We ran this trail as part of our run starting with Poison Spider Mesa, and our plan was to continue on to Gold Bar and then check out Rusty Nail. The trail was very well marked, and we had been told that the white spikes had been recently painted.
The trail was deserted most of our trip, and it was a nice, quiet run. We set our own pace with Ladd leading. Kris drove for most of the first part of the trail, but decided to pass on the Launch Pad and let Bob drive instead. The trail was dry, so it was a mellow trip down and up the Launch Pad. Kris said she would do it next time. Ladd pointed out the favorite obstacle of many TrailDamage.com members, the Witch's Crotch. We looked but kept going.
Ladd led us along Skyline Drive and we enjoyed the views -- we stopped at all of the overlooks. The weather was nice, but not as sunny as we had expected. It was comfortably warm and bright with a bit of a cloud cover. The shadows from the clouds added to the scenic beauty.
Ladd continued to lead, with Bob and Kris sharing driving. We made it to the crack just after noon, where we saw the first of the other vehicles on the trail -- three Jeeps heading the other way. We stopped to watch them go over the Golden Crack, and it looked like it was the first time for one. This was the first time for Bob as well, and it was good to see it done. They offered to stick around until we were through, but Ladd said we'd be fine. They said they had come in from Rusty Nail, so we were hoping to find where that trail led.
Ladd showed Bob the line, and knowing the line helped Bob walk right through the Crack, making it look easy. It could be a real problem if you picked the wrong line or went too fast. We stopped at the Crack for lunch. The wind had picked up a bit and we found a sunny spot out of the wind. While eating, two more Jeeps came up to the crack heading our way. A really nice Scrambler and a lifted brand new Unlimited Rubicon came through. We watched the long wheelbase vehicle walk through the crack, and then they told us they were trying to do the whole loop in three hours!
The Golden Stairs were fun and not a problem. We missed Double Whammy, so it must be hard to see. Ladd warned Bob about Body Snatcher and then Ladd cruised right through it. Bob did not catch the line quite right and slipped a bit to the right. He backed down and reset the line to avoid the rocks.
After that it was on to Gold Bar Rim.
Reports from Other Days: 10
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.