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White Rim Alternatives

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Krycol08

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Hello!

Looks like my plans for a White Rim Trail excursion are falling through the cracks. Ranger did not sound hopeful I'd be able to do even half the trail. (Not mad about all the rain the region is getting/needed though). Still planning on 9 glorious Utah off-roading days though.

Looking for recs on where to possibly stay now that I find myself with 4 unaccounted for days out in Moab. Anyone have suggestions? Doesn't have to be in Canyonlands. Open to dispersed camping anywhere in the region! Also, if anyone has any insight on how/if they typically repair the trail that'd be amazing, too!

Thanks
- K
 

Neal A. Tew

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Bummer. If I understand, it sounds like White Rim Rd has been damaged by rain? Do you have any other sources or details you can share?

You might still consider using whatever portion of the trail is available for an out-and-back. I may lead a day trip next month out the Rim Rd to Lathrop Canyon down to the river. I'll probably combine this with Shafer Trail / Potash Rd and Long Canyon.

There's a lot of BLM camping north of Moab off Willow Springs Rd and Dalton Wells Rd, but it can get crowded. Willow Springs is a back way into Arches and fairly interesting, but I prefer to camp on Dalton Wells after the gatekeeper obstacle so you're past the RVs, etc.

Back to Long Canyon that I mentioned above, there's a side trail called Day Canyon with camping that has great views. I wouldn't want to use it as a base camp, but it might be one to use if you're moving each day.

Also, with 4 days to kill, if you've never been over to the Ouray, CO area and run those famous trails I urge you to consider it. But that is assuming you're going to be there pretty soon. What are your dates?
 

Krycol08

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Bummer. If I understand, it sounds like White Rim Rd has been damaged by rain? Do you have any other sources or details you can share?

You might still consider using whatever portion of the trail is available for an out-and-back. I may lead a day trip next month out the Rim Rd to Lathrop Canyon down to the river. I'll probably combine this with Shafer Trail / Potash Rd and Long Canyon.

There's a lot of BLM camping north of Moab off Willow Springs Rd and Dalton Wells Rd, but it can get crowded. Willow Springs is a back way into Arches and fairly interesting, but I prefer to camp on Dalton Wells after the gatekeeper obstacle so you're past the RVs, etc.

Back to Long Canyon that I mentioned above, there's a side trail called Day Canyon with camping that has great views. I wouldn't want to use it as a base camp, but it might be one to use if you're moving each day.

Also, with 4 days to kill, if you've never been over to the Ouray, CO area and run those famous trails I urge you to consider it. But that is assuming you're going to be there pretty soon. What are your dates?
Thanks for the recs! I'll definitely take a look into these. Will also probably consider an out and back to see more of the road. (Previously have done Schaffer to Gooseneck to Potash and some cruising about in the Needles)

Canyonlands put out an announcement a few days ago that all the monsoons really messed up the roads (Road Conditions - Canyonlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)). I called the Backcountry Office and they did not sound optimistic I'd make it to my first campsite. I'll be in Moab Sept 26-Oct 1. Plan was to drive, camp and hike White Rim Road Sept 27 - Sept 30. I'm bummed because we've been looking forward and planning this for months and a friend is coming from NY to join in so want to make this as amazing as we possibly still can.
 

Neal A. Tew

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Pueblo West, CO
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Thanks for the recs! I'll definitely take a look into these. Will also probably consider an out and back to see more of the road. (Previously have done Schaffer to Gooseneck to Potash and some cruising about in the Needles)

Canyonlands put out an announcement a few days ago that all the monsoons really messed up the roads (Road Conditions - Canyonlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)). I called the Backcountry Office and they did not sound optimistic I'd make it to my first campsite. I'll be in Moab Sept 26-Oct 1. Plan was to drive, camp and hike White Rim Road Sept 27 - Sept 30. I'm bummed because we've been looking forward and planning this for months and a friend is coming from NY to join in so want to make this as amazing as we possibly still can.
I'll bet it'll be doable by then if not already. It sounds passable today:

  • Shafer Trail: open, some sections rough and heavily washboarded
  • Mineral Bottom: open, but not recommended due to damage from a rock slide after recent storms
  • White Rim Road 4WD: open, expect rough sections, washouts, and areas of rockfall that must be negotiated after recent storms. Murphy Hogback not currently recommended for 4WD vans and similar vehicles.
Are you going clockwise?
 

Krycol08

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I'll bet it'll be doable by then if not already. It sounds passable today:



Are you going clockwise?

Nice! I just realized that it looked like crews were out based on trying to load that link I posted. I wish I could buy those crew members a beer. Three days ago there were pictures of huge boulders and major road damage.

And yup, going clockwise.
 

