Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

Ep. 138: The White Rim | Canyonlands National Park | Utah 4×4 camping mountain biking travel


Hey friends, welcome back to Grand
Adventure! I’m your host Marc Guido, and in this
week’s episode we’re going to take you for a three-day trip across the White
Rim in Canyonlands National Park, so stay tuned! Most folks see the Island In the Sky
district of Canyonlands National Park from the paved road that travels along
the canyon rim, which we shared in Episode 98. Some others see it from the
Colorado and Green Rivers on the canyon floor, as we did by kayak back in Episode
95, which we’ll link to on the screen right here. A few folks, however, will see
Canyonlands from halfway in between, on the White Rim. The White Rim Road is an
89.4 mile-long unpaved four-wheel-drive route that traverses
the top of the White Rim Sandstone formation below the Island In the Sky
Mesa. We originally filmed our three-day trip along the White Rim in November
2013, but we’re only now sharing it with our Grand Adventurers for the first
time. Because of that, some of these film clips aren’t quite up to our usual
standards, but the White Rim is just too special a place to not share. We chose to
make the trip in a counterclockwise direction,
beginning with the steep switchbacks of Mineral Bottom Road. This is another place where you won’t be
bringing your RV. Acceptable vehicles include four-wheel drive vehicles with
low range gearing, mountain bikes, and street-legal dirt
bikes. Trips along the White Rim typically take two to three days, with
overnight camping available by National Park Service permit only at specified
sites along the route. Our friend Jon planned the mountain bike the entire
route. Friends Marc and Karen were along to provide support. Our own plan was half
and half, with me driving about half the time, and mountain biking the other half
as Patricia drove our Tacoma. Driving, however, turned out to be too much fun,
and I would never hop on the saddle the entire trip. Upon reaching the Green
River, the White Rim Road forks left from the Mineral Bottom Road, and heads
southward along the river bank, quickly crossing the boundary from BLM land into
Canyonlands National Park. Not far into the National Park we
arrive at the three-mile round trip hike to Fort Bottom Ruin that we visited
on our Green River kayak trip. A marvel of ancient Anasazi architecture, plus a
19th century cabin, make the Fort Bottom hike a worthy diversion from the road. The White Rim Road was constructed in
the 1950s by the US Atomic Energy Commission to provide access for
individual prospectors intent on mining uranium deposits for use in nuclear
weapons production during the Cold War. Large deposits had been found in similar
areas within the region; however, the mines along the White Rim Road produced
very little uranium, and all the mines were abandoned.
Back when Canyonlands was being developed as a National Park, paving the
road was given consideration, to turn it into a scenic drive. Thankfully for trips
such as ours, that plan was abandoned. While our elevation on the White Rim
remains somewhat constant, the Green River carves a deeper channel through
the sandstone as we continue to follow it downstream. Our first night’s camp is
at the Candlestick campsite, now high above the Green River and below its
stunning namesake Candlestick formation above. Marc, Karen and John are tent camping
this trip, while Patricia and I will truck camp in the bed of our Tacoma. Day Two takes us across Murphy Hogback,
roughly the halfway point of the White Rim Road, and one of the road’s steepest
climbs and descents. A short 1.4-mile side road out to White
Crack affords stunning views of Canyonlands’ Needles District across the
Colorado River. We pass below the Grand View Point
Overlook up on the rim, before setting up our second night’s camp at the
Gooseberry campsite. Our third and final day on the White Rim
will take his past Washer Woman Arch and the side trail to the Colorado River at
Lathrop Canyon, before returning to the rim via the precipitous switchbacks of
the Shafer Trail. Since September 2015,
permits have been required for both day use and overnight trips on the White Rim,
whether by motor vehicle or by bicycle. A maximum of 100 day use permits are
issued per day, with 50 reserved for motorized vehicles and 50 for bicycles.
A total of 25 permits of each type are available as advance reservations, while
the other 25 permits are available on the day of a trip. Each vehicle and
bicycle in a group requires its own permit, including any stowed bicycles
that are expected to be ridden at any point along the road. Group sizes are
limited to three motor vehicles and 15 bicycles. All overnight stays require a
backcountry permit and the $30 fee for the full stay, whereas there’s no charge
for day use permits. The demand for permits frequently exceeds the number
available in spring and fall months, especially March, April, May, September and
October. A high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle with a low gear range is
required by park regulation, and a breakdown requiring a tow can be
expected to cost a minimum of $1,000. Pets are not permitted regardless of
whether they could be kept inside a vehicle at all times. Campfires are not
permitted either. So while the logistics behind a White
Rim trip may seem daunting, this is a 4×4 camping trip of a lifetime. It is worth
every little bit of regulation that you need to go through to prepare for a trip.
We highly recommend it. Now just a reminder, if you haven’t yet seen our
Episode 136, our contest is still open to give away a Hiboost Travel 4G 2.0 RV
cell phone booster. It’s a $450 value! So if you haven’t
yet watched that episode, click on the link right here on the screen that we’re
going to put up for you right now, so you can go back and watch it, and enter for
your chance to win your own cell phone booster from Grand Adventure and from
Hiboost. And if you’d like to check out what we use on our own RV travels, click
on the link down below in the video description of our Grand Adventure Shop
on Amazon. We do get a small commission from every one of your purchases, but
every single thing that we list in that shop are things that we use ourselves,
and we are happy enough with the quality that we can vouch for them for you to
purchase for yourselves. If you like this video, please be sure to give us a big
“thumbs up” down below. Also down below you’ll find the comment section where we
always love to hear from you after each and every episode. Noww we air new outdoor
adventure travel videos each and every Wednesday, so if you’re not yet a Grand
Adventurer, right now — go smash that little red
subscribe button down there in the corner, and ring that notification bell!
And we would be honored if you shared Grand Adventure with your friends, family,
and on social media. Until next week please remember, life is nothing but a
Grand Adventure! We’ll see you then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *