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blue White Rim Trail

  4.6 ( 58 ) Favorite

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Trail

100.7 mile 162.1 kilometer loop
0% Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 5,699' 1,737 m
Descent: -5,683' -1,732 m
High: 6,181' 1,884 m
Low: 3,949' 1,204 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

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

Leslie Kehmeier

E-Bikes Not 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 overnight stays along the White Rim: http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/backcountrypermits.htm

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 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.

Description

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

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

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Check-Ins

May 19, 2019
Andrew C Hallburton
100.7mi
Apr 11, 2019
Sarah Hunter
An incredible trip! Did this as a self-supported trip (no vehicle) with my husband and our two teenage sons last week. Such an amazing journey.
Mar 29, 2019
Lauren Marie
w Micha, Pat, Tyler, Haley, Nathan + Kristin 100mi
Oct 25, 2018
Talise Dow
Solo self supported overnight virtually off the couch. Carried 2 gallons of water. Didn’t feel too bad afterward! — 14h 00m
Oct 22, 2018
Hiram Ramos
Not my type of ride... only fun down hill fire road. 20mi
Oct 20, 2018
Gee Toe
Oct 19, 2018
Gee Toe
Oct 4, 2018
Danno Steuer

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 58 votes

#47

Overall
  4.6 from 58 votes
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#10

in Utah

#47

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137,447 Since Apr 30, 2013
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Eric - Yes, you can do it in one day. I have done it solo twice and will be doing it again next Friday 4/19/19. I have started at sunrise at the bottom of Mineral Canyon as I like to get that big climb out of the way and while it is still cool. I take two liters of Water in a Camelbak and two 32 oz bottles of other fluids. Plus lots of snacks and GUs. Bring all your tools and 2 spares if tubeless. You will see other folks but don't count on anyone having room for you & your bike while also heading out of the canyon that day. I have done this on Memorial Day weekend and that is way too late as it is too hot. April is perfect. I have used a big suspension bike and that is too much. I used a hard tail last year and would have like more cush. This year I am using my Specialized Epic WC full suspension race bike and it will be perfect! Apr 12, 2019
Does anyone know how the flooding situation is on the White Rim trail right now? I am traveling from Washington to do the trail May 22-29 and we did get a warning email about flooding from the NPS. What is the best way to monitor the current flooding situation? Thanks! May 12, 2019
@Danielle Watson -- we just biked White Rim this past weekend and while the Green River was high, there wasn't any flooding. You can check this website to keep tabs on water flow. Per the warning on the Canyonlands website, flooding can occur at 15,500 cfs: waterdata.usgs.gov/ut/nwis/… 4 hours ago

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