Colorado Winters are cold, snowy, and drag on for quite some time, usually into May. Once the ski lifts close, many people are itching to escape the cold and head to the canyons of Moab. It is just over an hour from the Colorado Boarder via I-70. Moab is know for their famous Slickrock and Porcupine Rim trails, fantastic yet challenging climbing, and the beautiful Colorado River that carved out some incredible canyons. Canyonlands National Park is a 30 minute drive west of Moab and is a popular tourist destination, especially the Island in the Sky district. A brief uranium boom in the area found and utilized the White Rim as an access road. Park managers then declined to make it a paved National Scenic Road. Today the trail has since become one of the most popular jeep roads in the nation. It’s also a pretty fun bike route. We did the typical Colorado thing and escaped to the desert for a 3 day 2 night White Rim trip two weeks ago. We were some of the first bikers to ride after some significant rain swept through the area. A famous climb on the east end of the route, Shafer Trail Road was even closed just prior to our departure. It wouldn’t matter as we planed to go counter-clockwise. We timed the trip perfectly between another storm that would roll in the afternoon we finished. Here are some photos and captions of our trip through the desert rims.

For more on logistics and the route, head over to our White Rim route page. 

DSC03070Three out of the four of us were riding fat bikes. Overkill in some sections but fun and still efficient.

White RimThe campground availability dictated our direction. We had reserved Potato Bottom for the first night, and Airport for the second. That meant we had to descend Mineral Bottom Road on day one, and climb Shafer trail to end the ride.

DSC03243Our first day crept into the 70’s. We biked 35 miles and dealt with one major climb after the Labyrinth campground.

DSC03351We were all a little tired so the Happy Camper IPAs and Bota Box wine were well deserved when we arrived at camp. The Potato Bottom campground sits on the green river, which proved to be chilly that night with the inversion.

DSC03479Day two would be roughly 50 miles and it started with following the Green River before heading towards Murphy Hogback.

DSC03488Not sure if it was the recent precipitation or just the time of the year, but the flowers were stunning.

DSC03559The White Rim, a beautiful place to ride your bike.

DSC03575The start of the climb up Murphy Hogback.

DSC03607Sean’s mid day snack, warm rum. DSC03617Sean was riding his Fat Back Corvus while Beth was on her SS Niner. She was the only one not on a fat bike as she was preparing for the Whiskey 50 the following weekend.

DSC03643It was really cool to run into one of the Canyonlands rangers. He was bikepacking to the Murphy Hogback campground for the night, then finishing the loop the next day. If this is the future, we are looking bright. The afternoon riding from here was stunning.

DSC03681We arrived at Airport campground and soon after, our friend Mike joined us. He rode from town (moab) that afternoon. DSC03683While we had some remaining wine left, our jeeper neighbors for the night topped us off with Solo cups filled with wine as well – a bit of trail magic. We enjoyed wine, whiskey, brownie cookies and enjoyed the beautiful moon, stars and silhouettes.

DSC03790Breakfast in bed to prepare for the remaining 20 miles.

DSC03847Our final day would have us making our way to the Shafer Road, not before messing around on the Musselman Arch and soaking in some of the Colorado River’s work.

DSC03912When you know there is only one way, and that is up!

DSC03928Just as we were cresting the canyon it started raining, perfect timing.

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