Thursday, May 12, 2016

Aid Station on Cliff Hanger

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
May 7, 2016

Volunteers from Moab Friends For Wheeling were needed to take supplies and man an aid station for the Chris Martinez Marathon held here last Saturday.  As always when we are in town, Joe and I offered a hand and joined Jeff (who was in charge), Glen, Linda and Al, and Jeremy.  

We have done a few of the difficult trails here, and even though Cliff Hanger is not rated as difficult as Metal Masher or Golden Spike in the Charles Wells guide, Joe and I think it is much harder.  It is an in and out non stop challenge totaling  8.6 miles.  

Our station was to be set up where the Jackson Bike Trail intersects at about 3.1 miles.  
The entrance to Cliff Hanger is a steep drop down of tall ledges.  After this last ledge, the trail turns right, then left into Kane Creek.  

Jeff, loaded down with water, gator aid, etc,
went on ahead to set up and Glen did an awesome job of getting the rest of us there just before the first runners came. 

Of course getting there meant the hardest obstacle of all...the Cliff Hanger.  It's a couple of huge boulders on a narrow shelf   with  a 400 ft. drop off on the cliff.  Going down is tricky, but not scary...

This was a small marathon with only about 70 runners. 
It was important to wait for the runners who chose to do the 15.5 mile loop to return (and check them off) from Jackson Hole. After all were accounted for, we packed up.

Thank goodness no first aid was needed !

After a brief discussion about the dark clouds, all of us were feeling lucky so we headed for the overlook.  And as luck would have it, we skirted the rains all day.

Jeff lead us to the overlook...

followed by Glen...

and behind us were Linda and Al and Jeremy.

 This is a beautiful overlook.  Remember Jackson Butte?
 and Jackson 4X4 trail?  This is the view from the top.  It's still hard for me to grasp the idea that the Colorado River actually meandered below carving what we enjoy today.   

The photogenic Colorado River as it twists and turns... 
The ever exciting Cliff Hanger was waiting for us on the out run.  Going up is not so easy.  The tendency is to move over  driver side because there is a huge drop off on the passenger, my side!  That is not the line to take and after three tries and with Jeff's help we eased over passenger and made it...scary fun!  Thanks Glen for posting a video of us making the climb on Facebook.  

 Narrow tippy spot, dangerous ledge, easy to slide right and roll over, and zig-zag up difficult obstacles are just a few of the "cautions" in the Moab, UT Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails Guide.  Trails like this should not be done alone.  How lucky we are for friends like Jeff, Glen and Dee who offer assistance, a calm voice and cheers.    

 Another great day in the memory bank.  Until next time,



  1. Love coming along and enjoying your adventures too, such beautiful scenery.

  2. It looks like you had a great time exploring trails that those with standard 4X4s could only dream of. Thanks for taking us along.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Definitely a beautiful outing with lots of opportunities for gorgeous photos.

  4. Hard to believe the places the Jeeps can go.

  5. I know our stock TJ is a capable Jeep, but in the class needed to conquer some the trails you've shared. I'll sit here at home, and ride a distance shotgun while enjoying a glass of win :) Thanks for the adventure

  6. The views are spectacular - and so much fun getting there!

  7. Wow! Those are crazy huge boulders. I can see those buggy type vehicles with the huge tires making it, but Pearl...gulp! So glad you made it!! Way to drive, Joe! Great that you were out to help the runners:)