One of the things we love about heading to Moab each year for the Easter Jeep Safari, aside from hooking up with old friends, checking out all the new gear, and generally just not having to work for a full week, is that we can take time to explore some of the lesser-known trails. We'd heard rumor last year of a hairball trail named Killer Kane. Killer schmiller. We've done Upper Heldorado, the Proving Grounds, and so on; how tough could it be? This year, we made it a point to round up the people in the know, find this mother of all adrenaline rushes, and live to talk about it.
With a name such as Killer Kane, one would probably expect a pretty tough trail, the type where you could anticipate sheetmetal carnage, a possible snapped axle or pretzeled driveline, and by all means, a hardy workout for your suspension, winch, and drivetrain. You might even shave a few thousandths off your tires in the process. You know the kind of trail we're talking about - the kind that sends most normal 'wheelers whining all the way home. Well, the Killer will send even the tough guys packing with soiled shorts and praying for any patch of level ground.
This is not a trail for the lighthearted. This trail confronts you with steep side-hills and precipitous cliffs. On the day we ran the Killer, recent rains had transformed the trail into a regular slip 'n' slide, and seemingly sudden bursts of gravity willed our rigs toward the edge of a foreboding abyss.
The name, you might wonder? We figure it got its name from a wild-west shootout over a slighted poker hand, or an early-day mule train that stampeded off the edge in panic, taking its drivers with it. Maybe it was named for the full case of dynamite we stumbled upon. In any case, it has the ingredients to be deadly under any conditions and downright insane when wet.
We came to our senses about the time we, as well as all the other passengers, bailed out and decided to walk rather than look in the eyes of the white-knuckled drivers crawling along the edge of a 600-foot cliff. When Soni Honegger, designer of the pseudo-military-styled Scorpion and all-around lunatic 'wheeler got out, shook his head, and started piling rocks, we knew we had to share this story with you.
If you think you've got the intestinal fortitude to tackle this trail, we offer up this advice: Leave the whiners at home and call it a day if it's wet. Of course, we could tell you where it is, how to get there, and provide a map and GPS coordinates, but then we might have to kill you. And that would just take all the fun out of it. But here's a little clue: It's all in the name.