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Thread: A unique Moab trip report

  1. #1

    A unique Moab trip report

    Hello there. I came across this trip report written by Jeff Ross aka Paddler, Zubicon, and several other aliases.

    He granted me permission to post it elsewhere.

    [quote name='Zubicon' date='May 21 2007, 07:53 AM' post='36833']
    Ultimate Adventure 07:
    The concept was simple, run as many trails as possible in a 9 day period. The majority of the trails had to be never run before by the participants, with a mixture of trails being both challenging and scenic. The group had to be small to allow a more efficient forward momentum. The rigs and drivers had to be capable as well to keep spotting to an absolute minimum.
    Number of Trails Run: 24
    Number of Trail Miles: 356
    Number of Trail Days: 9
    Number of web wheeling miles: ZERO!
    Total Cost of Fuel: $313.25
    Most expensive fuel: $3.49 a gallon mid –grade at both Moab and Blanding
    Cheapest Fuel: $3.19 a gallon in West Jordan, Utah
    Total Cost of Food: $207.47
    Total incidental Costs: $72.71
    Total Repair Costs: $9.97
    Total Freak Incidents where assistance was rendered by the group: 3 –
    (1) A couple from Texas in a brand new GMC pick up decided to take it four wheeling into Bull Canyon. Lost a freeze plug and the cooling system wouldn’t hold water. Group participants towed it out of the Canyon and into Moab.
    (2) The elderly gentlemen (probably late 80’s/early 90’s) who slammed into the light pole at McD’s then put it in reverse and drove back 30 meters and slammed into a fifth wheel.
    (3) The young guy who decided to perform a back flip off the 25 foot cliff at Left Hand and over rotated slamming back first into the water, then instantaneously started bleeding through the mouth.
    J.O. Award: The idiot who drove his rental Chevy Cobalt up through the entrance of Behind the Rocks, thus partially blocking the trail. (no assistance was rendered to this moron because he felt it was just a big joke.)

    Day One & Two
    Trails: Notum Trail, Upper Muley Twist, Burr Trail, Hole in the Rock

    Left the SLC Valley at 0500 enroute to Capital Reef National Park HQ.
    0900 met with a friend of mine of the Trailseekers Club (Keith, a.k.a. Locomigo, 99 Isuzu Amigo).

    Headed south on the Notum Trail which had absolutely fantastic scenery. The quote of the day came from a passenger in a Camry on the same extremely washboard road. He sounded exactly like Arnold Swartznager. “Road, not made for Camry” (Note: Had to be there, it was hilarious).

    Notum Trail

    Turned west on Burr Trail for 3 miles then headed north on Upper Muley Twist which had some pretty cool arches on it.

    Upper Muley Twist

    Upper Muley Twist's Double Arch

    View from Upper Muley Twist's hiking trail

    Came back out on the Burr Trail and headed back east/southeast to the Bullfrog Marina. I found this portion of the Burr Trail to be very bland scenic wise.

    When we arrived at the Marina, we were within a minute of my predicted arrival time, and had some time to kill, so we waded into the lake to cool off while waiting for the others.
    Met up with John and Janet from Utah4x4club in their Newly acquired Toyota Tacoma as well as Kevin and Nan also from Utah4x4club driving his red YJ. All participants were on time at each rendezvous point, a personal first for me. Caught the 1500hr ferry from Bull Frog to Hall’s Crossing (Note: You must pay to enter Bullfrog Marina and you must pay (CASH ONLY $20.00) to ride the ferry.

    Lake Powell Ferry

    Fueled up at Hall’s Crossing (DO NOT MISS THIS STEP OR YOU MAY NOT MAKE IT BACK).

    Headed out to Hole in the Rock. The first incident occurred while trying to find the trailhead. Most internet sites state that it is 15 miles from Hall’s Crossing. All four of our vehicles had 16.2 miles. While trying to find it I overheated running the AC (NOTE: must be a Heep thing and I don’t want to understand).

    Stopped at a Natural Amphitheater just prior to way point 8 at dusk to camp for the night. While setting up camp a serious of vehicles came through on their exit from the trail. The first were three vehicles all strapped together. The second set was a Heep strapping a heep w/trailer. The first thing that entered my mind was what the heck did we get ourselves into. I got on the CB and inquired as to what the deal was. The first group explained that vehicle number one was the engine, vehicle number three the brakes, because vehicle number two in the middle computer went out (must be another Heep thing). The second group explained that the Heep with the trailer grenaded his rear drive line. Then they explained not to worry because they were screwing off when all this happened.

