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Road (and a long ways from the road) trip - Southern UT


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15 replies to this topic

#1 outback_97

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 02:51 PM

Hey USMB, I put together a little writeup of our Memorial Day weekend trip to Southern UT. I have posted a couple of these photos in the Offroad forum where relevant but the trip itself was more about backpacking and driving scenic roads than any offroading just for the sake of offroading, so I'm posting this here.

We spent three days backpacking in Coyote Gulch, which is a superb canyon in the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument. This part of the US is one of the most remote and was one of the last to be mapped in the lower 48 states. Thankfully much of it hasn't been changed in recorded history, although Lake Powell would be a glaring exception to that :rolleyes:

Anyway, our lil' Outback wagon was the perfect vehicle for this trip. It handles great on the fun twisty roads, cruises the Interstate smoothly, and has enough rough-road prowess to deliver us to the trailhead and have fun doing it. All this while slurping less fuel than most any SUV that could have accomplished this trip. We drove several hundred miles and enjoyed every bit of it.

Here's a photo from the lovely Hwy 12, below you'll find a link to the writeup.

Posted Image

http://users.sisna.c...e_gulch/cg.html

Thanks for checking it out! The USMB rocks :headbang:

Steve

#2 SoobSkier

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 03:30 PM

wow, great pics!

thanks for posting.

#3 Sweet82

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 03:33 PM

Inspirational!
Got to put that on my list...:rolleyes:
Great Pics!

Glenn,
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#4 landozion

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 07:51 PM

Shhhh!!! Your talking about my favorite stompin grounds, dont need any other folks down there. :D

#5 outback_97

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 10:42 AM

Thanks, glad you like the photos, we had a great time!

landozion: I know you're (partly) kidding... but this area was "discovered" long before my post. Is that a bad thing? Yes and no. Visitation there may already be exceeding the capacity of the canyon to handle us humans. We saw evidence of other visitors that need to improve their low impact camping skills... e.g. scraps of toilet paper not packed out, etc. No question that places can be loved to death. But, how are people going to be passionate about protecting an area if they have never visited it? It's amazing to read about the "near misses" and projects that have been seriously considered in this area that would have completely changed or ruined it. It's a tough balance between many people fighting for what the "best use" of our land is. I think the pendulum has been swinging in the wrong direction lately in our Western states. But hiding the beauty of these areas probably won't help correct that. I think we need to get more people to see what's out there that's worth protecting. By the way, to anyone reading this, the snow in Utah is terrible, the lift lines are tremendously long and slow moving, and Colorado is a much better place to ski ;)

Steve

#6 schlit

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 11:23 AM

Thanks, glad you like the photos, we had a great time!

landozion: I know you're (partly) kidding... but this area was "discovered" long before my post. Is that a bad thing? Yes and no. Visitation there may already be exceeding the capacity of the canyon to handle us humans. We saw evidence of other visitors that need to improve their low impact camping skills... e.g. scraps of toilet paper not packed out, etc. No question that places can be loved to death. But, how are people going to be passionate about protecting an area if they have never visited it? It's amazing to read about the "near misses" and projects that have been seriously considered in this area that would have completely changed or ruined it. It's a tough balance between many people fighting for what the "best use" of our land is. I think the pendulum has been swinging in the wrong direction lately in our Western states. But hiding the beauty of these areas probably won't help correct that. I think we need to get more people to see what's out there that's worth protecting. By the way, to anyone reading this, the snow in Utah is terrible, the lift lines are tremendously long and slow moving, and Colorado is a much better place to ski ;)

Steve


Thats cool. I just did a trip through there two weeks ago, up through monument valley too. Beautiful scenery. Amazing how hot it gets in May, cant imagine July or August.

Didnt trust the forester for a 4000 mile trip, so we took the Honda.

#7 SQ93

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 11:26 AM

Steve,

Thanks for the wonderful phototravel essay! I too have visited Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion NPs a few times now and was not familiar with Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument. Next time I visit that part of the world, it will have to be on my list. Once again, thank you very much! By the way, is AWD needed for the trip on those back roads or would a FWD Legacy be up to the task? -Charles, SQ93

[quote name='outback_97']Hey USMB, I put together a little writeup of our Memorial Day weekend trip to Southern UT. I have posted a couple of these photos in the Offroad forum where relevant but the trip itself was more about backpacking and driving scenic roads than any offroading just for the sake of offroading, so I'm posting this here.

#8 fnlyfnd

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 11:31 AM

By the way, to anyone reading this, the snow in Utah is terrible, the lift lines are tremendously long and slow moving, and Colorado is a much better place to ski ;)


Thats funny. There was a post a few months back "Colorado sucks, tell everyone you know."

Nice pics btw. Wish there was stuff like that round here.

#9 SoobSkier

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 12:14 PM

How do you know when its spring in Moab?




All of the license plates turn green!

