Photos: Divide Ridge 4×4 Run Adventure

Divide Ridge 4×4 Adventure
Hosted by Eastern Washington Off Road
Report by Clay Graham. Photos by Clay Graham & Hank Graham / Eastern Washington Off Road

UPDATE: Some of the 4×4 trails in this report are now close to the public. Know before you go.

On Saturday August 12th, 2006 we met up at Ahtanum Meadows for some 4×4 fun at the Ahtanum. We convoyed to the Ahtanum Sno-Park and aired down and then headed up to Red Saddle with 5 XJs (driven by Test Dummy, Tiny, Roll-over, Flippy, and I Ceg) and 1 Scout (driven by Yeti). At Red Saddle we took the Sedge Ridge 4X4 Trail. We had a some problems climbing Rocky Climb due to how deep the powder dirt was. Once everyone got to the top of Rocky Climb, we moved on. We stopped at the Cultus Hole Cross and fix an axle seal leak on my XJ. A little tape for a trail fix and we were off again. We ran the trail around Cultus Hole and up to Darland Mountain. From Darland we headed up to Blue Lake to camp.

We got to Blue Lake and on the way something happen to one of the XJs. The boys headed down to the valley for parts. Yeti, Flippy, & I (Ceg) decided since it was still early, we would go check out 4W615 going toward Darland. Starting off 4W615 wasn’t to bad of a trail. Great views. Farther around Darland Mountain we got, more the trail became off camber. We stopped at Narrow Neck Gap. Yeti walked up to see how bad the trail was. It was real off camber with not much to stop your rig from falling 100s of feet down into Rimrock. We decide not to try it.

We dropped over the ridge and ran Coyote Creek around Darland Mountain and then turn up Hairpin 4×4 Trail. Hairpin Trail became very steep and had deep powder dirt. About half way up the long climb, Flippy’s XJ had carburetor problems. Yeti tried to pull Flippy’s XJ with his Scout to get the rig up, but the powder was to deep for traction. It was getting late and we knew the boys would be back at Blue Lake worried about the old guys, so we left Flippy’s XJ on the side of Darland Mountain and headed to Blue Lake.

Once back at Blue Lake, a few of us decided to go find someone with a bigger rig to help pull Flippy’s Rig out. Since North Fork Ahtanum was closed for a new bridge, we had to wheel up to Blue Slide and take Jackass Road down. Near the bottom we ran into IORE. He said he would come up to Blue Lake in the morning and get us to go pull Flippy’s rig up the mountain.

Sunday morning IORE showed up at Blue Lake and we all convoyed over to the Hairpin Trail on Darland Mountain. We left most of the rigs up in the trees. We only took my rig with Flippy and some of the boys, IORE’s full size Chevy and Yeti’s Scout. I drove down to Flippy’s XJ, IORE stopped at a tree to tie off to, and stayed at the top of the long climb. IORE started winching Flippy up the mountain. IORE had to move up the mountain a few times and had to tie off on Yeti’s Scout when he ran out of trees. I moved my XJ up the mountain as IORE moved up. On one of my moves, I blew up my XJ’s Dana 35. Now IORE had two XJ’s to winch up Darland Mountain. IORE had to which his own rig up the mountain too because of the powder dirt. Once at the top of the long climb, the trail turned to run along the side of the mountain climbing small sections at a time. Both XJ were able to drive parts of that section but had to be pull by IORE’s Chevy at everything that was steep. We worked into the night. IORE had to go home so we left both XJs on the side of Darland Mountain over night.

Monday Evening after work, Waycrazy & PullUOut came up to help with there rigs. I drove my 2 wheel drive pickup up to the trail head. We worked on getting both XJs up the mountain using Waycrazy’s CJ5’s Warn 8274 winch. We got my XJ up to the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road where my tow rig was. It got late and we had to leave Flippy’s XJ. Flippy said he would not be able to come back until the end of the week because of work.

Friday August 18, 2006 Waycrazy was nice enough to come help again. We met on the Mid Fork Ahtanum across from McLain Canyon Road. I rode up with Waycrazy to Darland Mountain. We winched Flippy’s XJ up the Hairpin Trail toward the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road on Darland Mountain. Flippy was able to drive out after topping the last steep section. He had to give a run at a few places because of the deep powder dirt. Once we got onto the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road we checked over Flippy’s XJ and headed home.

Here are some photos of the Divide Ridge 4×4 Run Adventure:

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About Clay Graham

Photojournalist at Selah Sweets / Eastern Washington Adventures - Our mission is to help communities on the east side of the Cascades in Washington State by promoting responsible outdoor recreation, promoting tourism, and community involvement. Our vision is to see Eastern Washington as a destination point to do bring more things to do.
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