Lockhart Basin North to South - Nissan Frontier

projected

Adventurer
Living in Durango puts UT closer than anywhere I've lived in the past (in the last 15 years I have lived in Denver CO and Santa Fe NM). We spent most of this past summers weekends in the CO Rockies, once snow hit the high country we shifted our attention to UT and we've been out there every weekend for the last month or so. This is just one trip report from mid October, if I can find time I’d like to post the rest.

We decided to drive Lockhart Basin from north to south. I've done this on dual sport bikes in the past but never in a truck, it's amazing the things you can ride over on a dirt bike and not think twice about :roost: Now that we successfully completed this road in our Frontier I can confidently say that north to south is more difficult than south to north, because you have to climb the most difficult canyon/section of the road instead of descending down it.


Just before heading up the switchbacks to Hurrah Pass.




Hurrah Pass just before sunset.


This is a long drive, about 60ish miles of dirt. We arrived in Moab around 5pm on Friday night. We were in a hurry to find a camp spot, setup, and heat our food so this is the only pic after the pass. We camped about 10 miles south of Hurrah pass and got setup just before dark. The wind had picked up pretty bad so I didn't feel like spending a lot of time in the wind getting our larger Partner camp stove ready, luckily I brought our Snowpeak backpacking stove I take on motorcycle camping trips, it sets up in seconds. We were also lucky that our dinner plans were very simple, basically heating what we already prepared at the house. I tried my best to shield the flame.


Sunrise the next morning was amazing. Prior to this we had a James Baroud Grand Raid XXL RTT, this is our first camping trip since selling the RTT and our ARB fridge. As you can imagine camping for us just got a little less comfy :camping: The never ending extreme wind and sand shower had us awake most of the night. If we were in the JB RTT we would it would have been a different experience. The reason we sold is in preparation for our planned slide in camper, we just need to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.






We got underway around 9 am on Saturday morning and had the threat of rain all day. If you've ever been caught in rain in this area you know how crazy the mud is and how the washes can flow. That being said I was slightly nervous all day,








This seems to be a very photographed spot, I've noticed it 2 times in Overland Journal since our trip :bike_rider: This is pretty much the beginning of the most challenging part of this trip.



Pictures never do justice.




This switchback is the end of the hardest part if heading south or the beginning if headed north :)


Just past the switchback looking at the road we just came up. It looks like a hiking trail from here....


Another shot same canyon further up. In the distance you can see the road we came in on.




Lunch break.




 
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projected

Adventurer




The home stretch.


After a full day of taking in the beauty we hit pavement just after 4pm right as it started to rain. From here 2.5 hours of pavement back to Durango.


For anyone interested my truck is a 2012 Nissan Frontier Pro4X with factory rear locker, everything Shrockworks offers: front/rear bumpers, full skid plates, and sliders, Warn winch, Sway Away extended coilovers set at 2.5" lift, SPC upper control arms, OME medium 1.5" lift rear leaf pack, special order Snugtop topper with reinforced roof to hold 500lbs (I thought this was a good idea for the RTT, I would NEVER drive with that much weight up there), and stock wheels with Cooper ST Maxx 255/85-16 tires.

On this trip I did touch a slider once and the bottom of the left rear shock mount once, otherwise nothing else touched. With careful driving I'm surprised where this long wheelbase, IFS, terrible rear departure angle truck can take us.
 
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FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
We (The Retierd Ol' Farts) were just out there ourselves. Our first 5 days were with rain (generally at afternoon and night). We started in Bluff went generally north. We went south to north through Lockhart and have many of the same photos you have. Nice report!
 

projected

Adventurer
Thanks Frenchie! We did another weekend camping in the Comb Ridge area and drove north then east through the Abojo Mountains, amazing area. We need to go back as we barely scratched the surface of what's there.
 

goFWD

New member
Great pics, thanks for sharing. I was just south of there (and all over south UT, and even in your home town for a few days to ride up/down the Million Dollar Hwy) back in June on a 3000 mile solo trip on my VFR. I'd never been to that part of the U.S. before and it was just amazing. As you said above, pictures don't do it justice. I took a lot of pictures, came home, tried to show them to friends/family and explain the area, and it was frustrating as the pictures were so inadequate. They thought they were great, but I found myself repeating, "No, no, you MUST see this in person." It got so bad in southern UT that I actually wanted to leave -- not because I didn't like it (I loved it) but because I felt by taking in so much so quickly I wasn't fully appreciating it and I needed a break before returning.