    Campsite on Hole in the Rock

    Went to bed, woke up next morning only to find that my drivers rear tire seemed to have attracted a wood screw which flattened it. (I found another at the campsite). Keith found that his exhaust collector seemed to manage to acquire a rather large hole in it. For the remainder of the trip there was never a doubt when he was behind you. Sounded like a sprint car taking turn three.

    Packed up camp and headed out to Cheese camp. It took 8.5 hours to get out. The trail had tremendous scenery and excellent wheeling. Highlights would be Kevin’s attempt at keeping us entertained by lifting the passenger sides both wheels more than 3 feet off the ground when running down the chute (How he didn’t roll is beyond me), then John running 70 mph+ on top of Grey Mesa, then Kevin doing a wheel stand coming up the chute. Somewhere along the way Murphy’s Law grabbed John as well for he crushed his remote reservoir for one of his shocks. We arrived at cheese camp around 1700, stayed about 30 minutes, then headed back to the original camp. This time it only took 3.5 hours. Quote of the day would had to of been when I burned the crap out of my mouth while trying to drink my water. “Man, this is like coffee hot!” It stuck with me the remainder of the trip and caught on quite fast with others. It was 97 degrees or better for the entire HITR Phase. We set up camp once again at the amphitheater and headed out the next morning without incident.

    Surprise Canyon which was devastated during the floods. We almost drove off it at night coming back.

    Slickrock as far as the eye can see

    Hot tub, hole in the rock style

    Kevin making his way up the shelf towards Grey Mesa (Probably the more difficult section of the trip

    Phenominal views atop Grey Mesa

    Kevin coming down one of the steeper fins

    Additional Notes: Ensure that you have multiple GPS units, maps of this area, and the ability to utilize them. This is not an easy trail to follow at times, especially during the hours of dusk. Also you have to be completely self reliable.

    BIG NOTE: We did catch a photo of kevin entertaining us in the Chute. That would be I directly behind him about to witness one heck of a roll over!!!!! Most times photos don't capture the steepness of obstacles but Tia sure did an excellent job of it on this photo. Keep in mind this was snapped when his front wheel had already come back to planet earth. Enlarge it and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Take care,
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

  2. #2
    Day Three
    Trails: Hole in the Rock and Hotel Rock

    An absolute must do. Keith departed temporary w/family and headed to Natural Bridges while Kevin, John and I headed for Hotel Rock. Note: A full size would have a really, really rough time. Great scenery once again, an absolute solid 4 rating on a 5 scale, with a great surprise at the end of the trail. About 12 miles round trip in all. Great views of Arch Canyon. We finished this trail said goodbye to Kevin and Nan, then John, Janet & I were off to find camp for the night.

    Arch Canyon Overlook

    Kevin making his way up one of the many waterfalls

    John on a waterfall

    Hotel Rock

    This photo ought to give you an idea of the steepness. I got over zealous and climbed up 2/3 thirds way while the top wasn't cleared yet;

    Met up with a local wheeler

    We first stopped at newspaper rock campground and found it closed so we headed for Lockhart basin and Hamburger Rock Campground. Space was available, we sat up camp and watched yet another spectacular view of Canyonlands. Very cool campsite.

    View from the campsite

    Day Four
    Trail(s): Elephant Hill

    John, Janet and I packed up camp and linked back up with Keith who was riding shotgun with Steve and his second gen Rodeo, also of the Colorado Zu Crew. Keith's rig was in Moab getting the exhaust fixed. We headed out for Elephant Hill and hiked the overlook as well. This trail would be rated a 3.0, but the scenery once again was spectacular.

    Looking towards Chesler Park

    Why they call it the Needles District

    Yours truely at the entrance of the Silver Stairs

    Steve on the Silver Stairs

    The Confluence Overlook. Nice short hike

    John coming back up the hill


  3. #3
    Day Five:
    Trails(s): Hidden Canyon Overlook, Hidden Canyon Escape, Bartlett Overlook, Hidden Canyon, The Pickle (walked it), Tusher Tunnel, Seven Mile Rim, & Wipeout Hill.
    Yes we covered 7 trails driving and 1 hiking all in 7.5 hours. Fifty three miles of trail. It was an absolute blast and great to see a lessor used area of the Moab Region. Most four wheelers stop south of 313 but not our crew, we wanted to see it all. Joining Keith, Steve and I were Tia's Father (also Steve) and Reid from SoCal in his 1st gen Amigo. During the high speed wash runs Reid managed to snap a CV Shaft so Tia’s Father assisted him off the trail as Keith, Steve, and I continued on.

