Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We just returned from an extended weekend in Moab with the family. It was the first road trip with the RL, and it was nearly a perfect roadtrip vehicle. Roomy, smooth, quiet, and comfortable.

We did some mild offroading, nothing too extreme. As you may know, Moab is one of the meccas for serious offroading, and we didn't get anywhere near those trails, which require highly modified vehicles, with roll cages, because more than a few vehicles (and drivers) are trashed on these trails.

We went on the first part of the White Rim Trail in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park to start with. The trail isn't too horrible, for the most part, but there are sections that are sketchy, especially after the wet week that Moab had before we got there. Some minor stair steps and gullies that tested the approach and departure angles of the RL, as well as some rocky sections, but nothing too technical. It was more scary than anything else, with the 1000' drop immediately to the side of the trail.

The next day we headed to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park to do some more offroading. I was tempted to try Elephant Hill before common sense restored rational thought (Elephant Hill is very technical, and stock vehicles can be severely damaged). So we headed down Horse Canyon, which follows a creek bed and actually drives in it for a fair amount. Again, because of the rain, there was a fair amount of quicksand and very deep and loose sand. About sand in redrock country: it is very very fine, much finer than beach sand. It is just about dust. And it was deep. But the RL had no problems with it, even without airing down. It just plugged along with no worries, even when the sand was axle deep and the trail went off and on the creekbed over the edge of the wash.

Some pics:









Note on driving the RL: It is fine offroad, as long as you know how to drive it. I've seen too many yahoos, especially here in Utah, who think because they are in an SUV, they can turn off their brains and drive however they want in technical terrain. This is especially prevalent in the winter, when tourists who come to ski rent SUVs and then proceed to do 45 up the canyons in a raging winter storm. I always carried a tow cable when I had my 86 4Runner, because I pulled rental SUVs out of ditches on a weekly basis.

I don't care if you're in a lifted Hummer, or, for that matter, an M1 tank, nothing replaces good offroad driving technique.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
" I don't care if you're in a lifted Hummer, or, for that matter, an M1 tank, nothing replaces good offroad driving technique."

Amen,brother!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Awesome pics, and great info. Thanks for posting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,043 Posts
I love that shot of your daughter!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,170 Posts
Cool pics, looks like a fun place to go too. Next year I hope to have pics of my annual trip up to our camp in Maine. Believe me, there are times when I have thought a tent would have been better than staying in the camp ;).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Great pictures! Wonderful post.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,392 Posts
AWESOME photos of one of my favorite place on the planet. It's especially nice since you're showing off the BLUE Ridgeline. I concur, the pic of the little girl is precious.

We'll hopefully do a S. Utah trip with our Ridge in the spring. We're long time explorers of the canyon country. What you say is absolutely true about respecting your vehicle and not trying to prove things. There are places we've been in other vehicles that we will never attempt with our Ridgeline.

The roads in S. Utah are always an adventure. Getting an accurate backroads update can be a challenge. Even tame roads can suffer wash outs or deep ruts.

That fine sand is nasty, slippery clay when it's wet. One should always approach the desert with the upmost respect and emergency supplies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
One thing that would really make the RL an exceptional stock offroad vehicle is 2" more clearance. Of course, that would screw up the rollover and cornering characteristics of the RL. A great feature would be an air suspension like on the VW Tourareg that you can lower for on road use, but will give you 2-3" additional height for offroad clearance. Of course, the Tourareg is a $50k vehicle.

As for a transfer case with a low range, I didn't really need it, and I was on some steep stuff. I did miss it going downhill, though, on some of the steep sections of the White Rim Trail, where engine braking would have been nice, instead of braking, 'cause on some of the switchbacks, losing control would have meant a 1000' fall into the Colorado River.

