White Rim Road

two cyclists on a gravel road
Mountain bikers on the White Rim Road

NPS Photo by Neal Herbert

 

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's 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.

If you are planning a trip on the White Rim, remember:

  • You must have a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle (low range) on the White Rim Road.
  • All vehicles and bikes must remain on roads.
  • All vehicles and motorbikes must be registered and operated by a licensed driver.
  • ATVs, UTVs, and OHVs are not permitted. Motorbikes must be equipped and licensed for interstate travel.
  • Pets are also not permitted, even in vehicles.
Permits
  • You must have a day-use permit for all trips on the White Rim.
  • You must have a permits for all overnight trips along the White Rim.

During the spring and fall, demand for permits frequently exceeds the number available. If you plan to visit Canyonlands during peak season, it is recommended that you make reservations well in advance.

Drive Carefully!
A high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle (low range) is required for the White Rim Road. Towing charges are very expensive. Visitors caught in the backcountry with disabled vehicles can expect towing fees in excess of $1,000.

Come Prepared.
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.

Campsites
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. Campfires are not permitted.

Camping Area
(traveling Clockwise)
Distance From Visitor Center (miles) Number of Sites
Shafer 7 1
Airport 19 4
Gooseberry 30 2
White Crack 39 1
Murphy Hogback 45 3
Candlestick 55 1
Potato Bottom 66 3
Hardscrabble Bottom 70 2
Labyrinth 72 2
Taylor 77 1


No potable water is available along the White Rim Road. For mountain bike trips, a four-wheel-drive support vehicle to carry water and equipment is highly recommended.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532

Phone:

435-719-2313

Contact Us