    Tusher Tunnel - Pretty cool tunnel probably 50 meters in length that leads to the next photo

    The opposite side of this tunnel also has other openings that lead to different caverns

    Seven Mile Rim overlooking Rt 191

    Uranium Arch on Seven Mile Rim

    This will get your heart rate going; Steve in his 2nd gen Rodeo taking on Wipout Hill. This is also one of those times that you wished you didn't skimp and went for the steel braided brake lines

    Day Six;
    Trail(s): Behind the Rocks

    Today we join the masses of ZuZoo to run a more challenging trail, but yet very scenic at that. Nineteen vehicles in all, 20 if you count the J.O. who parked his rental car in the middle of the trail. This trail has some of the more dangerous obstacles in Moab to include High Dive, Up Chuck, and White Knuckle. Those three obstacles alone I've personally witnessed rollovers, mechanic catastrophes, and even air bags deploying.

    Here's the reason why they call it Behind the Rocks

    Corbin in his massively built 2nd gen Amigo taking on High Dive

    Fernando in his absolutely exquisitely built 1st gen Amigo going down Roller Coaster.

    Can't get much better than this for a Rodeo, Travis running 40's" on his 2nd gen coning down the shelf to White Knuckle Hill. No turning back at this point.

    How about this for scenery, purple as far as you could see

    Your's truly taking the Lowrider down the same shelf................"40's........We don't need no stinking 40's"

    Michael in his sweet JK testing out a Nth Degree Prototype suspension system. I'd have to say it worked out flawlessly


  4. #4
    Day Seven
    Trails(s): Bull Canyon, Little Canyon, Gold Bar Rim & Metal Masher

    Today the Mason's from Trailseekers in Colorado decided to bring their three rigs out with us as well as Julie from the same club and Trail Damage with her XJ, and Mike from Minnesota in his Amigo. This is a great loop run through the very little used Little Canyon which connects Bull and Gold Bar just before Rusty Nail.

    Mike coming off the final ledge just prior to Gold Bar Rim

    One of the twins Dan (a.k.a. Tigger- you would have to see him drive that thing to understand why I nicknamed him that) coming off the same ledge. Congrats goes out to him as well for he graduates High School this month.

    His twin sister Amanda who also graduates this month in her XJ.

    Mid - Day we linked up with Sam & Debbie of the Utah4x4club, his brother John and wife (sorry, can't recall her name), and one other friend from colorado (can't recall his either) just prior to the goonie bird to make a run on Metal Masher.

    Sam coming up Mirror Gulch

    The other guy

    The group shot at the overlook high above 191 with Moab in the background

    Same spot, different perspective

    We bypassed Widowmaker and took the quick way out due to Steve blowing out the rack in his steering on his second gen Rodeo, not to mention the fact he was losing gas from the fuel line quicker than I can fill a cup of water from my kitchen faucet.

    Day Eight
    Trails(s): Hurrah Pass, Chicken Corners, & Jackson's Hole
    On day eight Keith & I were once again joined by the Mason's and Julie. We left out early this day, a first all week long in Moab for us, and headed towards the southwest end of town. We made quick time up Hurrah Pass, snapped a few photos, and then headed down Chicken Corners towards Jackson's Hole. Once we got to the entrance we were met with a gate that addressed "Private property and Bicycles Only). It also made it appear that it was private land for a Camel Adventure Lodge. I spotted a house in close proximity to the gate so Julie and I walked to the house to ask for permission to wheel on the land. Once sneaking pass the Security Tortoise (had to be there, pretty funny), we met up with the owner of the home, a really nice guy, and his name escapes me though. After giving us a tour of his home which was absolutely gorgeous he explained that it was a public access road and that there were no problems on wheeling it. Still always good to check when met with signage as such. Shortly we were off. For those that don't know the less traveled Jackson's Hole it would be the trail that is at the base of the 500' cliffs of the Cliff hanger Trail. Not a bad run, worth going once, probably not a again though.

