Explore the most popular off road driving trails in Canyonlands National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

mountain biking
24 days ago

Unbelievable experience. I took a guided mountain biking tour over three days, averaging just over 30 miles a day. I’m a casual biker, so there were some technically challenging hill climbs and switchbacks that I had to take a break on. This was a bucket list ride in my opinion!

off road driving
1 month ago

Gorgeous. On this path as marked the road was definitely rougher outside of the canyonlands. Inside the park the road was pretty tame.

off road driving
1 month ago

Drove and camped along the White Rim Trail over three nights in early April. Some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever seen in my life. Every turn provided excitement in navigating the terrain and new and stunning landscapes to enjoy. Probably the best-kept outdoors secret in Utah.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a fantastic hike on a beautiful early April weekday that started cool and then warmed up to high 60’s. We did the full out and back to the White Rim trail intersection point in 7 hours at a leisurely pace with lots of stops for pictures and lunch at the White Rim trail (3 hours down, 4 up). That’s a great spot for lunch with views down to the base of the canyon. The trail has spectacular views end to end, with lots of changing scenery. Although the descent/ascent is steep, it’s not technical. You have to be comfortable with wondering how the heck you’re going to descend the face but it was never dicey. We only saw two groups of hikers on the return and otherwise had the whole canyon to ourselves.

off road driving
1 month ago

Amazing views the entire way but if you get to the end, a real treat. Seeing the river so far below is hard to describe.

We got there just after sunset so the colours were vivid.

Drove it in a stock Cherokee Trailhawk with no problems. A couple of bumps to the underside but no big deal. The last kilometre gets pretty rocky. Vehicles with more clearance and larger tires will laugh at this.

A great little trip.

backpacking
1 month ago

Gorgeous!

off road driving
2 months ago

We did this in one day and highly recommend in the future splitting this over 2 days. It took us 12 hrs. The views are amazing. Not for the faint of heart and highly recommend being prepared for any scenario. It’s very remote no cell service for most of the trail and very little traffic. Can’t wait to go back and do it again!

off road driving
3 months ago

Been on that trails. Loved it

Been in that trails. Loved it

off road driving
4 months ago

Stock 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Off Road Tires. Awesome views. White Crack campsite was the best. Potato Bottom has shade (and mosquitoes).

I recommend just a bit more lift than a stock Jeep, but didn't scrape...much :)

on Shafer Trail

off road driving
4 months ago

Super awesome. Super easy too (when dry). Plenty of cyclists do this. Saw a honda civic driving it, although i could hear their indercarriage neing hit by 3” rocks.

off road driving
5 months ago

Very scenic, trail requires decent clearance in some spots. Recommend 4 wheel drive. Several lookout points over the Colorado River. We started at the top of
Shafer and went down to Potash and back into
Moab. Took roughly 2.5 hours to get to Moab from the top of Shafer Trail, but we stopped a few times to check out the views and for photos. Bring some snacks and some Cokes and enjoy the drive!

Great hike!

Best!

off road driving
5 months ago

Easy one nothing technical
Be careful on the shafer trail switchbacks though
Had to complete in the evening aa the next day was reaerved for the White Rim Trail

off road driving
5 months ago

Did this thanksgiving weekend
Really amazing 100 miles overland nothing technical 2 mildly difficult spots Murphys Hogback and between Potato Bottom and Hardscrabble campground
Started from Shafer trail at 9:45 am reached Hardscrabble Campground at 4:30 pm
Could have completed the trail but had a campgrond booked at Hardscrabble Bottom
Completed tha last 20 miles the next day
Awesome views but be prepared for an early sunset
Good luck its still open

I only had 1.5 hours before sunset, so I turned this into a trail run and hike combo. I made it to the rim and then turned back. Was glad I did this trail, even though it was only a portion.

hiking
6 months ago

Fantastic hike. There are some spectacular views. The trail is very well marked, and as someone else already mentioned, there are times when you think it is going to take you off a clifff, but there isn't any place where it is really dangerous or scary. It looked to me like the scenery was not going to be as good as I got closer to the canyon bottom, and I wasn't sure I wanted to trek back up the really steep part, so I turned around at 3.5 miles.

