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Shafer Trail is a 19.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Moab, Utah that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for mountain biking and scenic driving and is accessible year-round.

Length 19.6 mi Elevation gain 3,106 ft Route type Point to Point

Mountain biking

Scenic driving

Views

Wildlife

Rocky

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

This is an off-road driving route that can be done in either direction. This route offers incredible views of Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands National Park. The portion of this road that leads to the Canyonlands Visitor Center is closed during winter.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (156)
Photos (344)
Recordings (79)
Completed (378)
Agnieszka Szymanska
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 14 2020
Hiking

Just amazing!! Highly recommended drive. Easy to moderate level.

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Osvaldo Gutierrez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
OHV/Off Road DrivingOff trail
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Niko Mangus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
OHV/Off Road Driving

Took a lifted Wrangler on 7/4. Trail can be done easily with most 4x4s. Great views of the Colorado River. Gives you a different perspective of the canyons.

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Doug Perrin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 23 2020

Drove in a rav4 awd and it did just fine

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Samuel Sundstrom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 16 2020
Hiking

Cool trail with pretty scary switchbacks but very doable. We saw a camper go up them. They aren’t very tight. Worth the high views and Colorado river sights as well as the potash ponds. I hit mess arch at sunrise driving the highway there in 45 min from Moab. Then shafer on way back which took maybe 1.5-2 hr with stops. Best route in my opinion.

Jen Boyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
OHV/Off Road Driving

Super cool off road trail. We rented a Jeep and had no problems. It was pretty secluded and we had the canyon to ourselves until we started on the switchbacks up to Canyonlands. You really get perspective on how big these canyons are. Lots of easy side roads for views break off it. Not for the faint of heart with the ledges, but easy enough for this first time Jeep driver. We did it in the morning, East to West so the sun was illuminating the rock in front of us. Took about 2 hours with stops.

Celynda Tingey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 15 2020
OHV/Off Road Driving

Have completed this trail in a stock Subaru Outback and lifted SUV in 2019. Trail/road is easy with 2-3 areas that the I needed to get out and choose a line in the Outback but any stock SUV would be very easy. Views are great the entire trail but gorgeous below Dead Horse and the top of the Canyon. Switch backs are easy but can be I intimidating if you are afraid of heights. Still one of my favorite drives and best way into Canyonlands. I usually combine with Long Canyon, Gemini Bridges/Metal Masher. Stay on trail and pack out your trash, enjoy! Trail still closed until 5/29/20 when the National Park reopens

David Downing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 12 2020
Hiking

Easy trail when driving, difficult when biking. Amazing views as you look up at the national park from the bottom or into the valley from the top.

Jarod K.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Mar 12 2020
OHV/Off Road DrivingMuddy
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Chad Green
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Mar 10 2020
OHV/Off Road Driving

First trail ever at Moab. Awesome views as you head down the canyon. If you have a fear of heights (which I do), it may give you pause at the start, but I never felt unsafe as I made my way down. Just stay focused on the road and be careful around blind corners in case there are others on their way up. Later in the trail you will get fantastic overlooks of the Colorado River. It was a great warmup for me. Nothing too technical, and you get to experience the beauty of the surroundings.

Kayleigh Chase
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Dec 23 2019
Hiking

Not for the faint of heart but also super safe and exciting!

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Rae McKee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 20 2019
Hiking

We had the adventure of a lifetime on this trail in a Jeep. It’s a tight squeeze with hairpin turns to the bottom of the canyon but we’ll worth the white knuckles.

Kristen Keogh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Dec 05 2019
HikingIcy
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Eric Bralli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Oct 29 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

Funny enough, we sort of ended up driving on this trail by mistake and it ended up being the highlight of our Utah5 trip. Luckily, we had a car that could handle it, though nothing is to technical or crazy aside from a pretty nerve racking switchback out of the canyon and into the NP. This trail is full of Amazing views, wildlife, canyons, and vistas.