#10 outback_97

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 02:53 PM

schlit: Monument Valley, eh? :brow: Did you drive the loop road through the valley? Beautiful!

Posted Image

http://users.sisna.c..._valley/mv.html

The Monument Valley trip was in November, I remember saying when we were there that the summer would be miserably hot. We lucked out on the weather for our backpacking trip to Coyote. 70's for highs. Subies love road trips, your poor Forester was probably jealous of the Honda when you returned.

SQ93: Most any 2wd vehicle could do all but the last couple of miles of that trip. And there's another trailhead one could park at, it just means a couple mile hike in the deep sand of the road, which isn't tons of fun. Or, waiting for a ride from someone, which is unlikely and could be a very long wait. Some people have driven that road with a 2wd vehicle... I've seen them at the trailhead. But I wouldn't recommend it or do it myself.

If you go, you should know... this is a very different experience from a National Park. Expect no services, no food, no water, no fuel, no cell phone, no assistance or intervention from people in uniforms and Smokey the Bear hats. No paved roads once you leave the highway. No toilets for the most part... there is one in the section of canyon we camped in, maybe a 90 minute walk from our campsite (one way). It's the most scenic toilet I've ever had the pleasure of using though... no stall or walls, just 360* view of the big world. One must be pretty self sufficient here. It's great :D


:lol: at fnlyfnd and SoobSkier, that's funny!

Steve

#11 Olnick

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 03:52 PM

:lol: at fnlyfnd and SoobSkier, that's funny!


Yeah, they cracked me up too!

Steve--thanks to you and Meika for sharing. Fantastic pics, fantastic country.

#12 schlit

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 05:05 PM

Yes, I'd drive that whole area again in a heartbeat. Make sure you dont go below half tank of gas though...the stations are very far and few between! Ever see the movie Forrest Gump? This is that famous view of monument valley.

Posted Image

#13 Martinjmpr

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 08:15 PM

Hey USMB, I put together a little writeup of our Memorial Day weekend trip to Southern UT.


Awesome pics, Steve. And I just have to say again how great your OBW looks with that lift.

I went 4-wheeling in the Red Rock area of Utah East of Hole in the Rock back in 1999 when I still had an SUV (Mitsubishi Montero.) It was on that trip that I realized I was not a hardcore 4-wheeler. The guys I was with thought that bashing a fender or breaking a strut were just fun parts of the day, but since my Montero was my daily driver (and my only means of getting back to Denver, 500 miles away) I couldn't be so casual about the whole thing. I then realized I was more of a "soft-roader" than an "off-roader."

This weekend I'm taking my first real "off road" trip on my Outback, going camping with the girlfriend, her son and his girlfriend. I'll be interested in seeing how the OBW does on the rough forest-service roads in Colorado. Who knows, a lift like yours might be in my future if I decide I need it.

Again, great pics, seems like a great trip.

#14 outback_97

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 10:03 AM

Martin:

Thanks, yes it was a great trip. Vehicles bend easier than slickrock, that's for sure! It's not a forgiving place. I'm with you, not too interested in thrashing a vehicle when I'm hundreds of miles from home and it's my daily driver I rely on to get to work. That being said, it is pretty cool to have a car that can go where most cars fear to tread. And I have nothing negative to report about the spring install, it has been great so far. A little more peace of mind on the rough roads and still maintains great handling. Have a great camping trip, sounds like fun!

Steve

edit: woo-hoo, 500th post!

#15 Martinjmpr

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 11:26 AM

Martin:

Thanks, yes it was a great trip. Vehicles bend easier than slickrock, that's for sure! It's not a forgiving place. I'm with you, not too interested in thrashing a vehicle when I'm hundreds of miles from home and it's my daily driver I rely on to get to work. That being said, it is pretty cool to have a car that can go where most cars fear to tread. And I have nothing negative to report about the spring install, it has been great so far. A little more peace of mind on the rough roads and still maintains great handling. Have a great camping trip, sounds like fun!

Steve

edit: woo-hoo, 500th post!


Steve,

Can't remember if I asked this before, but did your lift have any effect on mileage? I thought maybe putting the vehicel 2" higher in the air might increase wind drag a bit. Not a big deal but I'm very stingy with my gas money (which is one reason I drive a Subaru!) and I'm not interested in lowering my MPG.

#16 outback_97

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 12:34 PM

I don't believe the springs have a negative effect on MPG around town, not that I've noticed anyway. They may at higher speeds, but I doubt it's more than say -2 MPG. Given my low highway travel miles, in a year that's probably $30 in higher fuel costs. My AT tires probably affect it more... but they're bigger than stock so you have to adjust it back up... due for new plugs and wires so it might bump up a bit when those get put in... argh too many variables. For where it can go and what it costs, my car gets pretty good mileage relative to what else is available.

If it costs me an extra few bucks a month in fuel to have beefier tires and suspension I'm willing to deal with that.

Steve




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