The 100-mile White Rim Road loops around and below the Island in the Sky mesa top and provides expansive views of the surrounding area. Four-wheel-drive trips usually take two to three days, and mountain bike trips usually take three to four days.
Under favorable weather conditions, the White Rim Road is moderately difficult for high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles. The steep, exposed sections of the Shafer Trail, Lathrop Canyon Road, Murphy Hogback, Hardscrabble Hill, and the Mineral Bottom switchbacks make the White Rim loop a challenging mountain bike ride, and require extreme caution for both vehicles and bikes during periods of inclement weather. During high water conditions on the Green River, sections of road on the west side can flood, making a complete loop impossible. Check current road conditions.
Things to Know
- Four-wheel-drive vehicles, motorbikes, and bicycles are allowed on the White Rim Road.
- ATVs, UTVs, and OHVs are not permitted.
- All vehicles and bikes must remain on roads.
- Your vehicle must have high-clearance, four-wheel drive (low range) on the White Rim Road.
- All vehicles and motorbikes must be registered and operated by a licensed driver. Motorbikes must be equipped and licensed for interstate travel.
- Pets are not permitted, even in vehicles.
- Fires are not permitted.
- You must have a day-use permit for all day trips on the White Rim.
- You must have a permit for all overnight trips along the White Rim.
In spring and fall, demand for permits frequently exceeds the number available. If you plan to visit Canyonlands during these seasons, you should make reservations well in advance.
A high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle (low range) is required for the White Rim Road. Towing charges are very expensive. People caught in the backcountry with disabled vehicles can expect towing fees in excess of $1,000.
The White Rim Road has long rocky stretches, deep sand, and little shade. Bring at least 1 gallon (4 L) of water per person, per day — more if you'll be active. Plan for a minimum of 10-12 hours of driving or cycling.
Protect Your Park - Keep off the Arches.
To promote visitor safety and the opportunity to view natural features undisturbed, climbing, scrambling, walking or standing upon, or rappelling off any arch is prohibited in the park.
Bicyclists and four-wheel drivers must stay in designated campsites. There are 20 individual campsites arranged in 10 camping areas. There are toilets at each area. When there is more than one campsite at a location, they are generally positioned to be out of earshot and, as much as possible, sight of each other. Each campsite accommodates up to 15 people and 3 vehicles. Motorbikes and trailers are considered vehicles for these group size limits. Campfires are not permitted.
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There is no potable water along the White Rim Road. For mountain bike trips, we highly recommend a four-wheel-drive support vehicle to carry water and equipment.