Ran it backwards on Halloween. My opinion, trail needs an updated review and I'd call it a 5-7 the rock garden is doable in a stock vehicle but you are gonna scrape and bang on a few things. Body damage is possible, narrow shelf road at spots and a little pin striping is gonna happen if you take the only "doable" line in a stock Rubicon.
SO... I used to spend a ton of time in this area bout 20 years ago and have explored from within the park up this trail about a dozen times. I had NEVER made it through as I never had a vehicle that could even make it to the rock garden when running it backwards. This time, was different! Took the stock 2020 JL up into the park as I enjoy stopping at the few of the trail heads. Started at about 11:00 on Halloween morning. Every bit as beautiful as I remember. I already plan to come back and camp a night at one of the spots along the route. There are a couple "fun" sections, but nothing challenging, basic easy as she goes no rub, no problem fun. Great views, some wildlife and lots of fresh air as you get up to around 6,500 feet.
I would have turned around when we hit the rock garden. BUT, I happened to see a Gladiator and another Jeep coming UP right as we got there. They were both lifted, albeit not much but they did have sliders too. I spoke with them for a few minutes and decided to give it a go, knowing I was gonna rub a little. There are optional lines though the garden, but it's what I'd call a 7 as there is no way to not get hung up a little. I stacked a FEW rocks in a particular spot as I knew I just didn't have the clearance without getting seriously hung up. Coming down into it I chose the HARD right and then the second turn out back to the left. Couple little rubs.
The waterfalls were definitely more dug out than any of the photos I've seen. Thankfully we were going DOWN. I actually decided to hug the far left, praying I wouldn't slide as it would definitely result in a roll if you got dumb or it was too slick. Impossible if wet. Thankfully a group of moto riders was hanging out and a couple of the dudes helped spot me, which made it pretty easy, still rubbed a bit on the last drop into the riverbed. There was like one or two ther spots that were a LITTLE bit washed out, that again, if you got dumb or weren't paying attention could bite ya. I hit like 23 degrees on one that just didn't seem that steep until I was already in it.
Overall, GREAT trail. I can't wait to go run it again after I get my sliders and suspension done next week. Again, if you're stock and you're coming UP, those waterfalls might be a challenge and you're definitely gonna slide a little. Coming down, no problem but you're gonna get some undercarriage damage FOR SURE.
Unfortunately, was pressed for time and didn't snap any pics, but I will next time.