Snaking its way down the sheer walls of the awe-inspiring Shafer Canyon lies the Shafer Trail, an 18-mile-long unpaved road that takes intrepid travellers deep into Utah’s Canyonlands National Park.
It begins at Grand Viewpoint Road, which is popular with camera-wielding tourists who flock to a viewpoint at the head of the canyon.
As you join the Shafer Trail, the tarmac quickly disappears to be replaced by a bone shakingly rough track which winds around a series of tight hairpins, as it descends to the valley floor below. The trail is a test of any rider’s mettle, particularly when you factor in the vertigo-inducing drop-offs and lack of guard rails.
At the base of the trail, the road forks. One way leads back to civilisation, and the other heads deep into the heart of Utah on the White Rim Trail.
Exploring this untouched scenery is an adventure biker’s dream, and that’s exactly what ABR contributor John Hax did when he struck off from the tourist trail for an off-road adventure in this otherworldly landscape. You can read all about his trip on page 78 of this issue of ABR.