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For my husband's birthday in June we are heading out to Utah to explore the back country surrounding the national parks since we are taking our dog and they are not allowed on national park trails. Moab has tons of info in this forum (which I thank you for!) but does anyone have any info/tips/advice on all the other amazing areas of southern Utah? Especially around Capitol Reef National Park, the San Rafael Swell and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument? I super appreciate the posts about reputable mechanics, towing services, hospitals and vets as well as killer trails to check out.

We are going on our own, so we don't plan to do any serious crawling (since we won't have anyone with us to winch us out!) but any info is appreciated :)
 

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Beings as nobody is "Speaking Up" I would recommend you to Research your trip like any other Vacation.
(With Extra Focus on trail routes.)

If you are planning to do any Wheeling, I Would Highly recommend
Caution as you never know what you might come across.
(dont forget the "kitchen sink", the item you forget Will be the 1 you need)

Maybe someone else will chime in here soon.
you can also try FB - "Utah Bronco Club" & RR4W for info too.
(and You Tube Videos maybe)

Good Luck.
Dragon
 

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For trails, I would suggest the Jeep 3D trail.

My wife and I were out there in May for the Bronco meet up ( which was also over my birthday :D ) and this is a trail we went on when we were all by ourselves.
Our Bronco is mostly stock, with 32" tires. No lift, etc. And since we drove it 500 miles there, we needed to be able to drive it 500 miles back and didn't want to break anything. Fun trail with lots of variety, but nothing too difficult.
Buy a local trail map while you're there, too. They have difficulty rating posted on the maps, as well as where to find them.

Not sure on the national parks, since we didn't have a dog with us, but I know we enjoyed Arches National Park while we were there.
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you White Dragon! I will check out the "Utah Bronco Club" & RR4W :) This trip has been thoroughly researched (my husband has maps 4 layers deep on our table!) and we have been through Utah several times, but this is only our 2nd time in the Bronco. We don't plan to do any actual wheeling because like you said we are alone and that isn't the best idea. What we are planning to do is drive on the dirt roads that head into nowhere and sometimes get washed out beyond the national parks. SO much amazing land to explore! I was just looking for any personal recommendations on places to go and things to see :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is what I'm looking for!

For trails, I would suggest the Jeep 3D trail.

My wife and I were out there in May for the Bronco meet up ( which was also over my birthday :D ) and this is a trail we went on when we were all by ourselves.
Our Bronco is mostly stock, with 32" tires. No lift, etc. And since we drove it 500 miles there, we needed to be able to drive it 500 miles back and didn't want to break anything. Fun trail with lots of variety, but nothing too difficult.
Buy a local trail map while you're there, too. They have difficulty rating posted on the maps, as well as where to find them.

Not sure on the national parks, since we didn't have a dog with us, but I know we enjoyed Arches National Park while we were there.
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This is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for, thank you! And happy belated birthday ;)

We will also be driving over 1,200 miles each way, and we want to be able to make it home as well! We want to explore beyond the pavement and main roads, but not get ourselves into any trouble or break things ;)

Where would you recommend buying local trail maps? I'm all about shopping local once we are there :) Thank you SO MUCH for the trail tip! :D

I reward you with 2 photos from our last Utah trip, the first of a road that was washed out that we didn't cross (about a 8' drop!) and the second at a little park we stopped at to let the pup run around :)
 

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Such a beautiful area! I loved it down there, it was our first time.
We got our trail map at the gas station that was by our camp ground (Archview). It was about $12, but was high quality plastic sheet (waterproof) instead of paper, so it was nice to have.

Happy birthday to your husband. :D Have a great time.
 

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Yeah, most places around that a visitor would stop at have maps available. And always ask locals about trails you can do.

In all honesty, you could do Fins and Things trail and most of Hell's revenge. When I did those two, there was both a stock 77 bronco and a stock bronco 2 doing them. And the issue about being alone is usually not. In the peak season, the trails are constantly in use and theres bound to be others there. Most are willing to help someone in need. They may want a six pack of compensation tho... That being said, not trail riding solo is a good idea.

