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Mountain Biking the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park

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Mountain Biking the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park
Moab, Utah

Mountain Biking the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park – The White Rim Road is a 100-mile old mining road that takes you into the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park’s Island in the Sky District. It winds down between the mighty Colorado and Green Rivers and through the intricate maze of deep canyons below sheer rock cliffs and towers.

I’ve been to Canyonlands more times than I can remember now and I had been staring down at the White Rim Road for years. I had driven one section between the Shafer Switchbacks and Lathrop Canyon a few times, but I was itchin’ to spend a couple of days traversing the 100-mile road, preferably on a mountain bike.

I finally got the backcountry permits this year…

mountain biking white rim trail in canyonlands national park

You can see White Rim Road in the foreground from Grand View Point.

The trail can technically be biked unsupported in one day, but since we’re not psychopaths, we brought along three support vehicles (Cold beer! and water…) and camped for three nights, biking for four – It was perfect. The trail itself is a piece of cake as far as mountain biking goes and we could have done more each day, but doing it over the course of four days gave us plenty of time to actually soak in the scenery and relax…

Day 1 – Mountain Biking the White Rim Road
Mineral Bottom Trailhead to Potato Bottom – 27.53 miles, 1443′

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

MIneral Bottom switchbacks

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

The Green River

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Top of Fort Ruin, the only big climb of the day.

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Descending to Potato Bottom from Fort Ruin.

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Descending to Potato Bottom from Fort Ruin

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Potato Bottom

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Ekker Butte & the Green River

Day 2 – Mountain Biking the White Rim Road
Potato Bottom to Murphy Hogback – 21.05 miles, 1955′

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Random canyons everywhere…

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Holman Springs Slot Canyon

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Holman Springs Slot Canyon

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

EXTREME!

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Soda Springs

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Climbing Murphy Hogback

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Happy Hour

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Candlestick Tower

Day 3 – Mountain Biking the White Rim Road
Murphy Hogback to Airport Tower – 29.96 miles, 1453′

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Sunrise over Candlestick Tower

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Murphy Hogback camp

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Descending Murphy Hogback

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Descending Murphy Hogback

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Mesa Arch from below

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Airport Tower

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Airport Tower

Day 4 – Mountain Biking the White Rim Road
Airport Tower to Mineral Bottom Trailhead – 23.97 miles, 2466′

Total: 102.51 miles / 7317′

(I barely took any pictures on day 4 since it was overcast and I was too busy killin’ it and cleaning the Shafer Switchbacks.)

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Day 4 Sunrise

mountain biking the white rim trail in canyonlands national park

Goosenecks overlook

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