onX OffRoad: Durango to Moab, Part 2

onX OffRoad: Durango to Moab, Part 2

Welcome to the continuation of building an overland route to Moab from Durango. Part 1 of this series took us about 85 miles, right near the “Dry Creek Hut” on the San Juan Huts System. It allows us time to enjoy some short hikes and maybe even get some fishing in.

Good day everyone and welcome to a new installment of AllOutdoor’s Off-Road and Overlanding series brought to you by onX Offroad–mapping software for all your adventures.

Day two is going to involve a lot of adventuring as we will be taking a number of old mining road enroute to our next camp site. There are a few trails that are highlighted in onX Offroad, and our route will try and do as many of these as possible.

Leaving the campsite from the first day, we are going to skirt to the south and hit a bunch of mines.

This day will be a little longer (around 110 miles), and will involve a few more 4×4 trails, ending with us hopping on the “Rim Rocker” trail (which is one of the longer routes in onX Offroad at 160 miles) mid way through near the town of Nucla, CO. If you need groceries or gas, both are available in and around Nucla.

Second segment of Day 2 leads us past a number of mines and sweeping views.

There will be some hard ball on the trail, and we will cross both the San Miguel and Dolores rivers via bridges (sorry, no gnarly river crossings.. ? ).

This segment also has plenty of great views, side hikes to mines, and even places to stop for the night, if you want to extend your journey.

View of the plateau in 3D showing the trail and some good sites to set in camp for the night.
Another view further down the trail.

Using the onX Offroad 3D feature, you can easily see the terrain on the map and find generally flat places to put in camp for the night.

Rim Rocker

Following the Rim Rocker trail takes us into Moab, and it has already be driven and rated.

The Rim Rocker trail is a nice trail for inclusion and helps us get the rest of the way into Moab. It was submitted by an onX Trail Guide (Andy Hanks) making the last half of this journey one that has been traveled, and proven doable, additionally with a tear drop trailer.

The Rim Rocker trail is a difficulty 4 (of 10) trail “Visitors are immersed in natural beauty as the trail guides them through a landscape of redrock canyons, winding rivers, desert vistas and alpine forests.”

Why Aren’t There Long Routes in onX?

One of the challenges with defining longer routes in an app like onX Offroad is that people like to explore and manage their own routes. If there are longer routes, it lowers the “barrier for entry”, if you will, and can create heavier impact on the trail and area.

Adding the ability to string together shorter routes into one longer route is one of the strengths of onX Offroad.  It lets us pick and choose the types of trails we want to add into the overall route.

Shorter routes allow people to string them together as they please. Shorter routes also allow for better details and info about the route, especially difficulty.

Also, as you approach a destination, there may only be a select few routes. This funnels all of the routes down and creates a lot of overlap. Not that it is a huge problem, but the concept of crowd sourced route building lends itself to defining shorter routes.

Rolling In To Moab

Since we will be completing this trip on a defined trail, there is no need to do a “Part 3”. The final segment of this route is only about 50 miles (ending in Moab), making the whole trip just under 250 miles. That should be easy range for most overlanders, and within a normal tank range (though of course you should carry extra).

Once I do this trip later this year, and confirm that it is viable and fun, that gives us a route from Durango to Moab. It also gives a route from Durango to Montrose, CO since you could turn right instead of left when you jump on the Rim Rocker trail.

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Doc Rader

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and clean shaven face (bye, beard), or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming copious water. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software, teaches wilderness medicine and builds websites and mobile apps. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it (and the training to use it). Learn from his mistakes–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.

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