Moab for dummies

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Jan 30, 2006
Paris, France
About to hit the road for a month-long CA-NV-UT-CO-AZ-CA round trip. I'll spend three full days in the Moab area in mid October with wife, kid and a stock FZJ80. Would you guys have some advice as where to wheel a bit? I don't want to molest the rig nor bounce the baby too hard, just to go off the beaten track to take advantage of the transfer case and enjoy picnics with a view. The wife has yet to acknowledge the 80 wasn't wasted money.:cool: Canyonlands? Arches? Something else? Thanks
October is a really busy time out there, so finding something 'out of the way' will be difficult.

Check out Fins N Things. a 3.5 trail that will get your heart pumping, but isn't going to be anything you will need to worry about.
Porcupine Rim is also a good one....always a great trail is also Elephant Hill trail.

All I can say is do Elephant Hill with someone but its spectacular!
Get the Charles A. Wells book on the Moab trails. It's excellent for route finding and will give a difficulty rating for each trail.

Do not do Kane Creek even though Wells says it is easy. There are two gnarly spots not suitable for a family in a stock truck.

Do Fins and Things first. You get classic Moab experience on a trail safe for a stock truck. It's also close to town, and lots of other people if you run into problems.

Do the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands NP. It will require a camp out half way, but it is scenic, remote, and incredible. Check in with the Park Service, and ask if White Crack or Murphy Hogback sites are available. Takes lots of water. This has been my favorite adventure in Moab. You may have the entire 100miles of trail to yourself. I did it alone, in a stock 80, with my family-highly reccomended.

If you liked Fins, do Hell's Revenge, which is more of the same only bigger, badder and scarier.

Make sure you have sliders or have your wife spot you carefully over the ledges. Fins and White Rim should be OK without sliders.
Wow. This White Rim trail looks fabulous. I'll dream of it. Thanks for the input.
I'd add, given your list of states, that going south out of Moab into the La Sals is very nice. You can then go on over to Telluride and the San Juans from the La Sals.
Plan on doing any wheeling in Nevada ? ... If so, where ? :)
Nevada? Hmm... planning to wheel the stroller on the Strip, that's about it:cool:. But taker of any pitch for a next trip! Cheers.
I think White Rim in the Island of the sky part of Canyonlands is a great choice. It is a two day trip and it would be wise to get camping reservations ASAP. The Murphy campground is amazing, but so are most of the others. MurphyA has a great view--B and C aren't slouches either. The only downside would be if you had bad weather, they are very exposed. It could very easily be made into a three day trip if you are taking pictures.

I think a stock 80 would have no problems with the White rim trail. It has enough traffic that if something happened you would have somebody coming along to help.

I did Fins & Things today and saw one other vehicle. I think it would be very easy to get into trouble here if you are alone.

There was a major storm on Friday and it made for some nifty pictures--I have just resized some to give you some idea of what is present on White Rim.

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Very nice-a bit different from Mississippi, I'll bet!

Funny-we camped at Murphy 1, which is right on the edge of the abyss, but we walked over to Murphy 3 to watch the sunset. White Crack feels the same only there is only one site. My kids looked around for the arrow heads and pottery shards they say you can find there, but came up empty.

I also stayed at "Airport" which is not as dramatic, but the only site available that year.

One other thing-the first time I did Fins and Things, I thought "holy shait" but that vertical thing wears off after a while and you realize it's really just an easy trail that feels hard. That drop that starts the second half of the trail gets your attention for sure.

Did you find the "secret slot canyon" on the White Rim Trail?
I have a few shots of Airport at sunset
and the Murphy sites. The colors really don't look right in a 30 kb file.:crybaby: The reds are not very good.
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Did you find the "secret slot canyon" on the White Rim Trail?

I'm not sure if I found it--I was tagging along with a group that I met up there and they were repeat visitors and there was soooo much to see!

I was supposed to stay at Murphy C on my trip, instead I was sort of adopted by this group with a group permit and stayed at another site. With the storm, several tents were blown over. If it happened at Murphy it would have been impossible to have sved them.

This is a pic of some bike riders going up the ascent to Murphy. They are barely visible.
Moab can definetely be done in high season and see no one. Outside of the standard trails, I suggest some features off-track North of town much more friendly to stock vehicles than some of the trails previously named.

Go South at 38d43'09.75" , -109d45'44.58" and explore the wet sandy road by Merimac and Monitor trails.

Lunch at 38d42'13.72" , -109d49'28.66". I'll leave it to you to get here, but one of the better hidden valleys in the area.

Slot Cave at 38d42'39.43" , -109d46'57.9" and fun slickrock hikes.

Sand dunes south of town for your child if he/she is old enough yet? 38d25'11.48" , -109d28'32.91".

Each of these with views as good as any other. I could name several dozen other places.

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