Behind The Rocks
We were supposed to have Kendall, Bob S. and Andrew with us, but they were all broken and couldn't join us. That left seven of us to run the trail, and we made really good time. We were excited to get started, and the weather looked like it was going to be hot again.
We started up the trail and got to Guardian Hill right away. Unlike our first trip here, no one had any issues at all. We all just drove right up it.
We were also a group of people who liked to drive fast on the sandy roads, so when we got to the curvy downhill road we had a blast driving down it and banking the turns. There weren't any other people on the trail, and we had it to ourselves.
We got to the first big ledge and everyone took their time going down it. Cheryl took a line a little further to the left and ended up really flexing her suspension on the way down. Robert even went up it so he could go down it twice.
We were about two hours ahead of schedule when we got to High Dive and Upchuck. We were hoping to have lunch there in the shade but it was way too early.
Monica started down the hill first, taking the line they found the year before. It's a fun, twisty line and she didn't have any troubles. Then she took on Upchuck and made sure her line was good, then drove right up it.
Ladd was next and he was sliding all over the sandy rocks. It looked like it was going to be quite the trip down High Dive for him. He was nearly to the bottom and his tire was between the two rocks and he was alarmed to find his lockers weren't working. We all had a good laugh when we heard him yell, "I'm still in two-wheel drive!" No wonder he was sliding all over the obstacle. He put it in four-wheel drive, turned on his lockers, and had an easy time finishing the rest of the obstacle.
When Ladd tried Upchuck he was a little off the line and got an awesome wheel stand. He backed down, corrected his line, and drove right up it.
Bob was a little worried after seeing Ladd slide around down the hill, but now he knew the reason. He came down the hill slowly and cautiously and made it look simple. Then he popped right over Upchuck without an issue.
Cheryl was next, making easy work of the obstacle. She didn't slide around at all and soon was at the bottom. Then she went right over Upchuck.
Don got some good flex coming down High Dive, but didn't have any issues. Upchuck was also easy for him as he drove right over it without problems.
Robert thought he would try a line much further to the right on his way down High Dive. We had seen other people take that line before, and it turned out to be a very mellow line. He didn't need to flex or drop down anything, and the only drop-off ended up being the one at the bottom. He thought for a second that he might go in the crack in the middle of Upchuck, but he ended up breezing right through it.
Eric was last, taking a line in the middle down High Dive. He made it look really easy all the way down. Then Upchuck looked easy for him, too, as he crawled right to the top.
We always have fun after these two obstacles, because there is a long stretch of sandy road all the way to Prostitute Butte and the arches. We all raced and had a good time, enjoying the breeze on the hot day. Robert and Eric really had their Jeeps cruising, and we all had a good time watching them finish their race.
We checked out Balcony Arch, then drove around to the other side to check out Picture Frame Arch. Robert, Eric and Don all hiked up to the top while the rest of the group relaxed in the shade at the bottom. We had a few snacks, then we were off again.
After another long, fun stretch of sandy road we came to the crossroads where we would be again later on the way back on the long, bumpy road. There were a few trees and a little bit of shade so we stopped for lunch. Robert had a good time doing donuts in the sand, too.
Hummer Hill was the next obstacle, and Monica started up. She was going pretty slowly and didn't use her front locker, and she ended up spinning tires in the middle of the hill and not going anywhere. She went just a little bit slower and started to come down, but then caught her tires and slowly went up to the top.
Everyone else came up Hummer Hill without any issues, some with barking tires and some without making a sound.
Roller Coaster was fun, as usual, and everyone enjoyed how steep it is. No one wanted to go back up because we all wanted to get to White Knuckle Hill, so we moved on.
White Knuckle Hill was just around the corner, and we walked down to take a look. There were a lot of rocks stacked at the bottom, so we knew it would be safe and we could stop at the extreme decline.
Monica went first, with Robert holding a tow strap attached to her rear bumper just in case. She ended up not needing it, though, and had a great time down the obstacle.
Bob was next, and though he also had the emergency tow strap he didn't need it. He dropped down the hill but his rear tires stayed on the rock.
Ladd was next and decided not to use a tow strap. He didn't need one either, so all was well. He came down like a pro.
Cheryl had a fun, twisty time down to the hill and expected to be able to stop mid-way down the hill. The weight of her Jeep overcame the benefits of the longer wheel base, though, and she slid right down.
Don was next, stopping mid-way down the hill. He asked for his camera so he could take a picture, and Robert and Eric thought it would be funny to mess with him. They pushed on his rear bumper just a little bit, making him slide a few inches and think his brakes were failing. They got him to panic for a second, and everyone had a good laugh. Those two are nothing but trouble!
Robert's suspension flexed down the hill and he found out why his fenders were getting a little mashed up -- his tires were hitting them. He came down the hill without any issues.
Eric finished up the group's trip down White Knuckle Hill, not having any problems at all.
At the bottom of the hill, we turned right to head for Hunters Canyon. We checked out the place where Robert almost fell off the side in 2005. Yikes!
Monica went down first, getting tippy in the middle and coming down the left side at the bottom. Ladd was thinking that the drop-off on the left side was a little steep, so he wanted to come down the right side.
Ladd came down just fine, but then straddled a rock near the edge of the trail by accident. He couldn't go forward or backward without damaging his Jeep, and the rock had moved up to really crush his oil pan. He was stuck.
We tried to stack rocks under one side so he could work his way up and over the rock, but it wasn't working. Then we tried a Hi-Lift Jack on that side but we couldn't get the Jeep high enough. Finally, the Hi-Lift worked on the other side and they were able to get the Jeep's transfer case skid plate over the rock. Then they winched him over the rock and he was free. The oil pan didn't leak, but he's going to need a new one.
Everyone else came down the hill and arrived at the bottom without any issues. We all got some good flex and had a lot of fun on the way down.
Working our way down to the canyon floor was a blast, and everyone had a good time finding their own lines. When we came to the wash at the bottom, everyone played a little to get the most fun out of it. Cheryl even managed to get out of the wash using a very steep stair. Nice!
Soon we were out and off the trail, at the intersection with Pritchett Canyon. We turned left and started the long drive back on that bad road. We were actually airing up and at dinner before the sun went down! It was a great day and a great end to our Moab vacation.
Reports from Other Days: 3
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Behind The Rocks. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.