Jon Grall


My Profile

Year Started:
Off-Road Style:
My Garage:
  • 2021 Land Rover Defender (4" lift, 35" tires)
Adventure Photographer. Have received training from Land Rover and other professional 4x4 instructors. Primarily into overland travel and camping more so than hardcore rock crawling and gnarly trails that might break my rig. My comfort level is a 3 or 4 difficulty score, but I'll go up to a 6 with an experienced spotter.

My Garage (1)

2021 Land Rover Defender

Lift Size: 4"
Tire Size: 35"
Have a winch, bull bar, rock sliders, front and rear recovery points, and lots of recovery gear.

My Trail Reviews (4)

(within last 6 months)
Cathedral Valley Loop (06/18/2022)
This is a spectacular trail with so much to see. Set aside a full day for it. Bring plenty of water, sun protection, and your camera. I think the difficulty rating is definitely off and needs to be raised to a 2. The river crossing at the start requires hugging the bank before turning left up onto the other side and can be deep and flowing quickly if it has rained recently. There is also a sandy patch shortly after crossing the Fremont River and multiple patches of deep sand between waypoints 18 and 19, that could present problems if you are not aired down properly or don’t have sufficient momentum. There are also a few surprise dips and washouts that if you hit them at speed and aren’t paying attention you could easily break something on your vehicle. Many blind turns along the trail, where a head-on collision could easily happen, so stay alert. Look for dust and listen for engine noise from other vehicles, and slow down and use your horn if you need to alert others to your presence. Remember to air down for the sand or you might lose control or get stuck in a few places. Stay away if there is a chance of rain or recent rain. Finally, contact the NPS for up-to-date road conditions. UPDATE: the area around Caineville got about 3/4 of an inch of rain on the evening of 6/18 after I got back to my hotel room. Out of curiosity I went back to the Cathedral Valley Loop trail on the afternoon of 6/19 to check the condition of the start (beginning at waypoint 1). From what I’ve seen on foot, I have concluded that the trail is currently impassable. There are multiple 50-100ft mud slicks even before waypoint 2. I was able to walk to the river crossing by going through the brush on the side of the trail. The Fremont River is flowing fast, full of red silt, and has probably double the flow rate of the day before. The bank where you cross has been transformed from a nice smooth ramp to a 3ft drop with exposed tree roots. I can only imagine what lies ahead once you get to the Bentonite clay hills… The NPS will no doubt declare the trail closed until they can get to it and perform some maintenance.
Willow Springs Road (06/01/2022)
Pretty straightforward although there are some surprisingly rocky bits just after the NP boundary heading west. Fun trail. The dinosaur tracks were a cool bonus. Sneaky back way into Arches ;)
Tower Arch (06/01/2022)
Agree that this trail is a solid 4 rating. “Subaru Hill” (waypoint 2) was the toughest part I thought and I had to get out and walk a couple of sections before driving them. There are also some new obstacles around waypoint 5 that were not in the guide and have presumably been revealed as the sands have shifted. Really fun trail overall, just at the difficulty I enjoy, and with a nice reward at the end. Exited via Eye of the Whale rather than going back to the start.
Eye of the Whale (06/01/2022)
Really fun trail, especially the sandy sections. Nothing too challenging, but it can catch you out if you get complacent. Rating seems correct to me. This was a nice way back to Willow Springs Rd from Tower Arch.