    Hurah Pass/Chicken Corners looking over the river towards Potash

    You actually go around this Butte

    If you blow this photo up you'll see the red TJ or YJ right of center towards the top of the photo on Cliff Hanger

    Existing Jackson's Hole

    Day Nine the final day
    Trails(s): Green River Cut-Off, Wedge Overlook, & Buckhorn Wash

    If you're like me and get bored out of your mind on that drive back from Moab, especially the 47 miles between I-70 and Wellington, try this route. 17 miles up Rt 6 from I-70 there is the trailhead for the Green River Cut-Off. It's not marked so you're going to have the have the way points. It's a great road to travel with great scenery and lots and lots of silt. If there is more than one vehicle in your group the vehicles in the back are going to get absolutely hammered with the stuff. In 3 tenths of a mile after you connect up with the Buckhorn Wash Trail you will be at a trail that leads to the Wedge Overlook. Unbelievable!!! I can't believe I've spent all these years wheeling in the Swell and never saw this. Definitely worth the trip just for that. Once you're done there you'll exit out of the swell via Buckhorn Wash to just north of Castledale. This section of Buckhorn wash there isn't much to see and can easily be driven at 50mph.

    Green River Cut-Off

    Wedge Overlook

    That's it folks!

    In conclusion I've been all around this world of ours and in all states but Alaska. In all my years of wheeling I've learned one thing quite's not about the challenge, it's not about the scenery.......what it's about is the company you keep. Next to my clubs Pony Express Blizzard Run of 2004 this was probably the next best wheeling trip that I've ever been on and with the exception that my wife could not accompany me on it. It would rate in the top 5 vacations of all time, bar none. Thanks goes to Keith in getting the idea rolling, thanks goes to John & Kevin for tagging along, committing early and sticking with it, and being great trail companions. Last a special thanks goes to the three wives (Tia, Janet, & Nan) that walked more miles in those days that would put most Airborne Rangers to shame, taking photographs and video documenting this wonderful trip, for without them we wouldn't be able to share the true essence of the trip with the masses. Can't wait for the next adventure guys!

    Thanks for letting me share guys, wished we would have caught up with you at some point during the week.

  5. #5
    Member Since
    May 2006
    Thanked: 2
    NICE DESERT COLLARD LIZARD! I was looking for those the whole time I was in Moab!



  6. #6
    Member Since
    Jun 2004
    VX Adopted Out. 2005 BMW 325CI & 2006 4Runner.
    Thanked: 0
    looks fun.


    He lingers -- happily -- in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance.


  7. #7
    Member Since
    Jun 2002
    1999, Ebony, VX, #1679
    Thanked: 3
    Great report. Thanks for sharing.
    Billy Oliver
    My Sponsors:
    Accelerate3Coaching (PM me for 1 time use 20% off code)

  8. #8
    Member Since
    May 2007
    99, Ebony Black, 0482
    Thanked: 0
    Great photos and interesting report. I am glad you posted it here.
    42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

  9. #9
    Member Since
    May 2007
    2000, Ebony Black, ....
    Thanked: 0
    Ahhh a virtual trip to the desert! Thanks!
    Sold the VX 11-21-07. It was fun while I had it!
    Thanks for all the help.

  10. #10
    Member Since
    Jan 2003
    2001, IronMan White, #440
    Thanked: 0

    Thumbs up Hotel Rock!

    Great pics!!!!! They are soooooooo viberant! Much better than what I've taken. What type of camera are you using and how many pixals does it have?

    What day did you do Hotel Rock? It was day three of your trip but when did you start? We did it on Monday, May about fun!

    Maybe next year I'll meet you and run a trail or two with you.

    "Through Great Sacrifice..... Great Rewards Will Be Achieved"

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tomdietrying
    Great pics!!!!! They are soooooooo viberant! Much better than what I've taken. What type of camera are you using and how many pixals does it have?

    What day did you do Hotel Rock? It was day three of your trip but when did you start? We did it on Monday, May about fun!

    Maybe next year I'll meet you and run a trail or two with you.

    That was the one trail we didnt run. We went to Natural Bridges and on into Moab to get the exhaust fixed.

    It was ran on Monday 5/14 as well. We got off of Hole in te Rock and to Halls Crossing ~945, and left there ~1030. I imagine those guys hit the trail ~noon.

    Those pics were taken with several cameras.
    Jeff has a Kodak Easy share, not sure of the model/specs
    Tia has a Canon S1 IS, 10x optical zoom, and IIRC ~4-6M pixel. Canon CCD ships are far superior to anything else, until they fail (which occurred 1/3 the way into the trip )
    Kyren (my son - 13) was using our old Kodak DX3500, with the time/date stamps
    Steve has a new Panasonic model 12x optical zoom, ~6M pixels. Kyren was taking pics with that on Behind the Rocks

    Be sure to go look at the galleries, there are ~ 1300 pics in mine alone.

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