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Thread: Moab: Lockhart Basin to Elephant Hill to Beef Basin

  1. #1

    Moab: Lockhart Basin to Elephant Hill to Beef Basin

    This was the best trip of the year so far. Definitely in the top 5 trips in my lifetime. Everything about the trip: the weather, the people, the vehicles, the trail, the history, was the perfect combination. I wouldn't change a thing if I had to do it over again.

    I've got over 70 Gb of video, so it's going to be a while 'till that's edited (big surprise). Here's a quick photo report for now.

    Thursday morning, Kyle, Rosa, my wife, and I we topped off our gas tanks and headed out on Kane Creek Rd.

    We aired down and headed up to Hurrah Pass.

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    From there we headed over to the private "Base Camp Adventure Lodge" to play disc golf.

    This is where the desert tortoise lives:

    They have the coolest hogans you can rent for the night.

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    At lunch time, clfrnacwby and his family caught up with us for a bit to join us for lunch. What a great crew!

    Just before we headed out to the catacombs on Chicken Corners, tacoman99 and his crew caught up with us.

    It was an awesome area. We didn't have enough time to fully explore it, we'll be back again soon.

  5. #4
    From there we continued on to Lockhart Basin trail. I had never done this trail before, but I had heard a lot about it.

    Lockhart ended up being a lot tougher, remote, and exhausting than we had anticipated. There were a lot of boulders that made it a challenge for our longer wheelbases. We got through the begining without damage or issue. From there it was a rough trial, but rarely required 4-low.

    We heard a rig behind us, and saw that it was Cody. We waited up for him and he joined the group as planned. We were a complete group finally.

    We tightened up a loose brake fitting and were on our way. Gotta love Toyotas. 4 rigs, 500+ miles, and that was the only issue (which was caused by the previous owner).

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    We found this weird hollow piece of metal. We saw a couple others along the way. Does anyone know what it is? It's open on the bottom.

    Continuing on...

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    These rocks always look like giant butts to us. Can you spot it? We couldn't stop laughing.

    The views were incredible.

    We have fun naming the rock formations. I call this one "Eagle Rock"

    We found what I thought to be Indian Paint Brush (correct me if I'm wrong). This time of year is great in Moab because the plants are all green and starting to bloom.

    By this point of the trip, Lockhart started to feel long. The scenery didn't change much, and the road wasn't smooth enough to go fast, nor bumpy enough to be a fun challenge.

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    I had seen this trailer in past trip reports, but it's trashed now. Too bad really.

    It was feeling REALLY long by this point, but we were glad to be close to the airplane wreckage. We followed our GPS coordinates and sure enough, we found it. This ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. For more info about the wreck, check out this thread:

    Considering this thing crashed in the early 50's, it's amazing that everything was in such great condition. I'm also glad that people haven't taken pieces as trinkets or souveniers. I hope this is all still there when I take my kids back to visit it someday.

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    After the plane wreckage, we were getting tired of being on the trail, so we headed down Lockhart Canyon in search for a campsite.

    There was only one campsite, but it was perfect.

    We got a fire going right away and got warm.

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    The next morning we broke camp and headed out to the Needles District to run Elephant Hill. I love the old-school wooden signs in the Needles District.

    This part is the coolest. The switchback is so tight that they tell you to run that one switchback backwards.

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    Pretty soon we arrived at the "squeeze play" obstacle. I loved this spot.

    This trail feels more like an African Safari than any other trail I've done. One of our passengers, Ron, has been wanting to see the confluence for 40+ years now, so we headed out in that direction.

    This obstacle is called the Silver Stairs.

    We arrived at the Confluence Overlook trailhead. It sure felt like less than 1/2 mile.

    And here's the confluence. Rather unspectacular, but you can definitely see where the Green River meets the Colorado and the two colors mix.

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    Then we headed out to check out the Joint Trail. We saw these pictographs near SOB hill.

    At the trailhead.

    The narrow slot canyons were awesome.

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    I hope it's appropriate to post here. If not, let me know and I'll take it down. On our way out to Beef Basin to find a campsite for the night, we came across what we believe to be a Doomsday Prepper's stash. I'm not going to reveal where it was, but it was an awesome find that Will (8 yrs old) stumbled upon while we were exploring the area.

    Here were the contents:
    - 5 gal gasoline
    - 11 gal water
    - pots and pans
    - cooler with the following: jerky, spam, tuna, lots of coffee and tea, sugar, and a few other things I forgot

    If you know the stasher personally, I'd love to hear the story. Also, let him know that everything is still there in perfect shape just like we found it, but all his food expired in 2008 (except the SPAM). :D

    After a lot of exploring, we decided to camp in an old Cattle Corral on Beef Basin Rd. It was a really cool place to camp.

    Little Will started the fire with a single match and no liquid fuel. He is the coolest kid to have around. He obviously loves fire as much as any other 8 year old, but he was very responsible and never took a burning stick out of the fire and always asked permission before burning things like marshmallows, tumbleweeds, and paper plates. :D

    Will especially loved burning the tumbleweeds.

    We found this cool kokapelli petroglyph at camp, but we decided it was too accurate to be real.

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    Fortunately for us, Doug brought his canyoneering gear. So we set up a rappel that night to teach my wife and his son Will how to rappel.

    More hot dogs and pie iron grilled cheese for dinner.

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    The next morning, we let a few more people rappel on the beginner's line...

    Ron is the man. I always love it when he comes along. It's never the same without him.

    ...before we set up the big rappel. I'd guess it was 40-50 feet. My wife is braver than I am, I was WAY more nervous rappeling down this than she was.

    I'm really proud of her, she did extremely well.

    Fender gets nervous when we're up there and he's stuck down below.

    My turn.

    And our fearless instructor, Doug, showing us how to rappel the single cliff in two jumps.

  16. #15
    From there we packed up and headed out via Beef Basin. Bobby's Hole was nothing like what I was expecting. It was a loose, rubbly hill climb with loose rocks ranging from golf ball to beach ball size. I don't have any pics, you'll have to wait for the video.

    I had never been beyond Bobby's Hole before, so the rest of this trip was new to me.

    I finished my bumper before this trip, so I made sure to take lots of pictures of it.

    Incredible views.

    Evidence of ruins:

    Fender earning his keep.

  17. #16
    There were lots of ruins along Beef Basin Rd. I prefer the more ancient anasazi ruins to the more modern ruins in this area, but any ruin is cool to see.

    This is more my style. There was an old corn husk in there.

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    I can't imagine a better father/son outing.

    And we even found a picture of Kyle smiling!

    I love the Montecello/Blanding scenery. There's something special about it.

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    After that we headed out to Newspaper Rock.

    Then we aired up the tires and headed home.

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  23. #20
    99% of what makes a trip great are the people, and this was no exception. I didn't hear a single complaint about anything the entire trip. It was fun to see new parts of this amazing state with old friends. I can't wait for the next trip.

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