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 to two hours 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.
What to bring camping on Potash Road
Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side. They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.
Snacks – These are more important for long hikes, but you never know when you’ll get hungry! I like EPIC bars (kind of like beef jerky but different), Sahale nut mix things, and Moon Cheese. There’s always the good old Clif Bars and trail mix, too.
Cozy Sweatshirt – I have a few different Patagonia sweatshirts and love them all. They’re great for layering in cold weather. I have two Re-tools, a Better Sweater, and a Synchilla. Sometimes you can find them on sale on REI or Backcountry. I also like to keep an eye out for them on Poshmark (use code REDAROUNDWORLD for $10 off your first purchase) and Mercari (you can save $10 with that link as well!) I’ve found some really good deals on both.
Sleeping pad – Gotta make the tent comfy! The one I have isn’t available anymore but this one is similar. It’s self-inflating and just needs a little help filling all the way. Buy the sleeping pad here.
Pillow – If you’re just driving, I’d just bring a regular pillow, but if you’re flying then renting a car, you might want a smaller pillow. This is a good non-inflatible option. Here is a good inflatable option.
Lantern – I love having a lantern for in the tent at night, reading in the dark, or going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The LuminAID is my favorite and you can charge your phone on it. Buy the LuminAID lantern here.
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.
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
I 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 on Potash road, it’s almost ridiculous. And note the shirt.
Hike to Corona Arch and Bowtie Arch
I already wrote all about the hike to Corona Arch here, 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.
Have you been down Potash Road? Did you do any of these things? What was your favorite? What else do you like around Moab?