Mineral Bottom

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling the Mineral Bottom Trail in UT

Mineral Bottom Trail is the name of a very scenic drive located in Grand County, on the east central edge of Utah, United States. When is wet, the road can be impassable, especially on the switchbacks that descend into the river valley.

Can you drive to Mineral Bottom?

Tucked away just outside Canyonlands National Park, the road (BLM129) is suitable for high-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles when dry. But driving 4WD is recommended due to uneven surface. When is wet, the road can be impassable, especially on the switchbacks that descend into the river valley. Avoid this road if it's wet. If it rains while you’re at the bottom, wait an hour or two until the road dries. Route-finding is extremely easy. It's a wide county road that drops rapidly to the Green River on spectacular switchbacks to a pleasant drive along the river’s edge. Mineral Bottom road provides access to the western half of the White Rim Trail inside Canyonlands National Park.

Is Mineral Bottom open?

This track can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. One of the more dramatic washouts occurred on the Mineral Bottom Road switchbacks on August 19th, 2010, where significant portions of the road were obliterated. This damage caused the closure of the road, affecting anyone attempting to travel the White Rim Road in a loop or planning river trips that launch or take-out at Mineral Bottom. On March 29, 2011, the Mineral Bottom road was open and passable again, making a full White Rim loop possible again.

How long is Mineral Bottom Trail?

The trail is 25.74km (16 miles) long. It is also known as Horse Thief Trail. It has some steep sections, hitting a 21% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Though this is a fairly easy trail when dry, it can be very dangerous if the trail is wet. The switchbacks are steep and near the edge, and the road gets slick if it has been raining or snowing. Switchbacks are kind of scary if you fear heights. July and August are the hottest months and afternoon thunderstorms are common during this period. Best to avoid riding up this road midday in summer. Bring all the water you need.
Pic: J Calvert

 

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