First Drive out west (MOAB etc) Suggestions to keep me married

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Stepsride

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Just like the title says. The first two weeks of JUNE 2019 my family and I (2 girls 17 and 15 and my wife) are driving out to first Colorado and then to Moab. We are driving from Palm Harbor FL and wanted to get some input on, well, everything. The big things the little things and everything that you did that you would not do again. Please include the things you enjoyed or things you wished you did as well.

I am starting with a clean sheet of paper. I am starting to plan for about 5 days with a base camp in the Moab area. That is the thinking now until you tell me different. My goal is to get in a good trip to see some incredible sites and to get into some fairly challenging trials. Remember I need to stay married!! I am not going to see it all but what are the places or trails that I should not miss the first time out there.

I drive a 13 JKU with 3.5 inches of suspension lift and some Maxxis Razr MT 35 inch tires, fully skidded,etc. Not a hardcore rock crawler but it can hold its own in a lot of terrain. I am a seasoned wheeler with many vehicles built and sold. However I have never wheeled out west. I wheeled the wet slick and tight forests of the east coast.

Please feel free to post here, email me, IM me etc.... with your thoughts. I really appreciate any and all help!
Thank you!
STEP
 

Graeman

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1. cell phone coverage will be your first priority with your age group.
2. stop to smell the roses, do a side trip for them. Ask them what they would like to see.
3. what is your route? If we knew your route we can tell you the historical and natural sites.
4. Don't be pressed for time, stay flexible.
 

Square Foot

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It will be a great trip with beautiful scenery. Some suggestions based on things I've done with my daughter in the area:
Spend the day in Glenwood Springs CO - Raft the Colorado River, have dinner at the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub and spend evening at the Hot Springs Pool.
In Moab - Do Baby Lions Back first then Fins n Things trail. That will give you an idea if everyone enjoys Moab wheelin. Tons more trails to do if so.
Check out Arches National Park, just a few miles out of Moab.
Check out Canyonlands National Park, drive some of the White Rim Trail (down to Musselman Arch and back)

If your daughter's are like my girls, check out instagram for the epic shots in the area, and let your girls get some photos at those locations to show their friends.
 

JDGreens

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It is going to be a very long trip to Moab from Florida. I think it would bid you well to stop in the Ouray. If you want you can Camp off the Cork screw trail which is very close to Ouray Co.. A day there doing the touristy thing and also hit the Hot Springs pool. It is one of the nicest public pool around now that they renovated it. You could do Yankee boy basin but I think the wife and girls would enjoy a break from the long drive out there. Box Canyon falls is a nice hike/climb too.
 

JDGreens

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It is going to be a very long trip to Moab from Florida. I think it would bid you well to stop in the Ouray. If you want you can Camp off the Cork screw trail which is very close to Ouray Co.. A day there doing the touristy thing and also hit the Hot Springs pool. It is one of the nicest public pool around now that they renovated it. You could do Yankee boy basin but I think the wife and girls would enjoy a break from the long drive out there. Box Canyon falls is a nice hike/climb too.
I guess after mapping it, it would be only an hour difference in time to just to go straight to Moab. But when I go to Moab again I am going through Ouray on the way. Just because it is my favorite little town. And it would break-up my drive in half.
 
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Stepsride

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I guess after mapping it, it would be only an hour difference in time to just to go straight to Moab. But when I go to Moab again I am going through Ouray on the way. Just because it is my favorite little town. And it would break-up my drive in half.
That is on my list of towns to hit. Also I think Imogene Pass and Big Bear is pretty near by. I think. After this thread goes on for a bit I will sit and start mapping. Thank you!!
 

JDGreens

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Did you mean Black Bear pass? It is a fun trail but if your wife and kids get scared with the shear drop offs of many of these trails in the Ouray area I would avoid that one. It is very easy but unforgiving if you make a mistake can be deadly. Imogene is not near as risky, but is a lot harder trail to run. Cinnamon Pass has a lot to offer with the Annimos Forks ghost town.

I hope to return to Moab some time soon to actually get to wheel the area. She would stay home for that one.
A good place to eat in Moab is Zax. Make sure that someone gets a salad bar so that you can get a bowl of beer cheese soup do dip your pizza crust in. Hope you all have a great trip!
 
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Heart of Dixie

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We are planning the same trip from Alabama about a month after. First we plan on staying in Ouray Co and do Imogene pass, and a few more trails there. Take a day and visit hot springs pool etc. We plan on staying there a week, then leave for Moab. I know in Moab it'll be Hot in July but I really want to do Top of the World Trail, and I think its called Long Canyon trail and maybe a few more. We plan on staying there 3 days or so then heading back. This will be our first trip out West as well. Plus I'll have 5 kids in a big Suburban. They're excited about it ,but the wife is not sure. I on the other hand know the Mountains are calling and I must go. Please let me know how your trip goes. I was also told to not make a lot of stops along the way while traveling out there and just go ahead and get ou there to Colorado & Moab then enjoy yourself. Hopefully we'll all still be married and our families will have memories they'll remember from now on.
 
