Lockhart Basin, WRT, 3 Step Hideaway - Moab 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DYNOBOB, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    At the intersection of La Sal Pass Rd we decide we have time to explore up to the pass. It offers views of the opposite side of Mt Peale.

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    The road up is easy, but once you're at La Sal Pas it becomes "high clearance 4WD". Of course we continue on ... but it was nastier than I remembered (and taking us farther from our destination) so we stopped after a mile or so. Curtis went on the the baby head field and came back.

    In case you're curious, this was from our 2013 trip.




    Dad in the jeep.




    Definitely would not be fun if snow covered.


    Anyway, we head back down the mountain toward 3 Step.


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    #21
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  2. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    We jump on the UTBDR track south, I have the turn to 3 Step marked so this should be straightforward...


    Yeah...

    Scott (@DingWeed) warns not to trust your gps to get you there and I should have paid more attention. Everything looks straightforward, but 10 miles down the road the directions turn onto a deep sand, rutted, serious goat path. Curtis (from Michigan) loves sand and is gone in a flash - the die is cast, we're going for it.


    It was one of the nastiest trail we rode all week ... I dropped the Husky in a deep sandy wash ... but it was doable until we got to a rough, steep climb up a ledge trail. I went up first (to keep the strong guys behind me) and made it 1/3 way up before I stopped to reconsider/catch my breath.

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    Curtis comes up (making it look easy) and after a confab, went on to the top to check it out.

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    "It's doable and gets easier over the top" he reports.




    I tractor on up to get more pics as he continues down to get Jim and Shannon. Truth be told, for a ex-motocross racer this wasn't that difficult. I ain't an ex-motocross racer though ... and neither is Jim :-)

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    Over the top it did get easier, and in hindsight, it was probably one of our favorite parts of the trip. A few miles later we pulled into 3 Step and it is a fantastic place (I'll get more pics in the morning). We have a great evening of BS around the campfire and I pick Scott's brain for the best route to Lockhart Basin Rd.


    Thanks to Tom, I get to crash in my camper. Phil, Curtis, Jim, Shannon, and Tom share the big cabin. After sleeping 100ft from the main drag of Moab in the soft sided camper, this was a nice quiet night for me. My understanding is, it was not as quiet in the cabin... :lol3

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    #22
  3. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Today's tracks. The difficult section is marked.

    Attached Files:

    #23
  4. acidman1968

    acidman1968 Been here awhile

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    Looks like a great time - and it really helped brighten up a night shift for me... Made me think of places I'd rather be!
    #24
  5. DingWeed

    DingWeed Been here awhile

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    Bob,

    Awesome pics and video!!!
    It was Fantastic to meet you guys!!
    Thanks for making 3 Step part of your ride!!!
    Scott
    #25
  6. liv2day

    liv2day Been here awhile

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    Outstanding pictures and write-up so far, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this report and taking the time to watch the videos. The scenery there is truly stunning, must make plans to get down that way from the PNW in the near future.

    Thanks a ton for posting your GPS tracks and including details on the rides you guys did, much appreciated :thumb:thumb
    #26
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  7. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Tuesday Oct 24 - Day Three - 3 Step to Moab via Lockhart Basin Rd - 120 miles


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    Some info about 3 Step Hideaway.
    - After purchasing and doing a ton of work on the property, Scott and Julie opened 3 Step in 2014.
    - The location and layout caters to adventure riding. You could also get here easily on a Goldwing.
    - Scott (DingWeed) is a long time member of AdvRider, if you've ever read a BigDog ride report you've seen him.
    - Its 2 miles west of the Colorado line and 70 miles west of Telluride.
    - They are off the grid, the nearest electric is 7 miles away.
    - The amenities are amazing given the above.
    - The restrooms and showers are as nice as any hotel I've ever stayed in, don't hesitate to take a spouse that doesn't like to "rough it".
    - They serve a killer breakfast! Other meals too.
    - Scott has a ton of gps tracks for day long loop rides. He set me up with a great track to get to Lockhart Basin Rd.
    - They're located just a few miles off the UTBDR and TAT.
    - Scott will cheerfully answer questions about their electrical and well water system that he's probably been asked a hundred times.
    - They can top up your gas tank before you leave.
    - The amount of work it took to create this refuge from the noisy world was and is large, go patronize them folks!


