We traveled the short distance to the Elk Mountain Rd. There was a sign at the start that said that the road was impassible when wet. However, the road was dry and the skies were clear. The road looked like a fairly well travelled Forest Service Road. So we went ahead. There were some very significant ruts from people driving on it when it was very muddy. It is definitely not a road we wanted to be on when it was wet. It was easy to imagine how slick it would become.
The road was in fairly good condition. We passed by a number of little campsites in the beginning. Once we turned off Elk Mountain Rd, we saw much less traffic. The road followed the top of the mountain ridge for quite a while. We had to turn at one spot that was still somewhat muddy, but we had enough distance for Jon to plan his approach. We didn’t have any problems. We drove through one area that was quite sandy rather than muddy.
Near the turn off for the Dark Canyon Wilderness, we found a small hound dog trotting along on his own. He did have a GPS tracking collar with antenna and seemed to be in good condition. We stopped, but he didn’t want to come over and continued on down a different road.
We passed by a couple of cars going the other direction. They said that the road was in good shape from the direction they had come and we confirmed the same. The vegetation and ground changed significantly during our drive. It was a very interesting drive from that perspective even if we weren’t planning to camp.
We eventually reached the turn off for Cathedral Point. From the map I had, it looked like there was only a trail to the point, but it was most certainly a road. The road was fine at first. We started to travel up some short rock ledges and some of the trees were pretty close. The rock ledges became quite a bit more significant. Jon and I both got out of the truck to scout them out. I still don’t have a good idea about what the truck can and can’t do when it comes to climbing up these small ridges. Jon would suggest a route for us to follow when having to climb one of these rock ledges. I would guide the vehicle up along the designated path.
Jon has done a lot of this kind of thing in Land Rovers, but this was something entirely different.
Jon’s usual comment about our vehicle is that it is a rough road vehicle, not really an off road vehicle. It really isn’t designed to rock crawl and doesn’t do well in deep sand or mud. Jon had already taken it down some roads with deep sand this trip. Now it was going rock crawling. Going up all of these ledges took quite a while, but Jon was able to get the Fuso up them.
I took a few photos of the road at a point where we were going up and down some rock ledges. It really doesn’t show how significant the climbs were or how close some of the trees were.
Once we got to the top of the butte, the road curved around to the right near the edge. The road was fairly narrow and the trees at our height were especially tight. It wound up being another bit that was slow going. Jon had to weave through the trees. We did hear a few scratches made along the sides of the camper.
We passed by a couple of campsites. Several were on the inside part of the road. Some of the ones near the cliff edge looked promising. We finally picked a really nice spot that had a great view of Canyonlands National Park.
Cathedral Point is part of the Canyon Rims Recreation Area. It looks down onto some very picturesque parts of Canyonlands. The Needles section was on the left side of the point. We were a little dismayed that it was somewhat hazy in the distance.
We were buzzed by swallows as they went after insects by the side of the cliffs.