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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Made it to MOAB!

Having a beer at Zak鈥檚 at the moment contemplating my next move.

Thinking taking on Elephant Hill as my newbie first move and seeing what happens from there! Seems easy enough in the YouTube videos. 馃槀 Trying to avoid the crowds to be honest.

If you鈥檙e here this week too, say something! 馃嵒
 

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I am a little envious as I have been north of the border for a while.
 

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You will be fine on Elephant Hill. The remoteness of it is the issue in my mind. It鈥檚 way removed with one outpost for gas. My buddy broke a transmission line as we were gassing up for the trail. The older couple that ran the store were as helpful as can be. The man went digging through a parts bin and came out with a plug that we used to remove the cooler and make the transmission stand alone. We threw whatever fluid we could find in it and immediately beat it back to Moab. The next day Moab Outpost had the part delivered from down south and fixed the Jeep as we made the rounds in Moab. The following day we did Elephant Hill. We were all talking how we dodged a bullet on that one.

Embrace the crowds. They are fun to watch. We became instant friends with people who taught us about or backed us up on Hells Gate, Escalator, etc. Heck, we jawed with Dan **** in the middle of Hell鈥檚 Revenge about safety during the pouring rain. He was taking a group on a tour and was waiting for his son to bring his doors. He talked to us as brother Jeepers gave us some pointers about the wet rock.
 

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Even E-hill won't seem so remote this week. But the park service limits how many people can be on it any given day, so it doesn't get super crowded. Well worth the drive down from Moab to do it.

- DAA
 

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Welcome to ROF! Elephant Hill is fun, the most difficult part as I recall are the switchbacks at the beginning. When we were there a ranger told this young inexperienced couple they would be fine doing the trail in a stock SUV, something smallish - don't remember the exact model. They got about halfway up the switchbacks and basically gave up. We helped spot them back down. That ranger gave them very bad advice.
 

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What everyone else said! Elephant Hill is a great place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I ended up Not doing Elephant Hill.

Found out I needed some sort of permit I didn鈥檛 plan ahead on - and the Jeep Safari guys were going on the day I wanted to go.

So, at the last moment, I did Flat Iron Mesa for my first ever jeep trail!

I didn鈥檛 think I was going to make the Chute, but somehow I managed without even scraping the bottom. But it was hairy!!

I don鈥檛 know how in the heck I made it through, but I did. And without incident. Only aired down to 25psi so ride was a little rough, but seemed to have plenty of traction throughout the trail.

Next day, the Jeep Safari guys were lined up there - all of them in Monster Jeeps - so I suppose thats the size Jeep I was supposed to have to make that trail.

I鈥檓 only on 34鈥檚 with a 3.5 Rough Country lift and some skid plates. Definitely drug my Rear Stock Fenders on several occasions, but other than a little noise I did Make it.

I would NOT take that trail again in my Barely modified Jeep or recommend anyone else doing it. I鈥檓 pretty sure the guys in the Monster Jeeps all got the Memo for that trail.

So, after that experience - I did Not go on any other trails other than Picture Frame Arch trail. Bumpy Roads are not my thing I guess. It just wore me out.

I鈥榤 thinking the guys driving Razors & 4 Wheelers were having way more fun than bouncing around in a Jeep Being worried about getting it out once you started down the path of no return. So maybe next time I鈥檒l come back with one of those vehicles and do more trails.
 

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Great report. If you want a smoother trail, try Fins n Things. You don鈥檛 have to do the whole trail. It crosses Sand Flats Rd. You were in good shape on 34s and probably been more at ease with a partner to do some occasional spotting.

Razors and Jeeps bring their own game. I think what you missed was some friends to hit the trails with. I personally go in late September or early October. Less crowds, but not desolate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the feedback! That鈥檚 probably very true. I was So focused on just getting the Jeep through the trail in one piece that maybe I forgot to have fun. I was in survival mode. And there is only much adrenaline I can take before my body just gets tired!

I did cross paths with 2 other groups. A pair of TJ鈥檚 on 37鈥檚 it looked like with maybe 4 inch lifts, and a pair of Gladiators on what looked like at least 40鈥檚 with 4 inch lifts.

The Gladiators had no problems at all. They missed the right turn at the chute and were stopped having lunch on the slick rock and let me play through. Once I made it down and up the other side I watched them. They tore down the chute and back up like it was nothing. Where I felt I needed to inch my way down.

I got a good look Under their vehicle and saw they only had about an inch of clearance coming up. I鈥檓 sure mine looked just as bad, but I believe the Rubicons have a shorter wheel base? Still don鈥檛 know how I didn鈥檛 manage to scrape.

Having a buddy with a jeep and a winch would made me much more confident and comfortable. For sure! Need to make some Friends!! 馃え
 

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Flat Iron is a fairly difficult trail - not a good trail for a beginner especially wheeling alone. Having made it through is a great accomplishment though. The rims on the TJ/LJ (maybe others) Rubicons are called Moabs, quite a good wheel. Before I got beadlocks I aired down the Moabs to 12 psi. Whatever you have hopefully they wouldn't break a bead at 15 psi. 25 psi is way, way too much air for the trail.

I air down my Nitto Trail Grapplers to 6 PSI, much higher pressure and the tire just doesn't hook up very well.
 

