Offroad Trail Rating Systems

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Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby desertrat » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:50 am

Offroad Trail Rating Systems
It might be fun to play rate that trail, but first, does anyone have any opinions about which trail rating system is the best?
1. Adler Publishing System (Designed with SUVs in mind)
2. Tony Huegel Utah Byways (Designed with SUVs in mind)
3. Charles A. Wells FunTreks, Inc.
4. Track and Trails Publications: The "Mitchell Scale"

LINK: http://offroadinghome.com/resources/trail_rating.html
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby CrustyOldFart » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:50 am

Keep it short and simple!
This one is my favorite:
Tony Huegel Utah Byways (Designed with SUVs in mind) -
1) General - Assumption is that "you are not a serious four-wheeler, but someone traveling in a stock, high-clearance 4-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle with all-terrain tires and a transfer case with high and low range.
2) Easy - The trail is a cruise that probably won't require using 4WD unless conditions deteriorate.
3) Moderate - The trail is slower going using 4WD at least occasionally, with rough spots, possible stream fordings, ruts, etc., but little or not technical terrain.
4) Difficult - Trail with at least some technical four-wheeling, rough and slow going in 4WD/low range, and the possibility that you will scrape the undercarriage or body panels.

No unneeded detail. Just a basic scale that can be used by anyone without a lot of disagreement over the particulars.
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby BallaratBob » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:27 am

The problem with any of these systems is that a trail that might be easy before a storm might become difficult or even impassible following a particularly severe deluge. Trails also sometimes improve over time if the right kind of traffic goes through on a regular basis. It all depends, but I suppose in general most routes are reliable enough to rate with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby wildbill » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:51 am

BallaratBob: Storms change conditions, but most trails bounce back to their normal condition within a couple months. There are exceptions, but what I'm thinking is that it might be a good idea to take some local trails and rate them. Saline Valley, Pleasant Canyon, Goler Wash over Mengel Pass, and the trail over Slate Range down into Panamint Valley via Fish Canyon might be some good trails to rate and discuss. It might not be a bad idea to toss in Jail Canyon too. Any thoughts?
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby jeepnut » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:49 am

I've used the Mitchell Scale most frequently in the past, but the other rating systems have their advantages. I'd say that the Adler system is about as good as the Mitchell system. The important thing is that whoever you're talking to is familiar with the system you're using.
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby cactuspete » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:48 am

First of all, it's necessary to distinguish between jeep trails, dirt roads, and obstacle courses. The road up Isham Canyon turns into an obstacle course the last half mile or so before reaching the top. Most routes around this area are dirt roads, but some are actual jeep trails. Jeep trails may just be tedious and slow or they may require some slight technical ability. A few trails around here have some obstacles which require technical skills or special equipment beyond what most ORVs have, but most of these obstacles aren't too big of a deal.
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby BallaratBob » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:37 am

cactuspete: Except there's the problem with washouts which turn trails into obstacle courses. There are several jeep trails that are much more difficult now than they were ten years ago. That's mostly due to some pretty radical washouts a couple years back. Maybe if the rain plays nice for the next couple years most of these routes will get back to normal.
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby mrfish » Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:39 am

10 Roads You Would Never Want to Drive On :roll2:
These roads might sound dangerous to city drivers, but anyone who has done some offroading around here will most definitely NOT be impressed!
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby whiskeypete » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:39 am

Lots of rock crawlers on the road through town this weekend. Lots of RVs too. Must have been some big event in either PV or DV. Most of the rock crawlers were loaded on trailers and some looked like they were one-of-a-kind projects. Anyone know what was going on?
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Re: Offroad Trail Rating Systems

Postby BallaratBob » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:23 am

whiskeypete: There was a big annual event called Panamint Valley Days over this last weekend. It's basically just a bunch of off-road enthusiasts getting together and driving all over Panamint Valley in large groups. Usually people with rock crawlers will try out the area around the Defense Mine and Isham Canyon (which is actually in Searles Valley).
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