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Potash Road, Utah

Welcome to Potash Road, a scenic drive through the heart of Utah’s stunning landscape. Here, you’ll discover a world of natural wonder, rich history, and breathtaking views that will leave you in awe. From towering rock formations to winding canyons and the shimmering waters of the Colorado River, there’s no shortage of beauty to be found along this route.

History and Naming of Potash Road:

Potash Road takes its name from the potash mines that once dotted the landscape. The deposits of this mineral were first discovered in the area in the early 20th century and were quickly recognized as a valuable resource. The road was built to facilitate the mining and transportation of potash, and it remains an important route for industrial traffic to this day. But the road also offers a glimpse into the area’s rich history, with ancient Native American dwellings and petroglyphs found throughout the region.

BLM: Potash Road
Beautiful views of the Colorado River can be found throughout the drive.

Drive and Scenery:

As you embark on your journey along Potash Road from Moab you’ll be traveling a fully paved road that hugs the Colorado river through an area full of sheer flat cliffs that rise above you. There area number of arches and trailheads along this section of Potash road which you can visit. Most famous of which is Corona Arch.


You also will pass an area with amazing examples of petroglyphs in the stone walls directly beside the road. These remarkable works of art offer a glimpse into the rich cultural history of the region. These petroglyphs depict a wide range of subjects, from animals and plants to human figures and geometric shapes. Many of the petroglyphs are thousands of years old, making them a truly remarkable piece of human history. Certainly worth the stop.

BLM: Potash Road
Petroglyphs found along Potash road.
The Dirt Begins

Eventually the pavement ends and turns to a more formidable dirt/rock road. Here the scenery gets more rugged. From the towering cliffs of sandstone to the deep red rock formations that seem to stretch on forever, there’s a sense of awe and wonder around every bend. One of the highlights of the drive is Dead Horse Point, which we get to view from the bottom up when traveling Potash rd. The canyon rim views down to the Colorado River below are equally breathtaking, revealing a world of rugged cliffs and winding waterways. There are many side trails leaving the road which take you to your own personal secluded vistas of the river and canyons below.

Shafer Canyon Road is one of the highlights of the Potash Road experience. This narrow and winding road offers breathtaking views of the surrounding canyons, towering rock formations, and distant mountains. As you navigate this challenging route, you’ll feel like you’re on a true off-road adventure. The road starts at the top of a mesa and descends into the canyon below, offering panoramic views of the rugged landscape. Along the way, you’ll encounter steep drop-offs, hairpin turns, and narrow passages, making this drive not for the faint of heart.

The total drive time for this adventure will vary depending on how much you stop, but on average it’s about a 3-4 hour journey.

BLM: Potash Road
Desert Big Horn Sheep along the mesas of Potash Road


Despite the rugged terrain, the area surrounding Potash Road is teeming with wildlife. As you make your way along the road, keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, mule deer, and a range of bird species, including eagles and hawks. The area is also home to a variety of reptiles and small mammals, adding to the sense of discovery and adventure that surrounds this scenic route.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Potash Road is in the spring and fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. During the summer months, temperatures can soar, making it less comfortable to explore the area. Additionally, winter weather conditions can make the road impassable, so be sure to check local conditions before planning your visit. But no matter when you visit, Potash Road is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

BLM: Potash Road
Unique towering rock formation on Potash road,

Do I Need a 4×4 Vehicle?

No, you do not require a 4 wheel drive vehicle to navigate Potash road. With that said you will benefit from reasonably high clearance so as not to band up the bottom of the car. Let’s put it this way, you will be find in a Subaru Outback or better, but don’t attempt this road in a low clearance car.

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