Month: April 2018

How to Prep a JL for Rental Duty

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

I won’t say I’m old, but I will say that I have been in the Jeep guide and rental business long enough to ride out the transitions between CJ, YJ, TJ, JK, and now JL. So far, other than waiting for the aftermarket to have time to develop the things we need for our typical trail use, the introduction of the JLs into our fleet has been relatively painless. As mentioned in my last article, almost every single thing that we had wished was better on the JK is better on the JLs.

What is required to make a factory Wrangler worthy of Barlow Jeep Rental status is less and less with each new generation. Barlow-worthiness is the ability to traverse the majority of the area trails without billable damage when driven by a novice to moderately experienced driver who will simply pay attention and drive slowly, with the intention to be safe and responsible. Our Jeeps are expected to traverse much of Arizona, Moab, and the Rubicon Trail, with minimal exertion.

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Soldier Pass Jeep Trail Returns!

Popular Sedona 4x4 Trail Reopens to Public Under New Permit System

Following an extensive review process by the US Forest Service, one of Sedona's most popular 4wd roads has reopened to the public once again. Soldier Pass Trail has long been a staff favorite at Barlow Adventures, and we're thrilled to see it back in business! This short and scenic trail has experienced a dramatic increase in use during recent years, resulting in noise and traffic congestion in area neighborhoods, and management challenges for the Red Rock Ranger District and Sedona law enforcement. In consultation with local businesses, recreational users, residents, and other stakeholders, the US Forest Service issued a decision in March of 2017 limiting motorized travel on the trail to 12 permitted users per day.

About the Permit System

Barlow guests who would like to run Soldier Pass while visiting Sedona are required to obtain a permit by visiting the Coconino National Forest website and applying online. Click the button below to apply at fs.usda.gov.

Applications may be submitted between 3 days (72 hours) and 90 days in advance. Applications submitted less than 72 hours prior to the desired use will not be processed. Requests will be processed in the order received, Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays, based on the email time stamp.

  • Permits are available to individuals only.  You may obtain no more than one permit per day. Businesses, clubs, and organizations may not apply. Barlow Adventures cannot reserve a permit for you.
  • Permits are free and nontransferable. 
  • Permit holders may hold only one permit at a time and wait until after the permit date before requesting another permit.
  • Permit holders are responsible for knowing and obeying all forest rules, regulations, and closure orders.
  • You must have your valid permit with you at the time of your visit.

A Classic Sedona Jeep Trail

Soldier Pass Trail remains a Barlow's staff favorite because it offers a concentrated mix of spectacular red rock scenery, history, unique natural features, and fun 4x4 obstacles that make for an ideal introduction to Sedona 4-wheeling. Easy to get to in the heart of Sedona, the trail starts behind a residential neighborhood before winding 1.5 miles up and over the red rocks for a 3 mile out and back adventure. The trail is also very popular with hikers and mountain bikers so be sure to drive with care. Allow at least an hour and a half to take in highlights along the trail like the Devil's Kitchen Sink Hole and the Seven Sacred Pools - both worth a stop for pictures and further exploration on foot. The trail earned the name "Soldier Pass" in 1871 as part of a resupply route established by the US Cavalry under General George Crook. It wound down from the Mogollon Rim and over Brin's Mesa to an area known then to the army as Camp Garden. An oasis along Oak Creek we now call Sedona.