Tom’s Canyon, Kanab, Utah

St. George Jeepers Trail Report – March 1, 2016

Tom’s Canyon, Kanab, Utah

Twenty-two adventure bound off roaders congregated at the Apple Valley Chevron. Today’s plan is to split into two groups based upon difficulty of the two choices of trails. Group 1, led by Steve Friend, was to take the Tom’s Canyon trail, a rather difficult trail rated 6 out of 10. This trail required at least 33 inch tires and a lift for more clearance. Group 2, led by Mike Hess took the same trail that is described in the trail report, Hog Canyon to Beehives, of February 09, 2016. Below is a photo of the Beehives visited by Group 2. This report will cover the Tom’s Canyon trail.

Air down at the Hog Canyon trailhead

Kevin Keller, our tail gunner of the day, stands in front of his well-built “Trixie Dixie” Rubicon

Accessing the trails

Utah Juniper infected with dwarf mistletoe

Dwarf mistletoe is a genus of 42 species of parasitic plants that parasitize members of Pinaceae (including cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces), and Cupressaceae, which include the junipers and redwoods. They all have very reduced shoots and leaves (mostly reduced to scales) with the bulk of the plant living under the host’s bark.

In Western forest ecosystems of North America, numerous dwarf mistletoe species are considered to be serious forest- borne disease agents. Severe dwarf mistletoe infection can result in a reduction in tree growth, premature tree mortality, reduced seed and cone development, reduced wood quality, and increase the susceptibility of the host tree to other disease pathogen and/or insect attack. Most of the commercially important conifers in western North America are parasitized by one or more dwarf mistletoes. It has been found that bird interactions in mistletoe-infested stands lead to dramatic influences on diversity, as areas with greater mistletoe densities support higher diversities of animals due to feeding on their seeds.

Continuing on the Tom’s Canyon trail

Views down Tom’s Canyon toward Kanab, Utah

Lower Tom’s Canyon is headed by a true box canyon and spills out into a broad valley at its mouth.

Our “Awesome” trip organizer, Joan Hayes and Kevin Keller

Kevin directs vehicles down the first step.

Lined up waiting for a go at the next obstacle

Down the step and into the first “significant” obstacle. Dan Gastineau demonstrates how it’s done.

Glen Higgins attacking the challenge, Woody Swearingen waits in his durable Toyota Land Cruiser.

Woody getting it done.

Gil Meacham clears the obstacle as Milo Smith waits his turn

Looking backwards toward the preceding obstacle. Ken and Linda Nagel climb up out of the ravine.

Onward and upward, leaving the previous .


Another more minor challenge.

Milo Smith looks for a good line, Kay Crabtree watches.

Gil Meacham directs Ken over the obstacle.

Joan Hayes approaching this tricky obstacle

Joan set up on a good line.

Kevin advances into the obstacle.

Glen creeps on toward the toughest obstacle of the trail.

Woody making his way up the incline towards the next challenge.

Woody passed the point of no return, Kay Crabtree waiting his turn.

Kay in his capable little TJ negotiating a small step prior to the above challenge.

This is the point where drivers start asking themselves, “Why am I here?” Undoubtedly, their passengers have the same thoughts. Thankfully, Steve Friend was there to get everyone up safely.

“Is the point where I flip over backwards?” Nobody did and nobody needed a tow throughout the whole day.

Ken and Linda clear the obstacle. The rest of the way up looks like a cakewalk!

Woody encouraging (challenging?) Joan Hayes to come on up.

Up and over!

Kevin Keller makes it look easy. For most of the group, it wasn’t.

Approaching a short, steep sand hill.

Gil Meacham powers his nicely modified TJ Unlimited on up. The trail on the left is the bypass in case you couldn’t make the hill.

Kay Crabtree digs in.

A part of the adventure that everyone looks forward to-lunch, where just about any topic is open for conversation except politics and religion!

Back on the trail and a fun little slick rock/sand climb. Greg and Jan Moo, joining us all the way from Las Vegas, go up while Dan Gastineau approaches.

Dan going up with Glen and Toby Higgins waiting below.

Another little slick rock challenge.

Glen Higgins creeps up while Woody Swearingen and Alan Shepherd approach.

Rolling on down the trail through some of the fascinating southern Utah geology.

Traversing a dry wash on the way back to the trailhead.

One last glance at the red rock geology so common in northern Arizona, southern Utah and in the Kanab area. The geology in this area demonstrates why so many old time western movies were filmed near Kanab.

This concluded another great day out on our magnificent public lands in Utah. That access privilege is appreciated by all the Jeepers and not taken for granted.

Submitted by Bud Sanders


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