Solo on The White Rim, Utah

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by De Eee, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. De Eee

    De Eee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    20 miles from Santiago Pk.
    My friends and I had been planning a big Baja ride for months when they started waffleing. It went from 9 days lost in Baja to a weekend in Nevada. That wasn't the trip that I had taken a week off for, so I withdrew in a huff. Since when is work a reason to bail? It was so bogus and I was disconsolate. I was moping around the house when my wife Margy suggested "let's go to Utah, we can camp and hike and you can ride the White Rim or something?" Lightbulbs went off and I was fully restoked. We packed the van with gear, toys and our boy Jake and off we went.
    In preparation I posted a "Are solo dual sport rides OK?" thread here on ADV. Riider for advice and inspiration. The responses were unanimously positive and the advice was good.
    In the nights leading up to the ride my dreams were filled with danger and excitement. They ranged from crashing into the river or off cliffs to blissfully cruising for hours in the awesome desert southwest.
    Finally the day arrived. We parked at the start of the Hosethief Trail and I nervously packed. Suddenly another solo guy on a XR 400 sped by. The nervousness vanished and I was totally psyched, YEE HAW here I go! I had decided to go counter clockwise since we had ridden it twice on mtn. bikes before (once in a day with Marge) and gone clockwise both times.

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    That is Jake in the background playing with his emergency vehicles.

    The Horsetheif heads down to the river and soon you enter Canyonlands Nat. Park.

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    The road goes along the Green River for awhile and is super narrow. I had to pass one bike tour truck with inches to spare. The river loomed ominously below.

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    After a few miles the road heads away from the river and I stopped to take the jacket off and put my extra gallon in the tank. The extra gas was superfluous as the XR gets ~50 mpg and the tank is a 4 gallon rig. One bit of advice that I had received was to cruise, that is go about 80% of my normal group speed. So I had started extra slow, but after a while the fun factor kicked in and it was wheelies and chaw-airs off bumps. Still not fast but just fast enough to have fun.

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    I stopped at the Murphy's Hogback to check out the view and the outhouse. I was sitting there with the door propped open when I heard vehicles approaching. Quickly I scrambled out and got them to take my picture.
    Continuing on I went out the spur road to the White Crack Campground for lunch. It sits on the point above the confluence of where the Colorado and Green rivers come together. There was nobody for miles around.
    After lunch I stopped above Monument Basin for a view of the spectacular Standing Rock. I am a lifetime rock climber and had climbed it in ~1989 with Marge and a couple other friends. It is ~300+ tall and very loose as far as rock quality goes.

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    I cruised on and passed the only other dual sport guys that I saw. There was a guy on a WR, a DRZ and a KTM. Continuing past the Schaeffer Trail I stopped for this view of the Colorado River.


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    Soon the road approached the Potash Mine outside Moab where I stopped. The intense blue is a Potash evaporation pond near the mine.

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    The White Rim is a fun ride and the scenery is spectacular. You get out there miles from nowhere so the adventure value is high. There was nothing technical or dicey to get gripped about and is therefore a perfect choice for a solo.
    Thanks for the advice and encouragement you all!
    #1
  2. Medicine Creek

    Medicine Creek 127.0.0.1

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,516
    Location:
    smugville, nebraska
    sweet. i gotta get out there someday.
    #2
  3. Trailsurfer

    Trailsurfer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA
    That's too cool, awesome ride Dave, I wish I was with you.

    Rick
    #3
  4. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Right Wing Conspirator

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Nice pictures & great report.
    #4
  5. Sanam

    Sanam Dare to Win Well

    Joined:
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    Location:
    nowhere land
    :thumb
    #5
  6. YEM

    YEM You Enjoy Myself

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    159
    Location:
    Twisty Mountains of Colorado
    When were you out there?? I did the White Rim solo on a yellow F650GS on April 8th and passed a few guys....

    Great ride, yeah!!

    See - - solo is not so bad...
    #6
  7. hava98

    hava98 behind the Orange Curtain

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    605
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    If you're solo and uhm, cautious, is it better to go clockwise or counter-clockwise? Or does it matter? :ear

    White Rim Trail = Wet Dream Trail
    #7
  8. gothamAlp

    gothamAlp happy to be here

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    805
    Location:
    flagstaff and/or tucson, az
    very nice. congrats on your first solo adventure, and great pix. :thumb
    #8
  9. Garthe

    Garthe ROCKS ARE YOUR FRIENDS...

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,357
    Location:
    Arizona
    Thanks fpr the pics. Next week my oldest and best of friends are going to do the White Rim ride togeather. Their riding their GS's and I'm taking the HP 2 for a spin. Two weeks till we go, Thanks for the post..:evil
    #9
  10. RT jim

    RT jim Long timer

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    2,006
    Location:
    NH
    Second picture . That cattle crossing. looks more like a "don't enter unless you ride can go over this" . :lol3
    #10
  11. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr GS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    502
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    Excellent! Glad you did the solo trip! Invigorating, isn't it!!!

    -H-
    #11
  12. disconnected

    disconnected rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    looks like a beautiful place, how far from denver??????
    #12
  13. Zen Slug

    Zen Slug Spineless Adventurer

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    Location:
    Near Vana
    Nice ride report... planning to get out there on the GS myself one of these days.




    Thanks for the inspiration!:thumb
    #13
  14. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

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    Bravo!! :clap
    #14
  15. KneeDragGirl

    KneeDragGirl Heather Bear

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    376
    Location:
    Wherever the spinning globe stops
    I can never get tired of seeing pics of that place. I even have a large scrap book of my own!

    I think your solo experience was very rewarding for you. Am I wrong?

    Glad you made it home safe!

    :D
    #15
  16. RockyRoads

    RockyRoads RockyRoads

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Aptos, California
    I'm glad that your ride was so much fun! I'll be heading to Moab (from California) in 2 1/2 weeks and may have to do some solo riding on some of the trails. Your story was inspirational! Terrific photos too! And kudos to your supportive, loving wife for suggesting the trip.:clap
    #16
  17. YEM

    YEM You Enjoy Myself

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    159
    Location:
    Twisty Mountains of Colorado
    I've ridden it both ways but here are a few things I keep in mind:

    *Most mountain bikers on multi-day trips ride clockwise ('dunno why).
    *Riding the same direction as the mountain bikers means you are always catching them from behind (I like to meet them head-on (counter-clockwise) so passing is forced and quick).
    *Riding counterclockwise gets the pavement and long dirt road above the Rim over with first, then its just awesome jeep track the rest of the way.
    *There are plenty of blind hills and corners so caution is required some of the time.

    If you are somewhat ambitious, ride the Rim both ways in the same day. :clap
    #17
  18. De Eee

    De Eee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    20 miles from Santiago Pk.
    I rode it on Wednesday April 12.

    Closer to Denver than Orange County!
    #18
  19. yater

    yater Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,517
    Location:
    Texas
    I'll be there in 2 weeks...what was the total mileage? We're a little worried about the range of my buddy's wr450.
    #19
  20. YEM

    YEM You Enjoy Myself

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    159
    Location:
    Twisty Mountains of Colorado
    The White Rim loop itself is 100 miles around.
    #20