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Discussion Starter #1
First, let me set the stage for ya:

I stopped by work last night and picked up the So Cal off road trail guide my buddy had. I browsed through it and the girlfriend and I decided to head up to Big Bear and try some "moderate" rated trails. You can see my set up in the signature on this post. However, this Jeep is my first 4x4 since having a suburban about 20 years ago. Needless to say, I'm not aware of my ability or that of my jeep.

We get up to Big Bear about noon and had lunch. We then took a nice long trail on the back side of the ski resort. Near the end of that, testosterone got the best of me. My girlfriend said, "I wanna climb over some shit." My brilliant response? "Okay....we'll try one of the "difficult rated trails. If we get to a point that's too much, we'll turn back." We went to find Holcumb only to find it's completely closed off. So we turn around and head back to the Dishpan trail.

Starts out with a few challenging bumps, rocks and hills. Challenging enough that I got out to scout it a couple times. Then I get to a spot that was just crazy. Honestly, if it werent for some fresh tracks from another vehicle I might not have picked the right line. Still, I showed my girlfriend exactly where I wanted my tires, aired down and even set the superchips program to "Crawl." There was only one acceptable line and it was TIGHT. It also requires a hard 90 degree turn while the supension was fully flexed. This part took a while. I scraped a LOT!! I thought for sure I'd snap some part of the steering component.

The rest of the trail left me with a couple more challenging spots but that was the worst. I couldn't even imagine doing this run the opposite direction...which is the route the book describes. If it weren't for gravity, not sure I'd have made it. Still, in the end I got a real taste of what the jeep can do and little harm. Scratched a couple rims with minor 1 inch scrapes, scratched the front bumper pretty good (spray paint will fix it) and a little damage on the rear bumper. I already have a rear bumper on order so I didn't care about that.

Lessons learned:

1. The jeep is far more capable than I had thought...as is.

2. No more "difficult" rated trails without another jeep, another winch and at least one snatch strap.

3. "Difficult" probably means more like "nuts" to me. ;)

4. When you think you're stuck...you're probably not stuck.
 

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Dishpan is fun. Last time we ran it there was a group that broke down. Took us somewhere around 3 hours to run it both ways. It's a fun trail. I'm assuming you did the waterfall.
 

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RIP Brad
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90 degree turn.... guessing no waterfall. That sounds like the bypass.

I wonder which way is harder.... down or up the mountain. I have my opinion, but want the OPs. I remember the first time I ran the waterfall, it was a pucker moment.... actually still is. I like Dishpan.

And x2 on DD's assessment. As long as you don't wheel with him, things like JV might still hold a bit of a challenge.
 

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I have run that trail both ways and I think coming down the waterfall is gnarlier. Last time, I took my father in law. When we reached the bottom of the waterfall section, he looked just like Lloyd Bridges after sniffing glue in the movie "Airplane". He swears that I tried to kill him that day and vows never to go "Jeepin'" again!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
90 degree turn.... guessing no waterfall. That sounds like the bypass.

I wonder which way is harder.... down or up the mountain. I have my opinion, but want the OPs. I remember the first time I ran the waterfall, it was a pucker moment.... actually still is. I like Dishpan.

And x2 on DD's assessment. As long as you don't wheel with him, things like JV might still hold a bit of a challenge.
I started at the fork going down I think. LOL. It's the fork that going right takes you to Holcomb, going left takes ya to dishpan. And I'm sure I did the waterfall since I went from on end to the other ending at the bridge/creek. The 90 degree turn wasn't the road, it was while negotiating an obstacle.

I found a video on YouTube of that section where an FJ gets stuck. He's going the opposite direction, though. Just search "big bear dishpan" on YouTube and should be one of the first couple. I'd post it but A) it's not my video and B) I'm using my phone right now. It just shows where I had the most difficulty.
 

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RIP Brad
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I have run that trail both ways and I think coming down the waterfall is gnarlier. Last time, I took my father in law. When we reached the bottom of the waterfall section, he looked just like Lloyd Bridges after sniffing glue in the movie "Airplane". He swears that I tried to kill him that day and vows never to go "Jeepin'" again!
Actually, I take a very different line going up than down.... maximize my pleasure if you will. All things being equal, to me, down seems more scary.

