Once again, Utah does not disappoint! If you’ve never been to White Wash Sand Dune area, make sure you put it on your bucket list. I went with some friends who have been going for 15 years so they new the area really well.
I plan to make the area a regular destination stop for many years to come. This only describes a portion of what is out there and what I experienced. The only true way to experience it is, to plan a trip, pack some food, grab some good friends and get going!
Main Area: White Wash Sand Dunes (Click for Map)
Nearest Towns: Green River and Moab Utah
Trail Type: Sand washes, Sand Dunes, Slick rock, Riverbeds
Elevation: 4-4500 feet
Best Season: Spring, Fall
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult, there is something here for everyone! Lots of sand, but also a lot of slick rock, single track and utv trails.
About 15 miles to the east of Green River is the Floy exit. There will be signs showing the way to White Wash Sand Dune area. From the exit to the main part of the dunes is about 10 miles on a wide dirt road. The rain came down pretty hard the night before I traveled the road and it made the road extremely slick. Even where the road is wide, there are a few good dips in the road and if it’s wet, these areas can have water in them and can be soft and sandy in the bottom. If the road is bad, I recommend sending a vehicle ahead just before you drop down into the main sand dune area.
There are many campsites and large open areas to park. We liked the slick rock areas to keep some of the sand and mud out of the camp. Different trails head out from the main dune area and the main wash to the east. It’s a good idea to get a trail map beforehand and know the distances you plan to travel and the routes. The area can be a bit difficult to navigate with the flat landscape and rock canyons.
Dead Cow Wash
Heading south from the main dune area and staying along the fence is a trail/road which leads to Dead Cow Wash. The road splits to the west a little and turns into single track through a small fence and crossing guard. The trail winds down a narrow canyon with tall walls, a little vegetation, sand and water. The canyon eventually drains into the Green River, but the trail makes a left turn and up a small sand hill, another right and up some slick rock and it puts you up on top to where you can see the river.
The trail traverses the river for a while with a little sand but mostly rock and gravel trails lead the way. Most of this trail is pretty manageable without too many crazy obstacles. There are a few good rock climbs and descents, but with a little patience and care, you’ll make it through. I would say this is an intermediate to advanced trail. However, the first 60 seconds (approximately) of the video should help a little in describing better what the terrain is actually like.
The Tubes (Connecting from Dead Cow Wash)
As we continued along the river, the trail wound back around to the east and up another canyon called The Tubes (remaining 2 minutes of video). This canyon is also very narrow and, from what I’m told, always has water in it. The water never gets very deep because it all drains from pool to pool until it eventually reaches the river. It’s a pretty easy ride up the canyon with a couple good climbs which may take some assistance for less experienced riders. Coming down the canyon would be much easier for sure. But where’s the fun in that?
This summary is simple. This place is awesome! These couple routes barely even scratch the surface of what is in the area. Grab a map, and head out to explore the amazing scenery and terrain another area of Utah has to offer. We are very fortunate to have so many great opportunities, why not take advantage while we can. Remember, always know before you go, ride smart,, and make some memories!
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