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I live in UT and if timing works could do a couple days of trails. Jeeps are more fun than SXSs or 4-wheelers. Next time bring friends.

I think you were denied Elephant Hill because the Redrock 4-Wheelers get permits to run certain trails exclusively during EJS.
 

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Ah yes, Flat Iron Mesa. Fun track, some interesting spots. Bent my tranny pan on the big rock going down Easter Egg Hill. Didn't particularly like the off camber section that leans you around a cliff and has a monster drop off on the right, was glad to have a spotter at that point. Good to hear you made it unscathed.

Moab is for sure an E-ticket ride. Problem now is it's getting so busy with side by sides and mountain bikers who think it's only their turf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That stinks with the tranny pan.

The only damage I noticed was my condenser or evap or whatever it is Cover bent into my drive shaft and ate up the rubber boot on the shaft. Sounded like I was dragging a chain down the road.

At first I thought the noise was my rear differential gears. I ran it by Dixie 4 by 4 shop there in MOAB. Hats off to those guys! The tech took it for a spin down the road and had the noise figured out and bent the cover back over in five minutes and threw my Service ticket in the trash and said Have A Nice Day!

I think that got bent somewhere on Picture frame arch trail somehow, as I didn鈥檛 hear the noise the day of Flat Iron.

Really want to give a shout out to those guys at Dixie. Great Service I received. They were busy too! Had an expo going on, and still got me in on a whim at the last minute and fixed the issue.
 

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I am sorry your trip wasn't better.
I have been to Moab 10x in the last 15 years and cannot wait to return. We are always alone and would like to join with a group but I always chose my friends wisely.

Some peoples idea of off roading is a day on gravel roads and others are not happy unless they have done damage. There are a lot of trails there that are slightly modified rig and fun. I don't like to do damage and if my wifey is tempted to get out and walk then it is just right.

We are mountain bikers and last trip I was talking to some locals about the side by sides. In a place like Moab when you start getting new user groups the problem is one of respect. You can walk in a rent or buy a SXS that is more than capable and off you go. An old Jeeper has either learnt or been taught trail etiquette. In Moab you see a lot of damage to the desert but unknowing users.

Next time you go pick a time when it is slow there. We usually go the end of October or Early November. The trails are empty and you can stop whenever you like to check things out.

Now tell me where all did you Eat?
 

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EJS this year I didn't get to go into town and see the action, hung out in the RV at Archview Camp Ground for the safety of others as a promising to my wheeling partner and wife. Reason... Kid at home just finished chemo and is at risk.

Although, we did get to wheel with Brad and Marko of Trail Recon and did see other notables on the trail as we were on some invitational runs as guests.

All in all very glad to have made it to EJS this year and looking forward to 2022.

Getting spotted up a ledge on Top of the World running with the Hero Truck invitational run
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Hi rlEnglish

I WILL be going back, and it is very likely going to be an annual thing for my wife and I. We did have fun. That particular trail just kept me from staying away from all the Red color trails in my little trail book after that. I had to drive the Jeep back to Montana, so I needed it to be functional! The scenery was awesome, so much to see, and we left so much unseen that we just got to go back and check it out. We made it out to arches & canyon lands. Highlight of the trip was probably seeing the sunset over the Needles Overlook on the last night. Still want to go see Bryce Canyon & Zion so might stay on the other side Utah next time to be convenient for those parks but will definitely be back to Moab - just in a Jeep more prepared or with Rzr鈥檚 and a 4 wheeler.

During the week, We only ate in town twice, once at Zaks which was good - had a pork sandwich there. And the other place was pretty darn good, can鈥檛 remember the name. Looked like an old wooden barn, bar & restaurant, Served seafood on the menu - not too far from the visitors center. That place was good. Wish I remembered the name.

I suppose my idea of Moab trails from all the videos I watched, I just imagined there be more slick rock. Sort of smooth with some Options to try some fun stuff or just go around it if you didn鈥檛 think you could make it. Nope, Not flat iron Mesa. It was just A bumpy road I could find anywhere with some ledges I didn鈥檛 think I was going to make it through - but we did make it. I probably just tried the wrong trail first. Fins N Things maybe closer to what I imagined, or maybe even Hell鈥檚 Revenge.

Of course when I鈥檓 off road I don鈥檛 expect a paved road or anything - just something that鈥檚 not going to beat me death - could be my Jeep too. I did have 25psi in the tires and I do have Rough Country shocks reknowned for being a rough ride. I was just experimenting with the psi thing seeing - was going to try 20 on the next trail and go down to 15 if I still didn鈥檛 throw a bead. I was nervous about that more than anything having never aired down before. I have American Outlaw rims with Falcon tires and just have no idea what the combo can get away with in regards to psi pressure.
 

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Definitely go lower in air pressure, but not below 15-18ish. Those shocks have a reputation for being harsh as well.

You drove by me to/from Moab if you used I15!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I did use I-15 on the way down.

On the way back I went back roads to loop around Salt Lake City. Way too much traffic for me to want to go through there twice!

Saw some awesome country on those back roads. From Moab, Ended up in Colorado, Looped through Rock Springs and Dinosaur and Soda Springs until we got to Idaho Falls, then continued on the interstate again. Added a few hours, but saw more stuff to add to the bucket list needing to come back and explore!
 
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