Moab, UT &
Elephant Hill (Part 4)
by Ken Womack
FolksÖIf you can rememberÖ This was Dan & Dianne Neussís and our
(Ken & Evelyn Womackís) trip to Moab in June 2001.
This particular run was to The Needles District and happened
Tuesday on the second week. This
is one of Danís favorite spots at Moab, and I could see why after just a
short time there. This is the
place he met his buddie's family, and started the annual trek to Moab for
the last 30 years.
topping off the tanks and some shopping, we headed out for the staging
area. There we aired down and
met up with a guy who wanted to take his stock 4-Runner with us.
We said come ahead. He
had some apprehension about going, but decided to try it.
The entrance says itís tough, and it is.
Dan said he had done it in stock Jeeps and even a S-15 Jimmy, but I
feel that it requires at least a slightly modified rig to make it.
Lift, at least one locker, and minimum 31 in. tires.
4-Runner had 32 in. all-terrains and started out well, but felt he was
thrashing his rig, and turned around after several ledges and switchbacks.
We had a small audience as we climbed up to the top of Elephant
Hill. Some were obviously
amazed at what a Jeep could do. After
the summit was a series of steep sharp downhill switchbacks.
So sharp, in fact, that you have to drive one, then back down the
next. Itís a little hairy,
but doable, definitely a Jeep Thrill!
was a narrow section through a rock wall called The Devilís Lane.
Itís off-camber and narrow, but careful driving will get you
through easy, if your rig isnít too wide.
is an awesome campsite named the Devilís Kitchen. It has all day shade, picnic tables and a covered (by the
cliff overhang) place to set your tent.
Itís cool, and private, a perfect campsite, but you need
reservations and a permit to stay overnight.
We ate lunch there, relaxed awhile, and then loaded back up.
We drove a long sandy 2-track road to Chesire Park, and checked out
some pictographs made by The Ancient Ones.
There were many sets of handprints painted into the rock walls.
We left to do SOB Hill, down, then back up again before heading back through the park and towards the Confluence Overlook.
we went down The Silver Stairs, a set of downhill stairsteps and through
some rocky sections. Just
before the Confluence Overlook parking area,
Dan noticed his power
steering unit squealing. We
stopped to check it out, and he found his power steering hose had
separated from the plastic tank. The
oil leaked onto to the engine and burned before it could hit the ground.
Dan told us to go ahead and do the half mile hike to the overlook
while he assessed the situation.
It was now dark and Jeep
Thrills began to act up. The
fuel pump was going south, though we would not know for sure until late
the next day. It was a long,
cold wet ride back to Moab, with my Jeep stalling every 5 miles or so,
then would run again, then stumble and die.
We got back to Moab very late, very cold and very tired.
But it was such great fun! I must return there to camp in The
Many thanks to Dan and Dianne Neuss, who once again showed us one of their favorite places. We shared lots of laughs and good times. The next day had me trying to find out Jeep Thrillís problems. We changed plug wires, fuel filter, and ran fuel injector cleaner, but to no avail. I bought a fuel pump from the auto parts store, and Dan and I worked to close to midnight getting it in. It ran fine!Ö.Until the next day in the afternoon. But thatís a story for the final chapterÖ. Til then Ö Happy Trails to You!