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Old 03-04-2014, 03:16 PM   #1
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Name: Jack L
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Moki Dugway

If all goes well, I'll be driving the Moki Dugway area of Utah 261 in May and I'm getting mixed information on whether or not to take the trailer on this road. I haven't put the whole plan together so I could go uphill or downhill so I would like to hear from anyone who has done this.

My first choice would be downhill with the trailer and second choice would be uphill with the trailer and third choice would be to drop the trailer and pick it up later. I tow the Bigfoot 17 with a Toyota Tacoma 4 wheel drive and the trailer weight is 3500 and the truck towing capacity is 6500. Some information leads me to think it would be no problem and other information has me thinking it would be a disaster. I would like to hear from someone who has personal experience here.

Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
If all goes well, I'll be driving the Moki Dugway area of Utah 261 in May and I'm getting mixed information on whether or not to take the trailer on this road. I haven't put the whole plan together so I could go uphill or downhill so I would like to hear from anyone who has done this.

My first choice would be downhill with the trailer and second choice would be uphill with the trailer and third choice would be to drop the trailer and pick it up later. I tow the Bigfoot 17 with a Toyota Tacoma 4 wheel drive and the trailer weight is 3500 and the truck towing capacity is 6500. Some information leads me to think it would be no problem and other information has me thinking it would be a disaster. I would like to hear from someone who has personal experience here.

Thanks.

Never been there. Not sure I want to after viewing these pictures posted by a member. Raz
Utah 261, The Moki Dugway - September 26, 2003
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #3
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With your truck/trailer combo. I see no problem. The road in the photos Raz linked to indicate that it is in great shape. I regularly drive with my trailer on roads much worse, though not with the curves and elevation gain.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:24 PM   #4
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I doubt it would be a disaster. Downhill you just gear down so you don't have to ride the brakes constantly.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
If all goes well, I'll be driving the Moki Dugway area of Utah 261 in May and I'm getting mixed information on whether or not to take the trailer on this road.

Thanks.
Just looking over the pictures, my question would be, "how comfortable are you at backing a trailer around a switchback"? Think about meeting a gravel truck coming down and having to back up until you find someplace it can pass.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
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Well the good news is that the speed limit is only 15 mph and the gravel is only for 3 miles or at least thats one of the signs I saw on one of the many Youtube videos on the drive.

Looking - it doesnt appear to be all that much worse than some of the gravel logging roads I have pulled over on the West Coast of Vancouver Island...... Glenn raises a good point but the road doesnt appear to be really narrow for the majority of it....

If I was to do it I would make sure everything in the trailer was well stowed!!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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We will be there in June and I have been debating the same. I've now arrange the route so that we will come to the base and decide there. Furthermore, I see that there is a bed and breakfast about 5 miles away at the beginning of the valley of the gods road. I'm thinking of contacting the owner to ask whether or not I might leave my Scamp there for a couple of hours. Just a thought...
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:30 PM   #8
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David I hope your AC is working well! Could be a little dusty as well....
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:33 PM   #9
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Carol H., thanks for the concern. We will be spending 14 days in the area yet all camping sites are up at higher desert elevations. Hot by day but cooler at night.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:33 AM   #10
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Jack, Jack, Jack--another adventure. I know you will bend in the middle but 25+feet of vehicle and trailer on those tight curves would scare the s---out of me. Your Toyota can go anywhere and no doubt you are capable to, but I always think of the what if's. But, I'm a bit timid.
Watch out for those moki marbles as they can get pretty big.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:21 PM   #11
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I've driven it with my car and no trailer. If I was towing a trailer it would be from bottom to top and not top to bottom. riding the trailer brakes all the way down would suck. I would want someone with me so if I actually had to back up to let someone pass it wouldn't feel like a horror story. The road is steep and fairly wide. We encountered a bobtail truck comming down as we went up so you have to keep an eye out as you go. I would go through early sun-up as the least traffic the better. Drop your shifter down low and go. Its a short road doesn't last long. It does demand your attention.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:13 AM   #12
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I've done it. Both ways, up and down, both times pulling a trailer. Fun, but no big deal. I will say that each trip was on a dry day. The road is very well maintained however, the last time we were there (couple of years ago) it was pretty washboarded on the lower half. There is a nice place about half way that we pulled our trailers over and got out and climbed up a little scramble of rock and could see all of the Valley of the Gods. Unless there are circumstances that you did not cause, there will be no backing up, you won't have to. There are no problems passing. There are some great boondocking areas at the top.

