Oregon’s Mid-Valley Crawlers tackle Lower-Helldorado -Eric Bewley
Moab, UT. -A small group from Oregon, Utah, and California started out to tackle two of the more famous trails in Moab, Upper and Lower Helldorado. These two trails have not been officially entered into the trail system but you wouldn’t know that by the amount of traffic that always seems to be there. Many people drive straight to Upper to either watch the carnage or drive that short yet exciting trail. We decided to run both trails and make a nice full day out of it.
We immediately hit a traffic jam. It seems some full size rigs decided they weren’t as ready as they previously thought and they wanted to back out of the trail. After some discussion, we were able to convince them to find a wide spot to let us by. Lower Helldorado reminds many of the Rubicon trail with it’s rock type and trail layout. There are no steep cliffs, red rock, or open spaces here. You are in an old dry creek bed with some nice smaller technical obsticles that will give you just about as much as you want to make out of it.
Not far after the first traffic jam we ran into a broken Jeep and an extremely nice early Blazer. Unlike the first group, they accepted their position and let us by.
This Sidekick breezed this obsticle.
One of the first interesting obsticles is this ‘pinching’ obsticle that eats rims of tires for lunch. It is similar to the Wedgie obsticle on the Poison Spider Mesa trail only shorter.
Most every spot on Lower is fun. Sure, there are some pretty easy lines on the trail but if you want to, you can really stick it out there and have a blast.
From the series of four pictures you can see that Dave’s samurai with OME springs, 29″ swampers, lockers, and gears gets the most of this obsticle. We all had a good time getting through the tight spots but I think Dave definitely got the super-sized value meal.
Dave had talked about rocker protection for Moab, Naw…
The roll back
Let’s go a little more left.
All of us had to take a few stabs at one obsticle or another. For me, the last steep climb with a step turn out to be pretty interesting giving me some good air time with a nice soft wheel stand. Where’s the camera man when you need them?
Our California constituent, Tom, made short work of this trail with his excellent driving and capable rig. The only thing that slowed him down was a set of crappy tires that kept loosing air out the beads.
We made good time on the trail once past the slow pokes and ended at Upper at about two in the afternoon. Unfortuneately, the trail was pretty clogged with fun seekers so the group decided to pass on Upper this day.
As your reading this, you might get the impression that the trail might be a little overcrowded, and you’d be right. Either we picked a bad day to be there or the popularity of these trails have really grown. Eventhough it was difficult to make good time, the trail was extremely enjoyable and if your main goal is to run the Upper trail, one should either start really early or bypass lower to get there early in the day before the crowds.