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skyrat 12-20-2015 07:09 PM

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?

86Scotty 12-20-2015 08:20 PM

I wouldn't think the rangers would let you anywhere near it if it was bad, but........:a4:

Pschitt 12-20-2015 11:15 PM

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.

eddyturn 12-20-2015 11:30 PM

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.

dick 12-21-2015 09:29 AM

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.

Pschitt 12-21-2015 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dick (Post 166157)
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. ;)

dick 12-21-2015 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pschitt (Post 166160)
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 (https://rompingandnguyening.com/2015/...hite-rim-road/). NPS site says Shafer is closed (https://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...

Pschitt 12-21-2015 11:03 AM

Good news, thanks for sharing Dick.

skyrat 12-21-2015 04:49 PM

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?

86Scotty 12-21-2015 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyrat (Post 166182)

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.

:b5:

dick 12-21-2015 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyrat (Post 166182)
While I have you here, Which Campgrounds do you all prefer, and how many nights for a leisurely passage on White Rim Road?

White Crack is a must if you have the time for a layover day - Many people spend 2-3 days there enjoying the quiet. Murphy's "C" is all alone on the west facing rim for nice sunsets and solitude. Potato Bottom "C" has more shade the others.

Other than those they are all pretty much even in my mind. Solitude Isn't a problem until it warms up a ton & the bikers get out there..

skyrat 12-21-2015 06:30 PM

Okay, I'll play along..."Which campgrounds ON the White Rim Road do you prefer?"

skyrat 12-22-2015 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dick (Post 166185)
White Crack is a must if you have the time for a layover day - Many people spend 2-3 days there enjoying the quiet. Murphy's "C" is all alone on the west facing rim for nice sunsets and solitude. Potato Bottom "C" has more shade the others.

Other than those they are all pretty much even in my mind. Solitude Isn't a problem until it warms up a ton & the bikers get out there..

Thank you!!

86Scotty 12-22-2015 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyrat (Post 166187)
Okay, I'll play along..."Which campgrounds ON the White Rim Road do you prefer?"

Sorry George, I couldn't resist. I just really wish I was out there anywhere this time of year instead of wet, muggy Tennessee. Yep, it's still wet and muggy here, in December!

I have camped a lot around White Rim, but not actually on it. The loop was impassable due to flooding on the West side last time I was there and we couldn't do the whole thing, so no camping at all for us. We just did a day out and back and got about a third of the way around. We have camped a few times at Cowboy near the park entrance/Island in the Sky, and also just down the road at Horsethief. I'm sure neither are as good or scenic as the ones on the rim trail.

:b5:

skyrat 12-22-2015 06:34 PM

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all. I have read hundreds of your posts Scotty and I have benefitted from every one.
Thanks!

Wheelie 12-22-2015 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 86Scotty (Post 166183)
I prefer any campground in Utah. ;) I've heard about 2 nights to do the loop.

:b5:

two nights, take it slow and hike.......do 3 nights.

I did it in two on a bicycle.. :d3:

86Scotty 12-26-2015 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyrat (Post 166254)
Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all. I have read hundreds of your posts Scotty and I have benefitted from every one.
Thanks!

Thanks man, but I'm no expert, just a guy stuck living on the wrong side of the country. Practically everything I know I've learned from other forum members here, and I've been lucky enough to get out there a few times and explore. I'm always hungry to get back. I'm really trying to figure out how to get out to Moab and a few choice spots in the Southwest, like DV, sometime other than high summer, but my wife is a teacher and my kids are still young. The PNW is the real wonderland to me, but it's like driving to Moab......twice! :eek:
It always baffles me to consider what some folks spend on world travel when there's so much to do and see without crossing an ocean.

:b5:


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