I started at the fork going down I think. LOL. It's the fork that going right takes you to Holcomb, going left takes ya to dishpan. And I'm sure I did the waterfall since I went from on end to the other ending at the bridge/creek. The 90 degree turn wasn't the road, it was while negotiating an obstacle.

I found a video on YouTube of that section where an FJ gets stuck. He's going the opposite direction, though. Just search "big bear dishpan" on YouTube and should be one of the first couple. I'd post it but A) it's not my video and B) I'm using my phone right now. It just shows where I had the most difficulty.
So many different roads up there, "fork" means little to me. Holcomb is probably the hardest trail up there, but has been closed for sometime. John Bull is suppose to be number two, but I think a stock H2 can make it with a decent driver. Those ratings in the book are based on a stock rig of 20 years ago.... so they aren't very exact when it comes to a JK.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Those ratings in the book are based on a stock rig of 20 years ago.... so they aren't very exact when it comes to a JK.
That makes sense since I have stock gears and no lockers and made it unassisted. However, I did disconnect the sways, air it down and have a 2.5" lift and made it with no winching, digging, jacking, etc. I just had to relocate a few rocks to add some clearance in a couple spots, though.

If you were to go to Dishpan from cedar glen and cross the bridge, I did it from that point all the way to the other end (where a maintained dirt road begins). I just did it from the other direction. I'm assuming the "waterfall" is in that stretch. For a novice driver, it was certainly a test. I'll pick up a GPS unit in the near future to make this (and finding trails) easier.
 

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That waterfall puts the jeep near verticle with a big friggen hole at the bottom. the turn you mention sounds like the bypass. I've wheeled this trail many times but still have not taken the waterfall line...need a spotter.

Your ready for the hammers :grinpimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
That waterfall puts the jeep near verticle with a big friggen hole at the bottom. the turn you mention sounds like the bypass. I've wheeled this trail many times but still have not taken the waterfall line...need a spotter.

Your ready for the hammers :grinpimp:
I'm not going to claim to be ready for hammers yet...nor is my Jeep. :shaking: Need a bit more time behind the wheel. Now I'm curious if I did the bypass or not. Searching videos they all look different. One video with "dishpan waterfall" in the title showed a vehicle going down and it had a large concrete structure (looks like it used to be a holding tank?) in the background. That's where I was so now I'm thinking I did do the waterfall.
 

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I'm not going to claim to be ready for hammers yet...nor is my Jeep. :shaking: Need a bit more time behind the wheel. Now I'm curious if I did the bypass or not. Searching videos they all look different. One video with "dishpan waterfall" in the title showed a vehicle going down and it had a large concrete structure (looks like it used to be a holding tank?) in the background. That's where I was so now I'm thinking I did do the waterfall.
honestly there is no real bypass. both obstacles at the waterfall are about equally as challenging. it just depends all on your lines. good job for getting through it alive.
 

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The "bypass" is more difficult for the 4-doors than the actual "waterfall".


The very first time I did Dishpan was going down (east to west) in the winter (snow & ice). Talk about pucker factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hope they don't mind me sharing this but this is the section that gave me the most grief. They're calling it the waterfall. If they're accurate, then I did the waterfall. I did use a spotter in this section....my girlfriend on her first ever off road trip. :) She did awesome, though. Thanks for all the kind words for the novice driver. Much appreciated. Now I just need to link up with some of you more experienced folk so I can see how it's really done. :D

YouTube - ‪Dishpan Springs (first time) May 2011‬‏
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Then that's what I did....thanks for the feedback. Still sucked for a novice driver with a first time spotter and no one else around. Yikes!! Well, sucked at the moment but pretty cool after....minus the scraped up wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I could be wrong but for one of your first trails its a really good start. Lots of fun in big bear.
It paid off in the end. Since my girlfriend is the one that wanted to do it, I got the best treatment ever. Massages (plural) dinner.....well, y'all know the rest. I literally said I forgive her before I looked under the jeep, though. :grinpimp:
 

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No, no, no.... no one is saying the bypass is easy, just the waterfall has a good pucker built in. Look at my "garage," as I think there is a pic of me at the top of the waterfall getting ready to come down.... this would be the east to west path (or top to bottom) mentioned earlier. Coming down the way I was, the bypass is 15 or so feet to the passenger side, path runs right next to a very tight tree with a cliff on the other side of the tree.

Dishpan is a very good trail for your first run out. :)
 

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