Trip Report EJS 2018 - Warn Fans Trail Run, Flat Iron Mesa


We were lucky enough to get invited to to the 'Warn Fans' Trail run to Flat Iron Mesa Trail on Monday. They did a very limited drawing on FB and while I entered in the contest, I wasn't chosen.... but @Hickey was! Unfortunately due to a last-minute change in his work schedule he wasn't able to attend and asked if I could go in his place... the good folks at Warn said Yes! It's been YEARS since I've done an organized run during EJS and was excited to have my wife along for the run. Flat Iron Mesa has some amazing views all along the way with the La Sal mountains looking over Kane Springs Canyon on the north, Hatch Wash Canyon on the west.

We spent the day with a pretty big group and quite a variety of vehicles, Jessi Combs in her Stock Class winning King of the Hammers Jeep JK (named Goldie Rocks), Shannon Campbell in his latest rock crawling car (solid front axle, GM LS front engine, mazzive Nitto tires, Warn Winch of course). Warn had several company vehicles along for the ride including the iconic AEV Brute 4 door JKU truck on big BFG KM2 tires, with an even bigger wheel-base. There was also a brand new Jeep JL sitting on 35's and outfitted with Warn bumpers and a Warn Zeon winch. In addition to those rigs, there were a couple of highly modded Flat Fenders, the famous Oklahoma Tornado Jeep, and many others.

The chute was a steep climb, about 25' high overall that has a couple ledges on the way up, with the steepest being the last one. There is a bypass, for those not interested in defying gravity. The shorter wheelbase rigs were getting pretty light in the front at the very top and their rear axle was still trying to climb a pretty steep ledge at the same time. Most gave it a few tries, got a bit light then opted for the winch. It was pretty fun to watch the team from Warn doing what they know.... recovery! They had a system and worked quickly getting the big group up this nasty climb, one by one.



Jesse Combs was ahead of us in her KOH JK on BFGoodrich Krawlers and worked her way up, feeling it out. Her front end got a bit light at the top, but she gave it a good bump and drove right up.

We were up next in our pretty mild JKU sitting on 3" of lift and half-worn 35" BFGoodrich KO2 All Terrain tires. I already had my Warn winch controller plugged in and the remote sitting on the dash, ready for the pending winch session. I tried to crawl the first part of the climb, but had to back up and bump it. My line was to the right side, trying to avoid a big ledge on the left with my drivers-rear tire. Once over that point I carried my momentum and used just enough throttle to bang my way up, getting a little hung up on the frame on the way.... but we drove right up!! I think I was just as surprised as everyone else watching. :rofl:

Andy L. from Warn was behind me in the massive AEV Brute and gave it hell, opening up that Hemi V8 under the hood but his breakover angle was too much. He got the front tires over, but was hung up pretty hard. They hooked his winch to my JKU and while he made it up eventually, it wasn't before dragging my JKU backwards a few feet! :eek: I missed seeing Shannon Campbell make the climb as I was pulling my Jeep forward.... but I heard it! I saw video of it later on!

The rest of the trail had some pucker-worthy moments, from the off-camber drop Tilt-a-Whirl to Easter Egg Rock with a cliff & canyon next to a massive boulder. Eventually we bounced our way out to the end of the trail, very little drama considering the size of the group and some great chances to practice using our Warn winches on the Warn Fans trail run!

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That looked like a fun run Greg. Glad I got to run into you down there.
It was a blast! Great seeing you too, Bart... wish we could have spent more time on the trail together! I wasn't feeling too good when I bumped into you, ended up getting sick and spent less time in Moab than I had planned. :(


Work Less, Travel More
Supporting Vendor
Fruita, CO
Great report. Flat Iron Mesa is one of my Top 5 Moab trails. Its just far enough outside of town that you RARELY see someone on it outside of EJS week.