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Forums › Reviews › Arizona Trail Reviews › Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0
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Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0
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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
Trail to Destruction


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 5568
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:19 am    Post subject: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

Synopsis
Charouleau Gap is an extremely fun trail north of Tucson from Catalina to Oracle that offers an exciting variety of terrain and challenges from moderate to extreme.

Also known as Charleau Gap, Charlou Gap, C-Gap, and The Gap depending on who is attempting to spell it. Wink

Difficulty
Most will find this to be a moderate to difficult trail. Due to the changes in terrain, a variety of standard 4x4 challenges are present including clean and dirty rocks slabs, wet and dry rock beds, rutted earthy sections, and dirt hill climbs. This is probably the most difficult of the 3.0-rated trails in Tucson reviewed here.

A traction device (ATRAC or locker) is highly recommended due to ruts and hill climbs that are extremely challenging with open differentials. I'm sure pumbaa/Dan will comment on this fact below with a fun anecdote... Laughing

The difficulty of the trail varies quite a bit depending on if it is run Catalina->Oracle or Oracle->Catalina, with the S->N being the easier and more common direction.

Moderate pinstriping is guaranteed.

Length
A bit over 20 miles, count on a full day of wheeling. Ideal group size is "several" trucks... over ten not recommended.

Location
Catalina side: Go east at AZ-77 and Golder Ranch Road, turn North by the bridge at the bottom of the hill onto Lago Del Oro. Trailhead is on the right at N32° 31.247' W110° 53.096'. Google Maps link

Oracle side: There is a gate at N32° 36.045' W110° 46.341' behind which is a smaller clearing that is a good place to air up/down. Be warned that there is a ridiculous maze of streets in Oracle between this spot and AZ-77. Google Maps link

Aerial of the trail:
(Not available)

Pictures

Deceptively tricky spot...



Shelf leading to the geographic gap...



Mandatory wash section (depth varies seasonally)







Typical rut challenge...





Optional obstacles...












Previous AZFJ Runs to this Trail
CHAROULEAU GAP SATURDAY NOV. 22nd
The Gap / Rice Peak - Impromptu MiniTUCSONFEST 8/30/08
Sunday Sunday Sunday (8/10 Tucson)

GPS Track
not available...

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-Mike (W7FJC)

check out my BLOG

Something there is that doesn't love a wall, that wants it down...


Last edited by tibaal89 on Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pumbaa
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2529
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

A-Trac and locker highly recommended for this trail. A lot of lose dirt sections that will cause you to lose traction and have to choose a different line. Be careful, another line might get you past the obstacle but this trail can get extremely tipy, very tricky and illusive, it might not look bad but ones your in it it kinda looks like this...





Wasn't able to save this one....


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K7WRX
AZFJ#4

"If I were any less of a man I would have totally just died" - tibaal89
"sometimes my brain farts even shocking to me." - SealClubber
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Angry_Tim
Master Wheeler
Master Wheeler


Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 5406
Location: Marana,az

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

I have have the route on National Geographic topo, but due to
my complete lack of computer skills I cannot figure out how to
get it to post. Yes I have babel but no desire to sit and figure out
how to use it. I have it converted to a KML file but when I open google
earth it only shows waypoints, no route is drawn.

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FatRat wrote:
I thought you weren't doing boy scouts any more???
glideraz wrote:
i'm glad i figured out your shaft was already f'ed up
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Miss_Artoo
Trail Leader
Trail Leader


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2547
Location: SoMo

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

I also have the gps tracks from that last run if you are interested.

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Finn
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Aug 05, 2010
Posts: 2482
Location: Tempe

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

Can most of the harder obstacles be bypassed?

I may be hunting hear and may not always have a second rig avalible to pull me out.

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Angry_Tim
Master Wheeler
Master Wheeler


Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 5406
Location: Marana,az

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

Finn wrote:
Can most of the harder obstacles be bypassed?

I may be hunting hear and may not always have a second rig avalible to pull me out.

All I'm gonna say is don't run this alone.

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FatRat wrote:
I thought you weren't doing boy scouts any more???
glideraz wrote:
i'm glad i figured out your shaft was already f'ed up
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Homedad
Master Wheeler
Master Wheeler


Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 9241

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:02 am    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

Finn...Tim's right!

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2010_all_ice
AZ Pinstriped
AZ Pinstriped


Joined: Jan 29, 2010
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

Today i ran all the way through from catalina to oracle......and damn! thats a rough ride, run went great the roads a little washed out cause the rain lately. the only damage i suffered was from backing up into a rock........smashed left rear bumper plastic real good!!! about 20 miles all the way through and the second half has some real butt puckering spots that you just gotta hold on and hope for the best. unless you dont mind some damage stick to the first half.

run time was from 8am-12:45
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Kyouto42
Dusty Truck
Dusty Truck


Joined: Aug 12, 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Maricopa, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

Oh nice they re-opened it finally? I wanna check it out....

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"O pitiful shadow bound in darkness, looking down upon others and causing them pain, a soul drowned in sinful karma... Want to try dying this once?"  — Enma Ai.
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2010_all_ice
AZ Pinstriped
AZ Pinstriped


Joined: Jan 29, 2010
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

its a fun run, but if you care about pin stripes or loosing plastic pieces not for you Wink small groups two or three would be best.
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Kyouto42
Dusty Truck
Dusty Truck


Joined: Aug 12, 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Maricopa, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

Hah you haven't seen my truck... almost no plastic left to lose and already Arizona scrapped Smile Sounds like blast to me!

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"O pitiful shadow bound in darkness, looking down upon others and causing them pain, a soul drowned in sinful karma... Want to try dying this once?"  — Enma Ai.
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TrAiLbUs1
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Dec 10, 2007
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

I would say the last time we went it's at a 2-2.5 due to the excessive grading that's taken place. Only the car wash in the basin was left alone. Nothing hard about it any longer..just my 2 cents.

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FJFEVER
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Oct 08, 2008
Posts: 2553
Location: White Tanks, Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

times 2. it sure doesnt look like those pictures anymore

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Jimbolio
Master Wheeler
Master Wheeler


Joined: Oct 19, 2008
Posts: 11175
Location: Tucson

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

TrAiLbUs1 wrote:
I would say the last time we went it's at a 2-2.5 due to the excessive grading that's taken place. Only the car wash in the basin was left alone. Nothing hard about it any longer..just my 2 cents.

Let's go do our Shift / clutch training out there! I have never been over this road.

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TrAiLbUs1
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Dec 10, 2007
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Charouleau Gap (Tucson/Oracle) - 3.0 Reply with quote

We may need to start with Chiva then work from there for round 2Very Happy Chiva is the best it's been in years.

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