Friday, October 31, 2014
Sunday, 26 October 2014 20:39


Bringing your"A" game takes more than a cMoab Jeep-1601heck list!

  It sometime take more than a check list to bring your "A" game to the trail and Moab is no exception. This challenge requires more than just a well equiped rig, it takes good character and if you're not prepaired Moab will expose your's. In the words of Travis Schellepeper it goes like this; "Moab? hell yeah I want to go to Moab"!  The plans were set, the house rented, and the dates all fell in to place all I had to do was show up!  Well and also make sure the jeep was in good working order, and pack some comfy clothes in case of an extended stay in the Moab outback. How bad could it be?

 Moab Jeep-1711 Traveling from San Diego to Moab I intentionally took two 8 hour days towing my jeep through the historic roadways of Route 66 and the scenic Highway 163. I couldn't help but think to myself how great this trip is going to be as I watched the beautiful country side roll by mile after mile. I wanted to hit every trail Moab had to offer and do it better than anyone ever had.  I felt as though my jeep was in the best condition, it was ready to conquer any obstacle.  I now know I should have studied more (any) YouTube videos in order to better prepare myself for what waMoab Jeep-1794s in store.

  Moab has many different trails for different levels of off roader. At least that's what I have heard. Moab even has private land open to off roaders 24/7. Such is the case with area BFE, a highly technical portion of Moab that challenges even the most hardcore tube chassis buggy drivers. With trail names like Brittany Speer, Lockjaw, and Helldorado I for one was thinking those could be fun if the group decided on one of those trails.

  The night everyone arrived we all decide to take an easy 14.4 mile trail as our first adventure.  This should only be about a 6-8 hour trip. One of the challenges to this trail is the additional 15 mile dirt road on the exit side of the trail called Behind The Rocks. This makes the trail a 30+ mile adventure into obstacles like "White Knuckle" and "Upchuck". Seemed tame enough to get the off-road juices flowing and make sure everything on the rig is tip top shape for the future excursions to the 'hard stuff'.

  We started the trail easy enough by deflating our tires once we hit the trail head. It took us exactly 3 minutes into the trail to arrive at "Guardian Hill". Guardian Hill is described as a slow uphill climb by the trail book we had referenced the night before. What? This hill ascended into stratosphere at nearly a 50degree angle covered in loose rocks, sand, and an off camber section near the top. It didn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out this was going to be intense.  Slow uphill climb my Asteroids!! At Guardian Hill nearly everyone had to use their winch, heck it was only the first obstacle no sense in getting crazy we had a lot of trail yet to go.  Once every one successfully mounted the hill we once again headed deeper into the trail.

Moab Jeep-1696

Moab Jeep-1835 Moab Jeep-1868

  Pressing further in we came upon High Dive a steep downhill descent into a maddening maze of ledges and cracks if followed shortly by UpChuck hill.  Once you make it down High Dive you have two choices the turn out or Upchuck.  Some took the Upchuck route and others went the turn out way.  I will say those that went the Upchuck hill route most certainly needed a spotter, as the crevice you straddle could be certain doom without one.  A slight mistake on Upchuck will send you onto your side with certain body damage and with your wheels locked into the crevice nose high on the hill.  Just the thought of it happening is enough to get your mouth watering and remind you of what you ate that morning for breakfast.

 Moab Jeep-1899 After only 4 miles of trail and two of the most insane obstacles we were able to make up a ton of time traveling through the most scenic areas known to exist in the west.  Not only that, we were on the road less traveled as it seemed like no one person had been in that area for some time.  We all felt very fortunate to be witnessing the beauty that Moab had to offer.  From Prostitute Butte to Picture Frame Arch the beauty was as unrelenting as the treachery of the trail.

Moab Jeep-1927


  We allotted no specific amount of time to do this trail, and in hindsight was the right thing to do.  My initial guess was 8-10 hours, however it took over 16 hours door to door.  This is due to the amount of vehicles in our group, the complexity of the trail itself, and some of the trail markings being removed by what I can only describe as eco-terrorists.  This trail tested everyone’s vehicle and ever ones temperament.  Given the differences in both vehicle and man, some vehicles needed to take the easy ways out of the trail.  Unfortunately there is no turn out for an individual’s temperament on this trail.  If you go know that you will be tested as well as your vehicle.

 Moab Jeep-1910Moab Jeep-1945

After a much needed rest period we decided to hit another trail the next day.  We all decide the next trail should be a little less nerve wracking and take a lot less time.  We all settled on the Moab Rim Trail a 4.5 mile trail that should only take a group our size a couple hours to complete.  Just what everyone needed in order to shake off the previous night’s turmoil.

  Down one jeep from the previous night we all headed to the starting point off of Kane Creek Road.  Looking up the gigantic hill that is the trail, it didn’t look to awful at first glance.  After we aired down once again we set about to enjoy this very unique Moab trail.

Moab Jeep-1957 Moab Jeep-1953

Moab Jeep-1961

Moab Jeep-1974The first obstacle was a slight off camber section which under normal circumstances wouldn’t  be any issue at all.  What makes this first one difficult is that it off camber to the driver’s side and overlooks Kane Creek Road itself about 200 feet in the air.  Oh boy was it fun!  In reality, it’s not that dangerous.  Yes you have to be careful, and yes an accident would spell terrible consequences for the vehicle.  But the truth of the matter is there is a solid 10 feet before the 200 foot drop, so as you can imagine this deserved our full attention as well.

   Moab Jeep-1993

  The next difficult section is the first true obstacle called the Devils Crack, another off camber section leaning heavily towards the driver’s side.  Are you seeing the pattern yet?  The trick with Devils Crack is to ensure tire placement to the left as far as possible so you don’t get tossed onto your side.  Once completed you can finally breathe, as you have the “Z” Turn to contend with, much more space to do it in.  No real danger of falling to your certain death.

  The remainder of the trail includes a few breath taking over looks for pictures and moments of reflection.  Not to mention the Dome Overlook, a steep section of slick rock which would be a challenge for any short wheel base vehicles.  we skipped the loop section as it seemed as though we were running out of time and no one wanted to be on this trail after dark, so we headed down from the Dome.

 Moab Jeep-2002 On our way down we heard of an accident at the first obstacle I spoke of.  I know I said it wasn’t that difficult and I still feel that way.   The jeeps where on their way down and off the trail when the flopped onto the side. It just goes to show you how unrelenting these trails really are.  You can’t lose focus once, not even for a second.  To this day I don’t know the fate of the occupants or the yellow jeep (I know its yellow due to the paint it left behind on the rock). 

  Let me finish by saying; as avid off-roader we all make sure our vehicles are in tip-top shape prior to engaging in activity that will test the mechanical limits of said vehicles.  You retighten links, change the fluids, check for excessive tire wear, and even buy new gizmo’s to outfit our rigs.  In other words we prepare, and prepare, and prepare the vehicle.  One thing often over looked is the strength of our friendships, or the temperament of the individual.  If you decide to embark on "epic journeys dude" without preparing your vehicle people would say you are an idiot.  Why then would you yourself not come prepared for the hardships that off-roaders can sometimes encounter.  “Oil changed?” Check.  “Tire Pressure?” Check.  “Mentally Prepared?” Check.

  Moab Jeep-2026

Off-roading is fun and we all enjoy it tremendously.  It shouldn’t be a test of friendships.  Moab has the propensity to challenge both the will of men and the capabilities of your vehicle.  Don’t forget to prepare everything.


Moab Jeep-2137

Moab Jeep-2070

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