White Rim Trail, Solo, Unsupported- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    White Rim Trail, Solo, Unsupported

    I'm thinking of riding the white rim trail around the middle of october. I would be riding solo and unsupported. I've bike across the US and am an experienced backpacker so I have all the gear and knowledge. Unfortunatley when it comes to the desert I'm a noobie. So what I'm wondering is what to do about water. I expect to carry a lot, but how often are refill oppurtunties. I have a filter of course. I've spent the last 10 years in 120 degree kitchens so I know what the heat can do to you if you don't respect it. I'm trying to get as much info as possible to stay safe. Thanks for the help.
    I like to ride bikes.

  2. #2
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    Water on the White Rim

    Hey,

    Just a thought based on our White Rim experience last fall. Don't forget about the OTHER water that falls from the sky! We were one of the groups stranded by the 100 year flood they experienced last October. Now, that would kinda be its own solution from the drinking perspective, but could necessitate taking along some extra food....

    The upside is the parts of the road that aren't under water get pretty firm, so you can make good time.

    Jim

  3. #3
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    There is water, but no reasonable way to get it, and often more struggle than it is worth. They don't want you filtering anyway. They don't want you to die, but you better be damn close before you filter the animals water. I would carry all that I needed. That amount depends on many factors. 100oz might be enough for me in a day, but not enough for someone else. If you are taking it slow, it compounds the water issues.

    I rode it in February. It was muddy and icy and sandy and took all day to go 50 miles. I was able to filter one time on the route, and that was pretty lucky. I had snow... and packed plenty into bottles at one point, but snow doesn't melt well at 40 degrees on it's own. The road out, Shafer Road, was closed due to ice and mud... It added 50 miles to the ride taking another route out. They wouldn't let me ride up it. I can ride it in a day I'm sure, but not that time. And that can happen almost anytime I suppose.

    If you are taking a couple of days, and will be camping. Call ahead and do the deal. Make sure all is well. Listen to them describe the weather you might encounter. They don't take kindly to people that don't follow the rules, and that area is regulated to the sandy gills. If you feel like you are being watched, you probably are. Let me be the idiot, and you learn from it.

  4. #4
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    I to have been planning this ride for a day for couple years now. Not sure when I'll get the chance to go, but hopefully it will be in the next couple years. There is a pretty good book that details WRT and other "epic" rides, the book is Clasic Mountain Bike Rides.

    The climate is detailed throughout the year and information on how much water to take, along with the a nice map with details on climbs like Murphy Hogback and others.

    I have read of people going in both directions. September, October, April, May seem like pretty good months to ride, as far as high temps go.



    Be sure to write a review and post back about your experience.

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    Gripshift
    What am I going to do with forty subscriptions to Vibe?

  5. #5
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    I wonder if I could rent a BOB trailer in the area? I used one with my mountain bike when I went cross country to carry around 60 pounds a stuff. I've since sold all my gear and replaced everything with ultra light stuff so 4 gallons of water, my gear (15#), plus 3 days of food at 2 pounds per day is a total of 54 pounds plus 14 pounds for the BOB is YIKES! 68 pounds. That might be the better way to go. I can do day hikes and really take my time and have some fun. I could take a week! Make that 8 gallons of water-total-109 pounds!Those downhills should be fun with that monster pushing. I'm glad I have good brakes on my bike. I think I remember the BOB having about an 80 pound copacity. Also 8 gallons of water takes up about 1850 cubic inches out of about an available 5500 leaving 3650 cubic inches. That's plenty of room. Okay I think the water issue is resolved. I'll just have to get in really good shape. Hmmm....I should carry the heavy stuff and do some day hikes and then ride out the last two days in a row or something, but consume all my stuff and not carry it for most of the trip. I like this plan, what do you guys think?
    I like to ride bikes.

  6. #6
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    My take

    I've ridden it several times, always solo, unsupported, and in one day. If you're fit and experienced, it's quite reasonable for the distance.

    If doing it in two, I'd try this: Go ultralight, definitely no trailer, start at the park boundary and ride clockwise. Try to get to Potato Bottom, where you can access the Green River for water. Not gourmet water, but just fine for an experienced backpacker. Bivy, then ride the rest for a shorter but still substantive day.

    Bear in mind that the White Rim sites are often booked full many months in advance, especially on weekends. One more reason I've always done it in a day.

    I would like to get a crew together and do the party wagon trip with tons of good food, a grill, and beer. Lots of beer.

  7. #7
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    ionsmuse thanks for your advice. With my open schedule I think I'll shoot for doing it in one day. I have no idea when I'll be able to get there so reservations won't be easy at all. I was afraid of not being in shape for it before, but this is good motivation. I've raced sport and a bit of expert mountain bikes for about 10 years and this last winter I got fat and lazy. This will help get my ass in gear. One day it is! I'm so looking forward to this!
    Last edited by otis24; 07-02-2007 at 08:13 PM.
    I like to ride bikes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by otis24
    One day it is! I'm so looking forward to this!
    You'll do just fine. My advice would be to start in the dark and ride clockwise. Aim to hit Shafer at dawn. This direction gets the rockier first half out of the way early, and lets to refill water in the river if necessary. With a reasonable pace and nutrition you'll have no problems.

    Let us know how it goes!

  9. #9

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    this ride is worth the weight (you need to carry that is)
    I have done this with a camelbak and water bottles but really enjoyed carrying a BOB trailer the last go around. this way you can carry all the food and water you could want. If you ride with others, each person can take a turn pulling it and everyone gets to turn riding free of camelbaks! This feeling is wonderful.
    I do this ride once or twice a year and have run into the craziest weather in the fall. Lightning storms unlike anything I've ever seen and the rain-WOW! The trail was wiped out in several places last October. The same time the 24 race was cancelled-same storm.

    be sure to check the weather and have a ball. Its a very special place!

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