South-West Utah RME March Trip Report; San Rafael Swell


We had a good turnout for the March RME Trip to the Swell, the weather was excellent, the sights were amazing, the history was inspiring and the campfire company was great!

@frieed was already there with his F150 and I showed up around 5 PM on Friday evening, we setup camp at the San Rafael Bridge campground. Had a great dinner and hung out around the campfire, which was very needed that night as it got COLD! @Kevin B. and his family rolled into camp pretty late sporting his wife's 4Runner, around 11 PM I think? I had already gone to bed... X-D The next morning was CHILLY, I had a bottle of water outside that had mostly frozen. We had a lazy morning, knowing that we were waiting on a few others and a planned departure time around 10 AM. Soon @Spork rolled into camp with his Tacoma, as well as @Homefryy in his Red XJ followed shortly by @BigDsYJ in the YJ sporting Dana 60's and Brandon following in his BUILT Tacoma with 1 Ton axles and 40" tires! :eek:

We rolled out of camp, heading South.... eventually found our way to the Lone Warrior pictograph. On the way up, the road has been pretty well washed out at one point and Jason ( @Homefryy ) had his passenger tires fall into the deep crevice. Despite a few valiant efforts, he needed a tug. Eric hooked up to Jason and yanked him out without too much drama. Now this was a proper adventure!

The Lone Warrior....

And some of the group, getting up to the parking area.

Then on to Swasey's Cabin and the descent down into Eagle Canyon. There was quite a bit of traffic coming out and we had to get pretty creative a couple times. Eagle Canyon was in prety rough & rocky shape, more than we'd all seen it before. We took a quick photo break at the Arch, then continued on. It was a proper challenge in several places, but we all slowly worked our way thru and finally made it to the bridges of I70 high above.

I had to engage the lockers and.... uh, 'test' them.... make sure they still worked!



From there, we doubled back climbing out of Eagle Canyon and on towards Temple Mountain Road. The dust was pretty thick at times, so the group spaces themselves apart to let it settle. The drive down Temple Mountain Road is one of my favorites, incredibly scenic towards the South end. We talked about what to do next, explore some more pictographs, run to Green River for gas, etc. We made a plan and the group explored a 2 track road on the East side of the Swell. We ran across a strange chimney in the middle of no where, with a natural Spring nearby... perhaps the Wild Bunch build the chimney and watered horses there?? There were many dry wash crossings that required slowing down and picking the right line. Many thanks to @Kevin B. for leading us thru! Eventually we bailed to the pavement, hit Green River for gas and washing up, Scott ( @Spork ) decided to head out and the rest of headed back to camp.

The next morning we took our time rolling out, packing up camp. Kevin and the fam were headed home, the rest of us were heading to Black Dragon Canyon! We stopped for a quick look at the Matt Warner signature, from 1920. We then opened up the rigs and headed to the Chimney Rock Road, where the dust was horrible! We jumped on Hwy 6, then I70 West and soon after took the tunroff for Black Dragon Canyon. Black Dragon was great, quite a challenge for most of us... pretty sure Brandon in the Tacoma never even locked in his hubs! X-D

From there, we worked our way out of the trail, aired up the tires and said our goodbyes! It was a great trip, so much fun... can't wait for the next RME Monthly Trip!

Kevin B.

Premium Member
It was a good trip, Greg, thanks for putting it together. I wish we'd been able to stick around and drive Black Dragon but the other half was running on empty and ready for civilization.


You guys drive the easy rigs, I'll take on the challenge :)

At least no body damage this time through...
You do well driving it thru the rough rocks!

It was a good trip, Greg, thanks for putting it together. I wish we'd been able to stick around and drive Black Dragon but the other half was running on empty and ready for civilization.
Totally understand, Saturday was a long day.... longer than I thought it would be! I don't fault her at all. :)

Great report and great pics.
Greg, where's the drone video flying through the arch?
Thanks, Stan! That was a short stop, I should have got the drone out but we were running short on time already and it takes awhile to setup, get good shots, then put away. I didn't get it out as much as I would like, but I have some video footage I'm working on now. ;)

Had an awesome time on my first RME overnight trip. I don't think I have any pictures to add that don't look just like the ones @Greg already posted. He definitely took on the role of photographer for the trip.
Had my first time needing to hook up a tow strap to get unstuck. Thanks to @frieed for the tug and @jedi for the tow hooks I luckily had on the XJ.
It was great to have you, Jason.... glad you joined us!

Love it. Thanks for sharing!
Love the meme. My last 2 trips have shown that ditches/ruts do in fact love XJs. The rear wheel that I smashed up in Left Hand Collet Canyon and had to fix with a sledgehammer got rotated to the front and is the same one that took some damage when I fell into this rut. Maybe it's an unlucky tire. I should probably just upgrade to 31s to rid myself of the unlucky tire.