Moab Trail Pre­view: Mashed Potato

Short and fun, this Moab-area Jeep trail is pop­u­lar for its lunch­stop at­trac­tion called the Gravy Bowl

Jp Magazine - - Modern Power Meets Vintage Patina - By Stu­art A. Bour­don jped­i­[email protected]­ Pho­tog­ra­phy: Stu­art A. Bour­don

Easter Jeep Sa­fari is an in­cred­i­bly strong four-wheel­ing mag­net that at­tracts

thou­sands of metal ob­jects to Moab, Utah. Those metal ob­jects come in ev­ery shape and size, but they all have one thing in com­mon: They are built to tackle the red rock ter­rain of south­east­ern Utah. Trails from ex­treme to scenic sur­round the Moab area, and you have your pick of dozens that begin just min­utes from town. If you’re look­ing at EJS reg­is­tra­tion and won­der­ing which trails to run, we’ve of­fered up five of our fa­vorites—rang­ing from easy to very chal­leng­ing. Here’s one of them.

We ran Mashed Potato so we could give you a stone-by-stone as­sess­ment of the trail. This is ac­tu­ally a sec­tion of an­other trail called The Pickle (also in this Easter Jeep Sa­fari prep spe­cial sec­tion). Mashed Potato is in the first part of that linked trail sys­tem. It be­gins with a sandy dirt road lead­ing up the layer cake of ge­o­logic for­ma­tions.

Once on top of that ini­tial climb, the trail opens up into a twist­ing rope of paths through and over lumps of weath­ered sand­stone that run in sizes from suit­case to Sub­aru. It is for these lumpy, light-col­ored for­ma­tions that this sec­tion of the trail is named. Very near the up­ward climb through this sec­tion is the Gravy Bowl “bath­tub.” This Jeep-deep, nat­u­rally bath­tub-shaped hol­low is about 20 feet long and curved slightly, mak­ing it an ex­tremely chal­leng­ing (wet or dry) play­ground and a good place to stop for lunch. After a few of the more ca­pa­ble ma­chines dipped their toes in the muddy wa­ters of the Gravy Bowl and all the rest had fin­ished their lunches, our party of about 60 rigs headed back down the trail to High­way 191 and then south to­ward town.

We would give this trail a 5 on a scale of 10 for dif­fi­culty. In our opin­ion, you will likely need at least a locker in the rearend, a cou­ple inches of lift, no less than 33-inch tires, sliders, and good skid­plat­ing to get to the Gravy Bowl un­harmed, but it is def­i­nitely a trail worth the ef­fort. The en­tire trail, in­clud­ing the lunch/play break, took about four hours from trail­head to trail­head. We were back in time for lunch at Milt’s, a place we think is one of the best (and busiest) burger and shake joints in Moab.

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