Ocean Pearl Road - The Gauntlet

Total Miles
0.6

Elevation

1.54 ft

Duration

0.5 Hours

Technical Rating

5

Moderate

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

The Gauntlet is a short section of Ocean Pearl Road in Carova/The Outer Banks that's a notorious stretch of water and mud pits. The depth and difficulty of the gauntlet depend largely on recent rainfall. Some of the pits can reach as much as 3 feet in depth at their centers, depending on rainfall. High clearance is required to successfully negotiate the full trail. Be cautioned that the pits can be much deeper than they look, and when in doubt, stick to the outside of the obstacle. Some obstacles have a high risk of becoming high-centered while passing through them. Encountering wild horses while running the gauntlet is a high probability, and local laws which require drivers to remain at least 50' feet from horses are strictly enforced.

Photos of Ocean Pearl Road - The Gauntlet

Ocean Pearl Road - The Gauntlet
Ocean Pearl Road - The Gauntlet
Ocean Pearl Road - The Gauntlet

Difficulty

Drivers can expect water up to 3 feet in depth, depending on recent rainfall. There is also deep mud, with a high risk of high-centering. Expect pinstriping if sticking to the outside of the water obstacles.

History

The Gauntlet is part of Ocean Pearl Rd, which is a county road in Carova, NC.

Technical Rating

5

Status Reports

Grant Kurtz
Mar 30, 2024
4x4
Open
Muddy/Wet
Long stretch of “hidden road” with probably 15-20 deep mud/sand holes. There aren’t really safe routes around them, the holes span the entire width of the road. Even the edges of the holes are deep, I drove through with a 2’ lifted wrangler on 35 MTs and ended up getting stuck once about halfway through. Put it in reverse and managed to back out of the hole, the tops of my front tires were submerged. Still a very fun drive if you’re already down there, there’s space to turn around if you don’t like the look of a hole.
John G
Apr 07, 2023
4x4
Open

Access Description

Carova is reachable only by taking the 4WD beach along NC-12.

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