Explore Summer 2019 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2019 Map
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Very fun hike my 8 yr old enjoyed every bit of it the drive is a 6 mile dirt road not a bad drive though fun slot canyon the slot canyon is relative short but fun ....

on Shafer Trail

off road driving
1 day ago

7/7/18
WOW! We timed it for sunrise. Great road, a few tricky parts (in a Subaru anyway) but overall a great drive. Some of the most amazing sights I've seen in my life. I'm definitely returning to Moab to see what it has to offer :)

off road driving
1 day ago

This drive is AMAZING! It is unforgettable and I would highly recommend it!

To start get the map for “Cathedral Loop” at Capital Reef’s visitor center. It is a guide for this entire drive and it explains the geology, ecology and history you will want to have to get the most from the trip.

We went in an unmodified Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 and made the whole trip fine in 4 wheel drive. The mucky parts were no issue as long as you don’t stop in them. There were very few mucky parts actually but do check the weather before heading in and do start with the drive through the river because if you can’t make that part you don’t want to leave it for the end and have to turn around and go back 64 miles!!!

What you see in the park does not even compare to what you will see in this loop. We saw 4 vehicles the whole day! We started at 9am at the Visitors Center to zero our trip counter and followed our guide book. We finished at 5:12 PM. Storms are typical in the afternoon so again check that out and carry extra water and food.

Again this trip is totally worth it. I worry now that I will never top this drive! It is that good!

Beautiful hike; very doable and fun - also with kids due to water element. Would wish it was clearer where the end of the trial is (maybe add some signage). Trip to parking lot with car was fine (first hill is steep and lots of ditches; but AWD did fine). Highly recommended as only a few come here and you are truly in the middle of beautiful nature. Be sure the wear shoes that can get wet and dirty (hiking shoes recommended).

off road driving
6 days ago

Did this trail counter clockwise in three days in mid July. It was expectedly hot 100-120 degrees with almost no shade. We stayed at potato bottom A the first night. This is a beautiful spot on the river (a lot of mosquitos). Then took our time down to Murphy A. This is a must! By far the coolest campsite I have ever stayed at. (Make sure to stay at A not B or C) then went to airport A. This is a rather plain site. No shade or shelter. Beautiful view of airport tower though. We then went down Lathrope to the river and spent the day there. Overall and incredible trail. Pretty easy, some difficult spots. We then drove to Moab down the potash trail, worth it. I would recommend some off-road tires and to air down, at least in the sandy spots if you want to slow down. We did it in a 2017 Tacoma with a 2 inch lift and wrangler duratrac tires.

Easy, beautiful hike. My 4 yr and 7 yr old loved it. We all wore water shoes which was the perfect footwear for this hike in July. Passed several hikers in hiking boots and they were hot and envious of our cool wet feet. Take lots of water to drink. Saw a huge bear print in the mud just before the second slot canyon and a snake on the trail. The sandy hill climb at the beginning of road in was a piece of cake for our Jeep Wrangler. Hike is a must see.

My family really enjoyed this trail. Almost all roads in the Grand Staircase are dirt/sand. There is a hill you must drive up on the way in that is bit tricky. I recommend a 4x4 vehicle if possible. Once you get to the trail, it is very easy and beautiful. We went on a Monday and had the canyon to ourselves most of the time. We only passed a handful of hikers during our hike. We love the Narrows in Zion too, but Willis Creek was a lovely way to experience the beauty of a Slot canyon without all the crowds.

hiking
12 days ago

Wonderful “easy” way to experience slot canyons. The water was about 4 inches deep when we went today. Perfectly fine for the hike. The less sure footed of the group appreciates walking sticks as the creek is muddy and you can’t see what you are stepping on.

Two tips:
- On the outbound trip, when you see the creek plunge down a hole, look right for a path that will take you down to that lower level. There’s also a path on the left — passable but a little trickier on the ledges.
- If you go beyond the end of the trail described here (keep going down past the confluence), there are amazing sheer high walls about 3 miles in.

off road driving
13 days ago

7/5/2018. Amazing drive. Started at top of Shafer trail to Potash Rd. Some spots after decent into canyon were rocky, sandy and or steep. Conditions were very dry. Took about 1.5-2hrs. Did trail in a stock GX460 with g**dyear duratracs.

Note on trail rating/descriptions. There appears to be two for this area. One says easy and other medium and they blend together in reviews.

hiking
13 days ago

If you don't mind some bumpy, dusty, remote dirt roads and you have a high clearance vehicle this is a good alternative to a hike, And when you get to the Cathedral Valley, i think that you'll be amazed by the formations.

