Bobby Nelson
59900

Mapping Crew - Arizona

My Profile

Year Started:
1983
Off-Road Style:
Other
My Garage:
  • (4" lift, 35" tires)
While living in the Midwest, I developed a passion for searching out new trails and hidden spots. That passion continues to this day in the beautiful southwestern United States. My wife and I are full-time RVers who travel from region to region, exploring every nook and cranny we can find. While we're getting to know the locals, we gain insight into these areas then pass on that knowledge to our subscribers. We truly enjoy traversing long, beautiful back-country routes with epic campsites, but we equally enjoy pushing the limits on challenging rock crawling trails. Our rig was built to do everything, and that's what we hope to share with our subscribers. Please visit our website https://www.xploremor.net to follow us and for opportunities to join us on our adventures. You can also view our vast video library on YouTube. Xploremor YouTube

My Garage (1)

Lift Size: 4"
Tire Size: 35"
My current trail rig is a 1999 Wrangler TJ. It has been heavily modified to handle all types of terrain. It has the Rubicon Express Radius Long Arm kit. Dana 44 up front with an Ox locker. The rear was swapped for an 8.8. It has a four-link with a 3-inch stretch. Stubby fenders and bumpers all around. I currently run 35" mud terrains.

My Trail Reviews (32)

(within last 6 months)
Lost Spring Wash (06/12/2022)
Having run this trail a couple of times now and in both directions, I believe it's better to run in reverse of how it's presented. But only if you want it a little bit harder. It's scenic and fun either way. If you want an excellent day loop with petroglyphs and old train stuff, then connect this with Cottonwood Canyon Road for an awesome day loop. There is so much to explore in this area, but it's easy to get lost or confused. Stay on the main trails or have a good map. The trail has a few fun challenges that this area needed. Every other LEGAL trail in this area is 2wd so this is a welcomed opportunity to use four-wheel drive.
Dubinky Overlook (05/13/2022)
We looked around the area for group campsites that weren't on the main roads. We stumbled onto this very nice trail with two huge campsites at the trailhead and off a fairly main road. There isn't too much traffic in this area. Every time I have driven past these two campsites, they have been open, even over Memorial Day Weekend. If you go to the end, the views are pretty good, and it's easy to get to—no obstacles or big rocks on this trail.
Rainbow Rim (05/13/2022)
This is one of those trails that's perfect for like Grand Cherokees and other stock SUV drivers that want to drive on something other than gravel roads. By no means is it a boring trail. The trail has very mild 4x4 challenges, just rights for stock rigs with good tires and decent ground clearance. I wouldn't take an Escalade or Subaru on this trail. The trail has several spots with super soft sand. Keeping up your momentum, and airing down your tire pressure will help with traction. We did this when the spring bloom was in full effect.
Big Mesa Trail (05/13/2022)
We connected this with Wipe Out Hill and Bartlett Flat for an incredible route below Sevenmile Point. This trail was pretty easy compared to other "rock crawling" trails. The one hill climb at WP 02 was fairly easy. I didn't need or even think about a locker. The rest of the trail is scenic as hell. Seeing the mountain bikers cruise below the cliffs was excellent; we stopped to take the binoculars out for the arch.
Wipe-Out Hill (05/13/2022)
We have been on this trail a couple of times but had never climbed Wipe-Out Hill. It turned out to be easier than I thought but it was still a legit climb. I watched numerous videos of everyone doing the wrong thing and some correctly, so I was confident I knew what to do. Lining up for the right line is critical. You can lift the left front tire very easily if you have too much momentum or if your suspension system isn't set up correctly. MAKE SURE your sway bars are disconnected before trying this one. You need all the suspension travel you can get, but not too much!! Definitely go up and down and continue around to Bartlett Flat. It's a great half-day route.
Cottonwood Canyon Road (05/11/2022)
We went out to camp in this area for the second weekend in a row. The winds were pretty bad but the nighttime temps were perfect for camping. We came in along Cottonwood Canyon Road, following the old Spirit Railroad tracks, and finding several of the old stone culverts. The trail has a few more deep ruts and would have to say it has gotten rougher. Not harder just bumpier in the last couple of months. They have installed numerous new signs. The marked Mexican Mountain Wilderness and put in a few carsonites in random spots.
