Have you ever driven down to the bottom of a canyon? Shafer Trail lets you do exactly that!
Shafer Trail in Canyonlands is a relatively short dirt road drive that descends down the canyon and is a steep drop into the canyon on a road that is at times narrow enough that only one car can pass at a time. It is recommended to drive in a 4×4, but 2WD should be fine as long as you have good brakes and are not afraid of heights! It is a drive worth doing to get to the bottom of the canyon and see the canyon from the bottom up. At about 5 miles, the trail forks into Potash Road, which is also a rough dirt road goes all the way to Moab, about 30 miles and White Rim Trail, which allows you to drive around the rim and requires a permit to drive on. The timelapse video was shot on Shafer Trail and Potash Road all the way up to Moab. It is running at 30x normal speed, so the entire 3 hour drive plays under 4 minutes. We highly recommend doing this trail to have a true Canyonlands experience.
Interestingly, Potash Road is called so because there is a Potasium mining field on this road about 10 miles from Moab. In the video you will see crystal blue ponds that get their color from the potassium that is being mined from under the soil. In order to mine potassium, water dissolved with certain chemicals is pumped deep into the ground, where it dissolves potassium deposits and rises up to the pools where it is left to evaporate in the sun. After about 300 days, the water completely evaporates, leaving potassium deposits in the surface. During those 300 days, the color of the water changes from crystal blue to purple as the concentration of potassium increases due to evaporation of water!