Copper Ridge Trail

 

This trail is a combination of several roads north of Moab and near the western boundary of Arches National Park. It lies east of the Moab Fault, so is in younger rock formations than many of our trails. Its slickrock is the top of the Entrada Formation, and its views are often of erosions into that formation. Prominent scenic exposures are in an area called Klondike Bluffs, some of which may be glimpsed to the east from Highway 191. Some of the roads are on the softer Morrison Formation, which can be impassably slippery when wet. In case it is completely dry, most of the trail could have a lower rating, but there are eroded trail portions that can challenge stock vehicles. Early on, there is a dugway called Pipeline Hill that drops abruptly toward Courthouse Wash and makes the driver wish he-sh (meaning “he or she”, of course) had glass hood so he-sh could place his’r (our shorthand for “his or her”) wheels just right.

 

Scenery

The trail goes near an unexpected and beautiful pour-off of lower Sevenmile Canyon. The Klondike Bluffs exposure of white-capped red rock towers and canyon walls are at a moderate distance. There is a good view of Tower Arch, and some other arches are seen at a distance.

 

Road Surface

Most of the trail is dirt and rocky dirt, but there are a couple of long stretches of slickrock, and some broad, sandy washbottom.

 

Obstacles

After Pipeline Hill, sandy Courthouse Wash goes near colorful hills that have yielded dinosaur bones. Toward the end of the day, some nicely exposed dinosaur tracks are visited on foot. Following the main section of slickrock are two steep climbs on eroded dirt and rock. It also passes a few remnants of a movie set used in the 1960′s film “Blue” with Ricardo Montalban.