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The Utah Traverse

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  • The Utah Traverse

    I love Southern Utah. I was married deep in Escalante Canyon with the Cottonwoods changing colors, I have lived in Moab and Boulder at different times of my life. My wife and I are constantly looking for property in Boulder to buy and setup our home for the Golden years, so it's natural that I am constantly going back, finding new routes from point A to Point B.

    While I think Moab is the armpit of all of Southern Utah, it serves it's purpose as the industrial recreation capitol of the West. Just keep them there. For some reason or another I am always drawn to the old uranium boom town, even if just for a couple days, to remind how good it is elsewhere.

    So for the sake of this "trip report" I am combining 5 years worth of trips across Southern Utah in what I think is the definitive Overland Trail from St George to Moab. While I have never done it from start to finish I will some day and I am dubbing it the Utah Traverse. I have broken it up into sections, which could be compressed into days if wanted, but I suggest spending more time per section than a scant 24 hours.

    I don't have GPS coords or a map so please don't ask, it's all there in the pictures, fill up your tank and let your mind wander while your curiosities guide you, it worked for me and it will work for you.

    Section 1



    My jumping off point for all of my Utah trips has been St. George ever since I moved to Los Angeles in 2003. I like to camp just outside Zion National Park high on a mesa. This is a good start as it's 45 minutes from the interstate, but a world away from Southern California.

    Section 2






    From there it's East to a well traveled canyon route criss crossing the river for what felt like a million times... I wouldn't suggest camping within the confines of the canyon, while there are places to do it, the canyon serves as a massive drainage and can carry a lot of water during a flash flood. Once the canyon widens toward the southern end there are plenty of playas to spread out on... Lot's of quicksand in this one...

  • #2
    To see the full trip report with lots of pictures click here.

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    • #3
      Thanks for posting Sinuhe!

      Before anyone mentions that there is no AEV gear in the above posts, I'll introduce Sinuhe as a good friend of AEV. He is not only one of the finest photographers in the industry, but he knows the Utah back country extremely well and oh yeah, he's originally from Montana AEV is considering doing a guided trip of the Utah Traverse...in its entirety, for AEV Customers with Scott Brady (of Overland Journal) and Sinuhe as the guides, let this post be the introduction to the trip.

      We also just got off of another trip where Sinuhe guided us on about a 400 mile trip in an area south of Moab. It was intended to be the "Grand Loop" which was a 480 mile circumnavigation of Canyon Lands National Park but due to weather we had to change it up a bit. AEV was product testing the new Savegre Wheels, VVT HEMI Conversion, Recovery Rack for the Rear Bumper and Roof Rack Mounts around Moab with Scott Brady, Sinuhe and the Speed Channel. We were lucky enough to be there just in time for the worst storm in 40 years.

      dh
      2015 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis SRW
      2009 Brute DoubleCab 5.7VVT Supercharged, 37s
      2015 KTM 1190 Adventure R
      2013 KTM 450XC-W

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AEV Dave View Post
        Thanks for posting Sinuhe!

        Before anyone mentions that there is no AEV gear in the above posts, I'll introduce Sinuhe as a good friend of AEV.
        No worries Dave!

        I think pics with more and more AEV gear will be popping up sooner than later...

        Comment


        • #5
          Can't wait to lure you away from "that British Engineering"


          dh
          2015 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis SRW
          2009 Brute DoubleCab 5.7VVT Supercharged, 37s
          2015 KTM 1190 Adventure R
          2013 KTM 450XC-W

          Comment


          • #6
            We had an excellent trip through Southern Utah this past week, and enjoyed testing the JK Hemi and the Brute. I will post a few more images after the holidays.