    Website is here: http://www.3stephideaway.com/index.php



    Anyway, I got up early to walk around and take pics as the sun came up over the San Juan Mountains.

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    Julie's office
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    Wood stove powered hot tub.
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    These are seriously nice restrooms and showers!
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    The eggs are sourced locally... :-)
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    and you will know when breakfast is served.




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    After a great breakfast and fueling up the bikes, we're ready to ride.

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    You're looking at the La Sals as you head out the gate.
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    Like I mentioned, Scott gave me a great track the night before to reach Newspaper Rock/Lockhart Basin and I put it on everyone's gps. It takes you on easy gravel to reach pavement east of 191.

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    You do a short section of 191 and turn right on 211 to get to Newspaper Rock.

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    Heading west on 211.

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    Lockhart Basin is a groomed gravel road for about the first 20 miles. It then becomes decent two-track. We stop for lunch and find some shade to cool off. The thermometer may say 75 but it feels 10 degrees hotter in the intense sun.


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    #27
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  8. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Shortly after lunch we come to a couple pretty decent washouts. They are serious enough that you're not going to get a regular 4wd truck through them. It was here ("Hard starts" waypoint) that we met two strong riders on KTM 500s.

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    I need back up a little bit here. We tried to do Lockhart Basin Rd going north to south in 2013. There had been severe flooding a month before, and just past the turn for Chicken Corners it became difficult to even tell where the trail was. Lots of dead-end sandy washes surrounded by cliffs. We carried on though until we reached a steep, ledgy, very technical climb. We sent our 6' 1", 28yr old on a DRZ up the trail to scout and he came back saying it was basically impassible.

    Knowing that, I've had concerns about going south to north. If we get to something impassible just south of Chicken Corners in late afternoon, we've got a long, long ride to get out and back to Moab. But, we've got 5 guys and I figure we can tag team the bikes down that tough section if we need to. Here's the rub though, at this first set of difficult washes we're still about 15 miles from Chicken Corners...

    So ... back to the strong riders on KTM 500s. We have a chat with them and find out there are numerous technical places for the next 10 or so miles. In fact, they had previously attempted the route on an Africa Twin and Tiger 800xcx and smoked their clutches all the way back near Chicken Corners.

    Now we have to make a decision. If we carry on, we have about 15 miles where it would take a serious off-road vehicle to render aid of any kind (short of Care-Flight). And there are numerous technical spot in that 15 miles.

    Blah, blah, blah ... of course we're going for it, so back to the riding...


    KTM 500 guys are leaving and Curtis is bringing Phil's bike through the washes.

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    Of course Shannon and Curtis make it look easy - in all my trips with them I've never seen either drop a bike.


    Not many photos after this - the photographer was in survival mode for the next hour or so. At an easy spot we did take a snack break under some needles.

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    Phil's DR took a couple naps through the technical spots, and it has a known "mystery problem" where it won't run worth a crap after dropped. This really makes the technical areas tough on Phil. At some point the bike dies on a steep climb with random boulders and his stator cover gets cracked despite the skid plate. It's leaking oil pretty good too. And we're still 40 miles from town.

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    We decide to continue on and check the oil every so often instead of getting out the JB Weld. I have a quart in a MSR bottle if we need it.

    Eventually I could see the "Chicken Corners turn" waypoint getting closer and sure enough we came to the descent I was expecting. I've been down Black Bear Pass w/ my feet on the pegs and this was harder. I can say for sure there is no way I could have gone up it. We all survived of course, and near the bottom I broke out the camera again.