Need about 10 inches clearance in areas. November 2017
Locals say 2 people die on this trail every year.
It’s safe if the driver pays attention and let’s the vehicle do it’s job.
DO NOT force it.
There were areas we had to creep and angle the vehicle properly; go sloooow!

off road driving
7 months ago

Absolutely stunning. Most incredible 100 mile loop with breathtaking views and constantly changing terrain and scenery. I would go back and do this a second and third time. Reserve a campsite and stay overnight to maximize the experience

excellent interesting trail with a rewarding overlook

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing hike! First 2k flat as a pancake but than a wonderful stroll over the plateau with a beautiful view over the valley. After 5k the decent into the valley starts where your door 300-400m in one kilometer. Steep rock trail which is quite technical but well maintained. Best part is that we were the only ones out these so you're really one with nature.

7 months ago

How can someone rate a 25.8 mile hike as easy? Christian must be saying this was an easy DRIVE in his jeep?

off road driving
7 months ago

Drove down the switchbacks in our front wheel drive Sentra almost to the bottom. Worried about traction on the way up but no problem with front wheel drive. High clearance not needed. Did it in dry clear conditions. Some guy in a super high clearance Jeep stopped me on the way down and told me I needed a high clearance vehicle. I've driven on more dangerous roads in the Cockpit country of rural Jamaica in driving rain in a rented Toyota Yaris and continued down the switchbacks without a problem.

8 months ago

Started at the backside of the potash trail and made our way up to the switch backs and up to the national park. I'm surprised this is labeled easy unless it's because they don't consider where it ts off to go to the potash trail it has some dips you have to climb up and down in the canyon.

off road driving
8 months ago

Great views and I recommend starting at the potash and go up the Schafer and up the switch backs for a little more challenge.

This is a great trail. Beautiful and challenging to the right degree, the ascent at the Canyon Lands entrance is breathtaking. Probably not so much if you have fear of heights, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

off road driving
9 months ago

Great trail to romp around in an overland rig.

off road driving
9 months ago

Starting around 4pm in August the trail was infrequently trafficked, we only met 1-2 cars coming the other direction in the switchbacks (the only real spot where you're in trouble when you meet a car).

Once you enter the north gate of Canyonlands (about a 35 minute drive from Moab), the turn off is clearly marked just before the visitors center. You will immediately start narrow switchbacks down into the canyon. You may need to reverse back to a corner in some areas if the trail is not wide enough for when you meet a vehicle coming from the bottom. This will continue for about 4 miles or so with stunning views of the canyon. The only thing I would change would be starting this trail in the morning as the canyon faces out east and the light may be better on the rocks as it rises.

After the switchbacks the trail is well marked with signs and Potash Road continues for 14 miles of winding trails following the Colorado River for the majority. Some turn offs along this section provide for photo opp areas that you will not see from the majority of Canyonlands visitors.

Throughout the trail you will need to occasionally navigate around rocky obstacles. You will need 4x4 and at least 8-9" of ground clearance in some spots. We completed the trail easily in a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4. And though I did put it into Rock Mode for an area or two, I found that I probably could have just used the standard 4x4 mode, perhaps with a litter added wheelspin.

Once you get to the bright blue water, you may feel that you're on a different planet, but they are simply evaporation pools for the Salt company of Utah/Moab. You may find yourself passing multiple Hired-Tour company vehicles coming up from Moab but the trail is usually wide enough at this point.

Added bonus, as you leave the trail and join up with the main road heading back to Moab, you'll see a sign advertising Indian Markings, these were very cool 3-8000 year old sketches right on he side of the road, very neat.

backpacking
9 months ago

So beautiful.

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