Rising Sun Member Forums  

Go Back   Rising Sun Member Forums > Toyota 4x4 > Trip and Event Reports

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 10-25-2012, 07:31 PM
FJCDan FJCDan is offline
Rising Sun Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: West Denver
Posts: 313
Default

Very nice report Dan, I know that feeling about doing solo trips. Great pics
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-25-2012, 10:52 PM
MountainGoat's Avatar
MountainGoat MountainGoat is offline
Club Treasurer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 1,104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacket View Post
Damn. I think you found the future spot for a pre-Moab gathering. Nice!
It would be an awesome spot to gather. Sometimes the Dolores crossing can be a bit dicey in the spring though.

On with the report:

Thursday 10/18/12 Day 3 – Grand Junction to Moab via Granite Creek, Sheep Creek, Gateway, John Brown Canyon and Castle Valley. The route looks like this:



Headed back out DS Road from GJ into the Triangle. Another beautiful sunny day was on tap and I made good time. Took a few landscape shots on the way:







Before long I was at the intersection of County Road 109 & 350. Right goes to Granite Creek/Steamboat Mesa and left goes back to GJ via Pinion Mesa up the east side of the Triangle (a route I would explore tomorrow).




The road headed southwest towards the La Sal Mountains:


Then it turned southeast toward Gateway:


There is a fork here. If you take the right you go to an old ford on the Dolores which is now closed.


The left fork goes down to the Granite Creek crossing which was dry.




Continuing southeast I passed Steamboat Mesa (on the left) and climbed onto the plateau at the far left.


There were more pinion trees and less desert as I climbed toward the top of Sheep Creek.






When I hit the state line the road became a trail and I went into low range.


It was tight and rockier. Lots of pinions and junipers got friendly with my Cruiser.


When I stopped for lunch I found pinion seeds on my seat.


Shortly after lunch I crested the top and got my first look toward Gateway and the Dolores River far below.


I dropped onto a steep downhill with a switchback at the end, thinking I was at the legendary Sheep Creek switchbacks. Then the trail promptly flattened out and I came to this old cabin.






A little further on I came to the real switchbacks. You can see 7 of them from this spot.




Honestly I was a little worried because the only tracks I’d seen since the trail got tougher were ATV, motorcycle and bicycle tracks. Not exactly confidence inspiring, especially on a solo run! I was checking it out on Google Earth and the trail drops 2000 feet in 1.3 linear miles. It is steep and narrow with a couple of multi point hairpins. I made it through fine though. Once I made it off the scary part and wiped my shorts I got some shots of the cool rock formations and views.












Finally got down to the Dolores and headed a few miles down a dirt road to Gateway.


After making check in calls to my safety net peeps I proceeded up John Brown Canyon toward Moab. It was beautiful but I took no pics so I guess you will have to go see it yourself. Near the top I crossed back into Utah.


The road then entered the Manti-Lasal National Forest and skirted the La Sal mountains on the north. It was awesome to get up close to them. It also got quite chilly.








Finally dropped into Castle Valley northeast of Moab.






It was 8 hours since I’d left Junction that morning and I was beat. So I hightailed it into Moab and got a motel room and some barbecue. Never realized that I was only a few miles away from where Chris Davis was camped out at Onion Creek until I fired up my laptop in Moab and read his posts. Doh!
__________________
Dan Kucera
TLCA# 17536
KDWJO

67 FJ40 LC Tan
94 RN101 PU Pewter
95 FZJ80 LC Red
99 UZJ100 LC Black
00 VZN185 4Runner Highlander Jade
00 VZN185 4Runner SR5 Desert Dune

Last edited by MountainGoat; 10-30-2012 at 05:26 PM. Reason: To correct the date.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-27-2012, 03:07 PM
bh4rnnr's Avatar
bh4rnnr bh4rnnr is offline
Outlaw, Scoundrel, Miscreant
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Littleton
Posts: 4,004
Default

Awesome trip and report Dan! Been wondering about that area for some time.
__________________
-Perry Loughridge aka "Skelator" aka KDLDQ
4th gen Coloradoan.
-87 Toyota 4runner. Flat bed by Proffitts Cruisers 5.29 gears, rear locker. 33" mt/r tires. Snackster cooker. Eazi-Awn 1200 RTT and more tube work by the Homegrown Crew . And still more to come


COLORADO: my "Monument in Green"
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:01 PM
MountainGoat's Avatar
MountainGoat MountainGoat is offline
Club Treasurer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 1,104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bh4rnnr View Post
Awesome trip and report Dan! Been wondering about that area for some time.
Thanks Perry! It is totally worth checking out. I recommend it highly.

Finally got around to writing up the last day of the trip:

Friday 10/19/12 Day 4 Moab to Grand Junction via CR350 with river crossing exploration. The route (dark blue) looks like this:



After breakfast I had a quick visit with the Needles camping crew at City Market in Moab. Then headed back out to Dewey Bridge up 128. Another perfect day weather-wise, clear and sunny. My plan was to first check out the secondary Dolores Ford near Dewey (which Martin, Shawn Cardinal and I spotted during CM 2012) Then check out an old ford that is now closed from one side by locating and approaching from the side that is still open. Then head towards Grand Junction via a different route that heads southeast and then travels north through the eastern side of the Dolores Triangle.

This shows the location of crossing #2, which is at the blue arrow. The usual crossing (Lake Bottom) is at the red arrow.



At this crossing you enter the river and drive about 500 feet downstream before exiting on the north bank. It was about 8 inches deeper than the other crossing at its deepest. Here are some pictures:













After successfully crossing I headed up into the triangle to find the old ford. Here are some pics:






Made it to the old river ford location. It was closed on the south side when the state bought some land and established an outdoor school. They gated the road coming in from that side and the public is not allowed through. I was checking it out from the north bank. It was quite overgrown.









Did a little exploring and found a couple of okay campsites and some pretty views.




Got a view of the school across the river.




Did some exploring in a side canyon and found an interesting structure. No idea what the history is.








And the token lizard shot.


Finally headed back out and northeast to CR350. On the map it looked about the same distance as DS Road coming in. But it took about twice as long to travel because is was a lot rougher and rockier. At one point it turns back southwest toward Gateway for a while and I began to think I was on the wrong road. But it turned in the right direction again just before it would have hit the state line.









There began to be people as I got closer to the DS Road intersection. First Deer Season in Utah started the next day, and the hunters were getting their camps set up. At one point I came to an interesting rock formation tucked into the trees. I thought it would make an awesome campsite. Around the corner there was a track into it and it was pretty cool.









Within another 20 minutes I was back out to the state line on DS Road. Back to Grand Junction and civilization.

All in all this was an awesome trip and I am glad I got the time to check the area out. The Dolores Triangle had always been a mystery to me, even though I had spent a lot of my life around its edges. Now that I know whats out there I am stoked to get back and do some more exploring. I covered the primary routes, but there are tons of side roads that I never even touched. The geography is interesting and beautiful, and there is plenty more discovering to be done.
__________________
Dan Kucera
TLCA# 17536
KDWJO

67 FJ40 LC Tan
94 RN101 PU Pewter
95 FZJ80 LC Red
99 UZJ100 LC Black
00 VZN185 4Runner Highlander Jade
00 VZN185 4Runner SR5 Desert Dune
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.