Evan's Creek ORV Park
Near Carbonado, WA
November 10th, 2012
Saturday a group of us from Jeepforum got together for a day of wheel'n down at Evan's Creek ORV park. It's one of my favorite places in the state for it's steep terrain, dark conifer woods, and fun trails. I had been down at the end of September, too. But while the trails were great they were a little too dry from the summer drought. It made things a little too easy. This time I was hoping for wet, slick, muddy trail conditions since it has been raining throughout October. Sure enough, it had rained plenty . . . but then the ground froze up so there wasn't much in the way of slickness.
No matter. It was still a great day of wheel'n and we had the chance to bust out the tow straps on a few rigs.
In our group was a stock red TJ with open diffs, a brand new 2012 JK 4-door that was still stock with open diffs and piloted by someone who had never been offroad before, my yellow TJ, mavrick2107's dark blue TJ and clintrivera's beastly red V8 TJ on long-arms.
As is almost tradition we started out on the 311 trail. It's a good fun trail and if rigs can handle it ok they'll do well in the rest of the park. And we wanted to test out the JK before we got to the tougher trails.
Not far into the trail we spotted the JK over the first little obstacle: talked the driver through the line and then he just charged right ahead without issue. After that he had more confidence and we kept motoring along . . . until the JK blew out its sidewall at the mid-way point. We were guessing a freak trail obstacle coupled with low air pressure did it in. After the spare was mounted we added some more air to the other three tires and pressed on. The goal was to get to the campground where the JK driver and his passengers would ride in the remaining rigs.
After parking the JK we headed up the 520 trail across from the campground. Part way up we ran into a few other Jeepers in some older CJ5's who let us motor through. The 520 was fun but not too difficult and when we reached the top we cut out on the 198 and headed down hill back to a gravel access road. This let us loop around to drive up the 197, my favorite trail at Evan's Creek. Sure enough, the 197 proved more challenging.
We had to drag two of the rigs through the first pinch point with tow straps. One of them even needed a winch line looped around the roll bar to keep it from leaning into the tree roots. And further up the trail there was a section of crossed up stump roots and got the better of the stock red TJ. He was towed through this point too. And this was also where I rubbed off my driver's side mirror as well. Oh well, I get to buy my 4th driver's side mirror now.
Running the 197 up hill brought us back to what I call "The Intersection" (where the 198, 197, 520, and 519 all come together) and we headed off on the 519. We stopped at the rock field for a little while as we caught up with another group of wheelers, then pressed on. They have blocked some of the access roads now so we took a Jeep trail around the closed section and headed down on the 519 on the far side of Evan's Creek. There was a little bit of snow from about the rock garden through most of the 519, including when we dropped down the rock out croppings on the hillside, but none of it gave us any trouble.
The last trail we ran that day was the 102. It has a ton of switchbacks on it and we had the last rays of the setting sun filtering through the dense canopy. This took us right back to the beginning, the start of the 311 trail. We zipped up the road to the campground to pick up the JK we parked there, then we all headed out, reaching pavement right as it got dark.
It was a cold and frozen but good day of wheel'n with a great group of Jeepers. I'm looking forward to running the trails with these guys again. And thanks again, guys, for showing a newbie the ropes out on the trails The driver of the black JK certainly has his eyes opened as to what this whole "offroading thing" is all about. And it sounds like he's fired up about it.
Photo Album, Click Here
Walking the newbie JK driver through the first obstacle.
We all had to start somewhere. . . .
The stock red TJ taking the by-pass on the 311 hill climb.
Clintrivera in his V8 TJ making a go on the tough, left route.
Smok'n up the 311 hill climb on the slick rock.
The first pinch point where we needed to bust out the tow straps on the 197.
Rigging up a winch line to the roll bar to keep the Jeep off of the root ball.
Hamming it up while trying to hook up a tow strap
on a later section of the 197, a bit further up
from the first pinch point.
The beast on the 197 showing us all how it's done.
Close of clintrivera's rig on the 197
making a turn around a big log.
mavrick2107 on the 197, he just floored it at the
tough part, using momentum to get through.
On the 197.
On the 197.
When we got to the rock garden the weather cleared
slightly and we had sunnier skies the rest of the day.
Dropping down the rock outcropping on the 519.
Mavrick2107 coming down the rock outcropping.
On the 519 at the rock outcropping.
Getting dark on the 102 trail on our way out.