Valley Falls

Carl on the HillMore Flowers and Butter Flys - Click to Enlarge


4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD! - Click here for details!

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!



Jason put out the word that he was leading a group to some trails near Valley Falls.  My wife was heading out for the day so I planned to bring the kids along.

My friend Carl had not been out for a while so I sent him a note and suggested he consider coming along, and invited my neighbor Charlie too.

The day broke with perfect weather.  The sun was out, the sky was clear and it wasn't too warm or too cold.  Every time I bring Charlie along we get this kind of weather so I think I won't be wheeling unless Charlie comes along (unless I need to wheel in the rain!)

Muster at Exit 139Way too clean!  MusterMusterMuster
Tim's BeastCJ
The Road In


The meeting point was set for the EXXON at Exit 139 so we got up and headed down there with Carl and Charlie.  I had more than my usual share of managing kid behavior and by the time the group was ready to roll, Ted had already been put in time out a couple times in the Jeep for various infractions.  It wore me down some but we got on the road without any real trouble.

We drove down the highway to Exit 132 and then took local roads back to the place where we turned off and descended into the trail area.  It was very pretty and things looked good for a nice day in the woods.


We reached the trail head.  But before stopping to air down and disconnect, we crossed a stream that forced us to hug one side of the bend so we didn't disappear out of sight into the deep pool in the middle!  Everyone stopped while people aired down and got set to hit the trail.  After some chit-chat and stuff, we hit the trail.

First CrossingFirst CrossingAiring Down etcAiring Down etcAiring Down etc
Airing Down etcHere we go1st Stop
1st Stop

TomTedCharlie's Rubicon
First Stop in the WoodsAiring Down
1st Stop

At one point we worked out way past a tight spot in the trail.  Nice to be back in the woods and having stakes a little higher than getting bullied down the road by a trailer-truck getting up steam for the next hill on Rt 79...

 Climbing OutClimbing OutChatHi!Crossing
A little off-camber red-eye!A little off-camber red-eye!Along the wayHold On!
Not Stuck

A small log  attracted Carl's attention so he led everyone behind him over it.

 CrossingClimbing OutLog CrossingLog CrossingLog CrossingLog Crossing
TimTimCrossing the LogCrossing the LogOn the Trail
Log Crossing

Then we came to an interesting crossing.  It had several different ways for people to get across, and several routes were employed.  I just drove straight across.  A couple people worked their way across over the rocks.

 Not Stuck (Yet)

Paul watching the funTim CrossingTim CrossingTim CrossingTim CrossingTim CrossingTim CrossingTim

Running the RocksRunning the RocksRunning the RocksRunning the RocksRunning the RocksWatching TimTimTimCrossingTim

TimTimTimTimTimTimNot stuck

Running the RocksRunning the RocksRunning the RocksRunning the RocksRunning the RocksOh my aching control armRocks

Another LineCrossingCrossingCrossing

CharlieCharlieCrossingGot Mud?
Paul Crossing

Paul and CarlSqueezing By

Jeeps in the Rocks

Climbing the bank

Not StuckNot Stuck

We came to a narrow section that took some finesse to get past.  More creative ways to approach the challenge surfaced. 

CrossingRocksCarlCarl pushing it!Carl
TimMore RockMore Rock
More Rock

What's that?Bush CrawlingBush CrawlingBush CrawlingTippy?Flex and Air

CrossingBush whackingBush whackingBush whackingTippy?

Beating the BrushBeating the BrushBeating the BrushFlex and Air
Flex and AirClimbing out

Stepping Down

Charlie eases down

Another crossing and Tim's brother took a rocky route and got hung up.  While he worked on getting out, I drove a little further along following Jason and get across the stream.  I stopped and took pictures of everyone as they came through.

1st Stuck1st Stuck1st StuckStuck
Working through crossingWorking through crossingAnother RouteCrossing


Paul CrossingAfter the CrossingAfter the CrossingCrossingCrossing

At the next crossing, a few people took a different route and we all collected up back on the trail.  During all this, Tim took a fall on the rocks but looked like he came out of it without getting hurt!


Tricky spotTricky spotUp and OverClimbing OutClimbing Out
Climbing OutClimbing OutClimbing Out

Tim Rolls it!CarlCarlCrossingCarl

Climbing OutClimbing OutTimBreak TimeBreak Time

I think I found a pebblePebblesTim's New PebbleTim's New PebbleAxle Stubble

Not far down the road, Tim's brother got stuck a second time and Tim fished him out.

Not StuckNot StuckStuckNot Stuck2nd Stuck
The road less traveledHung UpHung UpNow what?Little muddy
Nother Rut

Hey Tim?Got a strap?Well it was new...Not anymoreThanks TimFree Again!StrapAnother Angle

Fun in the MudFun in the MudAnother AngleMudRubicon

Past the hunter cabin, the trail got very narrow.  Jason held back the Mountain Laurel to let us get by but I ended up with some deep gouges in my passenger-side door.  They're not going to buff out!

The face of help!

The CabinCabinShore near cabin

A rock next to the trail attracted some attention.