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Owasco

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I have taken two trips from upstate NY to the west coast and back, with my wife and two sons. I would say make the trip enjoyable for everyone. Both trips I had my wife and two kids each pick one thing they wanted to see or do on the route we took and made sure to include those things. That made them excited for the trip for their own reasons, and not just tagging along so that dad could hit some offroad trails.
 

Boort

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@Stepsride
Just like the title says. The first two weeks of JUNE 2019 my family and I (2 girls 17 and 15 and my wife) are driving out to first Colorado and then to Moab. We are driving from Palm Harbor FL and wanted to get some input on, well, everything. The big things the little things and everything that you did that you would not do again. Please include the things you enjoyed or things you wished you did as well.
Be aware depending on the winter we get here many of the trails around Ouray may NOT be open until LATE June. Be sure to call Norwood Ranger District (970-327-4261) for status of the trails you want to run before you leave. Hopefully they will be staffed in June.

Boort
 

Stepsride

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We are planning the same trip from Alabama about a month after. First we plan on staying in Ouray Co and do Imogene pass, and a few more trails there. Take a day and visit hot springs pool etc. We plan on staying there a week, then leave for Moab. I know in Moab it'll be Hot in July but I really want to do Top of the World Trail, and I think its called Long Canyon trail and maybe a few more. We plan on staying there 3 days or so then heading back. This will be our first trip out West as well. Plus I'll have 5 kids in a big Suburban. They're excited about it ,but the wife is not sure. I on the other hand know the Mountains are calling and I must go. Please let me know how your trip goes. I was also told to not make a lot of stops along the way while traveling out there and just go ahead and get ou there to Colorado & Moab then enjoy yourself. Hopefully we'll all still be married and our families will have memories they'll remember from now on.
I appreciate you sharing your itinerary. Thank you for that. My younger brother lives outside Birmingham and he also has a suburban. I am using you to try to talk him into this trip!
 
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Stepsride

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Did you mean Black Bear pass? It is a fun trail but if your wife and kids get scared with the shear drop offs of many of these trails in the Ouray area I would avoid that one. It is very easy but unforgiving if you make a mistake can be deadly. Imogene is not near as risky, but is a lot harder trail to run. Cinnamon Pass has a lot to offer with the Annimos Forks ghost town.

I hope to return to Moab some time soon to actually get to wheel the area. She would stay home for that one.
A good place to eat in Moab is Zax. Make sure that someone gets a salad bar so that you can get a bowl of beer cheese soup do dip your pizza crust in. Hope you all have a great trip!
Thanks for the correction. Black Bear Pass. I think you are right on with that comment. It is on the list of to do's but maybe Imogene Pass and Annimos Forks ghost town is more family friendly.
 
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WRTRobb

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In June you should have little difficulty reserving a couple of campsites on the actual White Rim Trail itself; reservations are released four months out, June nights are just starting to become available.
 
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darjo242

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Depending on the season you're planning to hit Moab, there's plenty of restaurants and neat little shops to see to allow for a little break from the road/inside of the Jeep. Downtown is a great way to spend a couple hours walking around and taking in the culture. The Museum of Moab is also very interesting and talks a lot about the history of the town and the area.
 
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Todd & Meg

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I didn't notice if you will be camping or hotels. Keep in mind it will be cold at night in the mountains. We would look for deals at ski resorts for rooms and camp a few night and a night or two in a room. You can find some deals that time since it's off season (not Moab). My girls loved when we stayed in Telluride. The problem with Telluride in early June all the fun trails to get in and out will be closed. I was talking to friend 3 weeks ago that lives out there and he said he wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the passes don't open till after 4th of July this year.

Be flexible on where you want to go and have backups if you can't get to somewhere. Also remember if you have to bypass because of a closed trail it can be many hours to go around. If there is a sign that says road closed trust the sign.

My girls also liked Great Sand Dunes NP a lot. Skip 4 corners. Mesa Verde is cool if you never seen that before, but is is not a quick stop in and see it, plan most of the day.

Todd
 
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Rollin Dirty Overland

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Tips for technical wheeling out west:

Horsepower and wheel spin is not your friend like it is in the slippery east. Crawl rocks with only enough throttle to create or maintain momentum as needed. Use that low transfer and let the gears do the work.

Have a kinetic recovery strap and shackles. That *will* be your first choice for recovery or help over an obstacle in most cases. Maxtrax have much less application in the rocky deserts.

Carry lots of water and make sure everyone is staying hydrated. Moab will be hot that time of year and the air is very dry. Dehydration happens faster than you are accustomed to.