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Trip Report: Toyotas in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by sixstringsteve, May 2, 2014.

  1. May 2, 2014 at 6:59 AM
    #1
    sixstringsteve

    sixstringsteve [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Wait.

    Don't read this trip report yet.

    Just like any trip to the maze, this TR requires a fair amount of time to soak it all in. Find a time when you have 10-15 minutes and come back to enjoy this trip report then. It'll be worth it.

    My stories are better told through video via my pathetic writing skills (or lack thereof). Enjoy in 1080p HD.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd4QSluAT4Q
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  2. May 2, 2014 at 6:59 AM
    #2
    sixstringsteve

    sixstringsteve [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The 2014 taco was bone stock with less than 1000 miles on it. :) He's a very experienced driver. The trail wasn't too tough at all, but the area at teapot canyon requires careful navigation. The trail ended up ripping off one or two of his mud flaps, and he dragged the frame a couple times, but other than that it was uneventful.

    White 2002 taco had an AAL and bilsteins and 31's.

    Grey Tundra has a 2" leveling kit and 33s

    White 2002 taco has a 2" OME lift and 35s. None of us needed our lockers, and we were only in 4-lo for about an hour. If you're ever looking for an adventure in Utah, this is a fantastic one. Get your backcountry permits/reservations online and head down to enjoy some of Utah's most remote, fantastic scenery. To really enjoy the area, I highly recommend the hike down into pictograph fork.

    I had heard that the Maze district of Canyonlands was one of the best secrets the state of Utah had to offer. I had always wanted to head in here, but I heard it was a long trip and for some reason, I kept putting it off. Well, the time had come, and I wanted to explore it. We scheduled a few days off work and headed down with our friends Fat Tony, Hardcastle, and others.

    As with most good southern trips, we started off headed for Price to top off the tanks at Chevron.

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    It was a late night so we headed straight for our favorite area outside Goblin Valley to camp. The next morning greeted us with a beautiful sunrise.

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    Our friend Yvonne met up with us and we explored the dirt slot canyons in the area before heading out.

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    We headed down to Hanksville to gas up and meet up with our new friend Jared and his family. We grabbed a lunch to go from blondies and headed out to Poison Springs Road.

    Poison Springs Road had some incredible scenery.

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    After an hour or so we came to the Dirty Devil River. It was nice and deep, but not too deep for the stock tacos.

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    Before long we found ourselves at Teapot Canyon, the most technical 4x4 part of the trail. That being said, it wasn't super technical. A stock high-clearance 4x4 with low-range would be just fine with some patience and attention to the trail. I wouldn't want to take a subaru through here.

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    Pretty soon we entered the NP boundary and entered the land of Standing Rocks.

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    Then it was just another 45 min or so to our evening camping destination: the Doll House.

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    We were exhausted after a full day of driving, and we quickly hit the sack after some songs around a stove since campfires aren't allowed.

    The next morning took a while for the sun to reach us over the Doll House pinnacles. It was a beautiful day with fantastic weather.

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    We split into two groups. Hardcastle and Jared wanted to explore Pictograph Fork and the Harvest Scene panel, but they didn't want to backpack and spend the night down in there. So they headed straight for the hiking trail and headed down.

    The rest of us decided to explore the dollhouse right away, and start Pictograph Fork later in the afternoon. Doll house has some really cool and fun places to explore.

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    Surprise Canyon, with the needles district in the distance.

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    The Dollhouse Granaries. Pretty unique, I've never seen granaries similar to these before.

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    Spanish Bottom. You can take a jetboat ride to here, then access the Maze and Doll House from the river.

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    Then back to the dollhouse to get the cars and head over to the Plug to start our backpacking portion of the trip.

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    We drove to the Land of Standing Rocks, and started getting ready for our backpacking trip into Horse Canyon.

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    The girls outnumbered the boys. Pretty cool, as this doesn't happen too much on backcountry trips, especially where backpacking is involved.

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    We were really surprised with how much water the canyon had. Don't expect there to be water there, this is a really rare thing.

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    The canyon walls towered above us as we worked our way to our campsite below the Maze Overlook.

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    Normally I'm not a fan of slogging through the sand, but for the most part, it was moist enough to not be too bad.

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    The area had some pretty unique art panels.

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    dachshund?

    IMG_1299_8609a182649df5d65ea890bb3fd79edaa074a09c.jpg

    And finally we arrived at the Harvest Scene. At this point I was far more focused on taking video than impressive photos, so you'll have to bear with my impatient pictures. Check out Yvonne's page for some incredible shots of these panels.

