Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Slippery Roads in Zion NP

Here are some photos showing the slippery road conditions, that I mentioned in the previous post, on the back roads to the East Mesa Trailhead.  I thought I'd share them so others could see how harmless the road looks when it's actually kind of dangerous.  It rained the night before and the roads hadn't yet dried out.  After a while, the dirt in the road turned a darker brown and that's when it got slippery.  

In the corners, I would turn the wheel but the truck wouldn't turn.  It would keep going in the same direction.  My tires had no grip at all.  The mud had filled the tread, making them slick.  You'll see in the photo that the mud was not deep at all.  It took very little to make steering a gamble.  I almost went off the road on 2 corners before I got the truck stopped and took photos.

Luckily there's no big drop-off.  The worst that might have happened is, I could have slid into the ditch on the side of the road.  Then I'd have to wait for somebody with a big enough truck to come by and help pull me out.  I keep all the required gear in my truck for such a rescue, just in case.  Here's a deeper track left by another driver who backed up when it got too dicey.

I've driven many of these roads in the past when they were dry.  They're fun.  A few are a little rough.  A few have embedded boulders in them, requiring high clearance.  And there are a few hills where 4WD helps a lot.  If you go there, then watch out for mountain bikers, because they like to ride those roads.

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