We have driven the Shafer trail more times than I can count. I first time was about 15 years ago and we were just site seeing and came upon the sign and it said the Visitor Center was 18 miles. Pff! how long can it take to drive 18 miles, It was about an hr before dusk and figured we would be in Moab for supper. Little did we know. Back then it was really a 4wd trail, not a road. and my husband loves to drive on gas flumes, why would you carry all that weight with a full tank. I'm in a panic mode by now because I'm sure we are going to run out of gas and have to spend the night and wait for some other crazy person to rescue us. We did stop and view the sights. The sun set as we neared the top. About 8:15pm and realized we still had 30+ miles to go to get back to town.
I don't mind heights at all but, was a little shakey on the last part of the road the first time we drove it. I recommend driving from bottle to top. We had friends who drove with us once in a 4wd big ram and the wife was on the floor of the truck crying and moaning please let me out. AND that was driving bottom to top. She thought for sure she was going to die.
Now for me I find it a piece of cake to drive. You just have to be cautious. Weather has a lot to do with driving it too. We were there a few weeks ago and Shafer trail was closed due to snow. It's been closed during Summer gully washers too.
We have gone from top to bottom bottom to top and I just think it's better to end up on top.
In fact they have improved the Trail since we first started driving it, They even have bathroom facilities now on the trail
So go for it, It is a great day trip just keep your wits about you and you will enjoy.
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