Tellico! April 2002 | Page 3 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Tellico! April 2002

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Hey, I'm going to start planning for the run but I'm not positive that I can make it. There's at least 3 of us (Mike, Jon and I) from Florida that would like to make it. My vote is for Last week of March or April (spring break for kids) --it will give me more time to get ready ($$$ and time to talk my wife into it).:redexp:

Yea I'm all for it, not sure If I can go, have to ask parents, my dad seems to like the idea so far! Think I have a chance? Using this........

Sorry, cant make it so soon. The X needs a new Radiator, A/C condenser Coil, plus I have things that need done around the house. Money is going to be tight for a while. I'll try to catch ya all next time.:banghead:

has the date been set yet? if so when?

I'm gonna tag this thread for a summer run. It's about 13 hours from here (691 miles) so it would be a 4 day trip minimum for me. I'd love to get down there, but I'll have to wait until we get closer to see if I can fit it in.

Originally posted by Josh Adams
has the date been set yet? if so when?

Doesn't look like the date has been set yet, but there's a separate thread going with a poll. Suggest you log onto that and vote for the weekend of your choice...

Poll: The Votes are In

The voting steered us toward April 13th, so that will be the day of the Tellico pre-run event. It appears that only one participant said that they could not make that weekend, while a couple said that was the only weekend they could attend, and everyone else said it didn't matter either way. So April 13th weekend will be it. As the time nears we will see who wants to stay for Sunday runs also. I'm sure I'll stay for the whole two days.

I'm gonna do my best to make it to the pre-run, but I'll be at the summer run if I gotta fight off a pack of wild boars with bare hands. Chances are I won't have the 4.10 gears in by April, but I *might* be able to get that done. I'd really prefer to have the gears in before I make a big run, I don't wanna be putting too much stress on the drivetrain with the high gears.

Anyways, my birthday is April 17th, the run would be a nice way to celebrate the big ol' 1-9. :D

I'm in for the april 13th also , like derk, I too would like to try and get my gears in before, picking up a t-case today and hubs next week, so it's looking up and up.


weekend of april 13th looks good to me. gives me plenty of time to request off from work. be seein yall there.

Paul Sabin and I did a "Pre-Pre Run" Last Weekend

Well gang there is great news for some of us and thoughtful news for the rest. I'll say right off the bat that in my opinion, Tellico is no place for a stock vehicle. Trail 4 is as easy as it gets there (Trail 1 doesn't count, it's just a dirt road). Below is a picture of Fain's Ford on trail 4. Notice how many rocks are stacked and it is still pretty challenging for a stock vehicle. When Paul and I returned the next day, the rocks were gone. That's about a thirty inch ledge to go over with those rocks removed. Don't forget that it is the exit out of a river crossing, so you'll be doing it with wet tires. It very much reminded me of a baby brother to the French Creek obstacle on Colorado's Holy Cross trail. Don't get too freaked out at the obstacle behind Paul that his Explorer is parked above. There's a bypass to that one. But Fain's Ford doesn't have a bypass - you'll have to climb that ledge.

Several people told me that every time you go to Tellico it is different. We learned that in only one trip. Friday we discussed how relatively easy Trail 4 would be and how well stock Explorers might handle it. The very next day, snowmelt made many sections of it into a muddy quagmire, and Saturday's "BigDawg" traffic tore it into a MUCH tougher trail, exposing the rocks much higher with mud pits on both sides of the rocks. I've got 33.5" tires and 2" of suspension lift, and I was hitting my undercarriage hard all through the trail. The day before it was a piece of cake.

I am going to refrain from saying that Tellico requires 33" tires, but if you are planning on coming, I'd at least set up your Explorer to what we call "Superstock" (31" aggresively treaded tires, 1.5" torsion twist or spacer lift, and limited slip in the rear). You MUST have towpoints up front - you'll use them, sometimes in mud. If you have nerf bars don't get too attached to them because they will be destroyed. Don't even think of showing up without skidplates - you'll use them, a lot. If Tellico is wet when we go, street tires will be totally useless - the mud is slicker than snot. I spent a lot of timing sliding sideways.