Visited this location on June 28. The staff at the ranger station cautioned us about the road conditions. There’s one hill that’s a challenge. It’s very sandy and if you stop on this hill, all bets are off. However if you hit it with a little speed and keep your momentum, you’ll be fine. The hike into the canyon was easy and there was some breezes at times that really made for a pleasant trek. Not many people there so it was peaceful and quiet. You do have to cross or walk through the creek several times. It’s not an issue and most people can do it without getting their feet wet. Carry water with you. It’s not strenuous but it can get hot and you’ll get thirsty. I recommend the hike.

Loved it. The 6 mile dirt road wasn't as bad as mentioned. 2wd should do it. The sandy part is going uphill within the first mile or two so no chance of getting stuck. Just back it up and out and go explore Kodachrome.

Two small waterfalls. The first at the trailhead! Almost went to the "T" but was told there wasn't much to see after the 2nd deep slot canyon. Think that was about 1.6 miles in.

off road driving
19 days ago

Used this as part of a loop trip. Gemini Bridges, to 313, then Shafer Trail to Potash and back to Moab. I did take the Bull Canyon run to the bottom of the arches (worth it, you need 4wd for that tail). First part of the main trail is much more interesting, that the second half. After the bridges it becomes a bumpy ride then gravel road to 313.

off road driving
19 days ago

Nice little jaunt. Relaxing, ran it in my bone stock 1996 Jeep Cherokee. Looped Moab to Gemini Bridges to 313 to the trail head and back to Moab.
Used 4low so i could just idle down the hill. That was the only time I engaged the 4wd system. Lots of photo ops. Could a car do it? I would not have taken my Corolla on that road. Up and down the hill, yes but not the rest of the trail, there are a few spots that having 9" of ground clearance came in handy.

Beautiful hike through some slots. The stream doesn’t have much water. It was a hot day so was nice to be able walk in the cool water. You can also do this hike without walking in water. Not crowded when we went on Wednesday around 2pm. We walked only till the stream pretty much dried up then come back. The slots are amazing

Great trail. one spot drive in, Sandy little sketchy, make sure you commit and see it through, 2wd suv with traction control managed it.

Your perseverance is rewarded with an amazing hike.

Great hike in a slot canyon...nothing truck about the hike, but the drive to get there can be concerning. A recent reviewer mentions cars getting stuck in the sand. In my two-wheel drive rental sedan, I barely made it through that sandy area, glad I did, because the skit canyon was worth the hassle.

Never made it to the trailhead huge ****warning**** to anyone going there are parts of the road to the trailhead that have 2-3 feet of straight sand that one must try to cut through. We came upon a car that was stuck tried to get around then and unfortunately us in an SUV and two other cars got stuck couldn’t make it past two miles into the road leading to trailhead due to the unexpected Indiana jones sand dunes. Have fun!

Easy access to a slot canyon as you can walk right in. It's very popular and apparently horse traffic is allowed because the slot was filled with horse poop. It was a fun, easy hike.

off road driving
1 month ago

Took the Jeep from canyon lands Shafer trail entrance down potash rd to Moab. It was an amazing drive! Must have 4x4 and some ground clearance to get through a couple spots.

Very nice easy hike with portions of slot style canyon. Did hike late afternoon with my daughters. Passed only a few other hikers so not crowded at all, liked that as well. Creek eventually goes dry after about mile and half. But still very nice.

Great easy hike. BEAUTIFUL slot canyons. Serene if you time it right.

The hike begins with a bang so don’t miss the first carvings into the soft stone and little waterfalls about 200 yards past the trailhead. The first 2 miles or so are like walking through a giant serenity fountain with the burbling of the creek echoing off the canyon walls, punctuated by an occasional bird song. Pause and listen with your mouth closed if you want to really appreciate this hike. Despite what other reviewers noted, we saw very little horse manure, but that certainly will vary depending on whether or not a group with horses went through the day before you, or if it’s been weeks. We hiked June 10, temp was about 80 by late morning, and by about 2 miles in the creek dries. The last part of the hike in has a very different character because of that and is also much more open. It’s a level hike and easy. Highly recommend.

off road driving
1 month ago

Drove from MOAB to the NP with a 4x2 Nissan Rouge.
No problem if you drive with care and slow down were there are rocks to cross.

A must see when visiting The Big Bend !!

Very easy and nice trail. Ends right at a little beach and you can walk out into the river. I highly recommend it

Have taken it both ways. Pretty, especially the lower parts!

1 month ago

Prefer potash plant up. You don’t really want a long wheelbase, with the switchbacks. I heard a semi up on 313 was following his GPS and started down it. Needless to say, it didn’t go well......

Beautiful trail! Pretty easy hike with gorgeous views.

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