The Colorado Plateau is a geological region that spreads out from the Four Corners area into Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. The region is huge, covering about 130,000 square miles and offers unique land features and scenery. It is composed of highland desert and scattered with plateaus.
One recent weekend, we retreated from our scorching summer weather in the Valley of the Sun in Phoenix to travel up in altitude, seeking cooler temperatures and some interesting ’wheeling. We traveled a bit north of the Mogollon Plateau to camp and share the trails with the High Country Renegades, a club that spends much of its time exploring the higher altitude destinations in Arizona.
Our weekend consisted of crawling red rock formations over trails that do well to test suspension flex, and we found a good number of tall ledges and boulders along the way. Symon Devries was our trail leader for the weekend in his stoutly built ’85 Toyota truck. We all managed to survive the weekend with straight sheetmetal, but there were a few broken axle shafts to be swapped out.
Also nearby in this rocky terrain are some very deep ground fissures. Visitors and residents know of this area as “The Cracks.” Here, there are acres of splits in the rock where the ground has separated from mere inches to feet wide. The gaps leave plummeting chasms. Some are only shoulder deep, but others go down for 50 feet or more. In a lot of places it’s not possible to see the bottom.
There are a number of dirt roads that crisscross this area and lie on a mix of public lands. However, much of our ’wheeling over the weekend was done on a parcel of private land that we had permission to play on. The High Country Renegades showed us some good times, with great companions and fun trails.