Lower 4 up to Trail 3 would make a great run for the mildly modified. As a matter of fact Trail 3 would make an awesome stock trail, and if you come stock that may be the only trail you can run depending on the current conditions. It would test your limits with great rock gardens and lots of ledge climbing, but the rocks and ledges aren't so huge as to tear up your stocker. It would make a fantastic trail to learn good tire placement and spotting skills. But you have to get on 4 to get to 3. IF 4 is in the shape that we found it on Friday then you'll have a blast. If it is in the shape we found it on Saturday and Sunday, be prepared to get strapped over rocks on 4 that will use all of your skid plates.

Tellico is a jungle. Expect some "trail pinstriping", but not so bad that it couldn't be buffed out.

If the trail is dry and not torn up, it might be possible for a Stocker or "Superstock" to go all the way up 4 (stacking a lot of rocks at Fain's Ford or being strapped over it) and go down 6. The Trail 6 rockgardens are too big for a stocker to climb up but they could fall down 6 okay :D . Then loop around 1 and re-enter 4 to spend the rest of the day on 3.

I didn't want to pour water on anyone's enthusiasm, but wanted you stockers to be aware of what you are getting into. It will be a crapshoot if you come and we won't know what condition the trails will be in until we get there.

Tellico Rocks!
That being said, Tellico was an absolute blast and one of the better wheelin' trips I have ever taken. Paul and I had a fantastic time :bounce: We are going to do a writeup on the trip and should be posting it sometime in the next week. I am definitely going to go again April 13th.


  • mvc-011f.jpg
    86.5 KB · Views: 349

oh boy, looks like a challenge!

I'm stoked.

gerald!! you didnt tell us you were going that weekend man!! (last weekend) i was sking anyway... hey where does paul sabin live

Gerald, Gerald, Gerald.... man why didnt u invite me, jonathan and even the 4runnner guy....i know me and eric would have gone. any ways, hows the good ole dixie wheelin??? comparable to any of the western stuff??? good?bad?worse?comparable??

I'm glad you guys were able to get there and see it for yourselves. You now seem to agree with me about "Stock" vehicles and Tellico.

I have never seen so many rocks at Fain's Ford! It's not too bad, but you have to hit it with momentum. The ledge under Paul's truck is where a friend from CNC broke a front axle shaft at 9:30 am on our last trip.

I found an old map of Upper Tellico. It looks like we normally go in on trail 1 to 5 then to 4 around 8 or to 12 then 3 and back to 4 then 8 and on to 7, 6 and then 2 to 1 and out. There is an obstacle on 12 called "1/4 panel tree" its a off-camber tight (a**) cheek ride, that does some body modifications if you are unlucky. We didn't do 12 on the last trip, but the time before my inclinometer was on 32-degree side angle! There is an obstacle on 5 called "Water Crossing", that has been eliminated, but that's where I tore up my rocker panel and passenger door, :hammer: but I made it! I have gone up Slickrock (via winch) one time. There is a place on 7 called "Peckerwood", I made it up the lower, but cut a sidewall. Then got crossed up on the upper section and stood the Marshmallow up on 3 wheels. Had to get winched from there. I have never been on trail 11 or the part of 6 that parallels 7.

Gerald and Paul, sorry for all this information after the fact, but seeing the pic and reading your post brings back some memories. That's how it is when you're as old as I am.:confused:

Like Gerald stated, tow points are a MUST! Mine have been used to pull and be pulled. Normally on the trails there are lots of vehicles, motorcycles and ATV's, so "building a road" as seen in Gerald's pic is frowned upon, because it takes so long and messes up the obstacle.:nono:

I'm up for April! I like staying at Pine Creek Cabins, their price is based on cabins not how people are in them and they are 4x4 friendly. You can sleep 4 without sharing a bed, there are 2 bedrooms with full size beds a big bed type loft and fold out sofa, only 1 bath. Best of all they have A/C and even a TV and fully equipped kitchen.

TELLICO, where you drive it like you stole it!!!!!

Not for the faint hearted . . .

Gerald -

Excellent "Pre-Write Up" (probably equalled in length what I would have wrote for an entire Trip Report :rolleyes: ) LOL

Tellico does Rock !! And there are plenty of 'em! Those that you don't see you will definitely hear !:eek:

Couple of observations:
1. "Bypass" is an option seldom seen at Tellico, in fact, that ledge just past Fain's Ford is the only place I noticed where you had a choice of going around an obstacle.

