This trail was crazy and probably too big for a lot of our vehicles, but we all made it through with only a little help from a tow strap for a few of us at the very end. It was definitely intimidating and most definitely an adrenaline rush.
We had a pretty big group and ended up behind another big group that we saw here and there throughout the day. Though most of their vehicles seemed more capable than ours they didn't do any better than we did and had their own set of issues. In particular, the Cherokee XJs with the longer wheelbases and 33" tires seemed to have a lot more difficulties, especially on the first big obstacle in the sand.
We knew as we came down the big slab of stairs that this trail was going to be a fun one. Luckily Joe, Dan and Aaron had big, built Jeep TJs in case we got into any serious trouble. The rest of us had TJs on 33" tires.
The Creek was about an inch deep so it wasn't anything to worry about. Then we got to the first big obstacle and the fun started. Joe and Dan went up the extreme right side while the rest of us worked our way up the left side. We all made it without any assistance.
The next big obstacle was a fun one, with a really big rock to climb at its start. Joe and Dan took the extreme line again. Matt took a curved cut through it and ended up with a cool line around the rock instead, putting him through a different set of challenges.
When we came around the corner and saw the cliff we all stopped and got out to check it out. It was pretty major, but we all thought we could make it back up it. We hung out and took in the scenery for a bit, then started our slow way down. It was definitely huge, and definitely scary right there on the edge of the cliff. Though it is very close to the edge there is a larger rock that would stop you if you started sliding closer, provided you don't use that rock as you go over the obstacle. Still, the edge is very, very close.
We finally got to the bottom where the trail pulls away from the cliff. We found an open area and broke for lunch. We were definitely all pumped up from the trip down! Monica, Bob and Aaron ran up to the very top to the Overlook while the others took a longer lunch.
There were a few more obstacles with steep rocks to go down, then back up on the way back. The Overlook was really impressive. The cool part was looking back over Jackson Hole to see a couple other Jeeps coming down the cliff obstacle. You could see flashes of light off of the windshields but otherwise couldn't make out the vehicles without binoculars. We had come really far and it really put it into perspective to see how high up that obstacle really was.
We went back down and met the rest of the group. When we got to the cliff obstacle we watched the other group struggle with it for awhile. It gave everyone a little bit of trouble, but they all made it. Ladd broke out his hammock for Aaron, attaching it to the bumpers of two Jeeps in line. Matt and Joe climbed all over the rocks and got an even better view of the festivities.
When it was our turn we all made it up the obstacle without help from anyone (other than careful spotting). It was definitely a thrill!
We made it through the other two major obstacles without any issues, only to find ourselves within walking distance of the exit and having troubles getting up the rocks we had come down early in the day. Matt and Monica had the most trouble with their open differentials, and both kept sliding over to the edge of it too much to make it through. Both of them ended up needing help from a tow strap.
Monica was screwing around on the next batch of rocks and ended up wedging herself between two rocks enough to smash the end of her rear bumper. Joe couldn't even tow her out she was so stuck, so he had to use his winch. Don't take the left-most line on that hill unless you're locked.
We all had fun (and a large audience) as we came up the big hill at the entrance. The whole trail took us 7 hours and it was a great time!
Reports from Other Days: 3
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Cliff Hanger. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.