Notes and photos from places around the world that have villages, ruins, and good food. And $35 hotels... Also, wilderness 4x4 camping and backpacking.

Friday, April 1, 2005

The White Rim Trip in Canyonlands, March 2005

Bob and Jon spent four nights doing a leisurely circuit of the White Rim road in the northern part of Canyonlands National Park. This trip is strictly for jeeps and back-country capable SUVs, like our 4Runner, but is not especially challenging by 4WD standards. Most of the traffic on the road is groups of mountain bikers with SUVs carrying camping gear. You can only camp where the Park Service decides you can, and you have to reserve far in advance if you want to do the drive during the best weather, in late March and April.

We camped the first night at Gooseberry, the second night at Candlestick, and the third and fourth nights at Hardscrabble. Driving took only a couple of hours on the second and third days, leaving most of the time for hiking. The weather was unusually cold and very windy. We appreciated the expedition wear we brought!

Looking down on the White Rim from Mesa Arch, near the Island in the Sky ranger station. The road is visible in a few places. Posted by Hello

Another view from Mesa Arch Posted by Hello

Detail from Mesa Arch Posted by Hello

Clambering on sandstone Posted by Hello

The White Rim and road from a stopping point on the Shafer Trail on the way down Posted by Hello

The Shafer Trail, at a wide point. Note the snow. There was one tricky place where snow covered the road. The Park Service had just lifted chain requirements when we descended. Posted by Hello

Balanced rock on the Shafer Trail--it's about the size of a VW bug Posted by Hello

Balanced rock on the Shafer Trail--it's about the size of a VW bug Posted by Hello

Scenary around the southern-most part of the White Rim road Posted by Hello

The "Washerwoman" Posted by Hello

Our first camp, at Gooseberry.  Posted by Hello

The most dramatic ascent on the White Rim road. It would be a nuisance to encounter any opposing traffic, but we did not. Posted by Hello

Candlestick Tower Posted by Hello

Our camp at Candlestick. Because of the wind, we cooked inside the 4Runner and also slept there. No chance of keeping a tent up. Posted by Hello

Sunset drama at Candlestick Camp. You pay for the good views--the place is windy and cold. Posted by Hello

The end of the sunset at Candlestick camp Posted by Hello

A typical stretch on the White Rim road Posted by Hello