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Redrocks and Aspen Trees - UTAH - Day 4


Good morning, today we head to Devil’s Lane, Devil’s Canyon and Butts point... This doesn’t sound like much fun...


As you come down from the mountains into the “back” entrance to Needles district of Canyonlands you see several of these signs. Unlike many places where it’s more of a suggestion and a car or stock 4x4 could make it fine I found this road to be tough enough that even a stock height 4x4 would come out with some damage to bumpers and rocker panels.

The fact that the following pictures and trails are of a road in a national park make me happy. There are still some beautiful areas that are being left fairly rural. Yeah for 4x4's!




We were thoroughly enjoying this drive. All of the roads had seen a lot of rain in the last few days so there were no tracks. It’s a great feeling, a bit eerie though, to feel this alone. The muddy sections were sticky enough that even on this dry morning we had to work through them to avoid getting stuck. The previous night added some rain/mud to the area.

We did run across this little fella sunning in the road. Gotta love Gopher snakes. (Yes, all snakes give me a shudder down my spine, but I still love seeing them)


The mud was different shades of red and tan. It did a fairly nice splatter paint job!

(The mud was different shades of red and tan. It did a fairly nice splatter paint job!)


It’s odd to come across a 2 story ruin and not see any information on it. We weren’t technically in the National Park yet, but I was still expecting to see something about it nearby.

(It’s odd to come across a two story ruin and not see any information on it. We weren’t technically in the National Park yet, but I was still expecting to see something about it nearby.)


After the ruins we were finally headed into our first “obstacle.” Bobby’s Hole. I’ve seen pictures of this section where it was completely impassible. As the gas gauge crept down from all of the dirt miles we’d driven I was acutely aware of where our turn around point would need to be. I was anxious to get past Bobby’s Hole so I could be fairly confident that this trail would be passable!

The hill could look like this:


(Pictures taken from https://www.rme4x4.com/showthread.php?103262-Canyonlands-NP-Bobby-s-Hole-Hill-washed-out)


(Picture from https://www.rme4x4.com/showthread.php?103262-Canyonlands-NP-Bobby-s-Hole-Hill-washed-out)

Or it could look like this:


Split the difference and you get what we saw. I was very happy to see that, although there were some big drop offs, it was certainly drive-able. I really didn’t want to miss out on Needles!




The terrain got a little harder as we went, bit by bit. This next section is where the big washout pictured above was so I wanted to see this part to be sure we’d make it.






Although the pics don’t show it there were some tougher spots, but still a clearly visible clean line up or down the hill. The black plastic is used for erosion control.

(Although the pics don’t show it there were some tougher spots, but still a clearly visible clean line up or down the hill. The black plastic is used for erosion control.)



Great success! It felt good to have it behind us. It wasn’t too bad at all. There was still a lingering feeling that something ahead could be washed out and stop us, but at this point I was fairly committed to getting through it, no matter what it took.

At this point there were still no tire tracks so we were making fresh ones as we went. Great, but ominous. Had the rain been so hard in the last few days or had something ahead prevented folks who entered the park at the traditional entrance from getting out this way?


This was just amazing terrain to cover. Putting along in low range. No rush, no place to be other than in the moment.

We could see the needles getting closer in the distance.

We took a side trail to check out a nearby campground. We were officially in the park! It included a composting toilet which, although odd to see in a natural place, is necessary to ensure the park doesn’t look like a field of white flowers after the busy season. What are white flowers? Just say NO to white flowers



We were in it now. The distant views we enjoyed all morning were now around us. Giving us a completely different perspective and scale of the red towering monoliths.





We opened the sun roof to be able to look up. By the end of the day in here your neck hurts from looking all over the place!

This next little section is after a lot of smooth driving so it somewhat caught me by surprise. The second we were on it I recognized the view from many others photos.