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Long Canyon Loop

By David Nelson - August 2nd, 2000

The route along the Colorado River on the Potash Road is an appropriate sampler of canyon riding. The primitive roads and fragile ecological systems require your undivided attention, which is difficult given the spectacular scenery.

The Potash Road merges into the famous mountain bike route, the White Rim Trail, but only for a heart pumping four-mile climb out of the canyon. After six paved miles, rocky Long Canyon Road drops abruptly back to the river.

Trip Planner

Route location: In Grand and San Jaun counties in Utah, southwest of Moab. Cuts through sections of Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Surface: Gravel bedrock roads and about 6 miles of paved state highway.

Distance: 33.8 miles.

Ride time: Allow 3-4 hours for the loop.

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. There is a very steep four-mile climb out of the canyon on the Shafer Trail and a fast rocky descent through Long Canyon.

Directions: From Denver, travel west on I-70 into Utah and south on U.S. 191. Turn right on County 279 for 13.5 miles. Park on the right at the bottom of Long Canyon Road.


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