I wish I were there now.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:29 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone. I'll be attending the rally in Moab and when it ends I'll be heading south. Moki Dugway is still on my "to do" list. Ever since I saw the cover of the Benchmark Utah Atlas I've wanted to do this. I'm hoping for a dry day. Boondocking at the top is also on my list. Most likely, I'll take the trailer and start at the top.
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:53 PM   #14
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That looks similar to the Shaefer trail in Canyonlands. I would think you would be fine with a 4wd in low range to control speed without using brakes much. If it were raining you would have to use judgment whether to try, which would be a gamble.
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:57 PM   #15
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Hell I say go for it. You only live once. No wait; that was my wife talking in my head. Don't do it. RUN RUN RUN. Just kidding. Looks like a road to take your time on and like Mike said; use a lower gear on the down hill side.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:15 PM   #16
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I would vote for going up over going down. Using low gear to avoid overheating brakes going down is a must that one can avoid if you route your trip to be going up. No possibility of trailer push making control more difficult when going up.

If it is correct that speed limit is really low that is another argument for going up, you control you speed more easily going up where gas pedal determines speed than going down where you have to fight gravity to maintain a low speed.

That said I have done both on several mountain passes in Colo. and you won't get to do much looking at the scenery either way. Driving will demand your attention.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ruscal View Post
That looks similar to the Shaefer trail in Canyonlands. I would think you would be fine with a 4wd in low range to control speed without using brakes much. If it were raining you would have to use judgment whether to try, which would be a gamble.
Russ

You are correct Russ, the Shaefer Trail and the White Rim Road in Canyonlands and the Moki are similar. As you probably know, the biggest difference is the Moki is three miles long and can be done easily in 15 or 20 minutes by anybody driving/pulling most anything. The roads into Canyonlands are over a hundred miles and took 4 days in a Jeep with a small enclosed utility trailer in tow containing all our camping gear, extra fuel, spares and water. The Rangers will strongly discourage anyone from trying it; today, 20 years older, I would take their advice. I would never take the vehicle I am now driving (Tahoe 4WD) into that situation especially with the Oliver.

RogerDat you are 100% correct in that nobody but your passenger will get to enjoy the scenery. (I couldn't get Tali to even think about driving.) I did use a GoPro camera to record it so I got to watch after the fact....

Steve
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
Thanks everyone. I'll be attending the rally in Moab and when it ends I'll be heading south. Moki Dugway is still on my "to do" list. Ever since I saw the cover of the Benchmark Utah Atlas I've wanted to do this. .
I think Jack you will be sorry and always left to wonder why you didn't do it if you don't!

As I said looking at the on line photos it looks like its only 3 miles long of gravel and the speed is max 15 mph and for some of it only 5 mph. Signs also indicate grades are up to 11% heck we have a main highway here in BC where the grades of 11% are common and go all the way up to 15% in some sections, the speed limit is 110km (68mph) and its a lot longer than 3 miles! lots of folks here have towed up and down that highway many times.

Go for it weather permitting & enjoy! You only live once!
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:05 PM   #19
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I've driven it both ways with my RAV4, but while it would pull the Escape 17 either way (I've towed an 18%, 3 mile grade into Ricketts Glen State Park in PA) I found the Moki so washboarded that I left the trailer in Banding. If it had been recently graded, it wouldn't have been a problem.

What ever you do, be sure to drive out to the end of Muley Point (at the top of the Moki) for a great 360 degree view of Monument Valley.
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