DAY THREE: Wednesday, September 1 7 , 2003
We decided to do Shafer Trail out to White Rim and attempt to make the entire White Rim Loop. Shafer Trail begins at 279 and Potash where you pass the potash drying lakes and then head west. You’ll see Dead Horse Canyon, Hen Rock (a real balancer), Chimney Rock, and some truly inspiring views of the Colorado River at the Gooseneck overlook. Shafer Trail eventually intersects 313, but we took White Rim Trail several miles before reaching the intersection.
White Rim has some precarious sections with steep drop offs and unforgettable views. One of the best was riding along the edge of Monument Basin. The west side of White Rim Trail (the first 20 or so miles that we took) can be considered easy for experienced dual sport riders except for one or two short moderate sections. At Murphy Trail we encountered a very steep and rocky climb to Murphy Hogback which we considered too much of a challenge on the heavy KLR’s. We decided to play it safe and backtrack the way we came in.
During the entire day of canyon riding we saw two cars, five dirt bikers in one group, and three mountain bikers in a group. This is not a place to get hurt or to have mechanical problems. We heard that wrecker service out here will cost you more than $1,000.
Our route was about 100 miles of rough canyon road riding with an additional 50 miles of paved roads. It was a hard, long day of riding but well worth it.