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Things To Do Along Scenic Potash Road In Moab, Utah

View of Potash Road near Moab

Moab, Utah is known for its incredible landscapes and outdoor adventures, with hundreds of miles of trails, rivers, and rock formations to explore. One of the most scenic routes to take in the area is along Potash Road.

Potash Road is a winding highway that offers great views of the Colorado River and the surrounding red rock cliffs, as well as a variety of hiking, off-roading, and historical experiences.

Here are some of the top sights to see along Potash Road in Moab, Utah:

The Colorado River

Colorado River

The road follows the path of the Colorado River, which carved this little canyon as well as Canyonlands National Park and the Grand Canyon.

It provides a nice backdrop for the entirety of the drive.

Wall Street

Wall Street climbing area Potash Road Moab

Wall Street is a climbing area that is located along Potash Road. This area is a popular destination for rock climbers of all skill levels, with hundreds of routes to choose from.

It is home to several sandstone cliffs, including the Wall Street wall, which offers challenging and rewarding climbs for experienced climbers.

One of the unique features of Wall Street is its proximity to the road. As you drive along the road, you’ll see rock climbers right overhead, making their way up the sheer wall.

Poison Spider Mesa

Poison Spider Mesa is a popular off-roading trail that offers stunning views of the surrounding red rock canyons and mesas. This rugged trail is known for its challenging terrain and steep inclines, making it a favorite among adrenaline junkies and experienced off-road enthusiasts.

I haven’t driven this in an ATV, but I’d sure like to someday. There are many famous off-roading trails around Moab, and this is one of them.

Longbow Arch

Longbow Arch is a lesser-known sight along Potash Road in Moab, Utah. Longbow Arch is a massive sandstone arch that stands over 80 feet tall, making it one of the largest arches in the Moab area. The arch is named for its shape, which resembles that of a longbow used by archers.

It requires a 2.2-mile roundtrip hike to reach the arch, which is on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). From my understanding, the hike to the arch is not difficult, but it does require some scrambling over slickrock and a short descent into a narrow canyon.

Again, I haven’t done this yet, but it just gives me another reason to return to this cool area!

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs on Potash Road Moab

The Moab area is home to numerous petroglyphs, or rock carvings made by Native Americans thousands of years ago. One popular petroglyph site is located near the Poison Spider Mesa trailhead. The site features dozens of carvings, including depictions of animals, human figures, and abstract designs.

The petroglyphs offer a unique glimpse into the ancient history of the area and are a must-see for anyone interested in Native American culture.

I really enjoyed searching for as many of these as I could find. You really have to get out of your car and walk along up and down the wall to search; they aren’t always vivid enough to stand out at first.

Dinosaur Tracks

Dinosaur tracks on Potash Road Moab

Secondly, dinosaur tracks are another fascinating sight to see along Potash Road. Located at Poison Spider Mesa, you’ll see an interpretive display of the tracks.

Incredibly, the tracks are on a rock that fell from the mesa top above.

These tracks were made by dinosaurs millions of years ago. The tracks are a favorite among families with young children and anyone interested in paleontology.

Corona Arch

corona arch with me in the foreground

Further down Potash Road, you’ll come to the trailhead for Corona Arch, one of the most popular arches in the Moab area.

The hike to Corona Arch is about 1.2 miles each way and takes you through beautiful desert terrain before ending at the impressive arch itself. The arch has a span of over 140 feet and is a popular spot for hikers and photographers.

Jug Handle Arch

Jug Handle Arch Potash Road Moab

Next, you’ll come across Jug Handle Arch, a unique rock formation that has been eroded into the shape of a giant arch. The arch is located right off the road, so you can easily stop and take photos or even see it while driving.

Dead Horse Point State Park

View of Dead Horse Point State Park

Jug Handle Arch is right next to the road that leads to Dead Horse Point State Park, which is located at the top of the mesa. Although it’s not on Potash Road, it’s worth mentioning here as a great state park to visit if you’re in the area.

The park is usually accessed from Highway 191. I haven’t done the drive from Potash Road, but it looks interesting!

Potash Mine Memorial

Potash Mine Memorial plaque

The Potash Mine Memorial is another significant landmark to see along Potash Road in Moab, Utah. The memorial pays tribute to the miners who lost their lives in a tragic accident at the potash mine in 1963.

Potash is a mineral used in fertilizer for lawns and gardens.

The accident occurred when a drilling rig hit a pocket of gas, causing a massive explosion that killed 18 miners and injured many others. The Potash Mine Memorial was created to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the accident as well as recognize the bravery of the rescuers who worked tirelessly to save those who were trapped underground.

The memorial is located just off Potash Road and features a plaque that lists the names of those who lost their lives in the accident. Visitors can pay their respects at the site, which serves as a reminder of the risks and sacrifices associated with the mining industry.

A bench is available for people to sit, look at the current mining operations, and ponder the dangers associated with mining. The accident led to big changes in potash mining operations.

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Potash Evaporation Ponds

Potash Ponds at Dead Horse Point State Park

As part of the potash mining operations, they use evaporation to get the minerals they need. To do this, they create ponds and inject them with a blue dye, which helps speed up the evaporation process.

The side benefit is that these ponds are an interesting visual site for visitors.

These are the potash evaporation ponds, where potash (a mineral used in fertilizer) is extracted from under the ground.

There are two ways to view the ponds:

  • From Dead Horse State Point Park, up on top of the mesa looking down at the ponds.
  • Driving a rough dirt road from the end of Potash road to the ponds. I haven’t done this yet, but you can look up online how to do it. Note that the ponds are owned by the mining operation, and my understanding is that they are fenced off.

Canyonlands and the Shafer Trail

shafer trail canyonlands

Continuing on the rough dirt road, you’ll enter Canyonlands National Park and connect to the Shafer Trail.

Along this trail, you’ll see sites like Thelma and Louise Point, named after the famous movie that was partially filmed in the Moab area. It’s where they drove their car off the ledge of the Grand Canyon.

You can learn more about this by stopping at the Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage.

Continuing into Canyonlands, you’ll arrive at the Shafer Trail switchbacks. The switchbacks are a steep and winding road that connects the bottom of Canyonlands National Park to the top, offering cool views and a possibly scary drive. The road was originally built by a cattleman and expanded in the 1930s to provide access to the uranium mines in the area.

Things To Do Nearby

Need a game plan so you don’t miss out on the best things to do in Moab? Check out our itinerary

Most travelers want to visit the most popular sites and still avoid crowds. We have a detailed itinerary that gives you a step-by-step game plan so you can get to the best places at the right times!

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Matt and Cheryl

We’re Matt and Cheryl, and we’re in the Rockies. :) We are both teachers. Cheryl teaches special ed, and Matt teaches American history. We love the American West and the national parks. We want to help you have a great vacation on your next trip to the Rockies.

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