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White Rim Trail

Intermediate
 4.6 (74) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An amazing adventure in Canyonlands high on a plateau between the Green and Colorado Rivers.


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Map Key

100.8

Miles

162.2

KM

0%

Singletrack

6,180' 1,884 m

High

3,950' 1,204 m

Low

5,656' 1,724 m

Up

5,636' 1,718 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

37%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Allowed

Features Commonly Bikepacked

Overview

The White Rim is a popular long-distance bike route in Canyonlands National Park. The route circumnavigates the Island Mesa high above the Colorado and Green Rivers.

The route is best done in 3-5 days with vehicle support, overnighting at designated campgrounds along the way. A 4WD vehicle is required to drive the route

The ride can be done in either direction. Each side of the rim has a long and steep descent - you'll get to climb one of them at the end of the route.

Need to Know

A permit is required for day trips and overnight trips along the White Rim: nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/…
The White Rim is very remote and doesn't have any services other than what's available at the Island in the Sky Visitor Center (not much) or in Moab. Be prepared with food, water, fuel and any other gear needed for multiple days in the backcountry.

Campgrounds along the route are designated but primitive. Pit toilets are available; bring toilet paper since it can be lacking.

Be aware that road conditions can change due to heavy rains and/or river flooding. In this case, mud and slippery clay may be an issue on the road and at the camps, especially on the Green River side. Your support vehicle may not be able to pass during high water:. waterdata.usgs.gov/ut/nwis/…

Drivers need to check for other vehicles before launching up or down the hard bits!

Description

White Rim Route described in a clockwise direction with campground mileages.

The starting point on this map is located at the junction of Grand View Point Rt-Island in the Sky Rt and Shafer Canyon Rd 142.

Note: another starting point is back up Hwy 313 at junction with BLM 129. This is where the BLM Campground near Deadhorse Point is located. It is on the return of the White Rim Loop.

Shafer (mile 7)
You'll descend Shafer, a section of road that is tucked into the sandstone cliffs of Canyonlands. Its steep and exciting and quickly transports you from the top to the White Rim. Bear right at an intersection that takes you to Potash Road.

From here to the turn off to White Crack, the eastern side of the rim provides good views of Deadhorse Point State Park and endless views of canyon country.

Airport (mile 19)
Two highlights along the way are Gooseneck Overlook and Musselman Arch.

Gooseberry (mile 30)
Washer Woman Tower is a highlight. It will be on the right as you're pedaling towards Gooseberry. It's actually a series of three large sandstone spires.

White Crack (mile 39)
The route from Gooseberry to here is uphill but not too strenuous. Turn off from the main White Rim route to access White Crack campground, a favorite for many. The intersection is the transition from the Colorado River to Green River side of Canyonlands National Park.

Murphy Hogback (mile 45)
From White Crack the route is rolling until right before Murphy Hogback. Expect a very steep, grinding climb to the top of the pass. There are great campsites to be had right on the rim.

Candlestick (mile 55)
It's generally downhill and easier pedaling to Candlestick, an open campsite below a prominent spire. The spot is also close to the rim with great views of the Green River below.

Potato Bottom (mile 66)
The White Rim continues it's downhill trend to Potato Bottom. You'll pass a few vertigo-inducing views along the way. As you approach river level you'll notice a few more bits of vegetation.

Hardscrabble Bottom (mile 66)
It's a short distance between Potato Bottom and Hardscrabble with a big loose, technical climb in between. This is where it's obvious that a 4WD drive support vehicle is necessary. The campsite is tucked to your left on the river side once you reach the bottom.

Labybrinth (mile 72)
At the intersection with the road to Taylor campground. Not always a great place to stop for the night when trying to space out campsites equally.

Taylor (mile 77)
Off the main White Rim route. At the intersection with Labyrinth take a right and head inward to find the campground. Access to the Zeus and Moses formation.

Beyond Labyrinth, the White Rim transitions to Mineral Road (aka Horsethief) which winds and climbs back to the Island in the Sky Visitor's Center.

Contacts

Shared By:

Leslie Kehmeier with improvements by Scott Gallagher and 4 others

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 74 votes

#17

Overall
  4.6 from 74 votes
5 Star
70%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

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in Utah

#17

Overall
3,163 Views Last Month
177,927 Since Apr 30, 2013
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Photos

On day 1 of the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands NP, the views are already otherworldly.
Feb 28, 2017 near Moab, UT
White Rim Trail, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT.
May 12, 2016 near Moab, UT
Just after starting out on the trail, dropping down into the canyon
Apr 3, 2013 near Moab, UT
Mineral Bottom switchbacks
Nov 26, 2020 near Moab, UT
Day one of our three-day White Rim tour.
Aug 24, 2016 near Moab, UT
Getting into it on our first day on the White Rim with the snowy La Sals in the distance.
Aug 24, 2016 near Moab, UT

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 53 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Feb 25, 2021
F Felix
Cold and some wind, but clear and beautiful with great riding conditions. Shafer Trail is still closed for winter, so ride up Potash road to start.
Nov 19, 2020
F Felix
Weather just got better! Trail is in great shape—even Murphy's Hogback and Hardscrabble Hill are about as smooth and easy to drive as they ever get.
Oct 1, 2020
David Helder
Jun 15, 2020
Alexander Lex
Nov 19, 2019
Ryan Dunn
Oct 28, 2019
Wild Skies
Oct 24, 2019
Ry Zy
Oct 17, 2019
Wild Skies