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

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Canyonlands 2009

Bob and Jonathan did the White Rim in our modern SUV. The truck did fine but we took a beating from extreme wind and unpleasant cold.

See trip notes at the end.

On our first hike, we ran into a bighorn sheep, first in our experience.

Our camp at Murphy. We searched and searched for a tent that could handle high wind but permitted sitting inside at a table. The tent worked OK, but at this camp, one of its poles was bent by a 60-mph gust at 3 am. The best bet for the White Rim is a robust 4WD camper with a low profile.

Tne Ancient People (pre Hopi and Navajo) erected this signaling station on top of a butte; worth a visit
Notes on the White Rim:
This is the best 4WD excursion in the US, in our experience. 102 miles of amazing scenary. The guidebooks rate it as moderately challenging 4-wheeling. 99 percent could be managed in many passenger cars, but the remaining 1 percent would be prohibitive. There are a dozen or so steep, rocky sections the seriously challenge your traction and clearance.
For the best camping spots at the popular times (late spring and early fall), you have to reserve for this trip with the Park Service far, far in advance.
Plan your trip with a lot of time for hiking; camp at least 3 nights. Plan on a driving speed of about 15 mph on the average.
Be prepared for wind! You must have a place to shelter that is seriously wind-proof or you will be utterly miserable.