White Rim Trail with the Island in the Sky behind.
Moab is a Mecca for off-road activities - jeeping, mountain biking and dirt motorcycle riding. People come here from all over the world to test their off-road skills. I spend at least a week every year riding trails around Moab - White Rim Trail, La Sal Loop, Top of the World, Lockhart Basin, Kane Creek, many slickrock trails, to name a few.
The White Rim trail goes around the Island in the Sky section of the Canyonlands National Park for more than 100 miles. Most vehicles take several days to complete the loop. Motorcycles can do it in a day easily. Day users used not to need a permit. But the ever-more imposing bureaucracy introduced permits even for day users. Luckily, there are tons of other beautiful trails waiting to be ridden freely.
Vertical walls line canyons.
Slick rock is all around Moab.
Dramatic view of the Colorado river at the end of the Chicken Corners Trail.
With friends on the White Rim Trail.
White Rim Trail below the Island in the Sky.
The edge of the White Rim Trail is white, hence the name.
Bizarre rock formations along the White Rim Trail.
The easy but very scenic Onion Creek Canyon.
There are even sand dunes outside Moab.
Gemini bridges area.
Gemini bridges area.
La-Sal loop with the Top of the World in the distance behind.
Top of the World.
Just happy to be there.
Heaven for solitude seekers.
Jeep trails are what Moab is famous for among off-roaders.
On the way to Hurrah pass.
La Sal mountains across Colorado river.
A canyong carved by the Colorado river outside Moab.
Rocks straigh out of the Roadrunner cartoon.
Behind the Rocks area is bordered by the Kane creek on one side.
Wedge overlook of the San Rafael river cutting through the swell.
Not far from Moab is Green River. It is a base for exploring San Rafael Swell. Black Dragon Canyon is only few miles away from the town. It's a grand gateway to the awesome rides of the San Rafael Swell.
This area has rocky trails, sandy washes, narrow single tracks and mud on offer. Unlike Moab area, there are relatively few visitors. We had most of the trails to ourselves even on weekends.
Getting ready to explore San Rafael Swell.
Traces of mining activities are still present.
Rideable active geyser just outside Green River.
Even though it's a desert, there are some creek crossings.
Late afternoon in San Rafael swell.
On the way to the river.
Inside the canyon.
Towering cliffs above the river.
Campground by San Rafael river.
The really fun riding starts after Page - Grand Staircase Escalante.
Mesa Romana - my favorite camping spot, unfortunately, overrun with people lately.
The road to Mesa Romana is spectacular in itself.
Quintessential American West.
Lake Powell is an artificial lake made by flooding of the Glen Canyon, named so by the great explorer John Wesley Powell himself. I did not see many photos of the canyon before flooding, but it was supposedly incredibly beautiful
The water might have covered amazing canyons, but is also adds another dimension to the area. It's really a boater's paradise with numerous beaches and small canyons reachable by boat only. There area few spots where a rough road reaches the lake shore. Rarely, if ever, I saw another soul on these roads.
Sunrise on a cliff above San Juan river.
Valley of the Gods near Monument Valley.
On a plateau high above the lake Powell - Smoky mountain road.
Dirt road running along the Comb ridge.
Camping high above San Juan river.
Bizarre scenery near the Lake Powell.
The classic view of the Mittens, Monument Valley.
Early morning ride outside the Monument Valley.
Valley of the Gods.
Cottonwood canyon road.
Edge of a mesa high above the Smoky Mountain road - nobody's been here for months.
Exploring dirt roads of the Grand Staircase Escalante.
Clearing storm above Lake Powell.
Sunrise at Toroweap point.
Not a soul for miles and miles around - between Capitol Reef NP and Lake Powell.
Follow dry creek washes for miles Grand Staircase Escalante.
One of unofficial wash roads in Grand Staircase Escalante.
Dollhouse area of the Canyonlands NP is rather hard to reach.
A spire on the way to the Dollhouse.
Blue sky, fluffy clouds, red towers and nobody around - this is what the Lake Powell is all about.
Lake afternoon on a mesa by Lake Powell.
Riding through Grand Staircase Escalante towards Lake Powell.
One of the approach roads to the Lake Powell.
Capitol Reef NP.
Moki dugway is a cafe-racer's adventure ride.
Capitol Reef NP.
Beautiful alpine scenery near Telluride.
San Juan mountains are home to some of the best alpine jeep trails in the USA. This area has rich mining history and rough roads going up to dizzying heights (over 13,000 feet) are just one of many reasons to ride here.
The most famous ride is the Alpine loop, but there are many other passes to be enjoyed. Silverton and Ouray are both charming wetern towns providing a glimpse into how people lived a hundred years ago.
There is still snow in San Juan mountains even in July.
Just opened section of a road in San Juan mountains.
Alpine loop in early summer.
Riding up towards Bear pass in early summer.
High alpine lakes between Ophir and Telluride.
Spring in San Juan mountains.
A dead end road near the Trout lake.