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Old 12-20-2015, 07:09 PM   #1
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White Rim Road in Winter

We are considering the White Rim Road in Canyonlands NP between Christmas and New Years. Right now the weather shows some snowy conditions on Dec 22-23, 2015. I imagine that the ground will be frozen as the Highs predicted are in the 30's and Lows in the teens.

Has anyone done the White Rim Road in the wintertime?
What is the road like?
Is the road passable in those conditions or would it be too slick?
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:20 PM   #2
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I wouldn't think the rangers would let you anywhere near it if it was bad, but........
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:15 PM   #3
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To access to White Rim itself, you'll drive the Shafer Trail which could be quite dangerous if ground is really frozen. It's steep, so you really don't want to slip down there!
They are also some steep places on the White Rim itself that could be difficult to pass with really frozen ground... I would recommend to carry a pair of tire chains at least.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:30 PM   #4
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Could be hit or miss depending on what weather precedes your time there. Traveling on frozen ground with some loose snow on top is the best. Once it thaws out, it gets real slick and sticky. TT other users during the day/s and see what they have to tell you about coming from the other way so you'll be in the know. If Shafer is ice, then yes, you might want to make that an uphill in 4x4 locked.
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:29 AM   #5
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You don't have to do Shafer as you can come in via the river road. Registering at the trailhead is optional these days - so if it's bad go in via Moab and the river road.

You Cannot avoid the Mineral Bottom hill... Call the rangers, they are probably bored out of their minds and looking forward for these types of questions in December.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:12 AM   #6
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You don't have to do Shafer as you can come in via the river road. Registering at the trailhead is optional these days - so if it's bad go in via Moab and the river road.
Past March, the river road (Potash road, then river road) was closed due to a large landslide. A ranger told me that it could take several years before opening that road again. So you should ask at Moab visitor center before to choose that road.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:33 AM   #7
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Past March, the river road (Potash road, then river road) was closed due to a large landslide. A ranger told me that it could take several years before opening that road again. So you should ask at Moab visitor center before to choose that road.
It's open according to this post from 3 weeks ago (http://rompingandnguyening.com/2015/...hite-rim-road/). NPS site says Shafer is closed (http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisi...conditions.htm)...

Either way give them a call & go prepared will be a killer time to be there. Take chains as it get Very Slick when the clay on Murphy's/Potato Bottom/etc are wet...
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:03 AM   #8
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Good news, thanks for sharing Dick.
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Old 12-21-2015, 04:49 PM   #9
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I just got off the horn with the ranger. He said Shafer was closed but Potash is open and fine. They got 8" of snow a few days ago and it is sticking around. He said the toughest would be if it thawed out and became mud then froze and it would be a giant ice block. Nothing besides Shafer Trail is closed from a camping or trail standpoint. I think we might just hang on a bit and go in the spring...

While I have you here, Which Campgrounds do you all prefer, and how many nights for a leisurely passage on White Rim Road?
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:45 PM   #10
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While I have you here, Which Campgrounds do you all prefer, and how many nights for a leisurely passage on White Rim Road?
I prefer any campground in Utah. I've heard about 2 nights to do the loop.

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