This summer we visited Canyonlands NP and we were admired by the beauty of the place.
From Dead Horse Point State Park I had noticed a trail (Shafer Trail) running along the rim and I asked at the Visitor Center if we could drive it. The ranger discouraged me because our intermediate SUV (Ford Escape) in his opinion was not fit for the purpose, so he suggested another 4WD road, the Long Canyon Road, that for him was easier.
We got out of Canyonlands NP, took the road to Dead Horse Point Park and after a couple of miles took a dirty road on the left side.
The first couple of miles are very simple, wide road, just unpaved but after the first curve another landscape steps in.... the road gets steeper and the terrain becomes unstable, with thick sand and slick rocks crossings that made me drastically change the speed and drive attention.
The road enters directly into the canyon, with steep walls and a couple of interesting switchbacks, but the landscape is awesome! You feel really part of the nature, with the canyon rocks aside you, the blue sky on top and the adventure facing you....
I have to admit I was a bit worried, especially because no one was around and I had no mobile signal....but in those cases I bet one should not think of a consequences of a flat tyre or other potential problems and just enjoy the view, and so we did!
After another slow mile.... the big surprise... a big boulder ON the road.... the first question is ... do we have to U-turn and go back? No, getting nearer one can see that the boulder is hanging on the lateral rock and that there is a passage allowing to go under it... What an amazing picture and drive, slaloming around slick rocks and at the same time looking around.
After another couple of miles the road interconnects with the paved road leading to Potash on the right and to Moab on the left. Also this part of trip was fantastic, since there are multiple viewpoints on the Colorado (my son loves his photo with his hands on the mighty river!).
Definitely a great drive, maybe I would recommend it to do with a companion car and driving a real 4WD jeep or so, in order to be able to drive the Potash road to the Gooseneck and the Shafer Switchbacks.... I will definitely do them next time!
Once reached the other side the road becomes again simpler and
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