This is the trip report for my trip to Moab for the event called Blazer Bash. Think of Easter Jeep safari, but with full size GM trucks and less crowds. My normal Buddies I wheel with couldn’t make it, but a buddy from Denver was planning on going too and we had suggested drving out together. He’s got a ’77 K5 with a similar FWC Blazer camper on his like mine. His is running with a L29 Vortec 454, NV4500 and one ton axles. It’s pretty well set up. Here’s his setup:
Ron had made the suggestion to take the Rimrocker trail from Montrose to Moab on the way over. I was all for it. 160 miles of dirt and wide open western Colorado vistas.
Before I dive deep for the full blow trip report, some trip stats. Over the 5 days we were out, we covered 816 miles getting an overall average fuel economy of 11.36 mpg. With the route over highway 50 and the climbs over Monarch and other minor passes and La Sal pass in Utah we gained a total of 40,780 ft in elevation and spent a total of 39 hours in the truck over the 5 days. That's a lot of seat time for sure! I'll skip back to the beginning now.
The plan was to meet up with Ron and his son Mason in Pagosa Springs Wednesday morning. We were mainly packed up the night before and just had to add the last essentials before bugging out that morning. I did manage to forget the fixings for our fajitas I was going to cook for the four of us on Thursday. Missed the tortillas, cheese and peppers. I did forget my hoodie, but lucky for me the heat in Moab made it ridiculous to need one to start with.
Waiting with a view of Monarch Pass.
Ron got caught in some construction traffic on 285 and I left a little early which meant we had a little time to kill. So we stopped for some breakfast burritos at Sonic in Salida and found a spot at a gas station a stones throw away from the intersection of 285 and 50 in Pagosa.
We boogied over Monarch pass to Gunnison and then on into Montrose. Monarch was fun to climb in 2nd (ugh) but pretty.
Who's on my ass? I swear now that my friend Larry got his vintage Warn bumper and KC's if I only glanced in the mirror I'd think it was him behind me and not Ron.
Rolling to Gunny.
Blue Mesa is full from last winter and spring snow pack. You Southern Cal guys are welcome for your water!
The beginning of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison river.
While in Montrose we stopped at the chamber of commerce office to pick up a free map and stickers for the Rimrocker Trail. If you plan on taking this trail get the map. The Rimrocker is really a collection of existing county roads and forest service roads drawing a fairly direct line from Montrose to Moab. The issue is the trail markers on the ground are only lined up with the paper map. We found several inconsistencies with the GPX file I downloaded from the website to use with my Gaia map software with my iPad.
A quick note you may notice of our photos while on Rimrocker. It's not a hard trail at all. Remote yes, but not technical at all. There's a couple of good steep climbs, but even a bone stock K5 or any 4wd truck with decent clearance can do it. Neither Ron or I shifted out of 2hi on any section we went on. Could be a trail fit for a Subaru, but there would be some spots you'd drag the belly on where ours never came close. However, the lack in technical challenge is more than made up by the views. Wow, the views. The topography change is rapid which goes along with the change in environment. Pine forests to green valleys, then to red rock desert landscape and back into the trees. There's quite a bit of the trail on the edge of a bluff or mesa. So you still have to pay attention to driving or a wrong move could be one you won't have time to regret. Let the passenger take the pics if you got one.
The first part of Rimrocker is county roads out of Montrose that starts climbing up into a pine forest. There were many a hunting camp set up for the coming season. Eventually we came across a sign for an overlook so we stopped to check it out.
We could see weather ahead so we took a couple of more shots and hit the dirt again.
We stop and take some shots when the scenery changes.
I caught Ron coming in hot too. He had a little leadfoot fever as well.
The trail climbs up and down, but for a good chunk rides the canyon wall above state highway 141. One thing you'll see is this part of the state is dotted with mines. Most of them of the uranium variety. We passed this one below the trail where it's kinda hard to see.
We still have daylight, but I can tell it's getting scarce. Looking at the map I can see the trail keeps diving up and down and in and out of side canyons. The trail crosses the highway we are above and on the east side of, I just need to find a way to it to cut some time getting to the trail on the other side of the highway. We came to a turn and I checked both the Ipad and paper map to see this road would take us down to the highway. Back on pavement we made the run north up the canyon to find where the trail takes back off from. Pretty quickly we are climbing up the west side of the canyon gaining elevation.