Prickly Pear Pictographs (05/07/2022)
A very cool trail that had some mild challenges for stock Jeeps and Yota's. I'm not sure I would drive my "daily driver" Ford F150 out to the petroglyphs but it can be done. Be aware the rocks are abundant and the sand is super soft in spots. You will get pinstripes.
North Temple Wash (04/19/2022)
We ran through this all the way out to I-70 to the north. We stopped at the old cabin and the very precarious spire in the canyon. The trail was easy enough that I didn't use four-wheel drive at all. Not even on the rock obstacle at WP06. It was a windy day but the scenic canyons helped protect us,
Reid Nielson Draw (04/19/2022)
I ran this mandatory trail to reach the pictographs at Locomotive point. The trail leading up to the tunnel was in good condition and very quick. The two tunnels had rock stacks to help you get up on the cement. I only used four-wheel drive on one of these mild obstacles under the highway. We also chose to stop at Dutchman Arch before getting out of the wind.
Locomotive Point (04/19/2022)
It was a very windy spring day when we stopped by the various pictograph sites and Dutchman Arch. The trail was in good shape, all soft sand with a few rocks mixed in. The good news is that the cattle gate at Waypoint 02 has been replaced by a new heavy-duty cattle crossing. Much easier and faster than dealing with barbed wire fences. The winds were brutal but the cliffs provided a little relief while checking out the artwork.
Sego Canyon (04/17/2022)
Our first attempt at a summit of this trail was a little too early in the season. We wanted to enjoy the cooler temperatures around the townsite and catch the spring bloom on the way up. We were three weeks too early and got stopped by snow just after the last switchback at WP 10. Trust me; it was really deep and on a narrow ledge. So we returned in May to even better blooms and beautiful green grass at the top. We enjoyed the old town site but preferred the drive up the canyon. It really does immerse you into the wilderness. A top-off kind of trail. It seems to go on forever before you eventually really start to climb. The trail was in good condition, but a couple of boulders and trees were almost blocking the trail. If you're going up to see the ghost town, then you could just about drive anything up to that point.
Salt Washington North (04/13/2022)
I took this very easy road out to find a way down to the Green River. The trail was in decent condition, despite the endless washboards. The landscape colors are truly amazing in this region. We drove to the very end before turning left and dropping down to the shoreline. There is epic camping right along the river. I will be adding these trails as scout routes very soon.
Thompson Overlook (04/04/2022)
So far, this is my favorite camping along the Book Cliffs. The site at Waypoint 02 is very nice, especially when you drive out to the point and realize how windy it is. Please respect this area and do not create a new site or expand on the existing sites. There is minimal legal camping like this along the cliffs. We connected Sagers Bench to Thompson Bench, then through the very scenic Crescent Canyon and the spire.
Crescent Canyon (04/04/2022)
I highly recommend this short but very scenic canyon. The trail is super easy, but not for people afraid of narrow ledges. Seriously, it just keeps climbing; no guard rails on this one. While standing along the shelf road, we witnessed a raven picking on a golden eagle. The rock spire is a natural wonder similar to the nearby Nefertiti Point and the unnamed spire along Horse Canyon Road. We drove over from the west on Sagers Bench, then Thompson Bench out Crescent Canyon. You have to stop at the petroglyphs by the nuclear dump to get the entire experience.
Sagers Bench (04/04/2022)
We took a weekday trip through this canyon up to the bench and west to the beautiful Crescent Canyon. The trail was in excellent condition. Even though I like harder trails, this area is always such a great peaceful time on the trail. We are always looking out for the golden eagles getting chased by ravens or the next rock covered with art. Take your time on these trails and enjoy how pristine the area has remained.
Thompson Bench Road (04/04/2022)
