Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The White Rim Road

I have been to Canyonlands National Park a number of times. There's lots of very high viewpoints, looking deep into the canyons. Of course I wanted to get down there and explore. Just as soon as I had enough time. Dead Horse Point State Park is right next to Canyonlands and it has one of the best views in the area. See that road down there it's called White Rim Road. 100 miles of 'off-roading', meaning you need a couple of days to do it and camp down there.

So I dropped by the Park office and got my camping permits. I also got lots of dire warnings from the rangers about rockfalls and ice on the road and questions about do I have enough fuel to get back out the way I came if I get blocked. 100 miles or so doesn't sound very much and on the normal road I'm getting a range of about 500 miles. But when you go off-road fuel consumption skyrockets. On a steep hill in 4Lo I've seen it go under 5MPG, at which rate I wouldn't make it round. So it totally depends on road conditions. I didn't want to have to buy extra fuel canisters, so I thought I'd wing it.

One of the campsites came highly recommended by the Park Ranger because it had the tree! The only facilities were what you brought with you. This campsite had a rock.

Alot of the road is fairly smooth gravel, but there are some very interesting spots where 4Lo is very handy. When it's very steep and rough, crawling along slowly is the only way to go.

Sometimes it doesn't look like there's enough road for even one car. Plenty of river though. That's the Green river, the biggest tributary of the Colorado.

But why is it called the White Rim Road? Seems like there's more red than anything else, right? Well here's another view of it from above...

If you like you isolation, I can highly recommend this trip, I saw one other 4x4 and 2 bikes in three days. Take a copy of Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire" with you.


Paul said...

Great pic Dave - so glad to hear that you're enjoying yourself. I've jotted it down in my list as a must-do. Hopefully soon!

Fee Chandler said...

That looks fantastic Dave! Isolation sounds perfect right now! Desert solitaire though - sounds like you've hit middle age! Fee x

Dave said...

Actually it's more grumpy old man, complaining about tourists coming to his National Parks. Spot on!