Trip Report Hole in the Rock and a quick dose of Moab - April 2022

Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
We arrived at the Halls Crossing Marina Campground Friday April 15th. We camped there the first night.

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With Lake Powell at such low levels, the whole area seems abandoned. There were no pay envelopes at the campground kiosk and not a Ranger to be found. Two other campers were there and they said not to worry about it, the Rangers don't care as long as you don't make work for them. It was a remarkably clean campground. Most of the people in the RV campground across the road were there to work on the Airport runway project.

I don't think you could get anything but a kayak into the lake in that area. You definitely can't get food or fuel from the marina store, as there is no way for them to receive deliveries.

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Saturday morning we were up and packed by 8:15 am, having unloaded the trailers the previous evening. It was chilly, but not terrible. We left our trucks and trailers parked in a dirt lot at the marina campground. We were aired down and cruising down Nokai Dome road at 9 am.

The first obstacle of interest on Hole In The Rock is "Twister". Tyler drove his black XJ all the way from Camp Crooke, South Dakota to see what rockcrawling on red rocks is like.

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Brian and Shelia drove from Katy, TX with their 2011 JK and Quigley the trail dog. This is their 5th time on HITR.

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And then my JK.
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After that, there aren't many noteworthy trail obstacles for a while, just a lot of bumping down the trail until you get to the dugway "Slick rock Hill"

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Slickrock Hill is always a special place to see just how comfortable you are with narrow shelf roads, which are also off-camber, bumpy, somewhat steep, and also covered with Moqui Marbles.

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Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
The nasty spot on Slickrock Hill has been improved from previous years. I can actually fit my JK and even Brian's 84" wide JK through the level spot near the edge without having to climb the boulder on the driver side that tips you toward the edge.

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Next thing you know, you're on top of Grey Mesa where you can hammer down and burn off 11 miles at 20-45 mph, depending on how well your suspension can handle that. There are a few whoops that slow you down unless you have those awesome Teraflex Speedbumps and you're crazy like me and like to launch a two door JK, loaded down will a ton of camp gear and a spouse who isn't thrilled about getting airborne in the middle of nowhere.

No pics of Grey Mesa, because that's where the wind started getting bad. More on that later.

After you come down off of Grey Mesa you soon reach the Chute. It's really no big deal, just watch out for the holes at the bottom and don't miss your line like I did, and come extremely close to flopping your Jeep on the passenger side. I was a millisecond from punching the throttle to drive out of it when I felt the pendulum start to swing back the other way. I think the wind actually saved me there. Of course, no one got pics of my Jeep while both drivers side tires were soaring in the air.

Said holes:
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Entering the Chute:
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After the Chute, there's some unnamed obstacles and ramps before the end, which is a great place to crack a beer and stare at the Hole in The Rock across the lake/river.

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Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
At the end of the trail, the wind was really harsh. We explored a little, and sheltered from the wind behind Jeeps.

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And then it was time to find a camp with no wind.

We stopped at several nice camp sites and theorized that the wind would stop blowing after dark, or at least by 10 pm like the weather forecast showed. Lies. All lies.

After the fourth or fifth site, we decided to just tough it out at this spot. We tied out tents to trees, Jeeps, and rocks to keep them from blowing away.

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The wind blew sand into our tent all night. A different tent would have certainly helped. Nothing like trying to sleep while covered in sand, tent flapping like mad, and sprinkles of sand hitting your face every few minutes.

This is the top of our air mattress the next morning:
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That was the worst night I've ever spent in a tent. My Jeep has an airbag warning light on now, and I'm pretty sure it's because of the wind and sand. We had also planned on cooking sausages of the fire for dinner. Rice Crispie treats ended up being dinner.

We woke up (ha! No one was asleep) at 7 am and packed up camp in sand hell and got back on the trail. We made it to the trailers by 1:30 pm and loaded up.
 

Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
We hit Moab and checked into our KOA cabins by 4:30 pm and decided to hit Fins and Things. Tyler had never been to Moab, so he was getting some great exposure right off the bat.

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After a quick FnT run it was back to the cabins to finally cook those sausages and get a much needed shower.
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Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Most of the photos in this thread were taken by our friend Shelia Lucero. All of the terrible ones are mine.

On Monday we tackled Poison Spider, Golden Spike, and Gold Bar Rim. It's been 7 years since I've run all the way through these trails and I was surprised at how much they have changed. Mostly PSM at the beginning, and Gold Bar at the last waterfall climb. I'm just gonna drop a batch of photos and let y'all figure out were they were taken. I'm sure you've all done these trails.
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rholbrook

Well-Known Member
Location
Kaysville, Ut
At the end of the trail, the wind was really harsh. We explored a little, and sheltered from the wind behind Jeeps.

View attachment 148550View attachment 148551

And then it was time to find a camp with no wind.

We stopped at several nice camp sites and theorized that the wind would stop blowing after dark, or at least by 10 pm like the weather forecast showed. Lies. All lies.

After the fourth or fifth site, we decided to just tough it out at this spot. We tied out tents to trees, Jeeps, and rocks to keep them from blowing away.

