JKOwners Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A buddy Bill and I loaded up the JKU for a quick overnighter exploring the Henry Mountains over the weekend... he is pretty familiar with them and I was not, but wanted to see more. We headed out from Grand Junction early in the evening to Hanksville, then hit the dirt on the Sawmill Basin road on the North, but not before stopping at the BLM office and checking out the Wolverton Mill, which was pretty neat to see.




We gained elevation quickly, passed up some campground seeking a high elevation camp for the cool weather. On the way up we took a break for some wild raspberries, which were perfectly ripe. As the sun set we were treated to the redrock canyons to the West of us covered in the setting sun's light. Bill knew a road that turned off the main route and started climbing... and climbing and CLIMBING! The road ended up being a mine access road and had seen a lot of water recently, washing it out and making the remaining rocks very loose. We dropped into 4 low and locked both diffs and let the Jeep work it's way up the bulldozer-cut grade, with thick undergrowth on the sides of the road. Eventually we climbed to over 10k feet, found the mine (and a flat spot!) and setup camp just as the last of the day's light faded away.








The sky was clear and it looked like a great night, so we both decided to leave the tents in their bags and sleep under the stars. Bill setup his hammock at the front of the Jeep and I laid out my cot on the ground behind the Jeep. We ended up without a campfire, staying warm with some tasty beverages... :D We watched the stars come out in full force, saw several shooting stars and headed to bed pretty late as it got chilly.







I didn't sleep to great that night, but it wasn't due to the cot! At one point I was woken up by the distant sound of kittens meowing... I thought it was in my head, as we have cats at home. Shortly after that, I heard branches breaking on the mountain above us. That really got in my head, so I made sure my pistol was very near by. I ended up sleeping in until after 7 AM and as we started stirring and prepping breakfast, Bell mentioned that he heard meowing, verifying what I heard. We quickly realized that there was a den of young mountain lions or bobcats not far up the mountain.... and the mom was probably out looking for food, setting the kittens off with their meowing! We had a small fire, packed up camp and made our way back down the mountain to the main road.
















 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
We headed over to a nearby knoll that had a very special meaning to Bill and his friends. Several years ago he was a on a trip with his friends from back East and one of them, Mikey, fell in love with this area and asked their group to spread his ashed should he pass on before them. It wasn't long after that he was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer and within several months he had passed on. :( Not long after his passing Mikey's family and friends came out to the Henry mountains, spread his ashes where he asked and left behind a rock engraved in memory of Mikey. Weather and time have wore on the rock, but it's still there.






We continued on, heading up and over Bull Creek pass to the West and the amazing overlook down onto the Burr Trail and Capitol Reef far below. There's a hike out to the high point that looks like fun, I'd love to get to that one of these days. We wandered down, explored some side roads and found a lot of cabins and deer. We started heading South, covering a lot of ground and then eventually wrapped back around the mountain and worked our way up to a mine overlook.



















 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
We worked out way further South, saw several more deer and plenty with little fawns. We made one last climb into the cool air, then headed back down to the heat and eventually the highway. Once on the road, we made a plan to hit a little more dirt to Green River, rather than the freeway. We were exploring roads, covering a lot of ground FAST and trying to see where the roads lead to.... we ended up having to backtrack a couple times, once when the road just ended and once at a ford of the San Rafael river which was impassable.... eventually the fuel light came on. We still had a 2 gallon Rotopax on the back, but pressed on with the fuel light reminding us that the Rotopax may need to be used very soon. At one point we drove over some sand dunes, then had to drive back up due to a dead end.












We finally made it to Green River around 8 pm with 200 miles of dirt over the day and we were HUNGRY! First stop was Ray's Diner for very well deserved burgers and beer, then gas in the Jeep and air in the tires. We hit the road in the dark and made it back to GJ after 10 PM. It was a great trip, very enjoyable and really helped me reset my mind.

Hope you enjoyed the report! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,286 Posts
Nice trip and write up. I am jealous of you guys out west. Nice to have all that in your backyard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks, great countryside!
Welcome, it was amazing up there!


Nice trip and write up. I am jealous of you guys out west. Nice to have all that in your backyard.
It's very nice, I do my best not to take it for granted.


^^^^ What he said! You should feel so blessed!


What a great story and awesome pictures!
Appreciate it, we choose to live here after living in many other states... I love Western CO and South/Eastern Utah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top