White Rim Road


Nov 28, 2018
I’m finally getting around to writing up a report for my White Rim trip over the weekend of March 19th.

A buddy of mine got an overnight permit at Murphy’s Hogback and he invited my son and me to come along with him and another friend. This is the second time I’ve been to the white Rim but the first time I’ve actually driven and it’s definitely a different experience driving, as opposed to being a passenger. The permit was for the night of Saturday the 20th so our plan was to leave Friday morning and find a place to camp somewhere around Moab and go bomb through the rim on Saturday/Sunday.

Day 1

One of my other friends had a doctor appointment in the morning so with it being the start of spring break season my son and I left about 6 in the morning in hopes we could get a campsite. I’m glad we did because we got the last sight at Upper Onion Creek campsite and all of the other campsites we drove by looked full.


Campsite at Onion Creek

We were a couple hours ahead of our friends so Junior and I went for a drive up Onion Creek. We only got to the 3rd crossing but the water was too enticing for my son. We found a place to pull over and messed around in the water for about an hour.


After my friends found our site we went out to King Fisher Towers, came back, had dinner, and then drove up Upper Onion all the way to Fisher Valley(?) before turning around. That was a fun little distraction and warm up for White Rim.


4 (2).jpg

Day 2

The next day we packed up and set out for Canyonlands, only to get stopped at Drink Canyon campsite because there was a half-marathon going on and highway 128 was closed until noon. Having a couple hours to kill we turned around and did some off roading in Castle Valley and then found a trail by Castle Tower and climbed up to get pretty sweet view of the valley.


The road finally opened up. We headed to Canyonlands and dropped down going clockwise


Heading down Shafer

Musselman Arch. First time I came through here I walked across. This time, "hell no, and neither are you Junior."

After a long day of driving we finally made it up Murphy’s Hogback. I have to admit. The first time I did the White Rim, my friend drove and I didn’t understand why he thought it was an intense climb. Now, having actually been the driver I totally get it.

After setting up camp we were rewarded with an amazing sunset.

Day 3

I don’t know what our deal is but it seams like on the last day we are always in a rush to get home. Even if there isn’t a rush. So we didn’t stop as much. I’d like to take 4-5 days and spend more time exploring.

Stopped at Black crack, and many inappropriate dad jokes ensued and then walked out for an obligatory shot of the Green.



Explored a small slot canyon.

We made it up Hard Scrabble hill and decided to bag our plan to hike out to Fort Bottom. As I said we were feeling some kind of rush to get home so once we got to the bottom of Hardscrabble hill we made a beeline out of there. Leaving Fort Bottom, and Upheaval Dome on my list of things to see.

All in all it was a fun trip. Why wouldn’t it be fun? After all I got to spend amazing quality time with someone I love doing something I love. Now it’s medium brother’s turn for a ‘daddy-son adventure”


Mar 19, 2014
Thanks for sharing. I recall my first trip around White Rim in February 1977. We saw another vehicle.
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