I also own a 2012 Frontier Pro-4X and all I kept thinking about in CO, UT and NM every time I'd see a dirt road was, "I wish I was in my truck, I'd love to see where that goes." Loved the twisties on the VFR, though, but I plan on equipping my truck and heading back that way for some off-road exploring.
 

projected

Adventurer
Sounds like a great trip goFWD. If you replace the VFR with a dirt capable big bike like a KTM 990/1190, Yamaha Tenere, etc. you could could explore those roads you kept dreaming about:sombrero:
 
Great trip report and I love seeing vehicles that are so slightly modified they still look stock. Then you go on the trails and amaze everyone at what you can do!
 

projected

Adventurer
Thanks for sharing! I was out there in September with a couple buddies, love that trail!
Excellent...glad you got to enjoy the wilds of Utah!
Very nice pictures, great Frontier, very clean!
Thanks everyone, I appreciate you taking the time to look!

Great trip report and I love seeing vehicles that are so slightly modified they still look stock. Then you go on the trails and amaze everyone at what you can do!
Several times now guys in Jeeps have told me I shouldn't go any further on a trail (Pearl Pass S to N, Taylor Pass S to N, Italian Creek high road) because they just damaged this or had trouble with that. Sometimes this happens on trails I've already driven and I KNOW I can get through without damage. I had a guy on Pearl pass in a totally hooked up JKU on 35's yelling at me, asking "Where do you think you're going?!?! You better turn around right now! I just ripped my fender flare off just past this turn! I built this Jeep specifically to do Pearl Pass you can't make it to the snow bank in that truck!" (the pass had not cleared yet so no one could get completely over) He then proceeded to violently pull off the trail (so we could pass by) with a 50 point turn maneuver, hitting boulders with his bumpers and rear diff as he pulled forward and backwards, just driving like a maniac. No wonder he ripped his flare off...
 
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FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
Several times now guys in Jeeps have told me I shouldn't go any further on a trail (Pearl Pass S to N, Taylor Pass S to N, Italian Creek high road) because they just damaged this or had trouble with that. Sometimes this happens on trails I've already driven and I KNOW I can get through without damage. I had a guy on Pearl pass in a totally hooked up JKU on 35's yelling at me, asking "Where do you think you're going?!?! You better turn around right now! I just ripped my fender flare off just past this turn! I built this Jeep specifically to do Pearl Pass you can't make it to the snow bank!" (the pass had not cleared yet so no one could be completely over) He then proceeded to violently pull off the trail (so we could pass by) with a 50 point turn maneuver, hitting boulders with his bumpers and rear diff as he pulled forward and backwards, just driving like a maniac. No wonder he ripped his flare off...
There are jerks everywhere and every activity.

I have learned over the years, it is not the vehicle, it is the driver and their experience and abilities.

It seams that what ever a person owns, they think it is the best. They are correct, CORRECT in that it may be the best for their abilities and what they do. The same vehicle may not be the best for what others do.

The other side of the coin. He may have been trying to be nice and save you from some damage to your vehicle. I did not hear the way that person was talking, and know how they meant for it to come across.

But!!! From what you said he did as he turned around he probably was a Jerk and did not know how to drive or was ticked off from what he had already done.

We do have our macho group! Soooo as owner of many Jeeps over the years. I am very sorry that the person has reflected bad on Jeep drivers, not all of us are that way.
 

projected

Adventurer
Frenchie I agree with everything you just said. This guy was an *****, his poor wife and son looked traumatized LOL. I should have clarified that the other jeepers who warned me about things were doing it with courtesy and for my own wellbeing, very nice people.

Jeeps are usually the most capable vehicles I come across, when driving something so capable it's probably difficult to image a stockish IFS vehicle making it through things. I know I have solid axle envy, I love the articulation.

All user groups have their share of bad apples.
 
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