A diverse group of trucks explore Utah (Canyonlands National Park specifically)


I really like when we have a diverse group of trucks taking on the same trails. It's great to compare and contrast and give each other **** about their truck, choices or driver skill. I know some guys are polite and supportive and don't get me wrong if something bad happens we work together to help but otherwise there's a constant banter...I guess it's something we learned in New York many years ago and even though we all live in California now, we haven't lost that side of us.

The plan was to explore the Maze in Canyonlands National Park but take a trail or two in the other two districts just so everyone can get a taste of what they are like.

My buddy Justin took his Nissan Xterra, which is mostly stock with the exception of stiffer leaf springs in the rear, BFG AT's and fully armored underneath. Tomek drove his LR3 with oversized BFG's AT's with a 2 inch lift with his GAP IDtool, roof rack and awning. Adam drove his brand new '14 Range Rover Super Charged. He purchased a second set of wheels in a 20inch size (OE was 21) and put Cooper Zeon LTZ. I drove the '05 Mercedes G500 (Gwagen) with larger Cooper Discoverer AT3s, rock sliders and a 1 inch lift.

The plan was to drive Flagstaff Arizona for the night, then hit Monument Valley (the guys wanted to see it) and Valley of the Gods the next day.

Listening to how comfy that RRSC was, with it's massaging and cooling seats were annoying I must admit. Considering the only thing I got was the constant wind noise and vibrations from any imperfections on the roadway. Clearly the RR and the LR3 were more comfy on the LONG stretches.

Thank god the Gwagen had an aftermarket stereo and I could listen to my tunes from my iphone, otherwise I would have gone nuts.


I forgot to mention that some of the guys applied some rubber film on their trucks to prevent any scratches. I personally didn't bother because I wasn't expecting many shurbs or trees and it wouldn't protect from rocks, so why bother.

For those who've never been to Monument Valley, it's touristy to say the least but you can still manage some pics without the crowds to make it look amazing.

That is John Wayne point...For $5 a vendor will walk you over on a horse for someone else to take a picture of you.

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Before heading up to Valley of the Gods, we stopped by the Gooseneck.

that night we setup camp in the Valley of the Gods.

In case anyone asks...OZtent Jet tent.



Dinner was served....

The next morning we packed up early and headed north. The plan was to visit the Needles district, take the Elephant Hill trail and hike a trail, then make it up to Moab for dinner.

What a great, fun trail. Not extremely difficult, just technical enough to be challenging and fun.

It really was steep.



Aw, geeze, no pictures from the confluence overlook?
You should have had a real 4X4 like a 1961 CJ3B with you.
Just kidding, it really is a fun area to be in, enjoy.


Before I forget, let me state that most of the good pictures were taken by Justin.

Just a touch of room to spare.

This is where I'll make an observation.

I suppose technically I have the most offroading miles under my belt. With triple lockers and a slight lift on the Gwagen I breezed through everything. Justin in the Xterra kept up. I heard tire squealing at times and lots of hits to the underside but he was always within a hundred feet of me. He's also the second most experienced. Can't say the same for the other two guys. Tomek, the LR3 owner was the newest and even though he had the most clearance of any of us, he was genuinely nervous, sweating like a pig and falling behind. Yet, he was still quicker then Adam in the Range Rover. Now don't get me wrong, Adam is a good driver and the RR turned out to be very capable but the terror of banging his truck and scratching the bumpers had him crawling soo slowly, that what should have taken less then an hour took almost 2.

It was actually quite funny to see Tomek's and Adam's faces each time I promised them the worst was over, only to hit another rock pile or obstacle. I could tell they had enough when we came to a junction and a decision had to be made on whether we continue to the trailhead or head north and back over elephant hill. Tomek immediately wanted to head back. Justin and I were committed to hike the slot canyon at the end of the trail. With a promise that the trail was not too far away, Adam decided to continue on which forced Tomek to continue also.

As we hurried (we were behind schedule at this point) Justin hit a rock just right and sliced with sidewall.

Offending rock...

At this point with the sun about to set in less than an hour and having to get off the trail, back on the highway and all the way up to Moab, we decided to turn around.

Justin's spare was P-rated tire that came originally with the truck, so he was a bit nervous now. As the sun set, it became exponentially more difficult. I had to get out on almost every obstacle to see the line or find the trail direction. I'm not sure how often this trail gets used but on certain sections where it's only slickrock, it was very difficult to find the trail. So what took almost 2 hours to get in, took 3 to get out.

We were exhausted when we arrived in Moab.


Great to see a RR out there, over here in the uk, they just get to see cafés in Cheshire.

Great pictures, I won't be offended if you post more!


awesome to see your (4x4) vehicles put to use! down here in san diego, RR and G-wagons are limited to the wild streets of la jolla. I think people forget where these vehicles evolved from. great report, great pictures.


Looks like an awesome area! I've been camping/wheeling southern Utah all my life and have never made it over to canyonlands. That narrow slot you guys drove through looks to be the limiting factor for me and my Suburban, I wonder if I would fit.