Neal A. Tew

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I ran this back in March and there was a road grader parked on that end near Mineral Bottom. It looked like it probably stayed in that area. As popular of a route as this is I bet they are after it pretty seriously. There's another attraction just below those switchbacks that sees a lot of usage. I think it is a boat ramp.

As for the issue at the Hogbacks, that spot is far more remote and doesn't likely see heavy equipment nearly as often. I can see where that could be a serious challenge under the right circumstances.

I would continue as planned because I believe it'll be fixed by then as long as nothing else happens. If not, I'd still probably go as far as the hogbacks and give them a look. Worst case you turn around and go back. On the return, your passenger has the view instead of the driver! If I found myself caught without a campsite I would just continue until near dark, find somewhere to stop for the night and break camp ASAP at sunrise. I'm sure you wouldn't be the first. It's unlikely anyone will come by after dark. But you do you. ;)
 

Krycol08

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I ran this back in March and there was a road grader parked on that end near Mineral Bottom. It looked like it probably stayed in that area. As popular of a route as this is I bet they are after it pretty seriously. There's another attraction just below those switchbacks that sees a lot of usage. I think it is a boat ramp.

As for the issue at the Hogbacks, that spot is far more remote and doesn't likely see heavy equipment nearly as often. I can see where that could be a serious challenge under the right circumstances.

I would continue as planned because I believe it'll be fixed by then as long as nothing else happens. If not, I'd still probably go as far as the hogbacks and give them a look. Worst case you turn around and go back. On the return, your passenger has the view instead of the driver! If I found myself caught without a campsite I would just continue until near dark, find somewhere to stop for the night and break camp ASAP at sunrise. I'm sure you wouldn't be the first. It's unlikely anyone will come by after dark. But you do you. ;)

Thanks so much for all your responses. Really appreciate it! Hopefully I can roll forward as planned but at the very least I have some ideas
 
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zgfiredude

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If the White Rim proves to be a no-go, you might take a look at the Rimrocker Trail from just south of Moab east to Montrose, CO. Or, there is A LOT to see in the San Rafael Swell around Green River.
 
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Krycol08

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If the White Rim proves to be a no-go, you might take a look at the Rimrocker Trail from just south of Moab east to Montrose, CO. Or, there is A LOT to see in the San Rafael Swell around Green River.
Hey! Thanks for the recs! Will check those out and seriously consider them for this trip…or dare I say next trip. I just can’t seem to stay out of that region
 
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Tundracamper

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Just based on my ride through Potash and Shafer trail and then over to Capital Reef and then onward to Bryce, I don’t see how you even scratch the surface in that length of time. Just drive and you’re bound to find something. I wish I had the time to do Cathedral Valley - though I have no idea if there is camping up that way. Regardless - don’t fret and enjoy! Even if you only get to do the non-famous trails, you’re not getting a lot of sympathy from me:)
 

Nate102

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Hope you're able to do the White Rim. Report back if you would. We're going down Mid October to do the White Rim trail and it will be the first time for me and everyone in our group to offroad in Moab. Like you, it's something we've had planned for months and getting anxious for the trip!
 
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Soulsearcher

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You could check out Swaseys Beach, and I believe there is dispersed camping around the San Raphael Swells. Swaseys Beach is nice, dispersed camping as you get past the pay campground.

Hello!

Looks like my plans for a White Rim Trail excursion are falling through the cracks. Ranger did not sound hopeful I'd be able to do even half the trail. (Not mad about all the rain the region is getting/needed though). Still planning on 9 glorious Utah off-roading days though.

Looking for recs on where to possibly stay now that I find myself with 4 unaccounted for days out in Moab. Anyone have suggestions? Doesn't have to be in Canyonlands. Open to dispersed camping anywhere in the region! Also, if anyone has any insight on how/if they typically repair the trail that'd be amazing, too!

Thanks
- K
 
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Krycol08

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Portland, OR, USA
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Krystle
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Cahill
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28782

Thanks for the recommendation! Especially the dispersed camping tip.




You could check out Swaseys Beach, and I believe there is dispersed camping around the San Raphael Swells. Swaseys Beach is nice, dispersed camping as you get past the pay campground.

Hello!

Looks like my plans for a White Rim Trail excursion are falling through the cracks. Ranger did not sound hopeful I'd be able to do even half the trail. (Not mad about all the rain the region is getting/needed though). Still planning on 9 glorious Utah off-roading days though.

Looking for recs on where to possibly stay now that I find myself with 4 unaccounted for days out in Moab. Anyone have suggestions? Doesn't have to be in Canyonlands. Open to dispersed camping anywhere in the region! Also, if anyone has any insight on how/if they typically repair the trail that'd be amazing, too!

Thanks
- K
 
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Maxterra

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I ran White Rim yesterday, Oct 11th. Did the entire trail and back to town in 9 hours. They’ve had lots of heavy rains recently and the trail showed it. Lots of washouts, heavy rutting, and some recent repairs. Was completely doable. Saw several stock 4x4’s on the road.
Got rain and even snow last night, so I’m feeling for all the bike groups and folks out tenting overnight. It was definitely cooling down yesterday afternoon.
 

