It has to be impossible to have a bad time on this trail! We did the entire loop of Poison Spider Mesa first -- including the Overlook and lunch at Little Arch -- then we started on Golden Spike at the crossroads.
We all did Launch Pad without any issues, giving us all a rush to start off the trail. Some motorcyclists watched and cheered us on.
We went up Skyline Drive and down the other side without stopping at the top, anxious to get to the rest of the trail (we were a little behind schedule). That sure is a big rock!
We encountered our first troubles when we got to the Washtub obstacle after Skyline Drive, at the bottom of the canyon. It is the obstacle with the uphill climb on slickrock followed by a large ledge at the end. Monica worked at it for a little bit but ended up doing it without too many problems. Derek had a few issues but also made it up. Matt, Ladd and Tom made it up too after a bit. That is a fun obstacle and it didn't beat us.
Tom had a little scare on the tippy spot just past that, doing a wheelstand. No one got a picture but the stories sounded impressive!
The constant obstacles followed then with ledges, climbs, drop-offs and stairs. We finally got to the Overlook and took a break, checking out the scenery and stretching our legs. Then the big ledges came.
We all crashed down the first obstacle a bit. Monica got her rear tire a little high on the side of the biggest ledge and needed a little help from Derek on her back bumper to stop from sliding off. Even Derek with his non-existent bumper bent a little something on the first ledge. It's a big, huge drop-off but we all made it.
Every corner seemed like the last one before getting to the Golden Crack because we were excited. Except for Monica it was everyone's first time there. We finally came around the right corner to see the Crack and everyone was in a rush to check it out.
Monica went first without any problems (all her problems happened the first time she was there, trying to bend her tie rod in half). Derek went through and was the most impressive, putting his right front tire so far in the Crack that his rear bumper was far above Ladd's head as he stood behind him. That was crazy! There wasn't any danger but it sure looked insane.
Matt made it through just fine with his stock TJ, teetering on two tires and needing a little shove to get through to the other side. Ladd came through looking like a pro, and Tom got some good flex from his front axle on the way through. Could there be an obstacle that is more fun than the Golden Crack? We were all so pumped up when we got through. We made it look pretty easy (even though it's not).
The sun started to set at that point as we hit the Golden Stairs. Everyone slid around a little and had to bump it up over the top stair but we all made it fine. We checked out Double Whammy but no one tried it -- it was getting dark and we still had a lot of trail to go.
Then the trail damage started at Body Snatcher. Monica and Tom went up and over, as did Matt. Derek was trying the crazy line up the left side of the obstacle and then his rear axle snapped. He was stuck there! He had all the right tools except for a wrench he needed, so after searching all vehicles in the pitch dark for awhile we gave up and moved his Cherokee off to the side and locked it up. Ladd finished off the obstacle and Derek rode in Monica's Jeep the rest of the way down.
The pictures of Golden Spike past the Golden Crack are all from the following day when we went back to get Derek's Cherokee. We didn't see Body Snatcher in the daylight the first time through. Derek replaced his axle shaft on the trail in a couple of hours and we were on our way back down. It was pretty impressive to watch, nice job!
This trail is so much fun it's not fair to other trails. This has to be our favorite trail in Moab!
Reports from Other Days: 11
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Golden Spike. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.