    The DR is still running, it did take my quart of oil to get back to town though.

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    Phil got a good pic of one of the ledges
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    So here's my 2 cents on Lockhart Basin.

    - It's an "Expert" track on the UTBDR and should be.
    - Running it northbound is doable by an average rider on a 600 class bike. I'll do it again, but prob on a KTM 350.
    - Doing it southbound will require a strong rider on a light enduro.
    - Doing it at all on a big bike is unwise in my opinion, good probability of hurting your bike.
    - If you can do it north to south on a big bike you are Superman, I want to shake your hand.
    - No matter the bike or the direction, I wouldn't even consider doing it solo.
    - Realize that there is about a 15 mile stretch where you'll need a serious 4wd to get a hurt bike or rider out. Coming from Moab it will require a rock crawler...

    At this point I'd intended to take the spur out to Chicken Corners, but it was getting late and we still had 20 miles to go with the wounded DR, so we carried on. Here's our vid from '13 of the famous ledge path overlooking the Colorado River.




    We were pretty spent by the time we reached Moab and thankfully Tom had a big pot of super hot chili waiting for us at the campground.


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    #28
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  9. WYO George

    WYO George Long timer

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    Hmm...I may change my route plans for this spring and run it from the south, you now have me nervous!
    #29
  10. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    I'm glad to find this report. I've been to Moab twice and I've only got to scratch the surface so after looking at your RR I feel the need to return. Great report.
    #30
  11. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    It's making me want to go back for spring break. Early April is perfect weather there... :hmmmmm


    You're welcome and thanks for the hospitality Scott. Happy 2018 to you and Julie. I predict you'll see us again :-)


    Glad you're enjoying it! I'm very appreciative of those who posted tracks for me.


    Some will tell you to do it southbound so it's earlier in the day and you're not so far in if you have to turn around. I feel pretty certain neither myself, Phil, or Jim could have done it going that direction - so we would have missed out on Lockhart Basin again... Again, my 2cents.


    We really only scratched the surface on this trip. Three of the six guys had never ridden here so we wanted to hit the highlights.

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    #31
  12. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Lockhart Basin tracks.

    Attached Files:

    #32
  13. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    I'll go ahead and offer my waypoints in case someone wants to overlay with the tracks. I'm adding some as I write the report and will update at the end.

    Attached Files:

    #33
  14. Meritlane

    Meritlane Been here awhile

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    Great story!
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  15. FirstPath

    FirstPath Long timer

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    Enjoying the ride report. Looking forward to my spring trip!
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  16. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Been here awhile

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    WONDERFUL pictures - and as I get older I'm liking the idea of smaller bikes loaded in a trailer for the run across the Prairies. What camera did you use for these pictures?
    #36
  17. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Me to, I'm in Ohio and I have checked the box on the ride out a couple of times. I am more excited about going places where my KLR is a big bike or riding the TE 300. I still like my road bike but it's not high on the ride list.
    #37
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Been here awhile

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    Just caught up on the rest of the Lockhart Basin report, sounds both awesome and tough. I'm "moving down" from a 690 to a WR250R, sounds like this stretch would be doable by both, but think I'll be glad that I'm on the WR when I get around to getting down there...lol.

    Again, amazing pictures and write-up. I had no idea the Dingweed I've read about in Baja trip reports ran the 3 step hideway, that's super cool. Imagine it's the perfect base camp for these adventures...have to keep it in mind.
    #38
  19. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard The Scramblin' man

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    Fantastic pics and info as always Dynobob!! :ricky
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  20. BlockPass

    BlockPass Been here awhile

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    Lockhart on big bikes isn’t too bad, one of my favorite parts of the UTBDR on my old KTM 1190. Agree on going south to north though! Here is a video one of my riding buddies shared:



    Great report and pictures.
    #40
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