There are many fun and beautiful side trips in the Moab area, and a great one to take when visiting Canyonlands National Park or Dead Horse Point State Park is the 7.6-mile trip through Long Canyon. Traveling in this beautiful canyon means winding down nearly 2,000 feet from the plateau of Island in the Sky to the Colorado River below. While the access can be rough and slow going, the views throughout the canyon are spectacular.
The canyon can be approached from the east or the west, but the scenic value is definitely better starting from the west and descending toward the river. Starting out at the very wide intersection with UT-313 about 6.3 miles before the Dead Horse Point Overlook, the first segment of Long Canyon is flat and well-graded. At about 3 miles, the road reaches Pucker Pass with partial views of the canyon ahead and great views of the La Sal mountains to the east. The road very quickly starts descending into a canyon that looks impossibly narrow to drive through, steep switchbacks lead into the slot, and the road becomes very rocky and rutted. There is no place to turn around or pass another vehicle, so proceed with caution. A little further down, a huge boulder has fallen from the cliff above and the road goes underneath what looks like an impossible low overhang, but any normal truck or SUV will fit.
After a few more steep switchbacks, the road levels out and travels through beautiful steep canyon walls until it reaches Potash Road and the Colorado. A left turn will return to Moab, and a turn to the right on Potash Road will lead to the trailhead for beautiful Corona Arch and further on, the very interesting potash evaporation ponds.
NOTE: Long Canyon Road is generally passable with a high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle, but it is always good to check with a ranger station for current road conditions.