There is an offroad tow truck in the Moab area. He is VERY skilled at driving the trails. You can see him do Hell's Gate IN REVERSE on YouTube.

There is also a level 4 trauma hospital and numerous vets in the Moab Area.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the info AbandonedBronco! You'll have to check out the back country in Escalante next time you go down. That area has all of the canyons and hoo doos and arches that the national parks have, only less people to be in your way ;) We are all about our waterproof maps!

And thank you BigBlue 94 for the additional info! If only I could break something in the Moab area! Anything I could buy there I would assume would be an upgrade ;) Good to know about the vets and the off-road tow truck, I looked up that CRAZY video and I'll be looking up his number and taking it along for sure! And extra thanks for the trail recommendations! I sure hope you're right and that if we DO have any issues that someone will drive by sooner than later... I will have much more than a 6-pack ready for compensation (adding to list of things to pack).

Thank you both very much! As a reward here is my truck in his home environment on Maui :)
 

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During peak season it's not uncommon to see 100 vehicles on Hell's revenge while you are on it.

I definitely recommend taking spare u-joints and a ball joint press along with you. They are probably the most common failure point, along with steering linkage.
 

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Thank you so much for the tips! Just replace my U-joints, so hopefully they hold ;)
Did you do the ones on the front axle shafts? Theres 8 total u-joints on a FSB, plus the double cardon ball. They are a little less prone to breakage, unless you're really pushing it hard.

Not sure if it was mentioned already, but an extra serpentine belt tensioner pulley assembly is a good idea to. We had one of those break out at the safari, causing them to be on the trail till 12:30am. It's difficult to wheel out there at night with just headlights because of the steep angles and drop offs.

Obviously, always take enough water, food, and medicine for a couple days when you go on the trail. You could get caught out there.

And always remember to have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you so much BigBlue 94! Since we are going solo we are planning to stick to dirt roads and not do any rough wheeling. I just had to have my transmission dropped to replace the flywheel on back of my engine so while we were down there we did replace the front u-joints :) The belt tensioner is a good idea!

We will have plenty of food and camping supplies since we plan to be out there for 2 weeks with the occasional dip back towards town to refuel and buy snakcs ;)

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Fantastic trip!

Many thanks to those of you who offered advice, we had a fantastic trip! Here are some photos of rocks :)
(the photo of camp with the dog refuses to post correctly, but if you click on it, it will be right-side-up)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
More great Utah photos!

(same thing with this dog pic, she was too tired to jump down out of the truck that night and just ate from the tailgate)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You know its a bumpy road when...

I of course kept an eye on things, checking my fluids before and after each day at camp. Although I didn't lose much coolant I sure made a mess with those bumpy dirt roads! I was tempted to just duct tape it but then thought that maybe that would be bad for the radiator, how do you guys get around this? Is my reservoir just crummy?
 

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Glad you had Fun & made it breakage free.

as far as your over flow, maybe it was just a little "Over Full" ?
No biggy tho' it's just another area to squirt off on "Post Trail" cleanup.

Where did you camp and what Trails did you go on and how would you rate them?
(I ask for the 2020 Invasion trail co-ordination.)

Great Pics too. :thumbup

Later,
Dragon
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think that the only official "trail" we did was Trail 500 (rated easy) in the Wolverine Wilderness Study Area, which was a great beginner trail, only needed 4WD in one small spot where the rock was loose and it was a bit steep. We mostly did dispersed camping starting by the Henry Mountains, but we also stayed at a few actual campgrounds: Coral Pink Sand Dunes state park (showers!), and Kodachrome Basin State Park which I would highly recommend for group camping, they even have really nice showers and a laundromat!

The area around Factory Butte was fantastic and just bumpy dirt roads, not technical.

Highly recommend scenic Hwy 12!

We had planned on doing the Burr Trail, but at the end of June it was super hot, and if your a/c is as weak at mine it was uncomfortable in the mid-day sun. The road is more bumpy than technical, and after being jarred for days on the other dirt roads (and considering our poor dog was with us) we decided to skip it. That trail would take at least a day and we were over it at that point ;)
 
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