While we were hiking in Dead Horse Point State Park, we saw a dirt road in the canyon and had been wondering how to access that road. It had been closed earlier in the week due to possibility of flash flooding, but now that the skies were looking more clear, we decided to be adventurous. Hubs looked on Google Maps and figured out a way – we had to turn onto Potash road, which would lead us to Shafer Road – the dirt road we spotted from the higher vantage point – which connects to Canyonlands.
I want to mention that while we were hiking, I spotted this:
We are in a national park, surrounded by rock and desert plants. Of course these pools stand out. I joked with hubs, telling him that we should take some pictures, photoshop a building into it and we could start a huge scam by posting the doctored photos online and sell it as a luxury resort in the middle of a canyon.
This sighting is important to my story because as we drove along Potash road, we found the pools. There were actually several of them, and different pools were different colours. I don’t know anything about potash, but I’m guessing the variation in colour represent the different stages. The most inviting looking pool was this one. It looked like a beautiful and serene oasis in the middle of a desert.
Not far from the potash pools was a sign board. Hubs decided to pull over to take a glance. There wasn’t anything we didn’t already know on the signs, such as Four-Wheel-Drive Recommended. Our rental is what hubs calls a fake jeep. It’s a 2WD jeep, but from what hubs read online, 4WD is recommended and not mandatory. I only recommend you take this chance if you are a confident driver, and the weather is favourable. As hubs mentioned, we wouldn’t make it out if a storm moved in. The reason you would want to drive Shafer Road with a 4WD vehicle is because it’s mostly a dirt road with spots that are gravel or have large, uneven rocks or drops. Ideally, your vehicle would have quite a bit of clearance. You want power and traction, but not a huge vehicle because there was someone on a forum that mentioned that to negotiate the narrow switchbacks, he was required to perform 3-point-turns because his truck was so big and the turning radius was so tight. I believe his story. It was tight for our fake jeep, and our jeep wasn’t really that big.
The road is a single lane. I guess the person that can move aside most safely would do so, though when hubs started backing up to slide into a cutout, my heart almost dropped. I did not see the cutout, so I felt like if hubs opened his door, his feet would be dangling over the edge! Don’t worry, that wasn’t the case. There was a little bit of room. The driver of the first truck stopped to let us know that he had five additional trucks coming behind him. We were in no rush.
You are not only sharing the road with other cars. From Dead Horse, we did see a mountain biker. On this day, there was a group of dirt bike riders.
After emerging from the base of the canyon, we decided to do the Corona Arch hike, located just outside of Moab. It’s a partially free-standing, natural sandstone arch in a side canyon of the Colorado river. The opening is 140 feet x 105 feet. To get to the arch, you hike 1.5 miles along constructed trail and slickrock, and involves a climb of 440 feet.
As I was posing for a photo under the arch, I heard something fall. Believe me, after that, I quickly ran under and back to the other side.