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Lockhart Basin & Moab Trails, Sept. 2012 Pictures & Trip Report

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This was an epic trip, although I'm glad to be home. As I sort through the pictures I can't wait to get going on the trip report! Thanks everybody who came out to make this such a fun time. This picture was taken at the end of our trail ride to Kane Creek Canyon, at the Hole in the Rock gift shop south of Moab:





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gearhead on Fins & Things



scott - poison spider



gooney bird












gearhead near Hurrah Pass



trail bosses



lockhart basin



$6995 scrambler, ouch


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Nice pics... Thanx for sharing...

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Days 1 & 2 - Lockhart Basin Trail (Monticello to Moab)




Offroad Passport members stockjeep, gearhead, ChrisD, Maddogjeeper, dzJeepchic & Number7 met in Monticello on Saturday afternoon, and camped at Dalton Springs in the mountains nearby where the fall colors were already showing. Sunday morning we embarked upon the first leg of our trip - the Lockhart Basin Trail.





Going down the mountain Maddogjeeper said he was having a hard time slowing his rig & trailer, so he decided to drive to Moab, buy & install brake pads, and then meet us along the trail later in the day.




We drove westerly on Hwy. 211 past Newspaper Rock to the 2nd 'Lockhart' Road where a kiosk is located and aired down there. The trailhead to Lockhart Basin is close to the Needles District of Canyonlands entrance.






As we started along the trail we drove past Hamburger Rock; a popular camping area shown in the center of this picture. From a distance it appeared that people had set up their tents inside those divots in the rock, and thus out of sight and out of the wind:




The trail came to a dry water-crossing and then began to climb up onto a plateau.




Further down the trail we passed under the Needles Overlook, which is accessible by car, shown way up top in this picture:




We stopped for a little break and we could see the roof of a kiosk or Ramada up there, and a railing along the edge:






Off in the distance we could see rock formations characteristic of the Needles District:




We took a side trip down Lockhart Canyon to the Colorado River:




This trail was a little more interesting with some wash crossings and turns here and there:




And an old automotive relic:




It was hot in the sun and there really weren't any trees along the way, so we ate lunch up against a rock which provided some shade:




After lunch we continued down the trail which dropped down into the canyon before we came to the boundary of the Canyonlands and went through a gate.






Soon we reached the end of the trail at the Colorado River, where we got out and walked around. None of the paths went all the way down to the water because the riversides are overgrown with Tamarisk trees. We hiked on some rocks along the edge and got a pretty good view up and down the river. As I was looking for a good vantage point I suddenly heard other human voices, which was pretty weird out here in the middle of nowhere! Can you see the yellow canoe or kayak in this picture?




Backtracking in Lockhart Canyon on the way back to the main trail we ran into (almost literally) Maddogjeeper; new brake pads installed and ready for adventure. So off we went to find the remains of a 1950s plane crash. We'd marked the spot where the crash is located on our GPS unit, drove as close as we could to it and some of the group walked the rest of the way; maybe a quarter mile, cross country.







By now the sky was turning cloudy and the winds were picking up, so we headed for higher ground in search of a sheltered place to camp.




An hour or so later we found a spot along the main trail against the mountains and hopefully out of the wind!










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It rained overnight; a nice gentle steady sprinkle. So it was a little wet in the morning, but the sun was out and the sky was blue and the dust was down. Leaving camp George (naturally) had do drive up the little rock-crawl we'd been using as a stairway to visit the boys up top the evening before. Our 2 tiered camp:






The scenery was spectacular as the trail made a bend following the base of Hatch Point:




From camp the evening before we had seen something shiny over in the direction we were now headed. So George was keeping a look out for whatever we might find, when he suddenly stopped here:




He hiked out looking for the object seen from camp, and came back proudly brandishing a skull:




And then just around the bend we came upon the shiny thing, which turned out to be a shot-up camouflage painted travel trailer:




In this scenic location:




Then we continued on the trail which began to get a little more moderate due to occasional washouts, dry water-crossings and rocks as it skirts Hatch Point. The scenery along this portion was absolutely spectacular:








Lunch was again under a rock that provided shade:




The best Monday Lunch EVER - with this as a view:




And the scenery all the rest of the day on the drive out just kept getting better!






