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250 Reasons not to wheel on Sedona's Broken Arrow Trail

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by juanblzer, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. juanblzer

    juanblzer 1/2 ton status

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    250 Reasons not to wheel on Sedona\'s Broken Arrow Trail

    OK, I was camping in Oak Creek Canyon and me and a buddy decide to take my blazer over to wheel the Pink Jeep Tour's trails. I had heard they were pretty tame but wheeling is wheeling so we went. We get to the trail head and two jeep tours are ahead of us. The first "obstacle" is a stairstep that requires most stock vehicles to turn around. This obstacle leads into a little area that looks like a play area.

    Mistake #1
    There is one ledge that has several different lines in this play area. There are tire marks all over the ledges and being the wheeler that I am, I attempted one of the ledges. On my first attempt at a climb I glance over and realize that two hikers are watching us. The man is quite upset and relates that those ledges are considered off trail.

    Mistake #2
    I am usually quite nice, FWP can attest to this, but this guy was acting like he was a head honcho over at the Forest service so I asked if he was with the forest service. He related that he was not but he would report me to them. I immmediately started to act sarcastic about how fearful I was but I did back down the obstacle and continue on the trail.

    We continued on the trail and played in two other places. I came really close to rolling a couple of times but had fun and I can honestly say that I did not damage any plants or rocks.

    As we are heading back to the trail head I notice a forest service truck is blocking the path. I inquire as to what the situation is and she says that I am being cited for off-roading. We sit there and wait for at least an hour as 2 other forest officers come to aid this one. We sit and I am nothing but polite. It seems our friends that we met earlier said we were damaging the trail and that were were traveling off trail. This is considered "probabable cause" and I was cited. This is called a "destruction of a natural resource of U.S". IT is a 250 dollar fine.

    This trail, like Moab, does not always have defined boundaries. The sign that is posted merely relates that it is necessary to stay on trail at all times. THe problem that I encountered was that trail boundaries are not very defined. Several of the areas are wide open. They look and feel like "play areas". I know if someone makes a little fence out of rocks, it means that the area behind it is not a part of the trail. I know how to read signs. It is disturbing to be cited for attempting to tread lightly.

    I plan on taking this to court. I've been wheeling since high school and I know destructive wheeling. THis was nothign of the sort. ANy ideas, comments? /forums/images/icons/frown.gif /forums/images/icons/frown.gif
     
  2. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 250 Reasons not to wheel on Sedona\'s Broken Arrow Trail

    That sux.... /forums/images/icons/frown.gif

    Marv
     
  3. I8AJ**P

    I8AJ**P Registered Member

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    Re: 250 Reasons not to wheel on Sedona\'s Broken Arrow Trail

    Sounds like you got the raw end of the deal, living in Sedona I have run this trail a lot, sometimes after work on my way home, I have run across some people that react the same that you met, and most of them don't even live in AZ, they are from other parts of the US. It seems that the common theme with these people that I have spoken with is that with all this open and pretty rocks that how could anybody think of driving on them. WE call them crystal crunchers, the Jeep tours can give you a bad time sometimes usually just some of the guides, My shop is next to the Pink Jeep shop and I know the Owner very well, His opoinin is very open to off-roading. So I am sorry that you had a bad exsperience in the REd Rocks, most of us up here are pretty nice.
     
  4. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: 250 Reasons not to wheel on Sedona\'s Broken Arrow Trail

    Man, sorry to hear about your problem. I know exactly where you are talking about and it is not well marked. There are little cages of rocks in some areas, but there are some open areas which are not marked at all as far as I could see. I guess your just supposed to “know”. I agree with others, fight it, I think you will win. Good luck.

    As for Broken Arrow, it's been years since I ran that trail (but I’ve walked part of it about 4 months ago with visiting family) but I've seen some of that behavior. I ran it several times in my old 75 K5, carrying family and friends on little sight-seeing tours. It’s a beautiful drive. Anyway, I’ve seen the Pink Jeep drivers make an ass of themselves on more than one occasion. At submarine rock 3 of them had parked perfectly arranged and spaced so there was no way to park without blocking them. Still trying to be courteous, I pulled over to the very edge, well shy of the “no trail sign” on the boulder pile to the right, but the passenger side of my rig was setting on the rocks (about 2’ off the smooth, solid “parking area”). One of the guides came huffing and puffing up to me saying that he would call and report me if I didn’t “get it back on the trail right now!” I tried to explain that I was trying to be nice and give them a way out, but he just started foaming at the mouth and threatening me with a report. He also refused to move his jeep over to make room. “Fine,” I said. Fired ‘er back up and pulled right down into the little narrow entry to the parking area and shut it down blocking all 3. The way they were parked just inside, there my only other options were parking where I did or leaving. Next he yells, “You can’t block the exit!” To which my response was, “But you can block the entire parking area with 3 little jeeps? I won’t be long.” After walking around about 20 minutes with the tour guides cursing and threatening, I left and went on my way. I hate those #@%%s, they think the trail belongs to them alone. I really kind of blew off the threatened report, I guess I’m lucky they didn’t report me (or, if they did, that the ranger didn’t nab me). My only problems with hikers was a couple that was walking along the trail (the 4x4 trail, they were off the foot trail) and got pissed off that I had the nerve to be driving along it and that they had to step off the trail to let me pass. When informed that they were not on a foot trail and that *they* were the ones in error for walking on the motorized trail, they responded that me and those like me should not be out there anyway, anywhere. I had my family (including my mother visiting from out of town) in the truck so I kept my response metered and logical.

    Anyway, the point of this book is that trails like Broken Arrow can be a pain because they put us in very close proximity to the berkenstock(sp) crowd (not sure what you would call those Pink Jeep @#%#s). The scenery is nice and the trail is easy, but you have to put up with the aggravations and harassment. I am amazed that your harassment went that far but, with a little time, I think you can beat it. Good luck...
     

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