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Moab, Utah - White Rim Trail - Guide Me

Discussion in 'Moab' started by MasterYota, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Dec 16, 2018 at 3:26 AM
    #1
    MasterYota

    MasterYota [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What's up guys, *typical forum caveat first* I looked around for some specific info on this area pertaining to the info I could use and didn't come up with anything. Feel free to share a link if you do.

    I'll be in Utah at the beginning of January and I've got a few days to make it from SLC to Steamboat Springs, CO. So, first, if my idea of how to spend the time sucks and you have a better idea, definitely share. Initially I thought of rushing around to Monument Valley, maybe Zion, up to Moab, etc. But everything would be too rushed. As long as I can actually hang out, do some driving, camping, take some good photos, I'm open to any suggestions.

    So what I'm thinking for now is to try and do a short version (1.5 days) of White Rim Trail.
    First,
    Is it safe in January with only one vehicle?
    Is it possible to get a permit at this point?
    If a no-go to either of these questions, where would you recommend to go, instead?

    If good, I know it can take up to three days for the whole trail, but if you plan the route correctly in terms of where you drop in, camp, and exit, you can do a portion in a shorter time. What I'm looking for is someone who's familiar with the trail to know where to drop in, recommended camping spots with good views, and where I'd exit and continue East.

    I appreciate any info! I'll share the results on here!

    :oldglory:
     
  2. Dec 16, 2018 at 3:40 AM
    #2
    SCHALICKE

    SCHALICKE Utahrd

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    Good trip to do. I will answer what I can and have others chime in as well. I can tag a couple local Utah guys I know will help.

    Yes, January is safe
    Yes, you can get a permit year round.
    The only reason they would not allow you one is for weather conditions. Major rain or Snow. It gets slick out there.

    I have only done it by bicycle so drop in points and things are not my forte. The whole thing can be driven in a day. Our bike ride took about 16-18 hours IIRC.

    @Gunshot-6A @Jiveydude @H3llRid3r @Rockymtntacoma @Jacob032 @Glueman @BHill_teq @eltacoutah @Armed in Utah
     
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  3. Dec 16, 2018 at 4:05 AM
    #3
    Labbi85

    Labbi85 Well-Known Member

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    I did this year a small portion of the WRT down from the ranger house four hours to the airport tower campground and it was honestly the best part of our two weeks tour. Unfortunately I didn't know the WRT before and we just got there by accident and I already promised myself to come back (from MI) and do the full trip.

    The information we got at the ranger office was that the trail takes about three days by car but can be much longer when you also go other near by trails. The WRT itself (at least the part we drove) was quite easy and when you take it slow you should be fine with one car.
    From what we read you shouldn't attempt the maze trail by yourself because its quite challenging and you might get stranded.
    When you go alone don't rely only on a cellphone because at the most parts you don't have reception and there are only a few exits which you might have to walk back a few days to get there.

    Also go to first to the ranger station because they give you really good infos and you have to purchase the camp permits there before and make the reservations for the campgrounds.

    Here are some pics

    IMG_8249.jpg IMG_8275.jpg
    This was the airport tower camp
    IMG_8269.jpg
    This is how the trail looks most of the time
     
  4. Dec 16, 2018 at 8:28 AM
    #4
    Glueman

    Glueman Yersinia pestis

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    Funny.... I was just there yesterday. If was a little snowy but mostly muddy since it snowed last Wednesday.

    You can enter the WRT by the visitor center (Shafer canyon road) this route gets icy and closes more often. The other entry is off Mineral bottom road. These are the only access points. The Mineral bottom route seems to stay open more in the winter. However since you are traveling in January there is likely to be a lot of snow so you will need to contact the Ranger office a few days prior to see if either road down to the river is open. Once you get down camping anywhere has awesome scenery. No bad stops. I would take at least 2 days. The trail gets really rough in 3 or 4 places so you will go slower. You will also want to stop ever 10 feet to look at the amazing views (not kidding). You can always do a down and back out if you don't have time to run the whole 100 mile trail. A down and back out is worth it if you only have 1 day. It's amazing. Either way do it! You will be glad you did. See my build page for a few pictures on the WRT. Good luck.
     
  5. Dec 16, 2018 at 7:05 PM
    #5
    H3llRid3r

    H3llRid3r Well-Known Member

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    @MasterYota do you have specific dates you will be in Moab?

    I’ve not done White Rim, which doesn’t mean a whole lot since I’ve not done much of anything. I suck with geography. I’m not sure how technical the trail is.

    I would defer to some of the others that were listed by @SCHALICKE for the best places to go. Do you want technical challenge or scenery or all of the above?

