yes a car can make that trek
the real question is , should it make it?
i have seen on that stretch...cars, suvs, wranglers, atv, horses.
mostly.... atvs and horses
if you take a car out there (and you can)
and it gets trashed
what do you tell the car rental company?
and is the insurance valid for off roading yes that area is considered off roading
i am such a nrevous nelly when it comes to me using other people's belongings (rental car included) i am not sure that I WOULD chance it.
Originally Posted by ffugitive
I have the same exact question and issue as you BigOldXJ. I am definitely getting mixed signals as to whether a car will do the trick or if I need a 4wd. What I am getting is there really is no one answer as it depends on (a) which roads we seek to take and (b) the amount of rainfall (i.e., the depth of the puddles). Specifically, I want to know about the road along the coast from the California lighthouse, down past the chapel and towards the first Natural Bridge.
Thanks for the replies. You guys have basically answered my question. I was wondering if the roads out there are perfectly smooth dirt roads suitable to cars or rugged roads suitable for 4x4's. It seems the consensus is a little bit of both!
It appears a car could make it but at a much higher risk of damage. Damage = $$$! Is the higher risk worth the $100 in savings? Probably not. To play it safe....I am just going to get an SUV!
I am also going to chime in and agree with Andrea. You could do that stretch in a car, but the road cconditions vary.
If it is dry and dusty, even the ruts are manageable as long as you take it slow.
If it has been rainy there is a really good chance there are going to spots that if not washed out are going to be larger than any pot hole you have seen in any big city.
Safest/best bet is an SUV. I think you said you were going to go with Royal? When renting from them we have had the Suzuki XL-7, Lexus RX300 & Wrangler. The Wrangler was beat up but ran. The other vehicles (Suzuki & Lexus) were in great condition and would get you anywhere you wish to go on the island with the EXCEPTION of the Natural Pool.
Last minute last summer we rented an SUV and Royal did not have anything available. We went with a Hyundai Santa Fe (nice comfortable vehicle as well) from Amigo and it was nearly new.
Druif beach, Boca Catalina, my patio at sunset, the North side road along the coast.
Last year we drove from the Natural Bridge to the Alto Vista Chapel stopping at the Gold Mine ruins and a few coves along the way. We did see a car out there and he was struggling to make it through a few low spots. He had to really pick a good line or he would have blown out a tire for sure.
I don't think the insurance from the rental agencies cover damage while off roading. If you take a car out there the chances of damaging it are far greater. Read the posts regarding insurance. There's some good information about how to make sure you are covered while offroading.
This year we're adding the California Lighthouse and the caves in the National Park to the trek. Should be fun. I really, really suggest the jeep though.