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Utah's Big Five & Off-roading - Vehicles other than a Jeep?

SuperBus
Traveler
Traveler
An interesting facet of the "Big Five" is the option for off-roading. My trusty guidebook points out a few of the park roads such as Burr Trail Road in Capital Reef and Shafer Trail Road in Canyonlands. It does refer to these roads as requiring a "high clearance 4WD" vehicle and uses a Jeep looking vehicle as an icon. We travel towing our short wheelbase Ford Expedition (4x4, with Hi/Lo on the t-case, skid plates). For anyone who has traveled these park roads/trails, are they passable in something other than a true Jeep, such as our toad? Ground clearance is comparable between the two vehicles, believe or not, but the big difference is in approach and departure angles, a Jeep clearly being superior. Are there a lot of obstacles which need to be driven over? Thanks!
6 REPLIES 6

Carl_n_Susan
Traveler II
Traveler II

Two of us did the Schafer Trail going downhill. I used my F350 CC longbed and my buddy used his F450 CC longbed. Other than I had to make a 3 point turn on one corner (the F450 has a much netter turning radius), there were no problems / Low range just for the ease of decent and both had plenty of clearance.  No major ditches or washes to cross, so no issue with vehicle overhang. 

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SuperBus
Traveler
Traveler
Thanks for sharing your experiences, much appreciated!

profdant139
Explorer II
Explorer II
No matter what truck you have, don't go if the roads are wet -- they get very slick. There is a lot of bentonite clay. Nasty stuff.
2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
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paulj
Explorer II
Explorer II
I did the Shafer years ago in a S10 pickup - going up. No need for low range. Nor do I recall any special ground clearance issues. On the return drive I took Long Canyon down, and appreciated the low range braking. But I also drove Long down in a SUV using only brakes.

I also intended to take Burr in that SUV, but that was right after a major storm, and the stream crossing at Bullfrog was mud covered. Made the loop around through Capital Reef. I'd just camped at Hall's Crossing, and taken the ferry across. But last I read, that ferry wasn't running because Lake Powell was too low.

Ro_n_Joe
Explorer
Explorer
Your Expedition will be fine on Shafer's Trail. We did it in our Grand Cherokee and highly recommend taking it. Also suggest starting up from Moab. Sorry...didn't do Burr Trail.
2020 Dutch Star 4328 on FL Chassis
2018 Grand Cherokee Limited
Ready Brute Elite Towbar & Road Master Wiring

Tinyandthegang
Explorer
Explorer
Both of those roads can be easily traveled in any vehicle with some ground clearance. They are both just gravel roads.