Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Elvis Trail and a Birthday Party.



The Elvis Trail isn’t very long but it has several challenging obstacles. It is one of the last “Difficult” rated trails in our off road trail guide for this area that we haven’t tried.

Here is the guide book that we have been using.


Here is the way the trail looks in the book.


Lets Go.

A little after 9:00, we left the RV park following the group. They had to stop for fuel at the Circle K.
Before we got out of the park I realized that I had forgotten my hat. We let them know that we would catch up with them at the gas station.

We caught up with them and headed for Florence where we drove east on the Diversion Dam Road.


We stopped at a large staging area where we aired down the tires.


Once we were aired down we got onto Price Road and headed east in a cloud of dust.


We stopped for a picture of the first Hedgehog cactus blooms we have seen this season.


With the hot weather (temps in the mid 90’s) the desert is definitely starting to bloom.


We turned right onto Sandman Road and headed north. Sandman Road goes through a nice canyon.


In about a mile we turned right again into Elvis Wash.


All along the wash the Brittle Bushes are in full bloom.



Eventually we came to the first obstacle.


The hard way is on the left and the bypass is on the right.

Even faced with this obstacle we are distracted by the beauty that surrounds us.


Eventually we get down to the business of climbing the rocks.

Johnie is the leader today and is the first to attempt the climb. He takes the harder route.

Guided by Denis…


he makes it look easy.



Next it is Frank’s turn.


A piece of cake.


Now Denis takes his turn with Johnie guiding.


For some reason Denis’s jeep can’t make the climb. So after a while we realize that the rear lockers on his jeep aren’t working.

Denis backs down off the rocks and messes with the rear locker controls for a while.

Denis  gets the lockers to work and tries the climb again with Frank guiding this time.


For some reason he still can’t make it up the rocks so after a couple attempts Denis takes the bypass which by the way isn’t exactly easy.


Now it’s my turn.


After a couple of failed attempts…


I decide to take the bypass.


And this isn’t the hardest obstacle on the trail.

We continue up the wash to the next challenge.


A Red Tail Hawk.

As we crawl along Patti notices a Red Tail Hawk flying overhead.


Any day you see a hawk is a good day.

The 2nd Challenge.

We come to the next ledge to climb.
Here is Denis checking it out.


Johnie is first again and goes up the ledge with no problem.


Next it’s Frank’s turn.


He makes it just fine.


Denis is next and doesn’t have any problems.


Now it is my turn.


Not a problem, up we go.



A short distance past this obstacle we stop in the only shade around to have lunch.


On to the next challenge.

After lunch we continue up the wash…


enjoying the beauty of the spring wild flowers.



The Squeeze.

The next challenge is called the Squeeze.


This spot is kind of tight for the newer jeeps as they are a bit wider than my TJ.

With some guidance from Denis, Johnie gets through the Squeeze.


Just past the squeeze you turn left and confront the Waterfall.


Here you have three choices. You can go straight up the waterfall or you can take a fairly easy bypass or you can go between the fall and the big rock.

The last time these guys were here Johnie got hung up on the Waterfall because of his longer wheel base and had to have a tow strap assist by Denis. Of course he had to sigh Denis’s tow strap afterwards, so he didn’t want to do that again. He decided to try the route around the big rock.


Since his jeep is a four door and is a lot longer, we didn’t have much confidence in his making it around the rock as it is a pretty tight spot between the rock and the Waterfall.

With great guidance from Denis and the use of his rock sliders against the rock to help him turn the jeep in the tight quarters…


Johnie was able to get around the rock and up the jagged rocks and past the Waterfall.


His troubles aren’t over yet as he gets his left tire off the ground about a foot in the air going over these rocks.


Unfortunately I was not able to get to get a good picture of it.

The next one through the Squeeze was Frank.


Frank decided to just go up the Waterfall and made it without much drama.


Then it was my turn. I got through the Squeeze with no trouble.


Then attacked the Waterfall.


Amazingly I made it up the fall without a problem.


You just never know what will hang you up. Sometimes a challenge will look easy like the first one on this trail and you can’t get through it. Other times it looks real hard and you go up the rock like nothing.

Denis came next. He wanted to try the line that Johnie took.


Since his jeep is shorter than Johnies, he made it round the rock without having to use his rock guards as sliders and climbed the rocks with no trouble.


Going On.

After the Waterfall the trail gets easier with only a couple bumps in the road.


Leaving the Elvis Trail.

At Waypoint 05 on the trail map in the guide book, we decided to take the left  turn out of the wash and head back on Sandman Road.


More Wild Flowers.

As we drove down Sandman Road we passed several beautiful wild flower scenes.

Here are some more Hedgehogs in bloom.


Here are some Ocotillo’s, Brittle Bushes and Prickly Pear’s in one of natures gardens.


The End of the Trail.

Eventually we got back to the staging area off Price Road and found a little shade where we aired up the tires on the jeep.


A Birthday Party.

We got home around 3:00, took a shower and a short nap.

Around 5:00 we drove to the RV park where the rest of the group is staying near Casa Grande for a barbeque and party for Johnie’s birthday.


Here is his “No Bake Cake” with Happy Birthday written on it in French. The cake was too small to fit Happy Birthday Johnie on it.


After we devoured the cake we watched some video of the days activities.

Around 8:45 and headed for home.

It was a great day and a fun party.

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