Cliff Hanger

By Jeep Experts

Located down the highway a couple of miles from the well-known Moab Rim Trail, Cliff Hanger was a brand new path for us throughout our October, 2001 run to Moab.  We have been Jeepin’ for every week with Scott and Teresa, our “simply married” buddies from Phoenix (they have been honeymooning in Moab and invited us to wheel with them).  As it turned out, this path would carry us greater than we anticipated, within the type of two new Jeep buddies that joined up with us as we began the path.  Andy and Robert, each from central CA, have been wrapping up their Moab week as have been we.  We ran Cliff Hanger with them and in addition Poison Spider Mesa.  We have a standing invitation to go to them in CA.  Oh, did I point out that they aren’t too removed from the Dusy-Ershim Trail?  Oh yeah….I can see us stopping by to say hello….for every week!  

Scott and I test tire strain at the start of the path.  There is a pleasant spot on the path head to kind up a hand filled with Jeeps for a enjoyable run.  At this level, Andy and Robert have been nonetheless coming down the highway, as they’d seen us go previous the flip off they took and determined to comply with us and see the place we have been headed.

The trails off to a enjoyable begin, instantly dropping you down a steep jumble of stair-step rocks.  There is somewhat riff-raff filter you undergo (enjoyable to observe the stockers that have been forward of us), however with 35″ tires, we walked by way of it with no downside.  It was about there that Andy and Robert caught up with us.  A bit additional down the path, we stopped to eye-ball a ledge and obtained to speaking with them.  As we have been all working 35″ tires or higher w/ lockers, we determined we would as nicely run collectively.  Everyone is aware of that 4 Jeeps can get into and out of extra hassle than simply two!

Here is Scott testing a spot on the path.  According to our path e-book (I had already loaded the GPS with this trails waypoints), we might have a few  notable obstacles on the path.  The one the e-book talked about, and for which Cliff Hanger is greatest recognized, is the 4′ ledge that you just cross whereas the path is at its narrowest part on the cliff edge (and it’s a loooooooooooonnnnnnggggg method right down to the underside of that cliff, let me let you know).  

Scott snapped an image of Lady as we went over that part he was simply testing.  Donna is retaining observe of the passenger aspect tire for me.  No have to hop out and spot on this one.  We could be saving that for that ledge that was ready up forward for us.  The e-book mentioned it was a ledge that we might bear in mind, lengthy after the remainder of the path had pale away in our reminiscences.  Hmmmm…..possibly we must always have ran Moab Rim once more and left this path for another person!  LOL

Cliff Hanger

We pushed on ahead, working our method over ledges and rocks.  We had seen harder trails earlier than, however that didn’t imply you may day dream on this one.  There have been loads of locations the place a misplaced tire would imply embarrassment as a minimum and a simple hi-centering of your Jeep if you happen to weren’t cautious.  The solar was beginning to heat issues up a bit and it wasn’t too lengthy earlier than my cold-blooded co-pilot stopped shivering (boy, I certain am glad she doesn’t learn these journey experiences!).

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We continued on the path and the rocks would get a bit greater every so often.  Here is Scott working his method over one.  I obtained him to cease lengthy sufficient to snap an image.  Scott’s TJ is properly constructed.  It sports activities an RE lengthy arm package, 6″ springs, Tera 4:1 and 2LO, and a half dozen different issues that I’m not going to record right here.  Trust me to say that his trip is a most succesful one and Scott is an effective driver (and spotter).  We’ve carried out a good variety of AZ trails collectively and this was his first Moab go to, so he was actually moving into the slick rock traction (and having fun with each minute of it).

While we labored our method alongside the path, we had an opportunity to talk with Andy and Robert.  Both have been driving CJ-7s that had been transformed to EFI.  Andy’s mild blue CJ was working on 35″ tires and pushed together with a Tera 4:1 and a NV4500 tranny.  Robert was working on 39.5″x17″ Swampers with D44 axles entrance and rear and the identical t-case and tranny setup that Andy had.  Both ran ARB air lockers.

We made it to the primary impediment and all obtained out to test it out.  We spent period of time strolling up and down it, trying on the strains that is perhaps carried out.  We rapidly observed the assorted colours of paint on the underside of a rock shelf and realized that it almost definitely the outcomes of careless Jeepers who weren’t watching the place the hood went as soon as the tires began climbing the rocks.  (make observe to self….don’t strive that line!) 

Scott was subsequent over the ledges.  He was certain and decided to make it up that first line that I didn’t…and by golly, he did (though I did toss a few rocks beneath that proper rear tire of his).  We discovered that a terrific huge rock was ready for his entrance diff simply after he obtained his again tires up on the primary ledge.  Talk about no room to maneuver…..geez, I’ve seen the inside of a telephone sales space that had extra space than this ledge did.  Scott managed somewhat 7 level flip (backwards and forwards about 3″ every time) and we lastly obtained his driver aspect tire up on prime of that nasty diff catcher.  From there, it was just about a straight line to the highest of the impediment.  He labored his method over the remaining ledges and was quickly on the prime.

Here is Robert, nearly to the highest of the ledges.  At this level, he had not let a lot air out of his Swampers (he was at about 16 psi).  He had tried the identical line I had and didn’t make it both (so I didn’t really feel too unhealthy based mostly on the variations in our tire top and clearance).  With his ARBs turned on, he sat along with his entrance tires up on the primary ledge, slowly digging in his again tires.  Later on within the day, he dropped them right down to about 6 psi, earlier than we headed again over THE ledge (oh yeah, we haven’t go to that but on this a part of the journey report).

