Report and photos by: John Nutter
Flat Iron Mesa - Livin' on the Edge!
|Location:||Flat Iron Mesa is located south of Moab between Kane Springs Canyon on the north, Hatch Wash Canyon on the west, West Coyote Canyon on the south, and Highway 191 on the east.|
|Trail Condition:||Mostly two-track on sandy dirt with a little slickrock, a gravelly hill and numerous rock ledges.|
|Obstacles:||A steep, loose rock hill, difficult ledges and a harrowing section of cliff edge with a very tight turn.|
|Approx. Mileage:||55 total (17 off-road)|
The Flat Iron Mesa is a moderately difficult trail. Near West Coyote Canyon overlook, a narrow section near the cliff edge requires a tight turn. The views of the La Sal Mountains, Kane Springs Canyon and Muleshoe Canyon are wonderful.
The Minnesota Trailriders signed up for the Monday Morning Flat Iron Mesa run specifically because it was the day that the trail was run in the opposite direction of the way most EJS runs do it. Running the trail backwards increases difficulty because the most difficult obstacle, Mushroom Hill (sometimes referred to as Easter Egg Hill) is run upward instead of the normal (and much easier) downward direction.
The eye-opener for the group was a short stint along a very narrow cliff edge. The pucker factor was high on the edge of the cliff, but was soon forgotten as we settled in to watch the excitement at Mushroom hill. The group was roughly 40 rigs and most were in line before us. Mushroom Hill is a loose sandy hill with some boulders on it, but it is not overly challenging. In the group of 40 trucks we saw only a single broken axle shaft U-joint and two tires pulled off the bead, and all three were the result of drivers with a heavy right foot.
The trail gets much easier after Mushroom Hill, with the usual ledges to climb and drop down. There was a brief but very enjoyable slickrock section, with terrain much like you'd find on Hell's Revenge. Unfortunately the slickrock section was over all too soon. Near the end of the trail is a hill called Rubble Trouble. Rubble Trouble looks steep, but it is hard packed dirt and nearly any 4wd vehicle should be able to climb this hill in dry conditions.
The views from this trail were spectacular, and I recommend it for anyone looking for a moderately difficult trail with incredible scenery. I don't recommend this trail for trucks with 35"+ tires and two lockers and low gears unless they are looking for a break from their hardcore routine.
Check back later for some exciting pictures from the Flat Iron Mesa Trail...