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4x4 Trip to Canyonlands Beginning of June 2022 - anyone want to join?

Discussion in 'Meet Up' started by Jon Adams, Jan 27, 2022.

  1. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    Hi all -

    I have reserved 1 night at Maze Overlook 1 and 2 nights at Dollhouse 3 starting 03JUN. There were no more nights available. I keep checking back to see if other nights have opened up.

    I so far am intending to drive in via the Hite Rd/Flint Trail, as would very much not prefer to go via Hans Flat Ranger Station since that means descending the Golden Staircase, and that's just brutal.

    I will be in the Island In the Sky unit before getting over to the Maze/Orange Cliffs unit, so I'll get the permit (this is so stupidly old school) in Moab.

    My plans involve little right now other than just driving about and doing some day hikes, maybe go down to Spanish Bottom or similar. Oh, and eat beenie weenies and drink a beer or two, and watch meteors streak across the night sky.

    If someone would like to join, I'm cool with that. If they'd like to add some intensity to the trip, like some interesting canyons out that way, this could be a great opportunity.

    Cheers - Jon
  2. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    Have updated the trip itinerary to be

    03JUN Maze Overlook 1
    04-05JUN Dollhouse 3
    06JUN Teapot Rock

    I'll try to move the Teapot Rock one back to 02JUN, but there's no availability right now.

    Up to nine people and two other vehicles can be on this permit.

    Cheers - Jon
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
  3. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    Discovered that according to the rules, I cannot change the entry date of a reservation. Sounds kinda dumb, but whatever. So I purchased a second permit to extend my trip one day earlier.

    Revised dates:
    02JUN Teapot Rock
    03JUN Maze Overlook 1
    04-05JUN Dollhouse 3
    06JUN Teapot Rock

    Again, up to seven other people and two other vehicles can be on this permit.

    Cheers - Jon
  4. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    Hans Flat entry road / Golden Staircase isn't that bad. Taken stock 4runners through there
  5. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I think there is some confusion. The Golden Staircase is a foot trail. I assume you mean the Flint Trail. That's the road that comes from Hans Flat.

    Anyway the Flint Trail is a lot less rough than the part of the road between Teapot Rock and Dollhouse. That's the rough part.

    Anyway good luck. Personally June is too hot for me in that area, but it's a nice area.
    2065toyota likes this.
  6. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    That is correct, I got the names mixed up.

    The road is slow and a little rough, but in my opinion a lot less difficult than the interwebs make it out to be
  7. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    My bad on the Golden Staircase as well. I've driven up and down the Flint Trail a couple times. It's easier going up than it is coming down. Golden Staircase is such a cool phrase/description, tho... Right up there with Golden Showers, I suppose.

    The road between Teapot and Dollhouse is brutal, to be sure. The suburban was dinged up on all 4 corners due to that one :rolleyes2: I just ran the stereo really loud and that helped dull the sound of metal bending!

    So, it's been a while (and two vehicles) since I was in the Maze country, what's the recommendation? I figure to fuel up at Hanksville, I've got 26 gal in the fuel tank and will carry two 5-gal reserve cans. On the road, I get 17-21 mpg. It just seems that driving south on Utah 95 to Hite road, then up that into the park and Teapot, is less brutal and uses less fuel than driving north on 24 and then into the park via Hans Flat.

    What's the advice from y'all?

    Cheers - Jon
  8. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    You can get gas at Hite. And FYI there is only one tow truck driver that will come into the Maze past the Teapot. Chris @ Nation's Towing out of Moab. 435.259.6900
    Jon Adams likes this.
  9. Ram

    Ram

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    Sounds like there is a story there......Do tell....ifin ya wanna
    Jon Adams, Yellow Dart and geo like this.
  10. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    Sure.
    The Maze - Nov 2020. We (3 of us) were joining a group of friends camping at Standing Rock, Chimney Rock & the Doll House. This was part of fall travels to Canyonlands & the Grand Canyon. At the last minute a couple of folks with real 4wd vehicles dropped out so I decided it would work for me to take my Tundra with popup camper in. I did the usual lame research by watching Youtube vids of the Teapot section. Since the truck has high clearance & beefed up suspension figured no big deal. Getting in was - well let's say my passengers walked a fair bit of it.