Here is Robert recognizing Andy up and over the rocks on the identical impediment.  These pics (as at all times) don’t do the rocks justice.  You actually lose the depth of the impediment with these very flat pictures.  Oh nicely, possibly they are going to make a digital 3D digicam a while quickly that we mod-poor Jeepers can afford!  Then you possibly can take a digital Jeep tour with out leaving your keyboard!

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Cliff Hanger

According to our path e-book, and my GPS, we have been getting fairly darn near that ledge they saved referencing….that huge 4′ tall ledge on the narrowest a part of the path.  I used to be starting to have my doubts about this journey.  What occurs if the outboard tire slips over the sting….bye, bye Lady (and me too almost definitely).  How huge is a 4′ ledge if you end up making an attempt to crawl over it with out falling to your loss of life?  Oh boy, possibly I ought to get Scott to go first (NOT).


In a short while, we made it to the ledge that the path e-book was speaking about.  This was the view out of the motive force aspect window.  A few toes to spare earlier than you dropped many hundred toes to the valley ground.  Those are HUGE washes within the image….sure, those that seem like wrinkles on the purple filth.  I’ve seen pics of trails with much less clearance, however this one was the tightest one I had been on.

We hopped out and scoped out the ledge.  Going down wasn’t going to be too unhealthy.  We needed to look ahead to a doable excessive heart on the entrance axle, however that was largely it, as soon as we obtained an opportunity to look it throughout.  Climbing up….nicely, we determined proper then and there that Robert and his BIG tires could be the primary particular person to return up.  Like I informed him, “I paid good cash for my Warn winch and if I used to be going to make use of it, I needed to tie off to his rear bumper!”

Here is one other image, taken from on prime of the ledge.  I’m standing half method down it (white t-shirt).  Teresa is watching off from the left aspect as the remainder of us talk about tire placement, what was going to catch the rear bumper, and many others.  As you possibly can see, the trial is fairly slender hear and you’ve got the cliff wall on the passenger aspect.  Luckily, it was not too off camber so the possibilities of placing our sheet metallic into the rocks was drastically diminished.

Cliff Hanger

With Scott recognizing me, I hoped into Lady and began down over the ledge.  It went higher than I hoped, and I managed to squeak by the entrance diff hanger half with however a couple of millimeters to spare.  By now, some mountain bikers had caught up with us.  They parked their bikes and climbed up on the rocks to see the 15 minute present as all of us proceeded down the ledge.  It is humorous…..each time I see them driving their bikes over these things, I’m very impressed with their talents to maintain it on each tires (more often than not).  But, after we cease and discuss with them, they’re fully amazed at what we crawl our Jeeps over.  We don’t suppose that a lot of it, and so they suppose it’s so cool that we are able to creep over these things and are available out good and clear prefer it was a stroll within the park.

I’m simply clearing the rest of the rocks on the finish of this impediment.  I used to be off the ledge some 10’+ in the past, however you continue to have to observe your self as you crawl over the remainder of the rocks.  Many of them will catch the diffs, even when working 35″ tires, so tire placement is until important right here, except you wish to get the HI-Lift jack out and have a rock stacking occasion!  As you possibly can see within the above pic, I simply cleared a rock with my left entrance tire that’s nearly touching my rocker guards.

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We lastly made it to the top of the path (it’s a useless ender so that you exit the way in which you got here in).  As you possibly can see, we’re just about on prime of the world right here.  The valley, with the Colorado River working by way of it, is well accessible by my backing up about 5′ and falling off this mesa (all the way in which to the valley ground….DOH!)  It was lunch time and all of us piled out to stretch our legs, benefit from the surroundings, and seize one thing to eat.

The journey again was carried out in reverse order.  As we had promised, Scott and I made Robert go first (new path chief for the return leg) so he may deal with the ledge along with his greater rig.  We all made it over the ledge with out even slipping a tire.  In face, Scott hopped out and noticed for his spouse so she may have the fun of climbing that huge ledge.  She did job and all of us agreed that she deserved a Cliff Hanger t-shirt from the native t-shirt store in down city Moab.  (excellent place… gotta go there if you end up in Moab)

So, we cleared the ledge and have been on the lookout for a useless finish flip off that went over to a pleasant overlook of Moab.  We got here to rock ledge on the path and Andy determined to take the laborious line over it.  Well, he obtained his t-case skid completely held on the rock.  Not sufficient traction with both set of tires (entrance or rear) to get him off the skid, so Robert needed to put a tow strap on him and provides him somewhat jerk.  We all obtained a reasonably good chuckle out of it.  After every little thing we had been by way of that day, Andy will get caught on a ledge in the midst of NO impediment!

We made it again to the primary main impediment we did and everybody made it again down simply high quality.  The line I used coming down this impediment was the road I couldn’t make making an attempt to go up it.  Here is Scott working his method down the rocks.  He went down the way in which I got here up and I went down the way in which he got here up (does that make sense?)

At this level, we’re nearly again to the path head.  We are working our method right down to the creek crossing (you possibly can inform there’s water within the space as a result of there are GREEN timber round).  Even this a part of the path was fairly steep, as you possibly can see (and really good surroundings too).  

After everybody cleared the creek and climbed the stair steps again as much as the path head, we headed again to city.  After a fast cleanup (us, not the Jeeps), we headed off to a restaurant for some dinner, a few chilly ones, and a few good firm.  We obtained to satisfy Robert’s and Andy’s wifes and spent a pleasant night collectively.  I can’t consider a greater method to wrap up a terrific path run.

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