JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
You start off cruising down a soft sand trail. As you get into it, the trail narrows and offers up a few obstacles for some fun. Nothing drastic, just enough to let you know you are off the grid a bit. A couple rock beds, a few drop offs, and a pretty good climb up a rock, all lead you to a peaceful place called The Klondike Bluffs.
Inside the Arches National Park there are a few off road trails to try. One, is a trek out to Klondike Bluffs. It is a mapped trail, but you definitely need a 4wd vehicle to make it. The 4wd Trail, yes that is the name of it, is considered moderate, but i would recommend making sure the driver has some experience before taking it on.
A great place for some lunch and a little exploring! Just be sure to take your trash with you.
I can't get enough of this beautiful place, and I can't recommend it enough. Huge arches, tall red rock towers, and the beauty of the Utah desert will give you the fix of nature you need to get ready to take on the chaotic world you go home to.
After soaking in nature a while, you're back to the trail for what is probably the most challenging piece of it all. A steep climb up and over a field of rocks. Just take it easy though, it won't be a problem, even a stock Jeep will handle it with ease. Now, I will share a small doubt I had about this last little section of the trek. I wasn't 100% positive that the steep, rocky climb part, was actually the trail. I'd say 80/20 on a sureness scale though...and that's good enough for me!
The best part of it all...being out there for hours and hours and not seeing a single person! Next time you're in Arches National Park...check out the 4WD Trail to Klondike Bluffs, you wont regret it.
The Fiery Furnace is an incredible natural labyrinth of passages between giant sandstone walls that tower above. No trails or signs, just a maze of adventure. From easy to difficult you can get lost from the world and explore the square mile phenomena. This place is COOL!
If you make it to Utah's beautiful Arches National Park, take a couple hours and spend it in The Fiery Furnace. You'll come out of it with an appreciation for nature and exploration like never before. (Permits are required. Available at the visitor center, near the entrance of the Park)
Matching Top-Zip Zipper Pulls!! Yup...these bad boys are just out of the package, and installed!
At first, I wasn't sure if I would like the the contrast. Guess what...I love it! It's the perfect little splash of color to give it a custom look, without being over the top.
Let's get to what's important though. How great these work! I think the Zipper Pulls are literally the best thing that happened to the softtop since the actual zipper.
We all know how tough and frustrating it is to try and grab that stupid little zipper tab and pull it opened or closed sometimes...can I get an Amen??!
Give them a try for yourself...you'll love them.
Looking at my summer, I really want to get away to somewhere different. Somewhere I haven't spent a whole lot of time exploring. Somewhere I can go hard, or go easy. That said... My Shasta sounds like the perfect getaway. !
My Shasta is a volcano in Northern California. Fifth highest peak in California. They have everything an outdoorsman can ask for! Climbing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, you name the fun and you can do it there. I love seeing new places so hiking some trails will be my choice.
Trials range from easy to tough, but the expert hikers are already out there. So here are some trails that everyone can handle.
SHORT HIKES (15-45 minutes)
John Everitt Vista Point
Walk through large, old growth conifer forest to volcanic rock outcropping with panorama of area south to McCloud and Sacramento River Canyons. Look for botanical tree signs.
Time: 20 minutes Length: 1/2 mile RT Elevation: 5000′ to 5100′
Difficulty: Easy. Climbs then levels to easy grade.
Trailhead: 9 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to parking lot.
Panther Meadow Loop
Spring water flows in rivulets through fragile alpine meadow full of wildflowers. Peaceful loop trail allows great view of mountain. Sensitive plantlike; please stay on trail. No drinking water. Note: Only accessible after snow melts, typically June 1.
Time: 45 minutes Length: 1.5 miles RT Elevation: 7500′ to 7900′
Difficulty: Easy. Rocky path is well-marked.
Trailhead: 12.5 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to marked trailhead.
MEDIUM HIKES (1-2 hours)
Old Ski Bowl Trail
Outstanding views up to Mt. Shasta’s summit. Unmarked trail meanders through volcanic rock gulch between Green Butte and Sargents Ridge. Trail has no destination. No water. Cover in snow unitl June usually.