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    We continued on towards our destination.

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    The chocolate drops off in the distance.

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    The conglomerate left behind by flash floods was very cool to see.

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    We were getting closer to the chocolate drops.

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    Nothing beats a warm, sandy riverbed to camp on.

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    We ran out of daylight to safely hike the Maze Overlook, so we settled down for the night.

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    Orion was shining down on us from above.

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    So was Caseopia.

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    We woke up well-rested, filtered some water from a nearby spring, and picked up all our stuff to leave no trace.

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    Can you see the rock art here? Neither could we until we got closer.

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    Another view of the chocolate drops.

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    The hike up was awesome. It was a lot like climbing stairs for an hour, only it wasn't as exhausting. The blend of man-made features and the natural environment was cool to see.

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    You can barely make out the chocolate drops in the background.

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    Once out of the canyon, the scenery was fantastic.

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    From there we headed back through teapot canyon over to China Neck and the Maze Overlook.

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    China Neck was cool to see.

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    Looking down on Mother and Child rock formation with the La Sals in the far distance.

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    This is the road we took on the way to teapot canyon.

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    We decided to camp at china neck. We set up our tents then headed down to check out the maze overlook as the sun was setting.

    At the Maze Overlook. Here you can see the Chololate Drops, Land of Standing Rocks, the Dollhouse in the distance, and our camp spot from the night before.

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    We were SOOOO close to the maze overlook the night before. Too bad we didn't have time to hike up it that day.

    We dared each other to jump across the 200' gap to the rock formation across. I chickened out, but Yvonne, Fat Tony, and Hardcastle made it.

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    Headed back to our camp, the moon decided to make an appearance.

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    We were trying to decide if we wanted to sleep under the stars again that night, but after finding this 10 feet from our tents, we decided to stay in the tents.

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    The sunrise the next morning really lit up the adjacent cliffs to the west.

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    Then it was up the switchbacks to the Hans Flat Ranger station, and out via Robber's Roost.

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    What an incredible trip it was. It was a LONG haul to get back in there, and next time I plan on taking the jetboat and doing more backpacking. To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the Maze the first two days, but once we started our backpacking portion, I absolutely fell in love. I will definitely be backpacking this area a lot more in the future.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  3. May 2, 2014 at 7:23 AM
    #3
    TacomaJack09

    TacomaJack09 Well-Known Member

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    That was a great video OP, it was put together nicely! Awesome scenery, this should help me convince the ole GF! Thank you for posting
     
  4. May 2, 2014 at 11:23 AM
    #4
    sixstringsteve

    sixstringsteve [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Pics added to post #2
     
  5. May 3, 2014 at 7:41 AM
    #5
    deeppowder

    deeppowder Well-Known Member

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    Love that place. Went down there 12 years ago(stock pathfinder no issues). Rained 4 of the 6 days but still had a great time.
     
  6. Feb 7, 2015 at 11:06 PM
    #6
    jagergirll

    jagergirll Well-Known Member

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    Great post I'll be headed there in the fall!
     
  7. Feb 7, 2015 at 11:33 PM
    #7
    dakotasyota

    dakotasyota Just a Fringe of the Ging in your Minge

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    Sub so I remember to look at this tomorrow
     
  8. Feb 8, 2015 at 8:16 AM
    #8
    Canazes9

    Canazes9 Well-Known Member

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    Great trip report. Thanks for posting!

    David
     
  9. Feb 8, 2015 at 8:36 AM
    #9
    edge it

    edge it Well-Known Member

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    WOW! thanks for sharing.
     
  10. Feb 8, 2015 at 2:01 PM
    #10
    dakotasyota

    dakotasyota Just a Fringe of the Ging in your Minge

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    Wow gorgeous place there. I can't wait to go back!
     
  11. Feb 9, 2015 at 12:43 PM
    #11
    Wishbone Runner

    Wishbone Runner Because 4R

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    Great report!
     
  12. Oct 27, 2015 at 10:01 AM
    #12
    Squeaky Penguin

    Squeaky Penguin Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

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    Such an amazing report deserves a bump!
     
  13. Oct 27, 2015 at 9:26 PM
    #13
    dakotasyota

    dakotasyota Just a Fringe of the Ging in your Minge

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    Dammit stop making me miss it so much!! I can barely wait!
     

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