Red Elephant Hill was the first of three trails we would do on this trip, the others being Mill Creek and Bill Moore Lake. We hosted new members, Mark and Amy Johnson who drive a 2018 JL. The weekend prior to this run, Red Elephant Hill had a small forest fire. When Sean was there that weekend, fire crews were using the trail to get up to the fire. No sign of the fire existed from the view on the trail.
This trail really consists of two-parts, the first part being a steep and rocky and the second half flat but still having several obstacles. The trail also had some tight turns where you had to watch out for both sides of the vehicle.
We met at the Starbucks in Downieville and aired down in the parking lot since the trailhead was a short distance from the meeting point. The first mile of the trail, no one had any issues. The trail didn’t have many protruding rocks and the ones it did have were easily negotiated. The second mile became much steeper and rockier including some pretty tall rocks requiring a good line and excellent spotting by Mark. Those with lifted Jeeps had little issues.
The final, rocky area on the steep portion of the trail has a unique rock that only mother nature will remove, probably far beyond the lifetime of the Jeepers. Sean had seen a person put his driver front wheel on top of this rock and flip. Fortunately, there is plenty of room to get around the rock if you have lockers. All got past it without issue. It was a beautiful scene looking down on the other Jeeps through the Aspen trees and the white frosted peaks in the background.
Shortly after making the sharp left turn where the trail flattens, there is a very open and flat area where all the Jeeps could easily get in line for the infamous Jeep shot. The group got out to relax a bit, take pictures and have lunch before proceeding on to the end of the trail. It is at this point that someone should put up a sign like on I-70 that says “Don’t be fooled, more obstacles ahead.” Indeed, it is a fun part of the trail as you slalom through the trees and navigate through several rock obstacles. Sean got stuck on one of the rocks, requiring assistance with a spot to get through this obstacle. We came out of the woods with a beautiful view of the mountain peaks with snow on the skyline. Blue skies and sunshine as we continued onto the Mill Creek trail.
Reports from Other Days: 7
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Red Elephant Hill. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.