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Old 05-21-2017, 02:18 PM   #1
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A little jaunt through the southwest

Just got back from a week long trip in the southwest and thought I would share the route for those looking for fun things to do in the southwest. Most of these spots were found either here or expo.

I was in my van and kongbus was in his. Right before the trip he added new shocks and a locker, and we were ready to put it to the test.

First stop was in the Mojave. More of a good stop along the way, but we had fun camping and hit a trail on the way out.





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Old 05-21-2017, 02:29 PM   #2
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Night two was outside Zion, finding a place to crash in the Smithsonian Butte area. when getting to our spot, it was discovered that kongbus had a rock wedged into one of his KO2's and we could hear the air leaking out. Out came the tire kit and we all learned how to plug a tire.





The next morning we went into the park and hiked Angel's landing. It was packed, but we were happy to do it, as none of us have spent much time there and it gave us a good experience in the park.







After the hike we decided to crank out some miles and head for white pocket.
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:34 PM   #3
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:41 PM   #4
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We had stopped by the visitors center in Jacob Lake to get some road info for the drive in, but the office was closed for the winter. It was set to open the next day, but we pressed on anyways. We definitely did not take the path most traveled to White Pocket, and we were met with some trees on the way in.



we got to white pocket pretty late, but we were very impressed with how kongbus handled the trail. Can't imagine a lot of 2wd vans had made it all the way to white pocket, even down the last part that people had advised not to go down due to deep sand. First thing he did when we got there was find out if he could get out for when we left. Took two tries, but he was able to get up the deep sand exit.

Here is where we camped. There were one or two groups setup quite a ways away, on the flat ish area before you head down the deep sand part.



Knowing that the best lighting at white pocket was at sunrise, we settled down for the night, anxiously waiting for hte sun to come up.



The sun came up, and we proceeded to have our favorite 3ish hours of the trip, frollicking in the natural playground. Every direction you looked was awesome.













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Old 05-21-2017, 02:49 PM   #5
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We spent a second night at White Pocket resting up and left at a reasonable time with our sights set on Lake Powell. But not before a stop at this iconic spot along the way.



Saw a lot of cool rigs along the way, spotted this guy in the parking lot at Horshoe bend.



Next stop was Lone Rock Beach. We were ready for crowds, as it was one of the more accessible spots along our route, but we went all the way to the end of the beach and scored this cove to ourselves. Didn't deflate the tires, but did engage the 4x4. Kongbus held speed and got there with no trouble.



We hung out on the beach and showered for the first time in days in the lake. We had plans to head out on the lake the next day, but as you can see by this next pic at sunrise, the storm was rolling in.



SO we packed up and headed for Alstrom point. Camped here, about a mile short of the point.



Had to hunker down to hide from the rain a little bit this day. But a nice relaxing day was welcomed. Ventured out to the point the following day. Definitely a bumpy ride te last mile.

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Old 05-21-2017, 02:54 PM   #6
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We decided to take the scenic road to Escalante. About 70 miles of dirt before our next stop.



The first part of the trail had some steep switchbacks that had there been much more rain, would have been impassable. But after that, was a well maintained BM road. Even saw two graders along the trail.

Made it to Escalante to diesel/ice/firewood up the vans. Then went down hole in the rock road. First stop was devils garden.



Second stop was Peekaboo canyon



We missed the trailhead and ended up hiking way more than we needed to, but the canyons were incredible. Found a spot down a 4x4 road, right around the corner from the trailhead.

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Old 05-21-2017, 03:03 PM   #7
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We wanted to start heading in the right direction, so we went to Bryce. But not before a big plate of biscuits and gravy in Escalante at Circle D. Highly recommended.

Hiked around Bryce for a while.



While walking back to vans, we decided to pass up on one more night in the vans and headed straight to Vegas. The idea of a buffet, shower and a bed had us won over. And that was that. Woke up the next day hungover and with more money than we started with and made the drive home. 1505 miles driven, and only didn't enjoy the last 280 home yesterday.

Some closing notes:
- 7 nights of camping, for the low price of $14 in fees (@lone rock)
- the parks were busy, but we were glad we went to them
- Wow, white pocket is the real deal. But shhh, dont tell anyone. We had it all to ourselves at sunrise, but later in the day there were several tour groups there.
- Still in love with the van. Anything you can sleep in, engage 4x4 and head down the highway at 85 mph is the real deal
- Can't wait to go back to Utah and most likely go back to Escalante and then do the white rim trail.
- A 2wd van with deflated tires, a locker and a foot on the gas will really impress you

Thanks to all who made suggestions and posted trip reports to these spots. Feel free to ask any questions about routes and whatnot, but hopefully the pics inspire you to get out there and get your van on!
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:49 PM   #8
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Nice TR. Thanks for sharing!

I really want to hit White Pocket. Our plans to do it and at least one of the Antelope Canyons were ruined by a bad fuel pump a few summers ago. We didn't see much outside of Page but we can tell you everything that's in it!

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Old 05-21-2017, 08:15 PM   #9
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Great report. Beautiful pictures. Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:36 PM   #10
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Great report - thanks! Need to visit some of that!
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