The red rocks were pretty much like Moab with plenty of verticals yet good traction. Our '97 TJ was getting a good grip on the sandstone as we eased up a sweet technical obstacle on the Faultline Trail when it dawned on Stacie and me - this place ROCKS and might even rival Moab in some ways!
We were representing BlueRibbon Coalition at the 3rd annual Southwest Crawlfest, put on by Rockaholics Anonymous of St. George, Utah. Conducted on BLM and Utah State Park lands, Crawlfest turned out to be a righteous treat for a lot of experienced 'wheelers.
Almost 320 registered vehicles attended the event, which offered 11 different trails, ranging from moderate to extreme levels. "We increased over a hundred registrations from last year," said Steve Crabtree, event organizer. "Our donations to land use organizations, and in particular our partnership with BlueRibbon Coalition, made a huge difference in our incredible attendance this year," Steve added.
George Richardson, fellow event chair from the famous Hump 'N Bump, said, "The incredible scenery combined with the phenomenal trails along with their contributions to the right causes will make Southwest Crawlfest a long-standing successful event."
Most of the trails were in Sand Hollow State Park and meandered around in the rim rocks of Navajo sandstone, with layered steps and vertical climbs, some perched precariously over long drops to the valley floor below. There were graded gravel sight-seeing roads to boulder-filled, near impassable obstacles. But for the most part, there was little danger to participants even if a rollover occurred.
Rick Russell, a noted outdoorsman and four-wheeler, attended Crawlfest and had this to say: "The outstanding challenging terrain and variety of obstacles made this a fun event for all levels of drivers. And, Crawlfest put on some dang good chow."
The event started Friday morning with registrations, drivers meeting, and initial vendor setup time. Steve gave an overall briefing to start things off and thanked the many sponsors who made the event possible. Stephen Wade Chrysler Jeep Dodge was the title sponsor with dozens of other businesses and off-road industries supporting the event and what it stands for.
Steve explained how Crawlfest was a two-day, fullsize 4x4 gathering, trail ride, and clean up, and made sure we all had our trash bags. All participants were instructed to pick up trash and ensure we left the trails better than we found them. Stacie and I can attest to the fact that most all the trails and heavily used areas were very clean to begin with. We were very pleased to see how trail users were being good stewards of this great part of America.
Using the Washington County Fairgrounds just outside St. George, there was plenty of room for RVs and trail lineups. The vendor show and event activity hub was inside one of the big fair buildings so everything was conducted in comfortable surroundings. Several participants set up camp in RVs right there in the fairgrounds parking lot, while others took advantage of event discounts in local hotels. There was something for everyone.