What stopped my hardside on Elephant Hill

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
I'm still assembling pix of our whirlwind trip that included parts of Canyonlands N.P. including a fast trip over the White Rim Trail and an aborted attempt at Elephant Hill. Details will be in the T.R. but here is the defining reason to have a popup on the Elephant: the RF wheel of the truck was 2 inches from the absolute edge. Yes, the exhaust vent for the stove top took it in the shorts. I'm estimating the height max is 8 feet, 2 inches at this point with an 86 inch wide camper box. I'm 10 feet 4 inches too tall. The second pic is bro John grinding his way up Murphy's Hogback: There was drama at several locations with our truck campers. Ah, smelling the ozone once again.
jefe
 

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Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
I learned that there is no substitute for being there to see how close to the edge it truly is, no matter how many youtube vids you watch. My first go round with Elephant Hill was in June 1971. That kid in the middle just turned 50. It was my 3rd time over the White Rim Trail.512727
 

tmacc

New member
That is awesome! Love the vintage photo. So, do you have to do Elephant Hill if you're doing the White Rim Trail?
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Elephant Hill is the tough ingress (also called the GateKeeper) to the Needles District of Canyonlands south of the river. It is 4WD only and has some back up sections and lots of steep rock crawling with one section only 93 inches wide. We were supposed to enter the area by dropping down Bobby's Hole in the very south end, but the mud and deep snow getting there scuttled our plans. The White Rim Trail is north of the River; about 100 miles of 2-track or rock crawling on an ancient ossified sand dune plate. It is so popular that you need to get a reservation a year in advance for the more popular times as the N.P. Service is trying to keep ingress very restricted. I have been blest to be able to be on the White Rim for the 3rd time. Murphy's Hogback is a tall abrupt mesa about half way on the W.Rim that has a very steep road approaching each side. It does have the pucker factor in a 10K pound truck camper.
The mud was so bad, we slid right into the ditch a couple times with the True Tracs acting like spools. It's the only time I've ever had to layup and let the mud dry enough to continue. Mud tire? not.
 

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Desert Dan

Explorer
At least you didn't damage the camper siding too bad or break out the window and frame. That UT mud can be pretty slick on the White Rim trail. We had chains on the rear tires and the front slid over toward the edge. I was able to back down and waited for the mud to dry out a bit. After an hour the mud was tacky but not slick and we drove up the hogback with no problem.
 

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Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Desert Dan, good to see you again. I"m the one with the '49 Willys as my 1st 4WD. And you used to work for AutoClubofSo.Cal.
The mud was so waterlogged it took about 8 hours for it to dry enough to keep from sliding off the road on our way to Beef Basin. We never got there. Too much snow. 1st pic is our first time on the WRT in June, 1970 with our 1966 FJ-40 with factory PTO winch. The second is a young me with that Willys Overland (with chains) at Big Bear Lake in wintertime 1965.
 

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Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Alex, good to hear from you. Yes, we did the whole thing. We came to town expecting to just come in the backway into the needles district through Beef Basin. On a whim, Bro John's book on the White Rim said it was possible to show up at Ranger Headquarters to see if anyone had cancelled, last minute. We walked right up to the desk and asked if anyone had bailed. "Yes, i received a 2-rig cancellation for Taylor Canyon for tomorrow. Would you like to take it?" Hmm? Within seconds, the Ranger then said, "Wait a minute (looking at his computer), someone just bailed on Murphy's Hogback for tonight. Would you like to take it and add Taylor Canyon for tomorrow?" Would we!? We paid our $30 for two nights for two rigs and quickly back tracked to the dirt road leading to the Shaefer Trail switchbacks and aired down all fours, then headed down the breathtaking switchbacks to the trailhead. The pix below start out fairly benign, but trust me, the plot thickens. You can barely make out the white speck that is Bro John's Ford/Outfitter. jefe

 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
The White Rim Trail is north of the River; about 100 miles of 2-track or rock crawling on an ancient ossified sand dune plate. It is so popular that you need to get a reservation a year in advance
Canyonlands backcountry permits become available on a 4-month rolling opening. You can't reserve one a year in advance. For very popular times you have to wake up at midnight 4 months ahead of when you want to run the WRT and reserve your permit. If you're a gambler and flexible on specifics you can sometimes get last minute cancellations, though.
 

BritKLR

Explorer
Utah mud = slipperiest in the world!

Just last month we were out exploring two tracks out around Goblin State Park. We found a beautiful camp spot over looking a dry creek bed and Valley. It rained all night, by morning the dry creek bed was a raging river and the dusty two track was a muddying, slippery mess. Normally I hate tearing up muddy trails, but I didn't want to sit there with an ever increasing creek and rain. A 4 ton camper on BFG AT's is not what you'd normally want as your mud buggy. The two track was about three miles long but it was the longest three miles.....
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Paul, this is what a couple of Rising Sun friends found poking around Monday-Tuesday prior to Cruise Moab (also Beef Basin as a matter of fact). Good old fashioned Utah goo. Heavy, light, doesn't matter because short of perhaps implement tires you end up with slicks anyway.

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Desert Dan

Explorer
Desert Dan, good to see you again. I"m the one with the '49 Willys as my 1st 4WD. And you used to work for AutoClubofSo.Cal.
The mud was so waterlogged it took about 8 hours for it to dry enough to keep from sliding off the road on our way to Beef Basin. We never got there. Too much snow. 1st pic is our first time on the WRT in June, 1970 with our 1966 FJ-40 with factory PTO winch. The second is a young me with that Willys Overland (with chains) at Big Bear Lake in wintertime 1965.
Good times and great vehicles :)
 

BritKLR

Explorer
I only got the "before" photo....I was too busy white knuckling the Tiger outta there to get any "after" photos! It was a gorgeous sunset before the rain. Just down the highway and off the road about 500 meters was a 30 foot Class C towing a Jeep completely buried to the rear axle being winched out by some Recovery company out to Green River....can't imagine what that tow bill was!

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