Have mentioned some trails in the Moab area that we have been discussing, and the Lockhart Basin Trail was one of them. This is a trail graded "difficult", but after trying out some of the trails in the area, we believed this should be just fine.
So when the new tires were fitted, we packed up the Patrol and hit the road going up to Hurrah Pass and Chicken's Corner (see blog post from April)
Just as we were to leave Moab, we met a swiss couple in a Land Rover Defender that we stopped to talk to. It was past 4 pm when we left Moab, so we were definitely a bit late. Discussed if we should camp for the night before hitting the trail, but as we were "just going up the hard part of the start of the trail" before we had planned to camp, it shouldn't be a problem. It was only about two miles.... And we had at least an hour and a half.... We obviously learn VERY slow on this matter...
The start of The Lockhart Basin Trail
What we didn't realize/remembered before we started driving the trail, was that we had seen a lot of muddy jeeps the last couple of days. Also note what kind of weather we had in our post from Imogene Pass (abvout 100 miles away, but it had also rained quite a bit in Moab). The Lockhart Basin Trail starts relatively hard with a trail going up through a narrow canyon. The probalem, as it turned out, was that some of the road was missing, and what was left was a river bed and some big rocks. However, it didnt start too rough, so the "alarm" didn't really go off until we were way up in the canyon, and we realized that ew were running out of time. It was too narrow to turn around, and it was getting dark. Good for us, it takes a lot to stop a Patrol with diff lockers, 3,75 crawl gear, 5" lift, and 37" tires. So be it that I scartched one of my new wheels (4 hours old!!!) and my rear ARB bumper.
Still just fun, and we could also see some other tracks going up ahead of us...
Facinating road, but getting harder and harder to turn around!
Still some daylight, but we have started to worry about getting up the canyon before dark...
But we were going too slow, and it got dark. Slowly worked our way up, but in one spot it almost went wrong. A bad choice of line caused the rear tire so slid down from a small ledge, the oposite side front wheel went up, and we almost rolled the Patrol! An agressive reverse got all wheels back down on the ground, but it was uncomfortably close to a long walk.... New line, and the obstacle went fine! At this time it was almost completely dark, so we didn't manage to take pictures of all the action. And as we had seen traces of how much water that could come our way down the canyon in case of rain, we really had our focus on getting up, and not spending the night...
Eventually we climbed up the last hill, and the reward (even if we didn't see that until the next morning) was a spectacular view of the area. The canyon we came up is down to the right.
After waking up the next morning, and after the vital shots of coffee, it was time to inspect the equipment after the previos day's fighting with the trail.
One of the rear wheels had some scratches, and there were also some marks on the rear ARB bumper. No problems at all, as this is a looong trip, and I'm pretty sure there will be plenty more... A matter of time...
And before we set off for driving the rest of the trail, we walked the couple of hundred yards back down to have a look at the "road", and I have to say I'm quite impressed about what a 7200 pound Patrol can do!
The last hill. And this IS actually quite steep!
The way we came up. Got a bith rough on the last part up through the canyon.
The rest of the trail, on the other hand, was an excellent drive, and the road wasn't too badly affected by the wash-outs from the last rainfall. Didn't see a single vehicle on the trail all day.
The co-pilot is out looking for the best line up. Most of the trail was relatively easy, but it had a few sections with some intersting climbs.
...and a riverbed to avoid a big drop.
But the view was fantastic! Had a long day of driving, and we spent quite a bit more than the 6 hours the guide book suggested for "normal" conditions. Camped at the Hamburger Rock at the end of the trail, and the next day we
headed for Lake Powell and Grand Canyon!