Paul making images of CarlNarrow passageCarlCarl


A little rock climbingA little rock climbingSome Rock ClimbingWorking a Hill
Climb those RocksClimb those RocksRock Climb
Rock Climb

Rocks to ClimbMud to CrossTimTim

Then we came to an area with several side-trails that honeycombed the hillside.  I picked a route that worked for me and went up a hill.  Carl came behind me.  We got the idea to put a camera in the middle of the trail and film one of us coming up the hill.  Great idea.

 Carl on the HillTimCarl

I suggested Carl use his camera and Jeep for the experiment.  So sense both of us damaging something!  Carl made his second run up the hill and nearly ran over the camera when he stopped right over it.

Movie: mov02603.mpg Climb the hill and run over the camera

Break Tim

All this time one of the people who came along had been driving more like we were on a mud-bogging outing.  The guy kept doing stuff that's inconsistent with the slow crawl that I am used to doing.  Pretty soon just about everybody on the trail had asked for it to stop.

Tim's brother took another opportunity to test the capabilities of his Jeep and got stuck in another spot.  His friend got decorated with mud for her loyalty!

 3rd StuckAgain?Not Again!Got Mud?:)Not too deep?
Got Bees?Playing in the MudMore Mud FunMore Mud
Got Mud?

A way down the trail we came to a large boulder that tested one of the Rubicons.  The boulder lost.

ClimbingClimbingOn the RockOn the Rock

 After a very short break, we turned off the main trail and crawled over a clump of rocks on the way to a large clearing on the river.  One by one, everybody made it past.  A couple people headed for pavement.

 Another BreakBreak Time

One of the guys came back for help because he got stuck too close to a wasp nest.  I think he took a couple stings for his trouble.  I knew I should have brought that can of bug killer with me!

 Mud and Bees

Interesting Structure

Jeeps in the Clearing

Weaving through the rocksRocksRocksRocksWeaving through the rocksRocks


Tim's brother found another mud hole to get stuck in.  Tim fished him out again.

Best Stuck?Not Again!One more time!4th Stuck
4th Stuck4th Stuck
4th Stuck

Then we drove out onto the clearing next to the stream.  There were several interesting flowers and butterflies so I took pictures while some of the group drove across the stream to the island. 

Near the TygartTygartNear the stream

More Flowers and Butter FlysMore Flowers and Butter FlysSome FlowersMore FlowersMore Flowers and Butter FlysMore Flowers and Butter FlysMore FlowersMore Flowers and Butter Flys
More Flowers and Butter Flys
More Flowers and Butter Flys

Checking the CrossingChecking the CrossingThe IslandIsland with ConquerersTygart

Not StuckMoving onto Rocks

After watching the first one go, and estimating the deepest part of the crossing to be about 22 inches I decided not to go.

 Preparing to Cross the TygartTim CrossingTim CrossingTim CrossingTim CrossingCarl Crossing
Carl CrossingCarl CrossingOn the IslandOn the IslandOn the Island
On the Island

One more to crossOne MoreOne MoreOne More
CrossingCrossingOne MoreOne More
One More

Some ExploringSome ExploringSome ExploringSome Exploring

CrossingCrossingCrossingCrossing back
Crossing BackMore CrossingCrossing

Some ExploringSome ExploringComing OutComing OutComing Out
Coming OutComing OutComing OutComing OutComing Out
Coming Out

Teddy was very upset by my decision and cried for the next ten minutes while Carl, Tim, Tim's brother, and one other went over to other island.  I was past losing my patience with Ted by the time they all came back.  In desperation, I asked Carl if he would take Teddy across and gratefully, he agreed.  Ted shut his pie hole and got onto Carl's Jeep and they went across to the island.  Phew!

Carl takes Teddy acrossCarl takes Teddy acrossCarl and Ted ReturnCarl and Ted ReturnCarl and Ted Return

I took some more flower pictures and parked my Jeep in the line-up for the group shot.  Pretty soon Carl and Ted came back and not long after, the group started moving down the trail.  Not far behind me Charlie got sucked into a slick spot and got the strap from Carl.

Break TimeBreak TimeBreak TimeLining up a group shot
Break TimeBreak TimeBreak Time
Break Time

Break TimeBreak TimeBreak TimeBreak Time
Break TimeBreak TimeBreak Time
Break Time

Charlie Charlie CharlieA little stuckAnother new strapCarl to the rescueOur Hero!

No ProblemNo ProblemCarl

Looking up the TrailLooking up the TrailCharlie

From the Driver's SeatFrom the Driver's SeatFrom the Driver's SeatLittle Bypass

Little BypassLittle BypassLittle Bypass
Little BypassLost Toy in the Woods

A few more bypasses around fallen trees and wash-outs and we were back to pavement. 

Last HillLast HillLast HillLast HillLast HillLast Hill
Last HillLast HillLast HillLast Hill
Last Hill

On the RoadOn the RoadOn the Road
On the RoadOn the Road
On the Road

We drove back to the highway and stopped at Dairy Creme Corner for refreshment.  I discovered that there is a place besides DQ for ice cream!


Carl , Charlie and I aired up and reconnected next door at the gas station then hit the road for home.  This trail definitely deserves a rainy-day visit!

No matter where you look...Dairy CreamDairy CreamDairy Cream

Carl and CharlieCarl and Charlie

Off Road Index | Shop for Jeep Toys and Books | See the Toy Jeeps

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Last Updated 02/09/2008 12:49:19 AM -0500

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