    Great week and all went well until the morning of the drive out. Driver error was the theme of the day. Coming up a hill just before the Teapot section - 40 miles in from Hwy. 95 - I started to stall so hit the gas. When the truck reached the top - flat ground - all four wheels came off the ground, which wasn't a big deal until it landed with the rear wheels still spinning. Four thousand pounds of truck put a lot of force on the rear end and it didn't go well. I managed to get off the road & we each grabbed a day pack with needed items & jumped into other trucks heading to Hanksville where I figured I'd get a tow truck. They didn't even bother to return my calls. At this point I was envisioning a helicopter retrieval which I was pretty sure my insurance wasn't going to cover.

    Next up was heading to Kanab where everyone was then going into the Grand Canyon & we had a second car parked. Of course, to add to the insult, we hit a major snowstorm over Boulder Mountain. Bill Church managed to safely drive through two complete white outs. At the time, my friend Eran was a ranger at Hans Flat so I called her to see if she had any ideas. Eran wasn't at the station - she was on the San Juan River - with cell service. She told me about Chris in Moab. I called him on a Saturday. He asked me to send him the waypoint & he'd go in & get it on Sunday. Quite relieved, we head back to Moab, grab a motel & wait. No call on Sunday evening. Monday evening Chris calls. Definitely a blown rear end, but he didn't realize the truck was on the far side of the Teapot section & it can't really be towed out. Not so relieved... Chris: What year is it? 2004. Will a 2002 fit because I happen to have a wrecked one in the yard. Yes, the first gen is all the same - well, except maybe the gear ratio.

    I meet Chris in Moab & he has his beater tow truck - 60's Chevy - cracked windshield, clearly needs a new muffler, & not a seat belt in sight. Off we go to see if we can swap out the gears before dark. Traded a few life stories on the way. He has managed to bring everything he needs to change the differential in the middle of nowhere. It all goes well, finishing just at dark & then the question is will I have 4wd to get out. It works! This time it's compound low & slow as can be. He graciously waits for me to clear the Teapot and I make it back to Moab about 1 am.

    The next morning as I leave the motel, I notice that I apparently took out a tree on the way out as the passenger rear panel is a bit crumpled along with the bumper. When I get back to his shop the next day he waves the time he first spent going out & only charges me for the one trip & the low range for the parts. Plus he gets some of it on my AAA card. He told me he can only tow out short wheelbase vehicles. All others he has managed to repair in the field. So far - no helicopters.

    End of story is that my insurance ended up covering the seven grand & the 2002 rear end is still humming along. Probably not going back to the Maze unless it's by boat...

    IMG_0281.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
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  11. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    Ok. that's an awesome tale. And sounds like Chris is one of the solids that are nearly extinct.

    thanks!

    p.s. I too thought about helicopter retrievals, way back in the 90s... Figured it would be epic, just like buying a house...
  12. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    I'd completely forgotten about Hite. Thanks for that!
    Cheers - Jon
  13. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    Still have room

    Three total so far. Only one vehicle so far. Plenty of space. Don’t need to be there the whole time! Think of that frickin’ deep-blue firmament


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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  14. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    Survived the trip into the Dollhouse. Truck has new loose bits of plastic (front and rear bumper moldings), but no otherwise bad events. Met some great people out there. Everyone (maybe including my fellow traveler) was amazed that the Tahoe had made it through that nasty bit on the Standing Rock road immediately north of Teapot campground.

