Fortymile Ridge Road

Gwen T

New Member
Mar 2, 2021
Hello to those that know (and those that don't)! Planning on Coyote Gulch in early-mid May this year and I have a questions about the Fortymile Ridge Rd, as there seems to be varying info, but not much that's current. We'd like to do the trip as a loop, in via Crack in the Wall, out via the sneaker route at Jacob Hamblin Arch. While I'm pretty confident that we won't be able to reach the Crack in the Wall TH, I was at least under the impression that we could make it to the Water Tanks TH, but a conversation with a Ranger out of GSENM just now says even that's a no-go. We'll be driving an older Mazda Tribute which is fine on clearance (better than my Outback, I believe) BUT LACKS THE 4wd/awd (it's FWD). So the question is... yay or nay on reaching Water Tanks in a 2WD Mazda Tribute. Much appreciation is advance for any and all input.



Nov 26, 2015
We made it the Crack in the Wall a couple of years ago with a 4x4 suv with decent clearance. The conditions are constantly changing and a ranger would actually know the current conditions. It would a a very expensive tow to get out of there if you were stuck.


Jan 11, 2018
Granted conditions change, but my neighbors drove to the Water Tank TH this past fall in a 2WD truck with no issues. I was last there a year prior and there were avoidable ruts, doable with 2WD with careful navigation. Worst case, you can park a little lower down the hill and walk the last steep bit.


Mar 3, 2013
Park on the knoll halfway in-between... the road walk will be the same and you don't have to worry about the soft sand.. which is the bigger worry
Last edited:

Dustin Gent

Jun 22, 2015
I did CG in late June (!!), and there is now sand between Hole in the Rock road and the water tower parking. I saw quite a few 4x4s parked along this road, but most seemed to be rentals.

I have an Outback with truck tires, and she made it no problems what so ever. The sand was DEEP, but was well traveled, if that makes sense. I am heading back next month, so conditions could change - but i am betting there will always be tis sandy section (and it is on the uphill section).

We parked at the water tower, and walked the road to the TH - but the Outback would've made it. There was a stock Crosstrek that made it to the TH, so no doubt I would've been ok.

If you are doing the whole loop, parking at the tower might be better as it cost down your hike time one the way out.

Felipe felipe

New Member
Mar 26, 2021
My Honda Civic made it to the water tank easily two weeks ago and drove out with no issues this Sunday. It appears, at least for now, that the sand is gone. Even if you can't make it too far down the road, I believe it should only add a couple of miles to the hike. I recommend allen's 1 night itinerary down hurricane and out crack in the wall, but YMMV.
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