Shafer Trail

Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District, Utah

Elevation Gain2,649ft
Trailhead Elevation4,152ft
Elevation Min/Max4110/4503ft
Elevation Start/End4152/4152ft

Shafer Trail

Shafer Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Grand County and San Juan County, Utah. It is within Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District. It is 11.0 miles long and begins at 4,152 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 22.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,649 feet. The Balanced Rock attraction can be seen along the trail. There are also waters and a viewpoint along the trail.

Shafer Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This trail enters Canyonlands National Park. Visit the Moab Information Center (at the corner of Main Street and Center Street) in advance to become familiar with park features, regulations, fees, camping permits, and possible road closures. The drive to the trail is very scenic with well-marked Indian petroglyphs, hiking trails, and arches. Once on the trail, you’ll be treated to incredible views of the Colorado River as it meanders around the perimeter of Canyonlands National Park.

Once inside the park, no pets, firearms, or wood campfires are allowed. A well-maintained road suitable for stock high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles. Possible muddy conditions in spots during wet periods. One brief, narrow shelf road crosses high above the Colorado River north of the Gooseneck. The trail concludes with a breath-taking but relatively easy climb up the Shafer Switchbacks. Route-finding is easy. Carry at least one gallon of drinking water per person. Summers are hot and dry. Best if driven in spring and fall."

"The ore trucks may be gone, but there is still plenty of traffic moving up and down the Shafer Trail. This incredible drive takes you from the Island in the Sky down to the potash works at the base of the trail in a very short time.

Special Attractions: Island in the Sky region of Canyonlands National Park; Steep descent down tight switchbacks from rim; Views over the Colorado River and canyon country. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

Shafer Trail Reviews

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Shafer Trail Photos

Trail Information

Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District
Nearby City
Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District
Canyonlands National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Musselman Arch, Shafer Basin, Gold Bar Canyon, La Sal, Moab
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018