    Do not remember it being quite so heinous, both directions had their own traps…

    The gas station at Hite is closed until a new concessionaire can be found. There is plenty of potable water, so we made sure our 30 gal of water storage cans were all topped off. Fortunately for us, I’d filled at Mexican Hat and had 10 gal in two jerry cans, so there’s that. The ~113 mi from MH to Teapot Rock camp consumed 9.9999… gal so was able to top off the tank, remove the cargo rack, and ditch it behind some shrubberies at Teapot for retrieval on return.

    Got my calendar all mixed up mentally! First night was at Teapot, per the issued permit. All good. Second night was supposed to be at Maze Overlook, but for some bizarre reason I thot it was supposed to be Dollhouse. the party who was supposed to be at Dollhouse 3 arrived while we were on a unsatisfactory hike via the Confluence Overlook to not the Confluence overlook but instead another view of the Colorado river. As it was past 1700, determined it was better to abandon the quest for a real view of the Confluence and get back to camp before sunset.

    A half mile before getting to the campsite, could see that vehicles had overridden our boot prints in the soft sand surface of the Jeep trail. Upon closer inspection there were at least two different treads. And then we could see people up on the rocks around the campsite. Giant mea culpa as I then realized my mistake

    At the final approach to the campsite I started shouting “my fault” “my bad” and presenting a variety of non-threatening behaviors. Turned out that these folks were awesome, and said we could stay if we wanted to. Of course, we were fully prepared to bail out and take the punishment. All we had to do to stay was move our vehicle to a slightly different spot at the CG. That I could do!

    More perhaps later, but we ended up staying only the two first nights of the six-night reservation. Temps were fine at Teapot but the Dollhouse was uncomfortably warm at night. Summer had just arrived at Canyonlands.

    So, we drove up the Flint Trail to Hans Flat RS. I now realize that I'd never been on that route. In the past, I'd turned off at the road to the Maze Overlook! Chatted with Rob at the RS - nice guy, knowledgeable, a former petroleum geologist in his next career. Temps very nice up at 6500'. Still, we wanted higher elevations. Drove out to Utah 24, then down to Hanksville where we got fuel for the truck and dinner for us. Duke's Slickrock Grill isn't bad.

    That night we stayed at Lonesome Beaver CG, at about 7-8 k feet. Sound of the running creek was quite nice. Got really chilly, maybe into the low 40s / high 30s with some wind. Was worth it. Nice campground! Only 5 spaces tho, so it was luck we got a spot.

    Next day drove up to Bull Creek pass. Parked and summited Mt Ellen (I just did the high point, my buddy also did the named "Mt Ellen", which is slightly lower and about 1/2 mi north of the high point. Chilly, winds generally not too strong.

    Continued west on Bull Creek Rd. Came across a chevy passenger car SUV that was driven by two mountain bikers. The car had a flat on the rear left. They'd been trying to crack the lug nuts loose for quite some time. Jeez, they were tight. I got out the electric torque wrench and let it hammer on the nuts for a while. No go. Then my buddy used the factory gadget that passes for a tire wrench, stood on it a couple times, and finally one nut turned maybe 10 deg. So applied the torque wrench again, busted the nuts loose. Note to all - always make sure that your tire installer person hand-tightens the lug nuts...

    Next we discovered that their spare was like 5" smaller in diameter. It was so small that the car was barely above the ground on the rear left. It'd be funny if they weren't 40 miles from the nearest repair place, and it was a Sunday. Yeesh. Then it came out that the car was one of the guys' wife's, and neither of them had much knowledge of what to do when things went wrong. Please don't be like them!
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
  15. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Of note, temperatures were cooler than average when you were there.
  16. Jon Adams

    Jon Adams CanyonSlacker

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    and
    And yet, 3 weeks earlier, in Capitol Reef, we were in sub-freezing temps (at night) and 25 kt winds. Did Wives 3 and many others. Good thing the winds were out of the west, most the canyons provided a wee bit of shelter!
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