My reviews up to this point have been nice. Like the REM song, "Shiny Happy People". In fact my off-road experiences as a whole (so far) have been that way. But this trail, or perhaps the people who led me up it, had me a little peeved. I have only gone out with my normal group of buddies taht are uber experienced, sadly they were all in UT. The leaders of this pack were all in Toyota Tacomas... several of them very nice rides. But this trip behind them may have been the very best advertisement that Jeep could ever make. I am not sure where we were on the trail when the challenges began to really slow the Toy's down (stop is more like it). I understand many of the Toy drivers were new like me, so I get it. But at the first rutted out section, which my (stock) Jeep made it through in one pass, took these guys try after try to get through. They sat there spinning their tires, making a ton of dust and digging the holes even deeper for those of us behind (and those yet to come up this path). At the second difficult section we were literally sidelined for 10 minutes. At that point one (of the THREE) spotters asked the driver "Are you in 4x4, because your front tires are not spinning". He was not in 4H... he was not in 4L... he was in 2H. By the time we finally got up to the next obstacle, I got out of my Jeep and wandered around with my dog. I knew I would be there for a while. Groups coming down got backed up by us... groups from behind us got frustrated and turned around. Then, since I was very near one of the few decent spots to engage in a 6 point turn, I decided to turn around. As a newbie driver I know that there is risk to damage to my Jeep and me and my dog by following spotters who 'may' be slightly above my skill level. My spotting "master" told me a few weeks ago when I spun tires one time, then tried again: "Stop! If it didnt work a second ago it isnt going to work now." That lesson was not passed on to todays leader(s). They allowed this guy to spin and spin and spin (in 2H) making this trail nearly impassble for those behind them and future endeavors from others on different days.
So, even though I am new, I am going to impart what little wisdom I have learned in a short time... ready?: When you are off roading, does it give you more hair on your chest to proclaim "I did it in 2H the whole way"? I've seen what neglecting to switch over has done to this trail, and see it on others... seriously, switch into 4H or 4L and clear the obstacle without digging a hole to prove you or your vehicles 'manliness'. Being a good steward of the trails and our land should be of upmost importance to you and your group. Trust me, you look way more manly rolling through the trail like a rock star than trying to stay in 2H and rutting up the place for everyone else. Seriously lame. These guys proved nothing but that they could dig trenches before succumbing and turning around.
Second observation: Having a spotter is sometimes needed, especially for newbies like me. But, the quality of the spotter, in my opinion, needs to be of a MUCH higher caliber than those they are spotting. At one point there was literally 3 people giving three sets of instructions to these new drivers... and no one thought to tell the guy to bei n the right gear for the job that needed to be done.
This is the first trail I didnt make it up, and I am not happy about it... I dont like quitting. But damn these dudes really jacked the trail up with their bravado/lack of skill/lack of courtesy.