I had never taken any of the 4 available options on the Crown King Trail. Well, to make it more clear, the last time I drove the Crown King Trail, (which was also the first), I was running the TJ stock. These options are sections (some short, others longer) of the trail that are more challenging. In some cases, the option is a section of the original trail that has been bypassed because of heavy erosion, in others, it looks like a shortcut was attempted by some driver long ago and others followed where he/she dared to try. Naturally, no trail maintenance is done on these options, other than the occasional rock being tossed into a hole so someone can get up and over an obstacle.
In mid February, 2000, my wife and I were taking the trail up to Crown King just after I had gotten new tires, ring and pinion gears, a Detroit Locker, etc. on the TJ. When I saw the 4th option, I decided this looked like a good test for the recently installed hardware. It is about 60 or 70 yards long and a reasonably steep uphill climb all the way. The old trail is littered with some good sized chunks of bedrock with enough holes to swallow a Jeep…OK, so maybe enough to swallow my favorite spotter (my wife). I tried to get some some shots that would give you an idea of what the trial is like. As usual, the pictures kind of flatten things out and you lose the 3D effect of what things look like. Rest assured that the trail is worse than what the pictures make it out to be!
The photo above is my wife (and spotter) Donna standing in a low spot on the trail that the TJ went through. The new Detroit Locker and Truetrac did a nice job with zero tire spin.
Here is my spotter again, I backed off on the camera’s zoom a bit.
She didn’t know I snapped this one. Donna needed 4WD to get out of that hole and up the trail.
Donna walked down the trail to snap this one after I was almost to the top. You can see where someone tossed a couple of rocks in so they could get up and over the ledge. This picture flattens things out quite a bit. The ledge here is very steep and about waist high.