What To Do On Potash Road In Moab: The Perfect Afternoon Drive

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I drove past Potash Road in Moab so many times and had no idea what was down there.  Then I saw a picture of Corona Arch and found out that was down Potash road then had to go, but what else is there? 

One evening after spending the afternoon in Arches, we decided to head down Potash Road just outside of Moab to see what the deal was.

Turns out, it’s a pretty good deal.  There is the wall street section where you can rock climb.  You can see petroglyphs in two places and dinosaur tracks in one.  There are at least three arches to see and one river to admire.  Basically, Potash Road is a great place to spend a few hours one day.

If you plan to just drive it, one hour is plenty of time to include stops, but if you’re doing the Corona Arch hike, too, then plan for the entire afternoon or morning. It’s a great way to spend some time on a Moab weekend trip.

Potash Road Moab corona arch hike

Spot Petroglyphs

It never gets old seeing petroglyphs, and this is a pretty impressive set.  Not too far after Wall Street, there will be a sign pointing out Indian Writing.  Park in the little parking area on the left and cross the street. 

You’ll see them pretty high up on the wall.  And there’s a lot of them.  Walk a little ways both directions and check around the corners of the rock, too.

I was actually surprised at how many there were and got excited every time I saw more.  There are some weird ones here, too.  There is a round guy with long squiggly arms.  There were some little paper doll style people. 

There’s a long snake thing and a basket with a hand by it.  It’s pretty cool to see and impressive how high they are.  While there are probably thousands of petrogrlyph sites in/around Moab, the ones on Potash road are easy to see and impressive.

Potash Road Moab corona arch hike

Things to keep in mind when visiting rock art & ruins:

  • Do not touch the rock art (pictographs or petroglyphs) because the oils on our fingers can degrade them.
  • If you find artifacts, do not take them.  Leave them where they are and just take pictures.
  • If there are structures (rooms, kivas, anything like that) don’t enter them unless it is stated that you can.  Most places you can’t but national and state parks will have restored structures you can enter.  Mesa VerdeEdge of the Cedars, and Anasazi Museum all have ruins you can enter.
  • And finally, don’t carve in or write or paint or draw on the rocks!  I don’t want to have to say this, but I need to for real.

Admire the Colorado River

Right by the petroglyphs on Potash Road, you’ll find a good view of the river.  Down at the Corona Arch trailhead, you’ll find the Gold Bar Recreation Site. 

The recreation site has a boat ramp, beach, and camping area, so if you want to go kayaking or swimming, this would be a great place to do that, but I can imagine it’s crazy busy in the summer, so I’d get there early.


Check out Jug Handle Arch

This is the last real notable landmark on Potash Road before you hit the Potash mine.  This is just right along the road.  I actually took the picture right from the car. 

There isn’t a whole lot to do here, but it’s a cool stop.  I would just turn around here instead of going on.  The paved road ends right after the mine and turns to dirt continuing into Canyonlands.


Look for dinosaur tracks

love dinosaurs.  As in, I own three Jurassic Park shirts.  I watched it when I was like, three years old and I was hooked.  This means any time I get the chance to see dinosaur tracks, I will be seeing dinosaur tracks

These are just after the petroglyphs on the right.  It’s a short hike up to the tracks, but it has a bit of a drop-off and you have to do a tiny bit of rock scrambling.

It was also kind of hard to follow the official trail.  There were a couple signs, but we just kind of kept going up.  There are also petroglyphs at the top of this.  There is another paper doll thing and a two-headed sheep thing.  I was so excited to see the dinosaur tracks, it’s almost ridiculous.  And note the shirt.

There are so many dinosaur tracks in Moab, Potash Road just happens to have some that you can get really close to and do so pretty easily.  The Mill Canyon tracksite also totally worth visiting along with the Mill Canyon dinosaur trail.

Things to keep in mind when visiting dinosaur sites:

  • Don’t take the bones.  I shouldn’t have to say this, but I do because people have dug out some of them.  While there aren’t any marked here that I’m aware of, if you do find some, leave them where they are.
  • Just look at the tracks, don’t fill them with water.  While it makes them easier to see, it can damage the tracks.
  • If you find artifacts, do not take them.  Leave them where they are and just take pictures.
  • And finally, don’t carve in or write on the rocks!  I don’t want to have to say this, but I need do.

Want to read about dinosaurs before your trip?  Check out some of these books!

Hike to Corona Arch and Bowtie Arch

I already wrote all about the hike to Corona Arch, but here’s the gist.  Corona Arch is a few miles past the dinosaur tracks and across from the Gold Bar site.  The hike is three miles round-trip, and will take 2-3 hours if you spend time at the arches or make a lot of stops.

It’s a pretty easy hike and if you visit in the winter, you might have it to yourself.  It’s a great hike to get away from the crowds at nearby Arches, but to still see arches.  Keep an eye out for Bowtie Arch, too, on your way in.  In the summer it will probably still be pretty busy, so go early or later in the evening if you can.

Potash Road in Moab is a great scenic drive along the Colorado River.  It’s a great way to pass a few hours and see some pretty cool stuff.  Do a little hiking and see a lot of petroglyphs before heading back into town.  I would definitely recommend it at least once if you’re in the area and want a break from the crowds of Arches.

Potash road Moab petroglyphs
Can you spot the Potash Road petroglyphs?

How long is Potash Road in Moab?

From the turnoff to the end, Potash Road is 17 miles long, wining along the Colorado River and red sandstone cliffs. It’s also called the Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway U-279. But Potash Road is much easier.

Potash road moab utah

Is driving Potash Road in Moab worth it?

Yes! If you’re just driving and doing short stops, you could do this in an hour. If you’re doing the hike to Corona Arch, too, then plan 2-2.5 for this. It’s definitely worth it since it’s so close to Moab and doesn’t take too much time.

Potash Road Moab corona arch hike
Potash Road Moab corona arch hike

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Have you been down Potash Road in Moab?  Did you do any of these things?  What was your favorite?  What else do you like around Moab?

2 thoughts on “What To Do On Potash Road In Moab: The Perfect Afternoon Drive

  1. Nice write up. We were just there this past weekend and had a great morning exploring Potash road attractions.

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