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My White Rim Trail Adventures

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Old 11-08-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
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My White Rim Trail Adventures

Years and years ago I did this trip - long before it was popular.




But I've wanted to return for many years, so finally decided to pull the trigger. The White Rim Trail was closed for quite some time when one of the roads was washed away, but was reopened this March. The first decent Backcountry Permit/Campsite available wasn't until the first week of November.

We would be traveling with a couple of long-time friends, but we were all arriving at different times. We arrived and spent a day doing the traditional tourist thing.


Arches National Park...

We weren't able to find someone to watch my wifes puppy (Sprocket) so we would be taking him along. But the National Park Service is very anti-dog, so he would be a bit of a fugative.



For reasons beyond us, Pets are not allowed to walk on sidewalks. They are allowed in the street however... It actually says this in the literature.



We decided to leave Arches using a small dirt road instead of the main route.



This gave Sprocket a chance to stretch his legs.

We're starting to worry....

We all rallied up Tuesday night and were ready to enter the Park on Wednesday. We started off by heading out of Moab on Potash Road and then onto Long Canyon.


However, a storm came in that night and doused all the higher elevations with snow.

However, it was quite pretty...

We stopped to air down the tires, I dropped down to 20psi. I was afraid to go much lower although I'm told as low as 12psi is acceptable.


It's amazing how long it took to air down the tires, Eric (first Gen Tacoma) and Jeremey (X-Terra) teamed up to speed up the process.


Soon, we were driving on a blanket of snow. Traction was surprisingly good, particularly when you consider that slick-rock becomes extremely slippery when wet.


We arrived at the infamous fallen rock...


Obligatory rock photo...


Soon we found ourselves dealing with some very Slick-Rock and some big holes. It took a couple of tries and some relocation of larger rocks in order for the X-Terra to make it through.


Wheels in the air!


My Taco made it through no problem!

(it was a lot worse than it looks in the photos)

Sprocket never doubted the Taco's abilities.


Soon, we were nearing the top of the canyon!


Just in time to drop back down via the Shafer Trail
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
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Very nice. Love the Hardbody, too.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:20 AM   #4
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Dropping back down into the canyons... Trucks for scale...


Extremely tight switchbacks. The advantages of a smaller vehicle.


...and onto the White Rim Trail - which is a road that lives half-way between the very top of the canyon and the very bottom.


We stopped to walk across Musselman Arch. Used to be that the bravest of men would drive thir FJ40's and CJ's across this thing. Scary.




Another glamour shot...


It really was a lot steeper than it looks. I promise.


So, the thing to do is to crawl out on your belly and look over the edge...


Quick pose in front of the snow-covered La Sal Mountain range


So, remember the very first photo I posted? This is how that climb looks now.

The Flat-Hats, in order to make the trail safer for mountain bikes have slowly been flattening and smoothing and leveling the road.... So sad...

Oh-o-Oh, what a feelin'

Toyota!

Those delicate looking towers that are all sorta connected, but kinda not... They're called Hoodoo's.


Part of being in the middle of two great expanses, both up and down, means that sometimes there isn't a whole lot of room for a road.


At the very southern most tip of the trail is White Crack campground, this is the view.

This is the most popular campsite, but sadly, Special Use Permit holders (i.e. tour groups) snatch up all the permits as soon as they become available, making it almost impossible for the general public to camp here. Damn flat-hats.

As the day came to an end, we had one last climb, up the Hog-Back.


Years ago when we did this road, this climb was rocky, and ledgy and pretty sketchy. On this day I did it in 2-wheel drive...

In fact, I did essentially the entire trail in 2H.

However, the views are still spectacular!


And here is the view from our campsite - see if you can find the Sprocket in this photo.


Fantastic light


Setting up camp...
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:20 AM   #5
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Awesome pics!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:27 AM   #6
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Major cool stuff!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:41 AM   #7
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It was a very cold night, but the next morning we had a visitor. A very large black raven.


Watching the sun rise was amazing - and would bring with it much desired warmpth.


Sprocket doesn't much care for the cold


Ahh, finally sun and warmth.


FEED ME!


The face-off. Let the games begin!


CHARGE!


Sneaky, sneaky...


CHARGE!


Breaking down camp


Pam and Jeremy love their X-Terra so much that every time they see one they do the salute and proclaim "X-Terra! X-TREME Adventure!"


Eric and I wanted a salute too...

Taco Taco Taco Taco! NOM NOM NOM!

It's not near as cool...

Time to drop off the Islands in the Sky...


One of the few places I used 4L. Mostly to just control the descent.


Epic scenery and perfect temperatures.


More descending

The roads are extremely smooth, but a lot more fun because at least they are not entirely flat.

Dukes of Hazzard camera angles


Sprocket really wanted to drive


Oh-o-Oh what a feelin'!

Toyota!

It's a long way down, and a long way to the top


Cause and effect...


We thought it would be a good photo if we drove right up to the edge


This is as closed as we dared get


Good times!


How long does it take for you spit to reach the ground?


Glamour shot


Back on the road


Modern day wagon train


Whoah!


Find the Gen1 Taco


A little bit scary


But a whole lot of cool


Makin' it look good


Wallpaper shot


Twisty roads




Me taking a photo of you taking a photo of me taking a photo of you... It never ends!


Narrow winding road...


Not a good time for a flood


Along the river for a spell...


Who decides this would be a good place for a road?



This is Hey Joe Canyon


Between the spires!


And coming to the end of our adventure...


Squirrel?


Despite the flat-hats taking a lot of the character out of the road, it was kinda nice to be nicer to my $35k toy. And the views are still spectacular.

If you want to get a permit, it's best to call and nag the Canyonlands NP visitor center. It's really hard to get White-Crack, but a lot of people actually prefer Murphy Campsite A (the one we used) On top of Island in the Sky Butte.

Thanks for reading.

dp
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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1 Jelly Taco right here.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:21 PM   #9
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So I ran the GoPro for many of the more interesting sections. I just threw together this YouTube video of the highlights;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIxVfpsTXQA

dp
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:33 PM   #10
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Great pics and clean looking Taco
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:41 PM   #11
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Epic trip! This looks like the perfect adventure. I must run it one day.
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:43 PM   #12
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nice
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:54 AM   #14
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Thanks for the kind words!

dp
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #15
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Great Pics!! I keep coming back to look at them and get myself pumped for my trip down in May!
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:11 AM   #16
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truly breath taking footage. I think my palms were getting sweaty watching those drops
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:27 PM   #17
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Awesome, I want to do this.
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