            Scott Brady
            Expeditions West
            Overland Journal

            Jeep J8 | Jeep Overland JK (Mopar Skunkworks)

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            • #7
              Wow, simply amazing. I saw the photos on the link and am stunned. Looks like an awesome adventure.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AEV Dave View Post
                AEV is considering doing a guided trip of the Utah Traverse...in its entirety, for AEV Customers with Scott Brady (of Overland Journal) and Sinuhe as the guides, let this post be the introduction to the trip.

                dh
                Dave,

                I would be very interested in participating in this trip.

                JR

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tires on the Savegre JK on that trip?

                  Dave et al;

                  Am I wrong or does the Savegre have different shoes on in the pics from your December Moab trip than it did at the SEMA show? They look taller at a minimum. Am I crazy?

                  Also, what can you tell us about how the VVT was on a longer offroad adventure?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Savegre is on the same wheels and tires as it was at SEMA, only thing we did before taking it was to change out the Optima battery that was internally shorted at SEMA and added a Viking winch rope and plastic rollers to the fairlead.

                    VVT was really nice on the trip. Consistently logged the same or better mileage as the Jeep Overland 3.8L Scott was driving. Beautiful low end grunt and excellent near stall engine control (its a manual), the calibration didn't try to over rev and run off when lugging it down really low. I didn't realize the Savegre had it until I was down there, but the Hill Start Assist works really well with the HEMI, makes you look like a rockstar in the techy stuff I think everyone on the trip would agree, the JK VVT was the vehicle to drive. VVT sets a new standard in idle smoothness too (which you tend to notice when you have a film crew asking to do things differently than you normally would), you can hardly tell its running...like a Lexus or something.

                    We gave the suspension on both JKs a true workout, both were way heavy with gear and people, its amazing how much stuff is required when the temps don't get above 15 for most of the trip.

                    dh
                    2015 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis SRW
                    2009 Brute DoubleCab 5.7VVT Supercharged, 37s
                    2015 KTM 1190 Adventure R
                    2013 KTM 450XC-W

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      More info on the "Utah Traverse" trip?

                      Thanks, Dave!

                      Say, when do you expect to have more details on the AEV / Sinuhe Xavier / Scott Brady "Utah Traverse" trip? And, what timeframe are you thinking about? 2010, or beyond? What season or even month, if you know? How many people / vehicles? Would you charge people to join, or not? Could a guy get a ride if he doesn't have a suitable vehicle of his own?

                      Happy New Year!

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                      • #12




                        It was December 3, 2009, I was due to meet Dave Harriton, Dave Yegge from AEV and Scott Brady in a week to guide them through a few sections of the Utah Traverse over 6 days for an episode of Speed Channel's "Dangerous Drives". It was obvious the weather had different ideas.

                        The snow came in a furious storm with a bitter cold snap blanketing Southern Utah with as much snow as they had seen in 39 years. I was holed up in Boulder, Utah with my good friend Ace Kvale waiting the storm out for 3 days. On the 4th day I headed east across the Burr Trail which had 12-16" of snow blown across it. It was eerily desolate and quiet.

                        The first vehicle I saw on my way to Moab was UDOT plow at the junction of 24 and I-70, Hanksville was completely snowed in. The driver of the UDOT plow looked bewildered as I passed, when I reached Green River I learned I-70 had been closed between Green River and Salina, Utah over the San Rafael Swell.





                        After a night in the ghost town that was Moab, I went out to get a feel for what the conditions were like out there. The temperature hovered around +25

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                        • #13
                          Great photos!
                          Were you a lone vehicle?
                          Crew Chief Ultra 4 4500 Class
                          4540 Motorsports

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                          • #14
                            Sorry didn't see that it had been cut off...

                            I was a lone vehicle for the scouting portion...

                            Click here to see the rest of the report....

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SINUHEXAVIER View Post
                              Sorry didn't see that it had been cut off...

                              I was a lone vehicle for the scouting portion...

                              Click here to see the rest of the report....
                              I realize this the age of this thread. Any chance someone has the original route or actual route map used for this trip?
                              2012 JKUR 3.5"SC 37s etc
                              2002 BMW E46 M3 (in need of LSX power)

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