March 30, 2020

White Rim Road Re-Opens 29 March 2011

Yes, it’s true!  The White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park will re-open to through vehicle traffic just in time for Magpie Cycling Adventures to launch the 2011 season of multi-day mountain bike tours.  Mike Holme and Maggie Wilson, the owners and guides of Magpie Cycling Adventures, are THRILLED to say the least!!!

Grand View Point Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky seen from Murphy Hogback, photo by Anthony Sloan

Last August, while Mike and Maggie were operating a mountain biking Grand Canyon North Rim 5-day Tour, Magpie Cycling Adventures received a message from the NPS announcing that a MAJOR storm had caused a “total failure of the Mineral Bottom Road switchbacks” – also the access road to a critical boat ramp used by river outfitters operating canoe and flat water trips on the Green River – and that the White Rim Road would be closed “indefinitely” north of Potato Bottom at Hardscrabble Hill.

Destroyed Mineral Switchbacks 8/19/10

Destroyed Mineral Switchbacks 8/19/10, photo by Neal Herbert

Certainly you can imagine the stress this road closure put on the Moab community!  Well, the local Moab business community, politicians, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management banded together and lobbied for Emergency Relief of Federally Owned Roads… and got it!

In the meantime, during Sept and Oct 2010, Magpie Cycling Adventures continued operating White Rim Trail mountain biking trips with modified itineraries that included a beautiful 5 mile hike between the Island in the Sky and Murphy Hogback.  Magpie Cycling Adventures Guests loved the exciting challenge of gaining or losing nearly 1,100’ of elevation on this historic cattle trail built by John & Otho Murphy in the early 1900’s when they were running cattle down on the White Rim and Green River bottoms.

On 13 Dec 2010, a Moab local contractor, KSUE, began repairing the damaged Mineral Bottom switchbacks.  KSUE used several pieces of heavy equipment and lots of explosives to repair the destroyed road.  KSUE completed the project months before anticipated and everyone at Magpie Cycling Adventures and in Moab, Utah is ecstatic!!!