Want to experience Utah in all of its rugged beauty? Try taking the 18-mile long Shafer Trail Road / Shafer Canyon Road through some of the most challenging and dangerous conditions. The trip starts easy enough out of Moab along the well-paved Potash Road that parallels the Colorado River. About 17 miles later, the paved road changes into a rugged dirt road,,where signs recommend a four wheel vehicle with high clearance. The fun begins here. Deep ruts and soft sand patches are the chief features of the road. The surrounding landscape is spectacular. Over the course of the drive, you drive well above the Colorado River and about 10 miles in, you are between Dead Horse State Park and Canyonlands National Park. The final stretch of the road is pictured here, with a 1,500 foot climb from canyon to the top of the plateau where I captured this photo.