I suggest coming up Crescent Canyon along Thompson Bench, Thompson Canyon, and out Sagers Bench for an epic day on the trail. Oh yeah, start your trip at the Crescent Canyon Petroglyphs. It will help give you a feel for the rest of the trip.. Stop at the petroglyphs at the Thompson Canyon trailhead. Great lunch spot there or the old town site. Basically the reverse of the video I linked. A super overland route is connecting all the Book Cliff routes starting at Nefertiti and up Tusher Canyon. So many petroglyphs, spires, cabins, camping, and more to see on these barely used trails.
Behind the Rocks Trail (03/25/2022)
One of the best trails I have ever driven, and I didn't even do every obstacle. The trail starts off with a huge bump and run climb up Guardian Rock. I had to give that one a few goes before I got it up. I advise having two lockers. My limited-slip rear and locker in the front were just enough to get me up. The bypass and other obstacles around High Dive are still worthy if you have an issue dropping that big obstacle. There are so many unnamed rock ledges and steep climbs that you will encounter on this route. Way more than can be pointed out in this write-up. After looking at White Knuckle in person, I passed. I have no problem driving around that thing. In a rental four-door on 37's - no problem, but not in my daily, this time. Go with someone who has experience with big obstacles and a trail-proven rig.
Courthouse Rock aka Buttes and Towers (03/18/2022)
We started around 9 am right off highway 191 and ended this trail at Determination Towers at about 1 pm. The trail is perfect for stock 4x4 Jeeps, Toyotas, and many other high clearance rigs without lockers. No street tires!! You need durable tires on these rocks and extra traction in the soft sand. You will want to air down your tires for added traction and comfort; it's a bumpy trail. The views never stop. You're on one side of a butte; the next, you get a completely different breathtaking view of the same area. We ventured out to a couple of the scenic vistas above Sevenmile and the random sandy canyons on our way out on the Sevenmile trail. I'm coming back to run this in the spring. Hard to believe it could be even more impressive during the spring bloom.
Coal Canyon Road (03/17/2022)
We have been out to this canyon a few times looking for the petroglyphs. This guide makes it super easy to find these hidden gems. The first big art wall is one of the biggest in the area. It has so many different characters and critters to search for. They are on a few different rocks in the big cracks. The second stop for petroglyphs was a short walk in a very cool extension of the canyon. It is not legal to drive to them and it is worth the walk. There are 5-6 different pieces on a wall behind a bush then more on the wall above your head on the left as well.
The Frenchman (03/12/2022)
This is an easy dirt and sand county road for the first few miles but then it turns into an actual trail. I never needed 4x4 but could imagine a low clearance rig or an overland van might want to use it. There were definitely more spots where you could easily make camp for the night. Plenty of nice flat spots without vegetation that could be used. I connected this with the Lower Swell to create a super long route around Horse Bench. My only wish was that we did this in the spring.
Hidden Canyon (03/12/2022)
It was a beautiful spring day on this epic trail. This route through the canyons is truly amazing and we're definitely coming back when everything is blooming. The trail was very easy. Basically all soft sand. I highly recommend that you air down your tires. It will really help with traction. We went all the back in the canyon and hiked around looking for all the little caves.
Bartlett Overlook (03/11/2022)
I found this route to be a great mix of scenery and 4x4 challenges. I would recommend this trail to someone looking for a mild Moab four-wheeling experience. It's short enough to connect with Hidden Canyon to get a complete picture of this very cool area. I think this route is ideal for those that don't want hard rock crawling but still want to flex on the rocks. A stock Toyota or Jeep is suitable for this route. With the rock stacking at WP 14, the trail is pretty easy but fun.
Smith Camp Road (03/09/2022)
I have been out on this road a couple of times. Each time it was in great shape and never required 4x4. The trails in the area are amazing and there isn't any traffic. Plenty of free camping at WP 03 for a large group. The picture of the open flat area is just a small sample of the size of that area. Be sure to explore around the area, there is a bunch of hidden railroad and mine stuff to find.
Copper Ridge (03/03/2022)
