Poison Spider Bench (Map ID: 12)
Views of the Colorado River.
1.25 miles one-way to overlook of river; allow 2 hours round trip
The parking lot for the trailhead is 5.9 miles from US Highway 191 on SR 279. The trailhead begins on the Poison Spider Jeep Trail, about 1/4 miles from the parking lot.
The trail is on an old road that has been closed to motorized and mechanized use. The trail is mostly level with one short climb. The trail has great views, especially towards Moab and the La Sal Mountains. Look for an arch on the rim to your right (northeast) near the end of the trail. The trail ends at a viewpoint with good views of the Colorado River.
Biological soil crust, also known as cryptobiotic soil, is the foundation of desert plant life. This black, knobby crust is made up of many different living organisms and plays a vital role in maintaining the desert ecosystem. Biocrust holds together sand grains, which helps prevent erosion and dust. It also holds moisture and fixes nitrogen in the soil, which helps plants to survive. However, this sensitive soil is extremely fragile and can take decades to grow. Even a footstep can damage the crust for decades, having lasting impacts on the desert environment. Please stay on the trails. Help protect this fragile, but crucial, life by remaining on designated roads, routes, and trails at all times. Where hiking trails are not established, hike in sandy washes (dry stream beds) or on bare rock.
Note that immature biocrust looks similar to light-colored bare soil but develops into the mature black pinnacles shown on the right.