And the trail became a little more technical:







And it might not look like much, but this spot was particularly pucker-factor!




From there the trail took us on a very long ride across Chicken Corners and Harrah Pass trails, and lead out onto plains near the Colorado River where we stopped for a groupshot:




Dead tired and anxious to get to our campground for the night, we aired up a little and headed into Moab, where the power was out, seemingly all over town! The stoplights were blinking red, the gas pumps didn't work, it was mass confusion at City Market (which was dimly lit and super crowded), and the State Liquor Store was closed! :eek: (Note to self: when packing for trip to Utah, bring extra booze). We finally all got settled in for the evening and hit the sack early in anticipation of running the Trifecta Tuesday morning.






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excellent so far , keep it coming. We will be there next week at this time and I can't wait.

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Looks like fun!


By the time I get my Heep put together, everyone will be tired of going to MOAB and Colorado. :(


Nope - one never gets tired of the beauty of this area....Get'er done and holler if you want some help! It will be good to have you back on the trails!!

smiles, ladybug

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Really cool pics! Glad you all had such good fun and all are safe!

smiles, ladybug

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I've wanted to do Lockhart Basin for quite a few years now, and even attempted it once in my son's sandrail, from the north end down to the needles district. But on that rough section the sidewall of the BFG all terrain tire blew out. So without a spare we had to limp back home. After I get my xj fixed up a little more and feel I can depend on it, I will make the attempt again, but possibly run it from south to north like you did. Thanks for the trip report. Bob Also very nice pictures!

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Day 3 - The Trifecta (Poison Spider Mesa, Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim)


ScottL was at the campground when we got there Monday night, and ready to run the trifecta with us on Tuesday. Here's everyone at the driver's meeting, raring to go:




The first couple switchbacks up to the Mesa were pretty ruffled up since the last time we were there!




It was funny; this group of motorcycles just had to get around us, and as they were passing us one guy totally biffed it on the rocks. He didn't look as experienced as the other riders, all the way down to the purple helmet and star-spangled purple riding pants! :eek:




Ah, the picturesque Poison Spider Mesa! I love it up there!




Here's ChrisD on 'The Wedge'. As he approached the obstacle, he asked me & Randy if he should take the by-pass, because he said "I've never done such a thing". So we waved George down to spot him, and he wheeled through like a pro!




Poison Spider Mesa has been my favorite trail in Moab ever since we ran it the first time last year. I like it because the obstacles are fun and interesting, there's nothing life-threatening, and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Little did I know, the 'Trifecta', which includes Poison Spider Mesa, Golden Spike and Gold Bar Rim trails was soon to be come my NEW favorite trail in Moab for those same reasons exponentially!






After a quick break where Golden Spike takes off from Poison Spider Mesa, we came to the first obstacle listed in the trail book, the 'Launching Pad'; a steep drop off followed by a very steep climb with a little lip at the top. It gives you the feeling that you're tipping back just as you crest the slope.


Then we came to 'Skyline Drive', an optional, super tall rock you drive up, curve back, and drive down the far side, kind of in a loop:




Next we dropped down into a narrow canyon with wind holes blown through the sandstone walls on the sides, and wound our way to the next obstacle in the trail book, 'Zuki Hill', shown here from a distance:




Zuki Hill posed more of a challenge than it would appear, because your tires are wet when you reach that slick rock portion where the step is located.










After leaving Zuki Hill we proceeded across more ridiculously spectacular scenery, and across a few ledges and narrow shelves.












We stopped at a lookout for lunch, overlooking the hazardous waste clean-up at the intersection of Hwy. 191 & Potash Road 279:






George and I called this the Tiki God Rock:




After lunch we came to a series of steps and difficult route-finding just as it began to rain:




I gotta hand it to gearhead; as George was driving Clifford down the steps with Randy spotting him, I was at a loss as to the line they'd figured out, so I asked him if he could spot Scotty & Wayne, and he just jumped in and got to work. Way to go Gear!


















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