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White Rim Trail

Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
44
Location
Austin
Four of us on 1200GS's spent a day (in my case) to two days (in the case of the other three) riding the Utah Canyonlands White Rim Trail in July. Hot? Very. Rough? Yes. Long ride? Yes. Fabulous sights and a great experience? No question.

We began by just riding down the Shafer Trail switchbacks "for the fun of it" the day before embarking on the whole trail. Afterwards, back to Moab via Potash Road. The next day, the NPS closed Shafer for maintenance so we began our counterclockwise loop from the north, which meant descending the Horsethief Trail switchbacks, then finding Upheaval Bottom (sand!), our first real obstacle. It was followed by Hardscrabble Hill (yes, the climb was a hard scrabble, i.e., steep, sharp switchbacks, loose rock). The next big climb was Murphy's Hogback, but going CCW meant we descended the long, steep south side rather than climbing it. My three compadres peeled off about 5:00PM at White Crack for a hot night of camping. I rode on to Shafer Canyon, Potash Road, and Moab, arriving back at the motel about 9:00PM. In total, a 12-hour day for me.

Here are a few mementos:

Free advice:
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More free advice:
M40gsr1.jpg


WxVKVvl.jpg


5KYwUut.jpg


Additional views of Shafer Trail:

FpYTUwO.jpg




zp1J5Le.jpg


Hd0akMp.jpg


The white strata that gives the White Rim its name:
3niDa0y.jpg


The back side of Hardscrabble (OK, "easy scrabble"):
rjT4ftj.jpg


About to descend Murphy's Hogback:
p5Y9i5j.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,197
Location
Arlington
Wow. Spectacular pictures. Thanks for posting.

In #5, it appears that you captured a white van maybe a mile back on the road. Pulling a trailer of sorts? That looks like a pretty hairy road to have to be dealing with both a large van and a trailer.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
44
Location
Austin
Wow. Spectacular pictures. Thanks for posting.

In #5, it appears that you captured a white van maybe a mile back on the road. Pulling a trailer of sorts? That looks like a pretty hairy road to have to be dealing with both a large van and a trailer.
Thank you. We saw another couple of trucks that were SAGs for bicyclists...so it does happen. Shafer was not the narrowest or most difficult spot.:rider:
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,764
Location
Huntsville
That is a GREAT shot of Shafer!! :bow:

I have a 1200 GS and ride it off the pavement frequently. I have a KTM 530 EXC that I use for more technical stuff. I rode the White Rim on the 530 and was glad I was not on the 1200!! For most of it, the 1200 would not have been too bad. That sand section in the NE corner though... :eek2: :lol2: Going counter clockwise was the advice we were give and followed. It was GOOD advice! I would not have wanted to hit that stuff at the end of the day. Hitting it early when fresh is best. Some of that stuff got crazy deep, and I LIKE riding in that kind of sand/silt! TKC 80s would be a MUST for me to even consider trying to make that run on my GS.

The WHOLE loop really is spectacular. Words and cameras simply cannot do it justice. It just has to be experienced.
 
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