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Tundracamper

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I ran White Rim yesterday, Oct 11th. Did the entire trail and back to town in 9 hours. They’ve had lots of heavy rains recently and the trail showed it. Lots of washouts, heavy rutting, and some recent repairs. Was completely doable. Saw several stock 4x4’s on the road.
Got rain and even snow last night, so I’m feeling for all the bike groups and folks out tenting overnight. It was definitely cooling down yesterday afternoon.
Had no idea it could snow in UT this early. Was it busy?

I’m planning an off-grid trip for May and may visit some NPs again (last time hotels), but not if the trails are real busy. I’m a little overwhelmed at the prospect of planning a multi-day trip out there for overlanding and camping.
 

Krycol08

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Portland, OR, USA
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Krystle
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Cahill
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Hope you're able to do the White Rim. Report back if you would. We're going down Mid October to do the White Rim trail and it will be the first time for me and everyone in our group to offroad in Moab. Like you, it's something we've had planned for months and getting anxious for the trip!
Hello!

So the road was pretty decent for the first half. Whitecrack to Candlestick was pretty beat up when we went. Lots of washouts. Saw some well built out rigs scrape and struggle in some spots. Even saw one break a control arm. But took it slow and smart and no issues. They laid down concrete on the way out of mineral bottom so that was great. Got stuck in a bad monsoon but no issues exiting

Have a blast!
 
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Krycol08

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Member
Adventure

Contributor II

1,688
Portland, OR, USA
First Name
Krystle
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Cahill
Member #

28782

I ran White Rim yesterday, Oct 11th. Did the entire trail and back to town in 9 hours. They’ve had lots of heavy rains recently and the trail showed it. Lots of washouts, heavy rutting, and some recent repairs. Was completely doable. Saw several stock 4x4’s on the road.
Got rain and even snow last night, so I’m feeling for all the bike groups and folks out tenting overnight. It was definitely cooling down yesterday afternoon.
Oh man snow so early! We went a week or so ago. Weather was definitely making a turn then. It was so windy I wondered how anyone in those bike groups was happy to be in a ground tent
 
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Krycol08

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Member
Adventure

Contributor II

1,688
Portland, OR, USA
First Name
Krystle
Last Name
Cahill
Member #

28782

I ran White Rim yesterday, Oct 11th. Did the entire trail and back to town in 9 hours. They’ve had lots of heavy rains recently and the trail showed it. Lots of washouts, heavy rutting, and some recent repairs. Was completely doable. Saw several stock 4x4’s on the road.
Got rain and even snow last night, so I’m feeling for all the bike groups and folks out tenting overnight. It was definitely cooling down yesterday afternoon.
Had no idea it could snow in UT this early. Was it busy?

I’m planning an off-grid trip for May and may visit some NPs again (last time hotels), but not if the trails are real busy. I’m a little overwhelmed at the prospect of planning a multi-day trip out there for overlanding and camping.
The trails are starting to not be packed. You can run a trail and maybe see one other person. I saw more bikes on trails than vehicles. With the exception of hell’s revenge which was thriving with UTVs

If you decide to get off the grid I’m more than happy to share my obsessive check lists and WR itinerary :)
 

Krycol08

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Portland, OR, USA
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Krystle
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Cahill
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Just based on my ride through Potash and Shafer trail and then over to Capital Reef and then onward to Bryce, I don’t see how you even scratch the surface in that length of time. Just drive and you’re bound to find something. I wish I had the time to do Cathedral Valley - though I have no idea if there is camping up that way. Regardless - don’t fret and enjoy! Even if you only get to do the non-famous trails, you’re not getting a lot of sympathy from me:)
Haha come one. Drop some tears for me

JK it was more the “where are we going to camp for 4 days” aspect. I could drive around that area all day and not get bored
 

Nate102

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60
Logan, Utah, USA
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Nate
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Cowley
Hope you're able to do the White Rim. Report back if you would. We're going down Mid October to do the White Rim trail and it will be the first time for me and everyone in our group to offroad in Moab. Like you, it's something we've had planned for months and getting anxious for the trip!
Hello!

So the road was pretty decent for the first half. Whitecrack to Candlestick was pretty beat up when we went. Lots of washouts. Saw some well built out rigs scrape and struggle in some spots. Even saw one break a control arm. But took it slow and smart and no issues. They laid down concrete on the way out of mineral bottom so that was great. Got stuck in a bad monsoon but no issues exiting

Have a blast!
Awesome! Sounds like you made some great memories. We're excited to get there. Looks like it will start warming up on Sunday when we head back home. Lol. Thanks for the info!