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 Post subject: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:39 pm 
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whew, finally
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Spent the last week in Moab and then the Rubicon (some of it anyways). Yes I know that most people don't wheel solo, if it's not your style simply don't do it. The rules are no rolling, and carry enough supplies and have enough physical stamina and experience to get yourself out no matter what happens.

Got in to Moab Saturday afternoon and went up to the Gemini bridges area to run some moderate trails. Easy and uneventful. After grabbing dinner I went up La Sal Pass which is a moderate trail with no technical challenges, but it's great getting up high into the forest environment.

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Unfortunate it's the end of snow wheeling season, but still found a road at the top of La Sal pass with some untouched snow! Camped on top and got thunder stormed on at night.

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The next day I ran Hell's Revenge and Sevenmile Rim. Hell's revenge is a classic but wasn't all that scenic compared to other trails. It's also very busy even during the week. Sevenmile Rim was beautiful and my favorite trail scenically.

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Walked through Tusher Tunnel on the way out.

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Met up with some people the next day and ran Steelbender. Grabbed dinner in town and then went out for an overnight run of Poison Spider, Golden Spike, and Goldbar Rim. Poison Spider has some really fun ledges to climb and the whole set of three trails is quite enjoyable.

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Since I was in Moab, I felt an obligation to go see an arch so I went into the national park the next day and hiked up to Delicate Arch.

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I was somewhat tired of Moab trails at this point so I went to California for the Rubicon. Wasn't sure what to expect hearing everything from "oh it's easy I ran it on 29" tires on stock" to "it's really hard". Well, it sure is different from Moab. The rock is slippery (I fell down like I was on ice first time I got out on a sandy rock... in Moab I could walk up 45* rock in smooth bottom sandals). And in Moab, if you drive forward you probably won't hit something. On the Rubicon, you will certainly hit something.

I went about 6 miles in just past Buck Island Lake before reaching an obstacle that I was not willing to do without a spotter. That's ok, I had already put about 200 dents in the bottom and had just noticed that my tie rod was bent, I was about ready to be out and didn't know what lay ahead. I think I was actually more than half way through the hard section of the trail but Cadillac Hill was still ahead.

I will personally never go back to the Rubicon until I'm on bigger tires and lift. With 35's and 2.5" on a JK, you will scrape and hit everything under the Jeep like nothing else unless you spend days finding the perfect line through the entire trail. I think another 3-4 inches of body clearance would make the trail fun rather than exhausting work. How Jeep got a stock Trailhawk through unassisted is beyond my imagination. I will also never attempt the Rubicon alone again (I would Moab though!)

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Back at the trailhead my toe in was nearly half an inch so I set it back to 3/16". Over 40mph it was not driveable due to a serious steering oscillation. Called every shop within three hours and nobody had a JK tie rod of any brand so I started home at 40mph. After an hour I started trying random toe in's and found that 1/8" drove perfect all the way home on the highway.

The carnage: wrecked an aluminum engine skid, huge dent in my gas tank skid (I'm sure I lost some tank capacity), bent tie rod, muffler doesn't muffle so well anymore, and Ace Engineering tire carrier is sagging.


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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:48 pm 
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whew, finally
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:05 pm
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Location: Redmond
Vehicle: 2013 Rubicon, 2.5" & 33s
Cool trip. I'd never do it alone, but I guess if you are prepared to have your Jeep stranded and you can deal with that, more power to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:52 pm 
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Soy una gran cosa
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Location: Way up North.
Vehicle: '51 Power Wagon
Great pics and report! I think its outstanding that you drove the Jeep the whole way. That takes a lot of guts when hitting serious trails.

Did you tent camp while you were out there?

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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:10 pm 
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whew, finally
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JB wrote:
Did you tent camp while you were out there?


Yes, nothing but a tent for the week, camped either on the trail or forest service roads. Didn't put the fly on the tent the whole time and only got rained on once on La Sal Pass.

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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:14 pm 
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whew, finally
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:05 pm
Posts: 649
Location: Redmond
Vehicle: 2013 Rubicon, 2.5" & 33s
I am trying to get 1st hand knowledge of Moab trails. This is what I got from your post. Can you edit this a bit
to indicate what it would be like on 33's with 2 1/2"?

Gemini bridges area: moderate trails, wasy and uneventful

La Sal Pass: a moderate trail with no technical challenges, but gets up high into the forest environment.

Hell's Revenge: a classic but wasn't all that scenic compared to other trails. Also very busy even during the week

Sevenmile Rim: beautiful and favorite trail scenically.

Steelbender:

Overnight run: Poison Spider, Golden Spike, and Goldbar Rim. Poison Spider has some really fun
ledges to climb and the whole set of three trails is quite enjoyable.

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My 2013 Rubicon: https://sites.google.com/site/vfrkurt/jeeprubicon
Previous JK Saraha:http://ducatifriedrich.googlepages.com/08sahara
My Motorcycles:https://sites.google.com/site/vfrkurt/home


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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:37 pm 
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whew, finally
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:38 pm
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kurtfriedrich wrote:
I am trying to get 1st hand knowledge of Moab trails. This is what I got from your post. Can you edit this a bit
to indicate what it would be like on 33's with 2 1/2"?

Gemini bridges area: moderate trails, wasy and uneventful

La Sal Pass: a moderate trail with no technical challenges, but gets up high into the forest environment.

Hell's Revenge: a classic but wasn't all that scenic compared to other trails. Also very busy even during the week

Sevenmile Rim: beautiful and favorite trail scenically.

Steelbender:

Overnight run: Poison Spider, Golden Spike, and Goldbar Rim. Poison Spider has some really fun
ledges to climb and the whole set of three trails is quite enjoyable.



I have 2.5" lift with 35's. You could do all of those trails (with some bypasses of course). They are pretty much listed there in my opinion of difficulty. You will unavoidably smack the belly and rear bumper, a lot, dropping ledges but just take them slow and you shouldn't hurt anything as long as engine/transmission/exhaust crossover is skid plated. Basically all vehicle damage on this trip was done on the 12 miles on the Rubicon (which would merely be one inch more miserable on 33's). Aired down with lockers, all those trails are really pretty easy in Moab as long as you're willing to scrape up the bottom a bit.

I would suggest anyone going to Moab preemptively cut off your exhaust pipe to be much shorter. I crimped mine nearly closed and had to cut off a few inches and it's already starting to close up again from more hits.


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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:26 pm 
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whew, finally

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 682
Location: covington.... again
Vehicle: '09 2dr JK
Nice report. :thumbsup: Based on your description of the Rubicon, it really makes me want to go there even more.


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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:07 pm 
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drinks are on me!
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Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:09 am
Posts: 89
Location: WA
Vehicle: 2015 JKU Rubicon, Tank color
Nice. I have done Moab a lot (used to live in Colorado), but haven't done Rubicon yet. I too wheel alone mostly. I like going with groups, but have a hard time making it work out with my schedule.


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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:55 am 
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Im not a player, I just post alot.

Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 10:44 am
Posts: 1143
Location: here in the now
Vehicle: What's left of a 98 TJ
I know it's not reccomended, but my two most favorite trips are when the wife and I went to Moab in 2000. We did the con solo in 2007.

Both trips were an absolute adventure. Sometimes the best trips are when you can go and set your own schedule and don't have to worry about anyone but yourself. :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Moab + Rubicon Trail
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:35 pm 
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whew, finally
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:08 am
Posts: 522
Badass trip dude!! The Rubicon is amazing...I had my doubts but once we did it was incredible :cheers:


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