Thursday, 18th of April 2013 at 08:57:11 PM

Canyonlands 2013 day 9: White Rim Road

In the morning I wanted to see and shot the sunrise at the Marlboro Point viewpoint. It is located at the Canyonlands N.P, entrance. Sunrise was at 6.06 am, thus I had to start from my Rodeway Inn Hotel in Moab (liked it) at 5 am.

Sunrise at Marlboro Point

After Marlboro Point my big plan for this Sunday was to drive the legendary WHITE RIM ROAD (The 100-mile White Rim Road loops around and below the Island mesa top and provides expansive views of the surrounding area. Trips usually take two to three days by four-wheel-drive). I had requested a camp site early in February and had received Potato Bottom B camp. I was not aware what it means. Potato Bottom is the last campsite after entering into White rim Road at appr. mile post 65. This meant I would have to do 80% of the White Rim Road on one day to reach my night camp site.

Plan of my first day White Rim drive.

65 miles did not sound a problem so I started at 7.30 am into the White Rim Road adventure by driving down the Shafer switchbacks, Intimidating but easy to drive I did the Shafer trail the second time after 2011. I enjoyed the drive into White Rim Road and also visited the different scenic spots like Mussel-man Arch, drive down to Lathrop Canyon and parked the Car  next to Colorado river…..At 3pm  I arrived at the side excursion for the White Crack trail. There I met a guy from Aspen Colorado who told me he had been at Potato Bottom Camp the night before  and it took him 5 hours to drive to White Crack (he doing the opposite direction). It was then that I understood, that with my leisurely pace I would not arrive before night at my Camp Site. Nevertheless White Rim Road is not a road where it is possible to speed up. Usually due to the road condition the speed is around 5-10 mph. Weather  had worsened and it looked for rain. I had still the big obstacle “Murphy’s hogback” in front of me. A very steep and narrow climb with intimidating drop-offs. I arrived totally tired and shaken at 6pm at my camp. I had driven over 10 hours at an average of 6 mph. I had enough of the Off road experience for this day.

on the White Rim Road

on the White Rim Road

on the White Rim Road

on the White Rim Road

4WD LO was a great help on Murphy’s Hogback steep climb and down

I build up my tent Ate some sandwiches and  had 2 cold beers and then went sleeping at 9 pm. It was a pleasant night.

Me with Rental Jeep and Tent at Potato Bottom camp B

Hiking Mileage today:   3.2 km /  2 miles

Hiking Mileage total:    102.2 km / 63.9 miles

curious incidents today: I almost did not make it, before darkness to the Potato Bottom Camp.

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