If you asked everyone in our little group what the goal of the trip was, most of us would have said that it was the Porcupine 4x4 Trail. We'd all been in the Sand Flats Recreation Area for years without even knowing it existed. When we saw it on a map a couple of years earlier, it became a priority. We were really looking forward to checking it out.
We'd seen the eastern end a few days earlier, but fading light and a long trail turned us away. This time, we scheduled it first and early in the day so we'd have time to do it, no matter how hard it was. We'd seen the trailhead quite a few times in the past few days, so it was good to finally take it. It seemed fitting to do all three trails with "Porcupine" in the name all in one trip.
The trail was pretty easy for quite a while, but it was nice. There is something so wonderful about a cool Moab morning on the trail when the trail is wide open and mellow. There were fun, sandy stretches and you could see for miles in all directions.
It didn't take us long to get to the Fins & Things intersection where we turned around and headed back in. Then it was only a few minutes more to get to the first overlook. Honestly, we're all pretty spoiled and the overlook left a little to be desired. We knew that the other overlook was on the canyon's rim, so we hoped it would be better. We didn't stay that long after stretching our legs and finding morning snacks to munch on.
We took the main intersection over to the eastern side, and then the trail got better. It was more scenic as it almost always had the canyon in view. It's not the widest or deepest canyon in the Moab area, not by a long shot, but it's nice. We had some bumpy spots and ledges to enjoy along the way.
We stopped when the trail got close to the canyon's rim, just to check things out. This actually ended up being more scenic than both overlooks, so we were glad we stopped. It was at the base of a big hill that was fun in both directions.
We spent a bit of time at the second overlook, and then we headed for the final leg of the trail. This ended up being the best part. It got closer to the canyon, and the scenery improved. In addition, there were better obstacles. We found a fun one with a bypass that seemed worse than the actual obstacle, so all of us took the main section. It was a great time. When we were all at the top, we found a large area with shady spots. It was lunch time, so we stopped there. Another fantastic lunch! We also got to see a side-by-side go up it, which was a nice bonus.
After lunch, we kept going and kept enjoying the obstacles and scenery. We knew we were getting close to the end when we could see Sand Flats Road above us -- or at least we could see the cut where it was. Then we hit the last obstacle.
It was tippy, and near the edge. It reminded us of some obstacles on the Porcupine Rim trail. With some spotting and careful tire placement we all made it past it in one piece and up to Porcupine Rim.
Monica wanted to do the fun rocks there again so she went up Porcupine Rim a bit to turn around in a wide spot while the others made the tight right turn. They both take about the same amount of time, so it's good to have options.
It was a fun trail! When we got to the top and the parking area on Sand Flats Road we talked about options. Julie found some little trails off of the main road that we also hadn't seen, so we headed off to check those out, too. Good times!