Up early on Sunday September 5th, we were psyched for a long day of jeepin' the popular Poison Spider /Golden Spike /Gold Bar Rim Loop trails. The night before, Paul removed his stock CJ bumper for more clearance, along with replacing his rear u-joint, which had taken a beating the previous day.
Click on photos to enlarge
The Poison Spider loop starts just North of the Colorado River and past the sandstone cliff faces. It heads north up and along the rim thru Golden Spike and Gold Bar Rim trail sections. A total distance of about 19 miles or so of trail await, of which about 16 is the "hoot" to wheel!
We started the (4 rated) Poison Spider Trail (mile 0.0) at about 9:30am and finally hit the pavement of Hwy 191 about 5:30pm. With only 3 vehicles, no serious breakdowns, and very little if any traffic, we were able to complete the run in about 7.5 hours. The 4-rated Poison Spider Trail was well marked (with tire tracks) compared with the previous days trails, as were the obstacles. As we jeeped over the minor obstacles, we came upon the 1st well-known "Water Fall" obstacle, and climbed over it with ease. The irregular ledges here make for great articulation.
The slick rock defies your instincts and your tires grab like running up on "sand" paper. After the "waterfall", the trail throws one little obstacle after another at you till you reach the flat expanse of Poison Spider.
Pressing on thru the sandy mesa and back up to slick rock, we found the left at mile 5.0 that starts the 4+ rated Golden Spike Trail. This turn-off is a bit tricky to find, to if you having to much fun jeepin', you just may end up going straight and up along the loop of Poison Spider. Look for a small painted white jeep on the slick rock just as you come off Poison Spider, the head north (left), and your on Golden Spike.
After climbing up and thru some canyons, we took a right at a rock cairn, and up the white slick rock towards the rim. Taking this right finds a new trail of ledges and obstacles. This stretch is much more fun then going straight and doing the "Wedgie" obstacle. Since I hadn't been on this new section, I wasn't sure what the trail's name was, but whatever it is its' a kick-butt trail! If I had taken a picture of every obstacle, I'd be out of film! Up and down, obstacle after obstacle, we jeeped on looking for rock cairns!!
The lunch stop affords another spectacular view of Arches and the La Sal Mountains. After lunch, we started down of the rim thru more ledges and more little hill climbs. At the photo of Jon, we had to remove rock placed by previous vehicles. Now that's an obstacle!
We eventually made our way down to the famous "Golden Crack" (~mile 10.7, depending on which route you took, and if you get lost!). After watching a few other cool-running jeeps crossing the crack, we all moved across with some serious articulation shots. I crawled thru with some flex and style (if you throw out the carb stall in the middle).
"The Golden Crack"
Then Jon eased on thru the "crack" putting his TJ to the test and passing. Paul took the right line, and crawled thru the "crack", only to goose it a little to much and causing the input shaft in his Dana 300 to get jammed. It created some problems later on the trail (and his trip back to Denver), but he pressed on, not to be defeated by the slick rock gods. Not knowing which trail led us out, we followed a group of jeeps along the 3.5 rated Gold Bar Rim Trail portion past the "Double Whammy" obstacle (mile 11.5). A few minutes before we arrived, a "stock" Toyota truck was defeated by slick rock gods and had just rolled. The driver broke his hand, and the truck didn't look drivable, with 5 miles of trail left to the north. The truck also looked ill-equipped to try Double Wammy too.
So, we opted to go around it and press on thru more ledge climbs and descents. We passed Monticello Rock, and down into Little Canyon. Here in 2WD, we found some fun sand in the washes and some sand hills to play on before saying "adios" to the Gooney Bird. Out and back down to Hwy 191 (mile 19.6), we gassed up and headed off to camp. HOBOS 3, MOAB 1.
Bill Hallinan HoboJeepers
More Poison Spider/ Golden Spike/ Gold Bar Rim Photos:
Spider/Golden Spike/Gold Bar Rim 2000-HoboJeepers
Here are some other Poison Spider/Golden Spike/ Gold Bar Rim Trip reports:
Rob Reitzís 99íPoison Spider Trip Report: http://www.jeepthing.com/032099/
Reitzís 99íPoison Spider Trip#2 Report: http://www.jeepthing.com/032699/index4.htm
Off-Road.Com EJS 98í Poison Spider Trail: http://www.moab-offroad.com/EJS98/98Trails/PoisonSpider/
Spider/Gold Bar Rim Trail Reports:
Voightís Golden Spike Trail Report: http://www.off-road.com/4x4web/travels/trails/usa/utah/1998/spike.html
Beaudeanís Poison Spider/ Golden Spike 98í Trail Report: http://www.off-road.com/~txh3202/trail/mo980920.html
The Golden Crack by Mike Knorr: http://www.off-road.com/~thbsjeep/Moab/GC.html
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