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San Rafael Swell I70 Underpass: Will I Fit?


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#1 Dadocut

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:28 PM

Hi,

I'm planning a trip to the San Rafael Swell (and then on through Capitol Reef and GSENM) and plan on using the interstate 70 underpasses with my truck camper.  I need about 8'6" of clearance.  Has anyone here used these underpasses with a popup truck camper?  They're just culverts for a waterway but the dirt roads use them to cross I70.  I've seen lots of pictures of jeeps going through the culverts but I can't estimate the height.

 

I'm talking about the I70 underpasses in the Black Dragon area and the two in the Head of Sinbad area.

 

Thanks


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#2 rando

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:34 PM

I have used these, you should fit but I would still have spotter watch as you pull in.  My memory is the approach on the North side of Blackdragon is a bit steep, which makes it harder to eyeball.   If  it is close, it is no big deal to get on I-70 and go down one exit to turn around.


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#3 Wendell-R

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 01:18 AM

Hmmm... I'm not sure how that turnaround would help / work?

 

If you're going South to North, you can probably get to an I-70 exit on one end or the other, but once you get across, it's not going to be straightforward to get back to the other side (North) of the tunnel you were trying to go through.

 

And if you're trying to go North to South, it's not easy to get from the North side of a tunnel to an I-70 exit where you can cross.

 


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#4 rando

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 02:13 AM

The underpass by Black Dragon is typically used to access Black Dragon Canyon (on the North side of I-70) from East bound I-70.   You pull off at a dirt road (right) on the south side, then drive under interstate in the culvert. 

 

Alternatively you can continue another couple miles Eastbound on I-70, take the Hanksville exit and get back on I-70 Westbound.  You can then just pull off to the north (now also right) to black dragon without using the culvert.  Using the culvert is easier, if you fit, but it can still be done if you don't. 

 

While not exactly legal, there are also lots of median U-turn spots on I-70.  You can spot them in advance by the 'No U-Turn' signs. 


Edited by rando, 08 April 2021 - 02:15 AM.

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#5 Zoomad

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 04:52 AM

I've been through the culverts a couple of times leading into the Devils Racetrack and Fix it Pass trails.  My Blazer with FWC camper, 4" lift and 35" tires passed under the culvert with room to spare.  But one of my buddy's with us was running a 2500 Ram with a big Phoenix camper, Carli Suspension and 35" tires and fit with a little less room to spare.  Here's a pic of him in the culvert, sorry it's dusty.

 

35277815514_3a14459bb0_c.jpg

 

A better pic to get an idea of the overall size of his setup.  Sorry, I don't know his overall height.  

 

35949028862_d0ed81d058_c.jpg

 

Entry and exit to the culvert was fairly level last year when we went through it.  But if you aren't sure I'd have someone spot you through it.  


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#6 Dadocut

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 06:21 AM

Great info everyone, thanks.  We'll give it a go, sounds like we should fit OK.  I have a stock F250 w/ a Hallmark camper and it looks to be a bit lower than the 2500 in the preceding picture.

 

We're starting in Green River, and going to Black Dragon first, then crossing under I70 to get to 3 finger canyon.  After that we'll head back to westbound I70 and go to Head of Sinbad, leaving I70 at exit 131 and taking the roads to Head of Sinbad, then and on to Dutchman Arch.  After that the plan is to cross under I70 and go to the Lone Warrior rock art and Swassy Cabin.  Then Rods Valley, Reds Canyon, Tomsich Butte, Hidden Splendor Mine, then out to Hanksville and fuel up.  I'm allowing 6 days total with a few layovers.

 

I found a great San Rafael Swell book: https://www.4x4train...ad-guide-book/ .That and the National Geo map have been really helpful. 

 


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#7 Zoomad

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 04:05 AM

Don't overlook Eagle Canyon as it's another fun way to cross back under I-70.  I'm pretty sure your truck will fit under that crossing. 

 

50039279812_48db0dc94f_c.jpg

 

 

Here's the trip report from our run last year. We covered a lot of the same ground you are targeting.  

 

Desert Trip 2020


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