Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mineral Bottom Trip Report, Vol. 1

When heading to Mineral Bottoms, it is important not to confuse Horsethief Road with Mineral Top Road, which begins at Horsethief Campground just off of 313 prior to the White Rim Entrance to Canyonlands N.P. Pass the campground on your right and 1/4mi later, take a right onto Horsethief Road (marked). The road is a dirt highway, and is well maintained up to, and in to the canyon of the Green. The drop is sudden, and I had to stop to eyeball the situation just after passing the cattle guard before dropping in.

My first thought was, "Holy $**t! But upon closer observation, it was apparent that the road is well maintained.

Take a deep breath, and off we go!

Once you are on the road, its not so bad. Even a 2-wheel drive car would be ok. I wouldn't recommend an RV due to length. Also, it is a well established fact that 9 out of 10 rental RV drivers will crash and burn on this thing, so stay away if that is what you are traveling in.

There is a road in Capital Reef N.P. that is similar in steepness, but much shorter in height than this road. Other than that, the only comparable roads I can think of are the paved Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain N.P., the paved road up to Jerome, AZ, and the BooolShyte that the government of British Columbia calls a road from Lillooet in to Whistler that we drove in a U-Haul with a trailer attached in a fog so thick that I was driving with my head out the window to see the sideline on the raod so we didn't drive off of a cliff into the river. We turned around on that one and barely made it back down in to town. It was the only time I have truly been scared driving. Had there been a place to pull off, we might have done so and slept in the vehicle. So this was nothing compared to that.

The Westy rolling in behind us. Colin has a manual, which would have been nice. I just burned brake pads.

The home stretch down to the Green.

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