Getting off-road in Moab

We returned to Canyonlands to complete our tour of the sights along the canyon rim. Our first stop was at the Shafer Canyon overlook where we had a great view of the trail that we drove the day before.

Sheep herders used this trail to move their livestock lower into the canyon with a few losses along the way.
Sheep herders used this trail to move their livestock lower into the canyon with a few losses along the way.
A short 1/2 mile walk takes you to this beautiful view at Mesa Arch.
A short 1/2 mile walk takes you to this beautiful view at Mesa Arch.
Darryl off in the distance on Elephant Rock.
Darryl off in the distance on Elephant Rock.
Upheaval dome the origin of which is unknown but thought to be either an eroded salt dome or exposed interior rock from a meteor impact crater.
Upheaval dome the origin of which is unknown but thought to be either an eroded salt dome or exposed interior rock from a meteor impact crater.
Photo of the "Grand Viewpoint" overlook.
Photo of the “Grand Viewpoint” overlook.

After Canyonlands, we went into town for lunch and then out Kane Creek Road to check out their 4×4 routes. Although we have visited Moab many times in the past, this was our first time on the trails along Kane Creek Road. From 190 in Moab, turn west onto Kane Creek Road (there is a McDonald’s at the intersection) and the road will eventually run along the eastern side of the Colorado River and then branches off into the canyons. There are campgrounds along the way and eventually you’ll hit the Amasa Back trailhead. We took special note of this area for a future run! We continued along until we came across the sign for the Kane Creek 4×4 trails.  

After our reconnaissance of Kane Creek, we went back into town for a late lunch then out to find ourselves a place to spend the night. We opted for Sand Flats Recreation Area which is in town. It’s where the popular “Slick Rock” trails are located. We found perhaps the last site that was available which was at the entrance of “Fins & Things” 4×4 trail. The next morning we learned why the site was still available since it’s at the start of a very popular route and these people like to get out on the trail early!

Nissan XTerras caravaning through Fins & Things trail.
Nissan XTerras caravaning through Fins & Things trail.

After our breakfast we started out to Kane Creek for our own 4×4 expedition. Darryl was patient with me as we walked through the more technical sections and discussed how we would drive through them. I actually stayed in the vehicle for most of the sections but I did get out to take some photos of the action.DSC01816

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A UTV in the distance after it blew through a section that we were discussing.
A UTV in the distance after it blew through a section that we were discussing.

Darryl’s patience paid off since I got into the driver’s seat on the return and drove us back most of the way with Darryl standing on the road guiding me through the rougher sections. There was a point where I had just one front and one rear tire in the air sitting at a precarious angle. Our FJ is AWESOME! Although I was at a pretty steep angle, the FJ felt solid and I felt completely confident in its ability to get me through the section. No photos of this, you’ll just have to believe me.

On our return, we stopped at the petroglyphs and snapped a few photos. DSC01794 DSC01790What an awesome day!

Sunset at Sand Flats campsite.
Sunset at Sand Flats campsite.

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