We ran this route from north to south; we had to climb up the hard part at WP 21, which was awesome. The dino tracks are an excellent way to begin the morning. I have issues with my legs, so I appreciated being allowed to drive up to the dino tracks. It was a fun rock crawl getting up there too. The highlights were driving on the white sandstone and seeing all the different landscapes. This is one of those trails that has a little of everything. You get scenery, and you get some exciting challenges along the way.
Cottonwood Canyon Road (02/27/2022)
I have been along this trail three times in the last few months. In my Jeep, I only need 4x4 when I am climbing up the hill after the petroglyphs. It's not steep or hard but the extra traction is comforting. The rest of the trail has blind washouts and sweeping bends. I never had to use low range but I did air down my tires. The roads leading out to the trailhead are bumpy! My tip for finding the petroglyphs, stay to the right walking up the canyon. Walk up the rocky slope staying along the cliff above the sand below. Keep walking up until you can't walk anymore, if you didn't see them, then you passed them. I added more pictures to help but PLEASE do not touch the artwork.
Hatt Ranch Bypass (02/19/2022)
We took this easy but fun trail to the petroglyphs at Three Fingers. We never saw anyone else while out there. The campsite at WP 03 is worth it if you need a spot for the night. You can get to it easy from the highway, but you can hear the traffic at night. The petroglyphs were extraordinary. There are so many to find hidden among the rocks.
Buckmaster Mining District (02/18/2022)
We went out with two other Jeeps to explore this area and more north. We started from I70 and worked our way north to GR Cutoff and out to 191. Even with several stops, it was a great day, finished by 4:00. This area is fun to explore. There are a ton more trails in this area that have other hidden cabins and mines. This route has a few fun sections that are pretty easy. It's a great place to get a mild challenge without scary obstacles.
Horse Canyon Road (02/17/2022)
I truly enjoy driving up on the Book Cliffs. Every single morning that I have driven out in this area I have seen a herd of pronghorns. I truly enjoy the pristine landscape. There is no trash and the dirt hills aren't covered in dirt bike tracks. Very photogenic in the spring bloom. If you want to be alone or take a chilled out group run, I highly recommend taking in this easily accessible area of Utah.
Dripping Springs (02/12/2022)
We ran this route to work our way over to the Secret Spire trail. We really enjoyed the smooth ride through the sands. Since it was late winter, the trails weren't all whooped out. It was also very nice to have the entire region all to ourselves. No sounds at all while we hiked around the canyons. We came in from Crystal Geyser over Dee Pass and then we went back out through Rainbow Rocks to finish the day. Beautiful scenery all along the drive and it was cool to take a break around the flowing creek at Dripping Springs.
Secret Spire (02/12/2022)
This was our first time out in this area and we picked this as our furthest point for the day. It was definitely worth the drive to see this very very unique rock formation. You have to walk right up and look closely at the rock. It's like stacked columns. How it's still balanced is a wonder of nature. The trail was as it's presented here, there are a couple of spots you need a little extra ground clearance and 4x4. For someone that can't physically hike for long distances, this trail access is very accommodating. Please RESPECT the trail boundaries. I did drive my little Jeep around the spire.
Dee Pass (02/12/2022)
I ran this trail for the first time on a warm February morning. We ran it from north to south, the reverse of how this write-up is presented. We connected it to several other trails for a day loop. Since the last trail review, WP 05, the large rock obstacle has become more rutted out and some very larger boulders have become exposed. I have watched all the videos and looked at all the pics, it's worse. The entire area up that climb is much wider now because of people trying to avoid being hung up on the boulders. A locker may be needed to safely get up this one now. You definitely need some very good ground clearance!!
Tusher Canyon (02/10/2022)
So far this is one of my favorite canyons to drive through along the Book Cliffs. I searched for a long time to find both of these petroglyph sites. They are both very cool but the pregnant deer at WP 06 is by far the coolest. Connect this over to Coal Canyon and much more for a great easy day on the trail. You are likely to have this entire area to yourself.

My Trails (249)