The day was somewhat chilly, rainy, and dreary as we met in our usual location at the Starbucks on Arapahoe Road in Boulder. Monica stopped by to say hello, and see us off. Ladd had to be convinced to come along, since he was not keen on doing the trail in the rain with the additional probability of trail damage that could result. Gary and Bob talked him into it, though, and he ultimately came along.
At the trailhead, everyone aired down, disconnected, and then headed down the trail with Bob in the lead. The first obstacle gave everyone very little difficulty, but we were quickly past it. We drove right by the Guardian Rocks.
Next we came to The Squeeze. It posed few problems and gave us an opportunity to flex out our suspensions. Bob and Ladd both drove over the rock on the passenger sides, while Gary decided to show off his narrower track width by driving directly between the two rocks without touching either.
The next obstacle was the washout section, where the upper trail has continued to get narrower and lean to the right, and an obvious path now leads down into the creek then directly back up onto the upper path to avoid following the more tippy path straight across. We all took this down-and-up path with little difficulty. Bob led, and had to give a bit of a bump to get up the muddy section back on the trail. Gary followed, getting just the right line and crawling up without needing to bump up. Ladd brought up the rear, also needing to give a little bump to get up the muddy hill.
By this time, there is usually a bumper-to-bumper back up of vehicles on the trail, but on this day the weather seemed to be keeping most users away and trail was completely empty. We neither heard nor saw any others on the trail with us.
Directly after the washout obstacle, there is a section of trail where we could go to the left or right. The left took us up to The Slab obstacle while the right went around it. Bob took the left route, and went over The Slab without any problems except when he came off the other side. He thought he was turned sufficiently to the left to avoid a large rock just after The Slab, but instead misjudged and hit his front bumper rather forcefully and scratched his passenger front fender flare as well. Afterward, he learned he actually hit it the bumper with enough force to bend the end of his bumper and buckle the metal at the top and bottom of the bumper. It was our first trail damage of the day!
After Bob got through the obstacle, Gary took the same route and attempted The Slab but didn't have quite enough clearance under his Jeep. He couldn't get entirely over the peak of The Slab. After a couple tries he backed down and went around. Ladd tried last but knew he wouldn't make it since he has less clearance than Gary, so didn't try too hard before backing down and going around as well.
We came upon another narrow section of the trail where two rocks were very close together, requiring Bob to drive over one rock. We decided to take a couple pictures to show the ability of Gary's Jeep to go between the rocks while Ladd could barely make it, due to Gary's narrower track width.
Soon we went past the old obstacle where many larger trucks often attempt to go up a near vertical wall on the right. It had been washed out greatly and changed drastically. Immediately after, Bob decided to try to play around on some massive boulders. While repositioning, he backed into a rock and bent up his exhaust pipe somewhat. After trying to get up on some of these rocks a couple times he gave up in order to avoid further damage, and we moved on.
We found one of our last obstacles called The Waterfall, where the trail has an easier path around to the left. Bob went first, finding lots of silty mud at the top of the obstacle and almost getting stuck when he needed to back up and realign his truck. It was made more difficult by a downed tree just behind the obstacle, blocking his ability to back up. After a couple of repositioning maneuvers he went up and over without any more troubles. Ladd followed and worked his way over too, making it look easy. Gary was last over and had some trouble with one of his leaf spring mounts on his frame catching on the rocks, but with a little finesse he cleared his CJ over the rock and clawed right over the obstacle.
At the end of the trail there were two ways out, one being an easy path up to the Five Points location. The other -- a path to the right up Fireman's Hill -- was a more vertical and muddy path with some deep ruts, especially on the right. Bob went first and found some people watching at the top, so of course gunned the engine some in order to put on a good show, launching to the top of the first section.
Ladd made an attempt next, but had some trouble with clearance and the large ruts. He tried a few times, but it wasn't happening, so he backed down and went up the smoother route.
Gary went next and bounced right up with no problems -- and had a lot of fun doing it. Bob wanted pictures of himself going up as well, so he went back down and did it one more time.
We all had a great time on Carnage Canyon, and were very happy we'd made the trip. No one had any trail damage incidents except Bob, which was very good for Ladd as he had been worried about doing the trail on this day due to the weather. After talking about the trail and taking a short break, we all continued on to the Left Hand Canyon trail to head back down to the road.
Reports from Other Days: 8
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Carnage Canyon LHC. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.