Sunday, November 07, 2010

White Rim Trail

This was the main reason for my Moab trip. I've been wanting to drive this trail for years. Unfortunately, I couldn't drive the entire trail due to a huge washout that happened a few weeks before my trip. The NPS web site shows photos of house-sized boulders that crashed down upon the switchbacks at Mineral Bottom.

I left Moab before sunrise and that gave me some nice long shadows by the time I reached some scenic parts. Below is the Colorado River.

This is an easy shelf section. It'd be scary if the road was wet and slippery.

The trail alternates between mild dirt road with embedded rocks and very rugged road almost entirely of embedded rocks. The later sections were rough enough that I had to drive very slowly (slower than walking speed). Here's an example...

I'm sure a lifted Jeep could drive faster on those sections. My Land Rover's suspension isn't as pleasant over very rugged terrain, so I have to go slow. Specifically: the suspension is soft, so therefore it bounces a lot when driving over boulders, and so I hit and scrape more boulders that way. On the flip-side, highway driving is very smooth.

This is trail #46 in Wells' book (rated moderate) and trail #2 in Massey's book (rated 4). I actually got bored on this trail. While knowing that each mile offered great views, they were all almost the same view. So I wasn't sad to turn around and head back.

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