2. There is not a lot of room to maneuver once you start a trail. Backing up or turning around will be problematic if your rig is overmatched by the obstacles. Gerald and I both thought most of the trails had portions that resembled bob sled runs (Winter Olympics on the mind, I guess) where the trail was channelized between high ground on both sides (that when muddy, seem to close in on your quarter panels). Once you commit, you are going to have to run the trail to the end, for better or worse. . .

3. Suprisingly, the crowds were not too bad. We had fantastic weather and there were times where we didn't see other rigs for hours - - then we hit a Tellico traffic jam at Fain's Ford. . . Likely previously mentioned, not a whole lot of room to maneuver, even passing on these tight trails can be adventureous. Guess the point here is that there is great potential for heavy traffic, and near stock rigs being strapped over most obstacles would certainly slow every one down, not to mention torque off everyone else behind us . . .

4. Tires:
a) Number of trucks seen this past weekend at Tellico with 33" tires: 2 (okay, maybe a few more, but not many - - those two were Gerald and myself)

b) Trucks with 48" tires: 1

c) Trucks with 35" - 44" tires: Everyone Else

d) Trucks with 32" or smaller (There's a theme here): 0

5. Traction devices: Didn't stop and talk to eveyone, but only saw one or two vehicles with an open differential, and they were having a tough time on the easier trails (#4).

6. Probably 80% of the vehicles at Tellico had winches. . .

7. Gerald and I have capable rigs and we're pretty experienced off road - - and we still both managed to ding up our trucks. Just my opinion, but Tellico is certainly not the place to learn the basics of four wheeling in a near stock vehicle. Expect damage. We watched a Jeep chew up two drive shafts in about ten minutes, and as Gerald alluded to, if you like your cosmetic nerf bars or running boards, remove them at home or have them removed by Tellico.

Awesome weekend! Hope to get back there in mid-April!!

'91 Sport

P.S. Rick (Bio Marsh) - - You are The Man for doing Slickrock!!

Paul, I couldn't say everything, or there would be nothing left for you to say :D

Great followup to my post and it brought out most everything else you and I learned last weekend. Now that you others have a better idea of what Tellico is like, I'd like to know how many are still going to come on April 13th. How about a show of hands? Er, well, smilies?

If you do not have 33" tires, I don't know what to say. Come prepared to be a passenger. I can arrive early to recon Trail 4 up to Trail 3 and report on the conditions and then we can decide if you can make it. If not, I strongly suggest that you be willing to ride along as a passenger and enjoy Tellico from a right seat.

Rick, the obstacle in the river on Trail 5 is gone, but the "bobsled" chute above it took out some body damage behind my fuel filler door when I slid sideways into the wall while trying to climb up it. I thought of naming this post "Herc Hits Tellico", LOL.

Hey Jon and Chris. Paul and I had planned this for quite awhile as a "test" run. April 13th is still going to be the "real" prerun. You are welcome to come, but I was serious that I will not take a chance at any of us absorbing any legal liability, and I insist that we follow the new board rules and that if you are under 18 that you only come if you have a parent with you. That's a good thing anyway. You'll get them hooked on the sport too :D Also, Tellico is run by the U.S. Forest Service and has signs posted at the entrances that anyone 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult.

PS/ We are still going to do a writeup on our run, but I wanted to post in this thread a little of what Paul and I learned during the trip. Here's Paul going up the ledge on Peckerwood. He got to try out his new winch :D


  • 7ledgea.jpg
    97.4 KB · Views: 308


I will try Slickrock again, but only if I have my front locker;) One of the big problems with it is just getting to the rock itself.


The obstical at the river crossing on 5 used to be (now get this) the "by-pass":D

LET'S GO TO TELLICO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Let's Go to Tellico !!!

Gerald -

I was just pulling your leg about the "pre-write-up". Informative and well written as usual.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you stated "be prepared to be passengers" for guys with near stock vehicles. I know weather will be a deciding factor in how far some guys can go on those trails.

Rick -

Gerald and I walked down to the slickrock obstacle from Trail #8, and pretty much wrote it off - - even with my winch and new rock sliders, i just felt I couldn't get through it without carnage . . . Come April, who knows??

I like the idea of the cabins, do you have any contact info??

Here's a picture of Gerald coming off the ledge at Fain's Ford without any stacked rocks.

'91 Sport


  • gerald#1.jpg
    87.2 KB · Views: 285