    Anyway, I’m down. I’ll bring the single malt.
     
  6. Dec 17, 2018 at 9:24 AM
    #6
    MasterYota

    MasterYota [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate all the feedback. I'll be sure to keep an eye on the weather an in contact with the Ranger office. I need to look up info on how to get a permit, so I'm covered on that end. Does anyone have that link/contact info for the permit? Also, what is the specific Ranger office in that area?

    I think I'll look into showing up the first night to get out to a camp spot, then doing the rest of the drive the next day, maybe the down and back version.
     
  7. Dec 17, 2018 at 9:26 AM
    #7
    MasterYota

    MasterYota [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the photos. Hopefully the weather works out for a one-day down and back.
     
  8. Dec 17, 2018 at 9:29 AM
    #8
    MasterYota

    MasterYota [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate the info. I think the best plan is getting there and finding camping the first night, then doing whatever version (down and back as you mentioned) allows us to knock it out the next day. Do you have info on the name of that Ranger station? I'd like to look them up and give them a ring to ask about some things/laws.
     
  9. Dec 17, 2018 at 9:30 AM
    #9
    BHill_teq

    BHill_teq Star-Lord, man. Legendary outlaw?

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    Day and a half can totally be done! One day would be rough. You'd be hauling, have limited daylight, and would miss most of the amazing sights you'd want to stop and see. We did it in February of this year, and it was a blast. Pretty cold and windy at night, but hardly any traffic, and we didn't have a hard time getting a permit. We stayed at the Gooseberry campground, which was a perfect spot for day one. I think you'd be fine with one vehicle. Nothing really technical, just beware of incoming weather. It can get slick. We were snowed on, and I was on basically stock tires and fared fine. I recommend White Rim, for sure! One of my favorite trails in Moab.:thumbsup:
     
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  10. Dec 17, 2018 at 9:33 AM
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    Glueman

    Glueman Yersinia pestis

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    Island in the Sky visitor center is where you can check in and get your permit in person or reserve online.

    Try these links for more info:
    https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/backcountrypermits.htm

    https://canypermits.nps.gov/
     
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  11. Dec 17, 2018 at 10:42 AM
    #11
    MasterYota

    MasterYota [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the info! In terms of drop-in and exit, what would you recommend (if you're familiar - I'll also be giving the Ranger a ring) coming from SLC and wanting to exit toward Colorado? Also, February camping in that area, I'll either do a ground tent or truck bed with a SofTopper, doable with the temps?
     
  12. Dec 17, 2018 at 10:55 AM
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    BHill_teq

    BHill_teq Star-Lord, man. Legendary outlaw?

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    No prob! We started from the Shafer Switchbacks end and it drops you out on the same road you came in on (HWY 313.) So it's 6's at this point. But I would recommend the Softopper over the ground tent, as it can be super windy and none of the campsites have any kind of wind protection. I stayed in my Bestop in my 1st gen, which is almost the same thing, and was completely unaffected by the wind. I did run my Buddy heater on low all night with a window cracked, and it was perfect. A 0 degree sleeping bag might work just as fine.
     
  13. Dec 31, 2018 at 10:47 AM
    #13
    ZrowGz

    ZrowGz I'm a n00b.

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    I'm considering Moab next week...
     
  14. Dec 31, 2018 at 12:53 PM
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    Glueman

    Glueman Yersinia pestis

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  15. Dec 31, 2018 at 8:47 PM
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    ZrowGz

    ZrowGz I'm a n00b.

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    Yeah it's been coming down like crazy! Death valley is sounding more appealing most likely.
     
  16. Jan 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM
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    dogbite

    dogbite Well-Known Member

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    I did the 2-day option in September and overnight at the Murphy hogback camps. It all depends when the storms hit for how doable it is. Rain would be worse than snow. The clay in the Potato Bottom area could get pretty deep and slick in rain. that's usually heavily rutted from vehicles traveling in the rainy season's anyway. Hardscrabble Hill has some clay sections that could get ugly in rain.

    The side trips to lathrop canyon white crack or up to Taylor shouldn't be hard.
     
  17. Feb 2, 2019 at 6:37 PM
    #17
    djynot

    djynot Well-Known Member

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    How were the trails when you went last February? I am planning a trip this month and was curious on it. Already have the permits and just doing final vehicle preps and planning for the trip
     
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  18. Feb 4, 2019 at 7:05 AM
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    BHill_teq

    BHill_teq Star-Lord, man. Legendary outlaw?

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    It was awesome. Not as muddy as we were afraid it was going to be, and when we started the trail at Shafer it was snowing. I'd just check weather reports the week leading up to going, as I'm sure conditions can change quickly.
     

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