Heidi H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 23 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

FYI, No OHV allowed on Shafer Trail, we had rented a Yamaha Wolverine but were not allowed to drive out on this trail :-(

Caitlyn Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Sep 04 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

I don't like heights. The edges are very close to the car and it is hard to pass other drivers with only a few pull off points. My driver was confident and skilled but other novice drivers stopping in terrible spots that we had to pass made me so nervous.

Matt Ball
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 17 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

I highly recommend taking this trail when you are you looking to fit several trails in a day. We took it after Gemini bridges and Long Canyon road and it was the perfect end to the day. The views are spectacular! Make sure your camera batteries are charged with plenty of space on your memory card. It's a very photogenic trail. It's easy enough for most vehicles.

Krystal W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 07 2019

Completed this drive upwards in a stock Honda CRV. No issues though do not attempt if you are uncomfortable with heights. Saw a bighorn sheep at the start. Great views and fun way to start off a trip to Canyonlands.

Nicholas Albright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 04 2019
OHV/Off Road DrivingBugs

Views are beyond excellent!!! Go up the Moab (city) side to save some money. Just about anything with AWD can do this! Careful going through the salt company's property. If you're going up during bug season (as we did) remember to take repellent (we didn't). Would recommend airing down as the washboard is pretty annoying. Dropping to 20PSI would have been much better for us, and its close enough to get back into town and air back up at the gas station if you don't have on board air. After completing the trail I had more mosquito bites than pictures - but the picture I took were spectacular.

The Walkie Talkies 4.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 25 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

Awesome fun drive for a stock 4 wheel drive or better vehicle. We started out of Moab so we could drive up the Shafer Switchback section - easier than coming down! Some great vistas, particularly at Thelma & Louise Lookout point. If you are lucky you will get to see some desert bighorn sheep along the drive!

Adam Baird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 22 2019
OHV/Off Road DrivingRockyScramble

blast of a trail.

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Jared Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 29 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

Amazingly beautiful scenery; it's spoiled for me the paved, touristy overlooks at some of my favorite parks. The trail itself is not difficult our technical in a lifted Wrangler. The steep incline towards the end of the trail is fun with amazing overlooks.

Jennifer Highfill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 27 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

Easy trail in a RZR1000. No challenges or obstacles. Beautiful views of the Potash ponds and Dead Horse. You will find yourself right across the river of Dead Horse Point. A gravel road with a few rocky bumps.

Ashley Busch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 12 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

Absolutely beautiful and amazing views. We had so much fun just enjoying the natural views of UTAH.

Jim House
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 07 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

A lot of highlights in Moab and this is one of them. We started on 279 out of Moab and through Potash road on to Shafers Trial up to Island in the Sky. We stopped off at Corona Arch / Pinto Arch (versus going to Arches NP with crowds and crowds of people). The trail starts off rough but ok for my lifted 4x4 Jeep. Used low-gear for a couple of inclines but didn't necessarily have too,,,,but I wouldn't want to be there without 4-wheel drive. After the Potash area the road smooth's out a little and is a little better. We took a couple of side trails and stopped off at the base of the Deadhorse Point park at the Colorado River. We had the doors off the Jeep and that's what really made the ride fun. The 'fear of height's' wife in the front seat struggled for a while (she didn't know what we were getting into) but came to terms with a few peeks and glances as we climbed up the canyon wall road. Absolutely gorgeous drive and ride up to the top. Didn't do the top down ride but really can't think of it being better. I would suggest if you have a 4x4 or rent a 4x4, take 279 route out of Moab and go up the trail to Island in the Sky.

Cameron Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 05 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

Very easy drive, drove it from Canyonlands towards the Colorado River in a stock 2016 Ram 1500. Trail is very easy. The first half doing the switchbacks and being down in the canyon was great. The drive did get a bit exhausting towards the end by the evap pools (but it was our 4th day of off-roading) - maybe stop for lunch half-way through. Would do again.

Andrew Opie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 02 2019
OHV/Off Road Driving

Fun, easy drive. There a couple areas where ground clearance helps but if you're looking for an easy drive, this is you're drive. Very scenic!

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Xenia Atkeisson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 16 2019
Slim Pikens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 07 2019
Hiking

dry 2018 Ford f150 4x4, 5.5 bed

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