting a shuttle up and riding down makes sense to me. Our neighbors here at the park told us to take the Bull Canyon “road” off Gemini to get to the bottom. Not sure you would want to do that rode on a bike…very rocky.

      Glad someone appreciates my flower excitement.

  6. Gay and Joe Taylor says:

    I can hardly wait! My excitement grows with every post!
    Awesome again….I agree…the picture with the snow-capped mountains in the background is perfect!
    I am so glad you saw the blooming hedgehog. Isn’t it nice that something so simple as a bloom can bring such great joy?
    Looking forward to more……

    • placestheygo says:

      You should be here for the flowering cactus. Many prickly pear are getting buds. This hedgehog was way ahead of the others. It was in a very protected area with no wind and lots of sun. I am glad there are people who understand my excitement…John didn’t!! It was only because he could find humor in posting the picture that it made the blog. He doesn’t get the flower thing! I think you may have picked the perfect time to visit.

  7. Amanda says:

    I’ve been wondering about that bridge vs. arch thing. Thanks for clearing it up. I am jealous you got to see the cactus flower- we’ve yet to come across one in bloom. Today we’re off to visit the Corona Arch!

    • placestheygo says:

      You need to go out and visit Gemini Bridges. But also do the lower road to Bull Canyon and then you can find the flowers. Let me know and I will tell you exactly where it is. It was loaded with blooms ready to open any day.

  8. I too thought the nimble hiker was testing her skills! Glad you found the cactus flower!

  9. Spectacular Photos! I can relate to Pam’s excitement upon seeing the flower for I would react the same way. Can a Honda CRV drive through there?
    By the time we get to Moab, we will have enough knowledge to differentiate an arch and a bridge, thank you.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Mona Lisa! Yes, you could get out to the top part on the Gemini Bridge Road. We saw two “regular” cars out there. John said he wouldn’t have done it in one of those but a little clearance would make it fine. The bottom road would be a little too challenging though.

  10. Erin says:

    No white stuff here, but we got plenty of the wet stuff yesterday. Thanks for the Gemini Bridges tour … since we don’t tow a 4WD, I guess we’re going to have to miss this one unless there is a road that a non 4WD, high-clearance vehicle can negotiate to get there … specifically a CR-V.

    I’ve seen a lot of hikers do stupid things on trails, so it doesn’t surprise me that people try to jump over the crack … so sad someone died trying for bragging rights to the jump.

    • placestheygo says:

      You could probably drive the upper road to Gemini Bridges. We were surprised to see two “regular” cars out there. John said he wouldn’t try it with out a little extra clearance. I wouldn’t take the lower road to Bull Canyon. That was much trickier but we didn’t to use any lower gear. Most people only do the top anyway. Our neighbors told us about the lower road.

  11. Linda says:

    Wonderful post and gorgeous photos!

  12. Karen S. says:

    Thank you for all the info. I for one am terrified of heights. Plus the thought of my kids not listening and getting to close to the edge or something does not help. We hope to be going next year. I have seen pictures of the fiery furnace and say ummm no, seeing your pics of the drop offs yikes. We are thinking of a hummer tour, hell’s gate or something, then saw a video and now not sure of that….awww being afraid of heights is not a good thing.

    • placestheygo says:

      Glad you found the post helpful, Karen. You’ll be surprised that you don’t get the same feeling of height in the rocks as say a tall building or bridge. Moab is an amazing area. We are returning for a month next spring. Enjoy:)

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