Time: 1 hour (varies) Length: 1 mile Elevation: 7800′ to ?
Difficulty: Easy, steady uphill climb on rocky path.
Trailhead: 14 miles to end of Everitt Memorial Highway at uppermost parking lot.
McCloud River – Lower, Middle and Upper Falls
Access to all three falls has been greatly improved in recent years by the Forest Service. There is a trail connecting all three, which is partially wheelchair accessible. The trail is approximately 1 ½ miles long, one way. There are picnic tables and restrooms at the Lower Falls area. There is a parking area and restrooms at the Middle Falls. From the parking area you can choose to walk just a short distance to an overlook above the falls or travel down the trail to the pool.
All three of these waterfalls are within about one mile of each other, yet each is uniquely beautiful, and has their own personality. At Upper Falls, the quiet river gathers itself into a massive rock chute, charging the water full of energy before it spills into a pool far below. Middle Falls spreads a sheet of falling water over a lava cliff, into a large pool. The water is icy cold, but in the summer you will find people frolicking in it. Lower Falls is a small chute spilling into a pool below.
Directions: From Mt. Shasta, go about a mile south of town to the beginning of Highway 89. The sign will say to McCloud, Susanville, or Reno. Travel over the hill about 10 miles to the town of McCloud. Continue traveling east on highway 89 five miles beyond McCloud, slow down when you see a McCloud River Access sign. Turn right at the Forest Service sign “Fowler’s Campground Lower Falls” Go straight past the entrance to the campground to reach the Lowers Falls area in about ½ mile. If you want to go to Middle Falls take the paved road to the east and travel about ½ mile. To reach Upper Falls by car, travel about another ½ mile past the Middle Falls parking area. This road is actually a loop and continues on to Lakin Dam and Cattle Camp, then back to Highway 89 in about 6 miles.
LONGER HIKES (2 hours or more)
Bunny Flat Trail
Major trailhead for both mountain climbers and day hikers. Trail ascends south flank through open conifer forests to Sierra Club Hut at Horse Camp. Bathrooms at parking lot and Horse Camp. No drinking water except at Horse Camp spring. Wilderness Permit required.
Time: 3-4 hours Length: 4.5 miles Elevation: 6900′ to 7900′
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous in spots. Steady uphill with moderate grade. After Horse Camp is rock causeway to protect fragile vegetation. Trail not suitable for children under 6 years old.
Trailhead: 11 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to Bunny Flat parking lot. Kiosk for self-issue Wilderness Area use permits.
Sand Flat Trail
Ascends through Avalanche Gulch and connects with the Bunny Flat Trail, then up to the Sierra Club Hut at Horse Camp. Impressive views upward to Mt. Shasta’s Red Banks area. Spring water and restroom at Horse Camp.
Time: 3 hours Length: 4 miles Elevation: 6800′ to 7900′
Difficulty: Strenuous. Climbs steeply through forested area.
Trailhead: 9.5 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to Lower Sand Flat Road. Turn left on unpaved ; drive .8 miles to junction. Continue straight ahead and take fork to the right for .4 mile to trailhead.
Grey Butte Trail
Marked trail crosses bottom of meadow, then climbs up through notch to west side of Grey Butte through conifer forest. Panoramic summit views east, south and west plus the summit of Mt. Shasta. Radio transmission equipment and earthquake sensors are located here too.
Time: 3 hours Length: 3 miles Elevation: 7600′ to 8000′
Trailhead: Begins at Panther Meadows Campground parking lot about 13 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. from Mount Shasta City.
Squaw Meadows Trail
Ascending over Grey Butte saddle, it opens up to unique “moonscape” of volcanic outcrops as it skirts north side of Red Butte. Drops into green Squaw Meadows.
Time: 4-5 hours Length: 4 miles Elevation: 7600′ to 7800′
Trailhead: 14 miles up Everitt Memorial Hwy. to Old Ski Bowl parking lot. Rock-lined trail begins there.
