Off Road 4x4 Trails ...

Welcome to the off road picture and trail gallery. All of the offroad trails below have been driven in a Montero Sport. The Montero Sport is a remarkably capable and durable vehicle in stock form, however, as capable as it is several of the trails below REQUIRE some level of vehicle modification.

Consider 31" or 32" A/T (All Terrain) tires like the BF Goodrich A/T or the Yokohama Geolandar AT/S a minimum modification for ANY of the trails below. Many trails are covered in razor sharp, crushed granite or have mining debris (nails, wire, etc.) scatered about. Thicker, more durrable sidewalls are very important. Stock all-season tires do not have the agressive tread of even an A/T tire and aren't suitable for driving in loose dirt, gravel and sand or mud and slush. Most factory and generic all-season tires are made of a much harder ruber compound to extend the tire's life span. This has the unfortunate effect of making them much less 'sticky' on slipery granite or Utah slick rock.

Chinaman Gulch, Iron Chest, Silver Creek and Wheeler Lake trails stand out. Chinaman Gulch requires a good bit of clearance, side guards and 31" A/T tires at the least. Wheeler Lake is ok with 31" A/T tires, skid plates and a few inches of lift up to Bowling Ball Hill. More clearance, side guards, rear locker, and A/Ts would be a minimum to go further. Iron Chest just requires ... well, lets just say that you're better off not even thinking about it. This trail is for VERY modified Sports only. Minimum 33" M/Ts, guards, non-stock skid plates, locking differential(s), excellent articulation and excellent driving skills.

The Moab, Utah trails are significantly different than the trails populating the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The ups and downs are usually much steeper and off-camber sections can be extreme. Slick rock and sand rule in Moab. Good articulation, high approach and departure angles, good break-over and sticky tires is the name of the game. M/T tires and lockers are not strictly necessary and in fact, can make your life quite difficult on slick rock. Low gearing is essential for the extremely steep slick rock ascents and decents on many trails. Moab, contrary to popular belief, is NOT the land where Jeeps rule. Moderate wheel base vehicles like the Montero, Montero Sport, Toyota Tacoma and even 1/2 ton Ford and Chevy pickups make short work of the frequent shelves and steps that cause many Jeep roll-overs every year.

Trails like Golden Spike, Strike Ravine, Steelbender, Behind the Rocks and Pritchett require heavily modified vehicles and a good amount of driving experience. Poison Spider and Elephant hill can be done with a moderately modified Sport on 33" tires with good approach and departure angles, good articulation and a rear locker and an experienced driver familiar with the southern Utah terrain. Other trails like Secret Spire and Dellenbaugh Tunnel are suitable for stock Mitsubishis with A/T tires and a reasonably experienced driver.

For those that unfamiliar with wheeling a Mitsubishi Montero or Montero Sport, please take note. The Montero and Montero Sport are body heavy vehicles and have a very narrow wheel base relative their height. The more lift the vehicle has, the more top heavy it becomes. Be especially carefull of off camber trail sections and steep, down hill obstacles that tip one corner of the nose down.

All four wheel drive trails are dangerous no matter what state they're in or what vehicle you drive. A section of trail along a wash or stream or a section of shelf on a high ridge may unexpectedly collapse underneath you. Never drive down something you're not absolutely sure you can drive back up - you never know if the trail will be impassible further along and you'll have to turn around and return the way you came.

The remoteness of a trail compounds the danger. The trails populating southern Utah are some of the most remote and least traveled in the lower 48 states. Caution should always be used when driving unfamiliar trails; even familiar trails change or may be completely impassable after the winter thaw or storms.

Keep a close eye on the weather especially while four wheeling in the Utah desert. Flash floods are common and many trails follow dry washes and canyon bottoms. These washes and canyons are deathtraps in a downpour! Keep in mind that while it may be blue sky above you a storm several miles away can flood the wash or canyon you're driving in within minutes.

Quicksand is common in southern Utah and extreme caution should be used when driving through streams and along washes with standing or running water.

Pay attention to your trail especially if the trail is wet! Many trails are clay and when some clay gets wet the trail becomes slicker than Teflon. Even tire chains are ineffective. If a trail guide says 'avoid after storms or when wet', take the recomendation seriously. These trails can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided until dry.

Of course, always pack appropriate clothing, water, food, tools, spare parts, spare tire and jack. A good - non-handheld - CB and Cell phone should also be included in the list.