Never has there ever been so much adventure and beautiful sights packed into one 17-mile stretch of road. Referred to often as Wall Street, this spectacular corridor will get your heart racing in a much different way than New York’s financial district. Treat yourself to some good tunes on the radio, a refreshing beverage in your hand, and soak in the breathtaking views that surround you on this scenic stretch of road. Potash Road will have you coasting through towering sandstone cliffs on one side as the roaring Colorado River courses past on the other. Buckle up and head three miles north of Moab on US-191 and turn right on Utah Scenic Byway 279, for here is where your journey begins.
Just two miles into the drive, take advantage of the pullout along the river to captivate some gorgeous scenes of Moab, the surrounding valley, and the magnificent red rocks that can’t be found anywhere else.
Jaycee Park and Portal Overlook
At around mile marker 4, follow the signs to Jaycee Park Picnic Area and Campground. Not only is this a great spot to escape all of the booming activity in Moab, but it’s also the trailhead to Portal Overlook – a moderate 6-mile hike overlooking the Colorado River portals.
Half a mile up from the campground, you might think you’re driving through a modern rendition of the Sound of Music as rock climbers hang above you on the ledges of rock walls— minus the green matching clothes and singing, of course.
Rock Art and Dinosaur Tracks
Also found in the Rock Wall area around mile marker 5, look for a sign at a riverside pullout that says, “Indian Writing.” About 25-30 feet up, you’ll see petroglyphs dating all the way back to the Formative Period. About 3/4-mile further up the north side of the road you’ll encounter the location of three‑toed allosaurus tracks in the Navajo/Kayenta sandstone interface. If you have binoculars, you can see even more petroglyphs on the rock wall.
Continuing up the road another 5 miles, you’ll find yourself at the trailhead for Corona Arch. This is a popular 3-mile (roundtrip) hike outside the National Parks that’s great for kids and less experienced hikers. The reward (and photo opportunities) are excellent in the presence of two spectacular red arches, the Corona and Bowtie Arches.
Potash Road Boat Ramp
Another 7 miles on this epic journey will find you at the end of Potash Road in Utah, where you’ll arrive at Potash Boat Ramp. Finding yourselves at a beautiful stretch of calm water, sit at some of the picnic tables and take in the relaxing babble of the water and calm river landscape.
At the end of the road, you have the option to continue on for a 4×4 off-road adventure on Shafer Trail. 18.3 miles of moderately difficult terrain, you’ll love the beautiful wildflowers found in the peak season of navigating this trail, March to November.