Now... Get outside and see the world or at least Mt. Shasta!
Human beings have a very bad habit of going into an area, destroying it, and then moving on to find the next place to ruin. It drives me...actually, it drives any outdoors lover insane. So, when you are lucky enough to find a group of folks that love to give back...it's worth the spotlight.
Several years ago a lack of funding forced the State of California to start pulling the plug on their trail upkeep program. The trails became littered with trash and graffiti, the drains and pathways would get covered with shrubs and debris, and winter time would break everything down so badly it became dangerous for people to even be out there. Low on funds, the State had no other choice than to close shop on every trail that wasn't a "needed" fire road.
For some, closing down the trails wasn't an option. Luckily for us, those folks are Jeepers! One man's idea gave birth to the Adopt-a-Trail program, and now it's getting traction all over the country.
This is a trail maintenance program where different groups of outdoor lovers, and off-road clubs pledge to work with local government representatives in keeping our trails clean, safe, maintained and most importantly...open for us to enjoy. Usually on a monthly basis, a group will go through and remove the trash, graffiti, rocks, overgrowth, whatever may mess the trail up. It's a great way spend a day having fun with friends and doing something good for the environment, and our trails.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of getting out on a clean up day with Lost Jeeps SoCal, a local Jeep Club here in Southern California.
Just being out there with a bunch of fellow Jeepers was fun. On the trail, giving back to nature was the theme for the day, and this group was happy to be doing it!
Starting at one end of 2N33 (a local trail in the San Bernardino Mountains Lost Jeeps SoCal adopted) the group wheeled through, committed to leaving the place better than when they found it. It was really cool to see a group of folks volunteer their time and effort to a cause that will probably go unrecognized by most of the world, and have so much fun doing it.
If you're a Jeep owner, think about joining a local Jeep group, and think about jumping in on the Adopt-A-Trail program.. They are a lot of fun, and full of great people. Lost Jeeps SoCal is a great one if you're here in Southern California. Most importantly make sure it's a group that believes in giving back. A group committed to leaving this world better than when they found it.
Ok, I'll admit it... I use mine for more of a computer bag than a survival pack. That being said, it's only because I love it so much I like to use it almost daily!
More and more we hear horrible, tragic stories about people hitting the trails and not making it back. You would think we would learn. It is so easy to throw some food, medical supplies, and a jacket in a pack to take along.
I get it, I get it, sometimes when you plan on being back by dark carrying a pack isn't the greatest thing to do. Well, neither is dying! So here is my favorite daypack that everyone should get!
5.11 Tactical makes all kinds of military, and law enforcement gear from bags to clothing. They are built tough, real tough, and have something perfect for all outdoor activity! This however, is my favorite daypack.
Introducing the 5.11 Rush Moab 10
This daypack has plenty of room for everything you need to survive. It's built to withstand anything you can do to it. Take a look at the specs.
-Sturdy, lightweight 1050D nylon
-5.11 Tier System integrates with other RUSH bags
-Main compartment: 18.25” H x 9” L x 5.25” D
-Front compartment: 12.5” H x 8” L x 2” D
-Coms pocket pass-through cord slots
-hook and loop fastener flag patch
-YKK® self-healing zippers
Add in how comfortable and easy it is to wear and you have the perfect daypack that EVERYONE can and should use. Whenever adventure calls you into action remember to be smart, safe and most of all... Have fun!
If you're going to Moab this year for the Jeep Easter Event, I have two things to say to you! One...LUUUUCCKKYY. Two, make sure you test drive this!
This one is not just a concept, it is a smooth blast from the past. Remember these??
The beast from "the good ol' days". This cool concept is all 70's, based off of the classic Jeep Cherokee Chief! It is impossible not to think this baby isn't the coolest thing on the trail this year.
Old school style, new school technology...my dream come true. Let me know if you're lucky enough to test drive this one! I'd love a quick interview.