We were happy to see the Ironclads trail open, as other trails in the area were still closed for the winter. After a brief section of Bunce School Road, we turned onto Ironclads. There were lots of people out on the trails, and everyone seemed happy and ready for a good summer of offroading.
We had a new 360-degree camera to capture the trail in real time, and the battery ran out before we made it all the way around the loop. Still, we got most of it. Use your mouse to drag the video around, or move your phone to look around.
The trail is pretty mellow at the start until you get to the Chunky Ledge. Monica and Matt went up without any issues, and the rest of the group went around it. It definitely looks intimidating when you first see it.
We took a while to find an open trail, so it was lunch time already. We found a fantastic spot with flat, shady areas and lots of parking. We had a long lunch there, and it was tough to pack up and go. The weather was perfect, and it was interesting to watch all of the rigs go by. But we eventually packed up and kept going along the trail.
Next was the Smooth Ledge, a ridge that has become the most challenging obstacle on the trail as the dirt around both obstacles erodes. It's slanted on the trail, running at a diagonal, and it's on a hill. Covered with loose dirt, it pushes you sideways along the ledge as you try to climb it, making things interesting. Monica had to try a couple lines and work on a wheelstand on the way, but she made it. Matt's longer wheelbase turned out to be the best thing for the obstacle, and he walked right up it without any issues. The rest of the group took the bypass.
We got to a switchback, and Matt pulled to the side of the trail to take pictures. When he started up again, the loose dirt and rocks on the side of the trail pushed him over the edge a bit. He backed up, and that made him go even farther off the edge. Trying to go forward again only meant more off the trail, so he got out his winch and Jason helped him get back onto the trail. There were lots of trees that would have stopped him from going off the side completely, but it was still a bit of a heart-stopper.
We went up the hill and started back down, and we stopped at a parking area to walk up a rock outcropping to check out the views. It was too hazy over the flat lands to really see much, but the views were still impressive. It was a nice stop.
We finished the loop, and everyone went down the Chunky Ledge. At the bottom of that hill, Jason and Sean went back up to give it a try as they skipped it the first time. Jason made it up the ledge and back down, and though Sean gave it a good try he needed about an inch more in clearance to make it. He'd have to try it again when his Jeep is lifted.
We always have a great time on the Ironclads trail, and this was no exception. We took Bunce School Road back out to Camp Dick, completing a fantastic day of wheeling.
Reports from Other Days: 4
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Ironclads. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.