Off-Roading Adventures on Shafer Trail in Moab, Utah

The first time I ever went to Moab I learned about the Shafer trail, but

after reading the warning signs on what vehicles were suited for travel on

it I figured my rental Toyota car wasn’t ideal and turned around. (After

driving on this road I can say that that was definitely a good idea. Do

NOT attempt this road if you are in a car.) However, this time, on my

fourth visit to Moab I finally came prepared. I rented a Ford pickup truck, picked

up my best friend Kristin, and we were ready to FINALLY drive the

infamous road into Canyonlands National Park. 

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After stopping at the gas station to pick up our healthy breakfast of

Hostess donuts and chicken nuggets we set out on our way to

drive the trail Kristin and I had been wanting to go on for years, the Shafer Trail.

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I swear these views are the best. *sigh* I need to move to Moab.

There’s a little area before you set out on the rugged road that has

a couple little outhouses. You are going to want to stop and use

them because there is nowhere else to stop along the way and you

are probably going to be driving for a couple hours at least. 

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The road started out pretty manageable with only a few potholes

and washboards to look out for. Certainly nowhere near as bad as

Hole in the Rock Road in Grand Staircase-Escalante. (Read about that adventure here!)

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Not long into our drive we stopped to take some pictures of balanced

rock (I don’t know if that’s what it is really called, but that’s what I am going with. lol) 

The beast of a truck that took us on this adventure. Never thought I would miss a Ford, but Black Beauty you sure were the best. 

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Eventually we made it to an area with some absolutely amazing views of the Colorado River. 

Like, I mean, come on! I will never get tired of this view. 

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The adventurers!

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It’s along this road you can also find the infamous spot where

Thelma and Louise drove their car off the cliff!

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Couldn’t pass up a photo op on the spot! We are Thelma and Louise after all…well…without the murder. Unless you count…ope…no…never mind. We promised never to speak of him again…🤐🤫

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This shot reminds me so much of Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona. If you haven’t been there, that is definitely a spot you want to add to your travel bucket list! I highly recommend going in the summer so you can spend some time on Lake Powell as well! You can read about my visit to Horseshoe Bend here!)

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This is hands down one of my all time favorite trip photos. Photo cred to Kristin.
Don’t mind me. Just making my own Ford commercial. Lol 

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As you near the end of the road you will come to a gate with a sign

letting you know you are entering Canyonlands National Park.

This is where Potash road turns into the Shafer Trail. 

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This section of the road was insanely well maintained especially compared

to the rest of the journey and I can see why some of the people we

met in their little cars thought they would be able to make it the whole

way. If you start your off-roading journey from Canyonlands do

not let this section of road fool you. There were parts while we

were driving on the rest of the road where I didn’t think the truck had high enough clearance

to make it and I know there were even sections with steep inclines

I might not have made if it weren’t for my 4WD so y’all just…don’t go

down this road in a car. We had a few cars coming from Canyonlands stop us and

ask if we thought they were going to be okay and I was

immediately like “um no. Turn around.” lol 

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I think this is what paradise on earth looks like. 

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How is this even real?!
Yeah…we drove on that. 

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The final stretch of road you will come to and the part of the road

that made me interested in driving on it in the first place are

the switchbacks. Hate them while hiking and…well…these ones

weren’t the most fun to drive on when you met someone, but by

this point I was an old pro at meeting people on this narrow

inclining road. It was worth it. 

The infamous switchbacks.

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We made it to the top!

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Outfit Details for anyone who is wondering: 

Top

Skinny Jeans – similar pair linked

Initial Necklace

Chacos

Bracelet – Thrifted

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After we finished our off-roading adventure we drove back to

Moab (on the paved road this time) and stopped at the one place

we go to every time we are in Moab together, Moab Fro-Yo. 

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Then we headed back to Kristin’s house for the season and got

changed for a sunset photoshoot! Here are some of my favorite

pics from that. (All photo credit goes to the amazingly talented photographer, Kristin.)

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Outfit Details:

Everything is thrifted except for the kimono which came

from Walmart and the hat which came from Amazon.

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Once the sun set below the horizon and night started to fall upon us, our

stomachs were telling us it was time for some real food so we, dressed

to the nines in our photoshoot outfits (y’all Moab is a place where everyone

wears cargo shorts, t-shirts, and Chacos so we were a little

overdressed lol) stopped to have dinner at The Spoke on Center.

The food was absolutely delicious and I even switched it up and

got a (virgin) Moscow Mule. It was an amazing end to an amazing day. 

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The next morning we had donuts from Doughbird and then I sadly

headed back to Kansas crying all the way home. Lol The donuts were delicious though. 

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So my final thoughts on Potash road/Shafer Trail:

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Be sure to go follow the blog on Instagram to see more reels like this! @ the_everydayadventurers

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If you have a high clearance 4WD vehicle or a 4×4 of some

sort (you can rent these in town) I highly highly highly recommend

you drive this road. The views, well I mean, y’all saw the views. They

were some of the most gorgeous ones I have ever seen. 

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The road is definitely a one way road and there were times when

meeting other drivers was a liiiittle sketchy. However, there are a lot

of places with little pullout areas so just be cautious and courteous and use them.

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This road is rough. You will not be going down it quickly. If you do plan

on driving this road I suggest you schedule at least half a day. Besides, you

don’t want to rush through the scenery! 

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Make sure you use the bathroom before heading out AND that

you also have a full tank of gas. You won’t be seeing restrooms

or gas stations for a while. 

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If you don’t want to drive the road yourself you can partake in a

jeep tour! We actually followed behind one of these for

a little while when we were there.

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2 thoughts on “Off-Roading Adventures on Shafer Trail in Moab, Utah

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