White Rim Trail - Canyonlands National Park - 2005 Outback Trip Report - Page 2 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 03:24 PM
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Not sure why you felt the female ranger on the mt. bike you encountered wasn't "real". Seems anybody cycling this trail knows the conditions pretty well and knows pretty well how Ma' Nature can dish out surprises.
I might be misunderstanding his story, but my understanding is he didn't think the woman on a bike wasn't a ranger because she wasn't one. It was just a nosy tourist who said she was going to report him to a "real" ranger.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 05:47 PM
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As quoted "I also had a run-in with a back country park ranger on a mountain bike"

Note that I both admire the mod's he did to the vehicle and applaud the risk taking as well as the desire to explore place like that (been there, done that), but get concerned when it's posted publicly as it somewhat sets up scenarios where others might try the same thing, and that becomes a PITA for the Park Service.

The rangers really, really know whats doable and don't enact regulations just to enforce nanny state rules. They KNOW what vehicles work and what gets into trouble. I can imagine they somewhat wished the entire SUV craze never took off 30 years ago as there are just ton's of instances where folks ill prepared decide to tackle off-road trails where they really don't belong.

I've now owned 5 Subaru's as well as a Isuzu Trooper and 2 Pathfinders, so am aware of the differences between the term "AWD" and "4WD". As well, I lived in Santa Fe, NM for 10 years and did a fair amount of off-roading in the SW so am very familiar with the region, weather, conditions, etc... Typically an 4WD vehicle, as well as driving all 4 wheels, will be designed with low-range supplemental gearing, often times underbody skid plates protecting the radiator, oil pan, gas tank, etc... as well as (hopefully) being designed with approach and departure angles to make serious off-road driving possible. Subaru's, while amazingly capable vehicles, don't fit the description that the Nat'l Park Service REQUIRES for vehicle use in the Canyonlands and the OP was aware of this when he took his drive.

My very first thought was "you are lucky it didn't rain !" and "checking the forecast" doesn't cut it. The regional weather changes in an hour and the OP is simply lucky his car is not still down there.

Thus the reasons I have issues with this post.


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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 06:29 PM
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As quoted "I also had a run-in with a back country park ranger on a mountain bike"
I guess I read that line as being tongue in cheek. It's so hard to tell on the internet. (:

He said he got a thumbs up by Park Rangers office and got a permit. Doubt he broke any laws.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 07:35 PM
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I guess I read that line as being tongue in cheek. It's so hard to tell on the internet. (:

He said he got a thumbs up by Park Rangers office and got a permit. Doubt he broke any laws.
As per the NPS Canyonlands website:

"Under favorable weather conditions, the White Rim Road is considered moderately difficult for high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles. The steep, exposed sections of the Shafer Trail, Lathrop Canyon Road, Murphy's Hogback, Hardscrabble Hill, and the Mineral Bottom switchbacks make the White Rim loop a challenging mountain bike ride, and require extreme caution for both vehicles and bikes during periods of inclement weather".

"A high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle (low range) is required for the White Rim Road."

Seems pretty clear. AWD is NOT four wheel drive. Not sure how the NPS could state it differently except to better clarify the differences between AWD and 4WD. The OP is also clear that he knew he was in violation of the law and was lucky he didn't get a ticket.

Not sure how the moderators feel about allowing posts that might be promoting an illegal activity.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 07:51 PM
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Not sure how the moderators feel about allowing posts that might be promoting an illegal activity.
I'm a mod. I don't care. Though I can't speak for all of us.

Guy had fun, had a good time, and was nice enough to share it with us.

No one was hurt, he didn't damage the trail, or his vehicle.

The only damaged cause was to the ego of the White Rim Road and I don't think it will mind knowing someone got to enjoy it.

If this is promoting illegal activity then we're going to have to crack down at any mention of driving 56 mph in a 55 zone, jaywalking, having the vehicle in drive without using a seat belt, not having headlights on while wipers are also on, driving a vehicle that won't pass some states emissions, or not using a blinker when changing lanes.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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"
Not sure why you felt the female ranger on the mt. bike you encountered wasn't "real". Seems anybody cycling this trail knows the conditions pretty well and knows pretty well how Ma' Nature can dish out surprises.
She may or may not have been a real ranger. I didn't ask for her credentials, and again, wasn't looking for a confrontation in the back country. I just figured that a "real" ranger would have been able to issue me a ticket on the spot, not take a picture of my license plate (which she didn't even notice was 3 months expired, but that's a whole other story) and give it to someone else to write me a ticket.