Utah has some of the best offroad adventures in the continental US. If you've lived on the East Coast (I grew up outside Boston), you can't imagine the desolation that you experience in some of these areas. Some places, such as along the Pony Express Trail, you're literally 100 miles from the nearest store. Callao, UT, has no paved road, no store, no gas, and the postal service only comes three time a week. The school (K-12) has only 12 students, and some of the students have to travel 50 miles to get to it. We drove 2 hours on a dirt road to get there. Then there are epic offroad trails like the White Rim, which people usually drive in 2-3 days, or Hole-In-The-Rock trail, the Burr Trail, places where if you break down, you're talking about a 2 day hike out, since you're out of cell range and CB range. Plus a $1000+ towing bill.

Anyways, here are more pics.







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Oh, a warning about GPS systems:

A ranger in Canyonlands was telling me how a gentleman moving to Utah was driving his Ford Ranger towing a U-Haul. He was following a GPS system, which took him on a dirt road in southern Utah, because he wanted to see the sights off the main roads. This dirt road eventually turned into the national park, and turned into the Elephant Hill trail, a highly technical 3+ rated offroad trail, difficult for modified vehicles, much less stock vehicles with U-Hauls. He of course got stuck, and a tow truck from Moab (1.5 hours away) was summoned to get him off. Total bill for the tow: $1200. The tow truck charges by the hour, and it's 1.5 hours to Elephant Hill and 1.5 hours back, for a total of $450 BEFORE any towing is even done.

I guess his GPS nav system didn't have offroad ratings on them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,392 Posts
Funny story about Elephant Hill. I'm surprised more people don't end up in trouble.

We had a grand misadventure trying to get to Nine Mile Canyon from the north. There was a big sign on the highway saying we were heading to a scenic byway. The turn we missed had a very small sign and it did not even say Nine Mile Canyon. We weren't surprised we missed it when we backtracked. We were amazed that the signage was so pathetic.

We ended up on the dead end stretch to Desolation Canyon with a whopper of a flat and our tire jack didn't work. This was years ago in our Trooper.

Thankfully some happy river rats showed up. They actually changed the tire for us and left with smiles. We headed for pavement. You do not want to be out there with no spare!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Truckin' said:
You do not want to be out there with no spare!
Definitely not! That's why I splurged and bought a full sized spare for the RL, as well as carry several cans of puncture sealant. Oh, a large board is nice as well, so you can put the jack on it when you have to lift the RL over a soft surface.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,554 Posts
hankim - Beautiful scenery, thanks for sharing. Makes me want load the RL and take off.
Been through that area a few times and it is breathtaking.

If you’re ever near Zion National Park drive up to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. There near Kanab Utah off highway 89. The sand is an unbelievable Orange/Pink color with pine trees growing in it and a deep blue lake. Has camping facilities if you need them.

I see you live in Utah so you probably already been there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
More pics:



My family at Gooseneck overview, off the White Rim Trail (we were the only ones there, another advantage of getting off the beaten track, thanks to the RL). To ge there, go to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, about 40 miles from Moab, and take the Shaffer trail down the Shaffer Switchbacks to the White Rim Trail.



Again, the Gooseneck overview. This is a gooseneck in the canyon formed by the Colorado River.



Dead Horse Point State Park, across the canyon from the Goosenect Overview.



A shot off of the White Rim Trail.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,392 Posts
Great photos. You got there with clear skies. The last time we were there a fire made the skies a bit hazy. Did you follow the Shaffer trail all the way to Potlatch and back to Moab that way. I would take that road with the Ridge unless there'd been a wash out. It's a great drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,010 Posts
Very good post and photos. Off roading is something that does not appeal to me anymore, at least at my age now, although seeing beautiful vistas such as are pictured does. I have gone on record here before to say that my Ridgeline will never touch Mother Earth; only concrete and pavement. But more power to you and others who take this great vehicle to the max.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
hankim said:
Definitely not! That's why I splurged and bought a full sized spare for the RL, as well as carry several cans of puncture sealant. Oh, a large board is nice as well, so you can put the jack on it when you have to lift the RL over a soft surface.
Just reconsider using the sealant. Per the manual, the TPMS sensor have to be replaced.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top