Feeling pleased with our organization, planning and prep-work for completing White Rim in a day: getting day permits, calling the park ranger for day-of road conditions, watching other’s videos and reading trip reports, checking weather/wind conditions, packing necessary supplies, etc.
No bike mechanical issues or major injuries throughout the entire ride (which ended up being key because we used every second of daylight to finish in time).
The vast views cannot be overstated. (It’s hard to put words to the experience and beauty of White Rim in a day. It feels spiritual, lonely, exhilarating, gorgeous, and made us feel lucky to be alive all at once.)
Enjoying the experience of other riders doing double takes as they saw three unsupported women on gravel bikes, powering over slick rock terrain!
The euphoria of actually completing such an epic bucket-list ride just in the nick of time as daylight slid behind the canyon wall. Our timing was impeccable: perfect weather, minimal wind, blue sky, high of 55º, no mud, snow or ice on the road.
SAND, !#*@ing SAND and scary steep descents! (Laura may have had a few wipe outs due to some deep sand sections and Rose definitely chickened out and walked down some downhill stretches!)
About 50% of the ride felt like a typical gravel road. The other 50% was definitely very rocky and bumpy. Riding a gravel bike with no suspension slowed us down on the downhills in comparison to the mountain bikers.
We had to begin at 7:00 am to finish in time and the staring temperature was 34º which was quite chilly. (This made our decision to start at Mineral Bottom and bike up hill for 20 miles a great choice.)
Miles 50-75 were really hard miles because of steep inclines which forced us to walk our bikes. This led us to have mid-ride doubts about finishing White Rim in a day before dark.
Do this ride if you have the perfect window between when the snow melts and before it gets to hot. It’s imperative that you and your bike are in tip-top shape. Take the research and planning seriously to ensure safety and success in completing White Rim in a day.
There is no water anywhere along the ride but there are about 8 outhouses for bathroom breaks when needed. We each took a 2-3 liter Camelbak and two large water bottles with Skratch in them and did not run out of water (but it was not a hot day either).
Although it is bad ass to do this ride on a gravel bike, if we were to do it again, we would probably want suspension bikes with a few more gears. This would allow us more time to stop and enjoy the scenery and we wouldn’t have felt every bump on the road!
DON’T underestimate the difficulty of this ride! It’s not only physically exhausting but also mentally challenging to do White Rim in a day. The lack of support, cell phone service, other riders/hikers around makes it scary and risky. We realize we had a lot of good luck to accomplish this feat without a hitch.
Ride with a good group of people (three people minimum in case of emergency). It’s important to have everyone on the same page about the ride and to have great communication about expectations and fears. We were really glad to have our good friend Laura Martel with us for this epic journey! We strongly recommend carrying a satellite SOS device like the Garmin inReach Mini.
When the going gets tough…laugh, cry, kick your bike, and get back up and keep pedaling!
We did this ride clockwise and began from the Mineral Bottom Parking Lot/Campground which is 13 miles down BLM Road 129 from the turn off of 313. (There is an bathroom/out house at this location)
Looking for a great place to stay in Moab that caters specifically to cyclists? We recommend the Radcliffe Hotel. All of their rooms have in-room bike storage racks, they have a bike washing station on the premises and they even give you a special gear towel to wipe off your bike off in the room. Besides all that, the rooms are beautiful and comfortable, they have a pool, hot tubs and fire pits. Their restaurant, Il Posto Rosso, is incredibly delicious too.