1. Sounds like you did the Elephant one way... how would you feel about doing the other way?
2. Based on some of your subsequent comments, it sounds like maybe the TH was at its limit for minimal damage/solo offroading... would you agree? Or in other words, would you be willing to do something harder?
Good questions. First, a note on difficulty. The term is entirely subjective. It is based on the opinions and assessment of the author's experiences. I read several guide book descriptions of the Elephant Hill trail before taking this most current adventure and have also had two previous experiences passing the trail.
In my humble opinion, I would say that Elephant Hill is considered difficult. Is it the most difficult trail in the Moab area? No, it is not. Not even close. In fact, there were some unnamed obstacles on the Elephant Hill trail itself that I consider more challenging than Elephant Hill. One I described in my narrative that I think was much more challenging than Elephant.
Elephant Hill is passable in a stock Trailhawk. Would higher ground clearance help? Most definitely. And high clearance would take the difficulty factor down.
Most trail guides, such as traildamage.com are run in lifted Wranglers, so their assessment would be much different for a stock Cherokee KL owner. Would anyone not agree with that?
This past trip, I ran Elephant Hill proper one way. Both ways require you to go up first, across the top, and then down. The steeper uphill portion is on the way we did it. The Switchback Hill section is on the side we did. The uphill portion doing it the other way is much less steep. Doing it both ways is still very challenging.
For an unlifted TH, I agree that Elephant Hill would be pushing the limit. Elephant Hill itself being not necessarily the most difficult obstacle of the trail. It was tough in and of itself, but I think a portion of the trail called SOB Hill was a little tougher. And, if one were to reverse the route I took, and depart Canyonlands to the south and go up Bobby's Hole Hill, that would be a definite challenge for a stock TH.
I chose to go the route I did in order to descend Bobby's Hole Hill (sometimes referred to as Impossible Hill) and not have to go up it.
Doing something harder? Good question. I am considering doing a route called "Top of the World" next. It has a series of ledges that must be climbed. A neighbor of mine has done it in a stock Wrangler and told me its tough. Equal to are a tad rougher than Elephant. That's next on my list. I don't know if the wife is ready for me to put any more scratches on the TH just yet.
Bobby's Hole Hill pic
2015 Cherokee Trailhawk:
Granite Crystal, 3.2L V6, 8.4 Nav, black leather, sunroof, tow, tech, comfort/conv, no hood decal, 9 speakers, CD player, Maximum Care lifetime warranty, Mopar first aid kit, rear rubber cargo mat, Thule Aeroblade cross bars (black), Thule Rapid Aero feet, Kuat Vagabond X cargo basket, RRO rock rails with smooth covers, Mopar door sills, Raingler ceiling net, Raingler seat headrest handles, MFC aluminum lift kit, RRO winch bar and Warn M8000S winch, BFG T/A KO2s
Last edited by taatmk; 06-02-2015 at 02:55 PM.