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The rangers really, really know whats doable and don't enact regulations just to enforce nanny state rules. They KNOW what vehicles work and what gets into trouble. I can imagine they somewhat wished the entire SUV craze never took off 30 years ago as there are just ton's of instances where folks ill prepared decide to tackle off-road trails where they really don't belong.
I've actually found the complete opposite to be true. I've been to every national park in the lower 48, and the regulations are typically written to "protect" the lowest common denominator, aka people who watched the Ken Burns documentary and decided to climb the Half Dome even though walking to the end of the driveway to get the mail in 2" of snow is a challenge for them. For example, I was in Yosemite Valley last month, and the NPS had a big, bright orange construction sign when entering the temporary visitor center parking lot that said "Chains Required" because the parking lot wasn't plowed. Chains to go 100 yards in a flat dirt parking lot? Yep, no joke. And they wonder why people bend their rules. I've broken so many NPS rules, and been "caught" so many times, that I can't even count. And I've never gotten more than a slap on the wrist, typically because I am better informed and better prepared than 90% of the other people out there and am never doing anything that will harm myself, others, or the environment. This trip is Exhibit A. I ran across two vehicles who had gotten flats and didn't have a full size spare, one who had slid off the trail and needed to wait for a vehicle with a recovery strap to tow them out because they didn't bring one, and one group of mountain bikers who had run out of beer 1/2 way through their trip (I sold them the rest of mine, because, surprise, I was prepared!). Even though my vehicle didn't technically meet the high clearance, 4WD with low range criteria, I'd say I was better prepared than 50% of the people who had "proper" vehicles. What's worse, not meeting the letter of the law, or ignoring spirit of the law? I'll let folks decide for themselves, but I think it's clear where I stand.

I did my research, knew the risks, and was prepared to accept the consequences of my actions if anything went wrong and I wasn't able to deal with it myself. I'd live a pretty boring life if I lived any other way.
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 08:56 PM
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I'm a mod. I don't care. Though I can't speak for all of us.

Guy had fun, had a good time, and was nice enough to share it with us.

No one was hurt, he didn't damage the trail, or his vehicle.

The only damaged cause was to the ego of the White Rim Road and I don't think it will mind knowing someone got to enjoy it.

If this is promoting illegal activity then we're going to have to crack down at any mention of driving 56 mph in a 55 zone, jaywalking, having the vehicle in drive without using a seat belt, not having headlights on while wipers are also on, driving a vehicle that won't pass some states emissions, or not using a blinker when changing lanes.
Very good points. Thank you.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 09:04 PM
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What's worse, not meeting the letter of the law, or ignoring spirit of the law?
Good point all and it comes down to this final statement ^

It's easy to read a post and get a wrong impression. I could be guilty of that in this case, but so could some other numb nut in their new Forester who read the OP and say's "White Rim Trail, lets go drive that !".

I guess I've read too much Edward Abbey and feel for the rangers, thou I dare say that Ed would be the first to take his Subaru down the Flint Trail, had he lived to own one.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 10:42 PM
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Good point all and it comes down to this final statement ^

It's easy to read a post and get a wrong impression. I could be guilty of that in this case, but so could some other numb nut in their new Forester who read the OP and say's "White Rim Trail, lets go drive that !".

I guess I've read too much Edward Abbey and feel for the rangers, thou I dare say that Ed would be the first to take his Subaru down the Flint Trail, had he lived to own one.
Eh, why bring the hammer of 4x4 self-righteousness to the unpaved section of a Subaru forum in the first place?

In fact, it is your posts that are disseminating misinformation here. You do not understand the use of the term "required" on the NPS site (hint: it is the same as in 4x4 guide books like those of Massey and Wells). You do not understand what the NPS can and cannot do or what it is obliged to do (you are on your own for vehicle recovery anyway; drivers are responsible for determining what they and their vehicles can do etc). You seem not to know that completely unprepared folks have been driving the WRR on a whim for years, both on Subarus and BMWs. You do not seem to have ever talked to Canyonlands rangers about vehicles and their use in the park: Subarus on the WRR are not news to them. Wranglers have fallen off trail on Murphy hill. Should we ban Wranglers from the WRR? There is white paint on rocks on Hardscrabble hill, presumably from trucks. Should we ban those enormous vehicles from the narrow trail? Do you think rangers have not had mishaps on the WRR? Who foots the bill? You and me, @Brucey, @traildogck, the thread-starter, among, okay, millions of others.