View attachment 148552View attachment 148553

The wind blew sand into our tent all night. A different tent would have certainly helped. Nothing like trying to sleep while covered in sand, tent flapping like mad, and sprinkles of sand hitting your face every few minutes.

This is the top of our air mattress the next morning:
View attachment 148554

That was the worst night I've ever spent in a tent. My Jeep has an airbag warning light on now, and I'm pretty sure it's because of the wind and sand. We had also planned on cooking sausages of the fire for dinner. Rice Crispie treats ended up being dinner.

We woke up (ha! No one was asleep) at 7 am and packed up camp in sand hell and got back on the trail. We made it to the trailers by 1:30 pm and loaded up.
One of my worst nights tenting was on HITR. My tent pretty much laid flat from the wind. If I remember, @Caleb or @Corban_White slept using their motorcycle and a wind block. We didn't ever get a fire going or stove out to cook dinner.
 

Corban_White

Well-Known Member
Location
Payson, AZ
One of my worst nights tenting was on HITR. My tent pretty much laid flat from the wind. If I remember, @Caleb or @Corban_White slept using their motorcycle and a wind block. We didn't ever get a fire going or stove out to cook dinner.
I didn't even try and set up my tent. Just huddled way down inside my sleeping bag even though it was way to hot for a sleeping bag. No need to cook dinner, it would have been so full of sand! And strangely, I've wanted to go back and do it again ever since! :rofl:
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Great pictures and trip report Jeremy.

I have not done Golden Spike before but I've wanted to. Can't get the wife to commit to 12+ hours on the trail yet to do the trifecta.

We did Poison Spider and Gold Bar Rim last October when we were there and I was quite surprised at how bad the first bit of Poison Spider had been deteriorated away and how much larger the ledges were. The waterfall on Gold Bar wasn't too bad but more undercut that I remembered from a few years ago when I ran it on 35's.
 

Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Great pictures and trip report Jeremy.

I have not done Golden Spike before but I've wanted to. Can't get the wife to commit to 12+ hours on the trail yet to do the trifecta.

We did Poison Spider and Gold Bar Rim last October when we were there and I was quite surprised at how bad the first bit of Poison Spider had been deteriorated away and how much larger the ledges were. The waterfall on Gold Bar wasn't too bad but more undercut that I remembered from a few years ago when I ran it on 35's.
I think we did it in 8, maybe 8.5 hours with several breaks and a 45 minute lunch at the crack. I think I could get it down to 7 hours if I was pressed. You just have to go with a small group and stay after it.
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
I think we did it in 8, maybe 8.5 hours with several breaks and a 45 minute lunch at the crack. I think I could get it down to 7 hours if I was pressed. You just have to go with a small group and stay after it.

Good to know. I keep hearing it is at least 10-12 and that's all my wife focuses on.

When we hit the harder trails we try to keep our group to 4-5 Jeeps is all so I will try to talk the group into that when we are there again in October.

Thank you for the information Jeremy.
 

RockChucker

Well-Known Member
Location
Highland
Good report! Looks fun. It had been 15 or 16 years since we had done golden spike last time I went to moab. Good times. We took the leg out to where eagles dare too (missing Suzuki hill unfortunately). I think we did it in about 6 hrs total from the start at poison spider to the pavement after finishing gold bar rim.
 

Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Good to know. I keep hearing it is at least 10-12 and that's all my wife focuses on.

When we hit the harder trails we try to keep our group to 4-5 Jeeps is all so I will try to talk the group into that when we are there again in October.

Thank you for the information Jeremy.
The only time it has taken me that long was during my first trip to EJS in 1997. The group we were with were up pretty late with the Mary Jane and didn't start the trail until 1 pm. We ran into the EJS official trail group on their way back down and had to wait about 1.5 hours for them to pass. The trails were also not nearly as well marked as they are today and we had guys walking ahead with flashlights, trying to find the trail. We finished at 11:30 pm.

I like a group of 4 or less on that trail trio. New offroaders make it a lot longer trail run.
 

mbryson

.......a few dollars more
Supporting Member
The only time it has taken me that long was during my first trip to EJS in 1997. The group we were with were up pretty late with the Mary Jane and didn't start the trail until 1 pm. We ran into the EJS official trail group on their way back down and had to wait about 1.5 hours for them to pass. The trails were also not nearly as well marked as they are today and we had guys walking ahead with flashlights, trying to find the trail. We finished at 11:30 pm.

I like a group of 4 or less on that trail trio. New offroaders make it a lot longer trail run.



....ah, the flashlights, the pissed in radiator, the removed hood to place in the K5..... memories
 

Bart

Registered User
Location
Arm Utah
Great report Jeremy, and it looks like it was an amazing trip. I've been following the water level at Powell closely for the past few years, and it's a shame they've let it get that low.
 

Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Great report Jeremy, and it looks like it was an amazing trip. I've been following the water level at Powell closely for the past few years, and it's a shame they've let it get that low.
It's depressing to see. They could at least reopen the full trail so we could drive across the entire river and up the Hole. That would be a positive. 😄
 
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