Upcoming Eagles nest NM and Moab trip.

sdsupilot

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OKC
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OK
#1
In about a month or so we are looking at taking a trip to Eagles Nest NM then on to Moab. Looking for suggestions on trails or fun things to do.

We will start at Eagles Nest for a few days. This will be with some friends that aren't likely going to enjoy actual challenging wheeling. Most likely sight seeing runs. We have been to Taos before and ran some fire roads. Really beautiful area.

From there we will be heading to Moab. I think we will have about 4-5 days to wheel there. I was planning on running Hells Revenge, Fins and things, Top of the world and Onion Creek. Of course we will probably also run up to see the arches.

This will likely be the last "big" trip on my current setup. 33" Nitto MT, dana 30 with a lunchbox and AMC 20 with a limited slip. Have 4" BDS springs. Others in my group have a TJ locked front and rear with 35s, a Scout II with a front lunchbox open rear with 33s, and a CJ7 with 35s locked front and rear. From past experience the Scout is going to have the hardest time.

Looking for suggestions or personal experiences for this area.
 

don87401

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
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Farmington
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NM
#3
There are few trails Forest service roads around Red River I have been on. I can try and find better info.

You may contact the New Mexico 4 Wheelers some one in that group may have some good maps of the area. https://nm4w.org/

Depending on the exact timing you could stop by here in Farmington on the way to Moab and I could take you out to the Glade and let you get warmed up for the Moab sandstone.
 

sdsupilot

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OK
#5
Thanks Don! Once we get our travel plans figured out I'll send you a message. Looking forward to the trip. I'll have to start doing some more research.
 

bigwalton

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#6
I always suggest Chicken Corners purely for the scenery. Especially if you’re with people who would like less challenge. It’s a favorite even if it’s not hard wheeling.
 

bigwalton

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#7
If you’re up for a drive, Elephant Hill down in the Canyonlands is another with amazing views at the confluence overlook.

My one suggestion is to not look at photos to research, if you can manage, leave the views to experience in person (not that the photos would ever do it all justice anyway)
 

Belizeit

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River Ridge
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La
#8
If you’re up for a drive, Elephant Hill down in the Canyonlands is another with amazing views at the confluence overlook.

My one suggestion is to not look at photos to research, if you can manage, leave the views to experience in person (not that the photos would ever do it all justice anyway)
BW it has been 25-30 years since I was out there. Elephant Hill. When you get to the end, is there a bunch of switch backs climbing out ?
 

bigwalton

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#9
Don’t think I’d call it a bunch, but you do go up and then immediately down some right out of the parking lot. I think you’re thinking of the Shafer Trail. That’s a very cool one too that’s not tough.
 

Belizeit

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River Ridge
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La
#10
The one I'm thinking of there was these switch backs then when you came out of the top there was maybe a Ranger station or observation place and you could see the switch backs and trail down below. Always wanted to find out the name and do that again
 

bigwalton

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#11
The one I'm thinking of there was these switch backs then when you came out of the top there was maybe a Ranger station or observation place and you could see the switch backs and trail down below. Always wanted to find out the name and do that again
That’s Shafer I do believe.
 

Moabite

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Moab
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UT
#13
The two trails that offer the best introduction to Moab scenery and geology are Hurrah Pass/Chicken Corners and Shafer Trail...both very easy trails. They are the 2 trails I always take first-time visitors on. I prefer to do the Shafer Trail from the top down to Hwy 279. If you do Chicken Corners, walk out the foot trail past the parking area to the real Chicken Corner. If you make it past that, pay attention to the limestone and you might be surprised at what you find.
 

bigwalton

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#14
The two trails that offer the best introduction to Moab scenery and geology are Hurrah Pass/Chicken Corners and Shafer Trail...both very easy trails. They are the 2 trails I always take first-time visitors on. I prefer to do the Shafer Trail from the top down to Hwy 279. If you do Chicken Corners, walk out the foot trail past the parking area to the real Chicken Corner. If you make it past that, pay attention to the limestone and you might be surprised at what you find.
here is your man for recommendations!!
 

Moabite

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Moab
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UT
#16
A mistake far too many make when visiting Moab is to cram as many trails as possible into a short time. Relax on the trail...don't spend all day listening to your motor. If you do both Chicken Corners and Shafer Trail, you'll pass through somewhat similar country, just on opposite sides of the river. The parking area for Chicken Corners is directly across the river from Thelma and Louise Point (AKA Fossil Point). That name hints at what you'll find on the Chicken Corners foot trail. When I joined Search and Rescue many years ago, there was a photo on the shop wall of one of the members posing with Thelma's (or maybe Louise's?) head/torso in a boat down below the point. We had apparently been asked to help with the search and recovery.

Onion Creek will provide some variety (as will the amusement park rides known as Hell's Revenge and Fins & Things). When I do Onion Creek, I usually like to approach from the top...going up through Castle Valley and taking the Thompson Canyon/Polar Mesa trail down to Onion Creek and then out to Hwy 128. That entire loop is very easy, except in late Fall through late Spring when snowdrifts block the route. We rescue numerous people up there every year who atempt to plow through the deep drifts.

Everyone who has been to Moab has a favorite trail. For me, the destination has always been more important than the obstacles along the way. I've done enough of the gonzo, butt-clenching, vehicle-damaging, rock-crawling trails to know that, like my old friend Ed Abbey, I prefer to walk terrain like that. I've found that the easier trails usually lead to the most scenic destinations.
 

sdsupilot

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OK
#17
Well, time flies. The trip is over and now I am back to the real world. We put some serious miles during this trip. 1980 on the tow rig and 6-700 on the Scrambler.

@Moabite was certainly correct about trying to cram too many trails in a short period of time. I had it in my mind to run 2 trails a day. If you do that, you will miss out on all the beauty of the area. Every direction you look is postcard worthy. I decided after the first day to start planning a second and third trip to the area to be able to enjoy everything.

My group stayed in a VRBO in Spanish Valley. It worked perfectly as we had 4 tow rigs, 4 trailers and 4 off road rigs. It was a short drive to the trails from there. First we did Hells Revenge which promptly took its revenge on every vehicle except for mine. The second day we went to Arches National Park and hiked around. The third day was Fins N Things, fourth was Shaffer Trail and Steel Bender.

Hells Revenge is pretty awesome, I would do it again. I would run Hells Gate, probably not the Escalator though. Hot tubs are way more extreme than videos make you think. We ran all of Fins N Things. I probably would skip most the the things and stick to the Fins. Shaffer Trail was by far the most scenic and beautiful. At first we stopped pretty frequently to take pictures, towards the end we were rushing more. There really is too much scenery to really soak in.
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