Vehicle-wise, you do not seem to understand that the obsession with low range is an artifact of times when vehicles with more than 100hp or 100 lb ft of torque were considered sporty. With about 250 of each, my H6 needs no low range to climb anywhere, including at 13,000 ft. Equipped with HPS 5.0 brake pads and upgraded fluid, my car also has no issues with prolonged, steep descents, where the ability to go slow is indeed a safety issue (but even the stock brakes did okay with careful use). A Subaru AWD has no issues transferring power to the rear wheels.

Do you know that Subarus are the only vehicles to have completed a tour of all Australian deserts in a single journey? https://www.facebook.com/subieliftoz...70906233187078

Sure, I am the first to say that the average driver is much better off buying or renting a Wrangler or a 4Runner. I also advise my friends to not bring stock Outbacks on dedicated 4WD HC roads. But in the absence of, as it seems, any relevant experience, one should refrain from telling folks what an experienced driver can or cannot do in a well prepared Subaru and, similarly, one should not speak for an institution unless one is familiar with the legal framework within which it operates.

I understand you are new here but just imagine what would happen if someone were to write on a Wrangler forum that Wranglers on 35" tires (let alone more) are a pain to drive in the neighborhood and should probably be illegal on road, lol.

And, yes, I have driven the WRR both ways in my H6 5 EAT.

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 01:02 AM
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I've actually found the complete opposite to be true. I've been to every national park in the lower 48, and the regulations are typically written to "protect" the lowest common denominator, aka people who watched the Ken Burns documentary and decided to climb the Half Dome even though walking to the end of the driveway to get the mail in 2" of snow is a challenge for them...What's worse, not meeting the letter of the law, or ignoring spirit of the law? I'll let folks decide for themselves, but I think it's clear where I stand.

I did my research, knew the risks, and was prepared to accept the consequences of my actions if anything went wrong and I wasn't able to deal with it myself. I'd live a pretty boring life if I lived any other way.
Yep, it varies a lot park to park but the popular parks are the nanny state in the extreme.

I think it's ultimately a necessary evil. The rules are needed because the overwhelming majority of park visitors are completely unprepared for the outdoors at even a basic level (I doubt your average hiker in a National park is prepared for even a single night out if they get in trouble, most aren't even prepared to finish their trips under normal conditions and sort of blunder through). Look at all the people who die going over waterfalls at Yosemite because staying out of swift-water above a 300 foot drop is just too difficult to grasp, or who get gored by Bison not realizing that an animal that is willing to fight a pack of wolves isn't going to think twice about sending your lard butt flying. However, without the large numbers of (mostly dumb) visitors, the national cause of preserving lands would be in serious danger. The nanny state rules keep the criminally underprepared safe (to a point) and let them enjoy the outdoors which gives them a cause to vote to protect places they'll never visit (where there generally are far fewer rules).

Gotta love parks like Great Basin and Black Canyon where the attitude is very much "well if you kill yourself that's on you buddy" and the vast stretches of BLM and NFS land where they don't care what you do at all unless you start an unlicensed mining operation, but those places only get protected because the popular places exist and exist as they do, with lots of overbearing regulation.

I am unclear about this case though. They sold you the permit and only asked if you had high clearance, which you answered truthfully enough (it's sufficient for the task, high is undefined here), so presuming that's all you did, what would the infraction be? Driving on a road that requires a permit with said permit? If they had a problem with your vehicle the correct response would be to not issue you the permit. A permit is just that, permission, they reviewed the facts (assuming you did not lie to them or point to a Tacoma in the parking lot and say "there's my car") and gave you permission, so I fail to see the issue or infraction here. It would be bizarre (and likely unenforceable in court) for them to give you a permit to do something then cite you for doing that very thing. As far as I can tell this isn't even bending the rules.

If other members go there and also get permits without perjuring themselves and do this trip, I fail to see the issue. I doubt it's something I'd try (too many people for my tastes) but what's the problem exactly?

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