Sunday, April 18, 2010

Moab Essentials: 4-Wheel Drive

Date Placed: April 18, 2010
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Gemini Bridges, Grand, Utah
Distance:  15.6 miles, round trip (driving)
Status: Active

Some of the most beautiful sites around Moab aren't available for viewing from paved roads. Jump into your 4-wheel drive vehicle, and bump your way into some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

The Gemini Bridges 4-wheel drive road is suitable for beginners. There is a well-marked path to the Bridges, so it is unlikely you will become lost.

Directions: From Moab, head north on Highway 191 about 10 miles and turn left at the "Gemini Bridges" sign. You will pass a parking lot, cross railroad tracks and turn right uphill in less than a mile. Follow the brown BLM signs that clearly show the way to Gemini Bridges. Climb up the twisting shelf road as it continues south. Descend into a wide valley and continue south past the distinctive Gooney Bird Rock (just after the campground). Turn right at the "T" intersection and climb a steep, sandy hill. Stay to the right at the next road intersection, left at the next one, and left again at the final intersection before your destination. You will shortly come upon an area that is cabled off; park in the first parking area to your left as you come in.

From the Gemini Bridges Overlook sign located in this first parking area, walk east 4 steps. Follow the yellow dashed line in front of you to its end. The center of the tree holds what you're looking for.

Return to the Gemini Bridges Overlook sign when you are finished stamping and rehiding the box. Take a quick walk over to see the Bridges from a distance by bearing 142 degrees and taking 90-100 meandering steps to the edge of a large shelf of rock. The Bridges are at about 225 degrees from this point.

Go back to your vehicle and continue the direction you came from. The road ends in a large parking area. Park your vehicle, and head over towards the sign to walk down and see the Bridges up close and personal. The trail is clearly marked. You can even walk over the tops of the Bridges, if you're daring!

Notes: Do NOT attempt to drive on this road in a 2-wheeled vehicle!!! Even though the rock grinders have tamed this road significantly, you still need higher clearance for the rocky parts and the ability to drive up a steep hill covered in sand. Please use the restrooms before starting this journey (sometimes there is a port-a-potty in the parking area at the beginning of the road near the Highway, but not always). Remember also that this is desert country. Always bring adequate water with you whenever traveling.

1 comment:

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