Trail Report - Hell's Revenge

Report and photos by: Randy L. Wheeler & Vance Anderson

Hell's Revenge - Moab's Premier Slickrock Trail

Trail Rating: 4+
Location: The Hell's Revenge trail is about a mile northeast of Moab between Sand Flats Road and the river.
Trail Condition: Sandy with long stretches of slickrock, rock ledges, broken sand and sandy dirt.
Obstacles: Tip Over Challenge and Rubble Trouble
Approx. Mileage: 16 total (12 off-road)

Well after a long road trip from California, we arrived at our destination of the Slick Rock RV park in Moab Utah. Our first trail run of the week was set for the following morning. We met up with the group at the staging area at the Branding Iron restaurant. After some quick introductions the group was assembled and we were off to the trailhead. Our trail leader for the run was Brent Rowley of the Red Rock 4-Wheelers. During the short run to the trailhead, Brent explained some of the basic trail rules and initiated the introductions. The start of the trail takes you past the Dump Bump on your left and on to the trailhead. Once at the trailhead, our group of 48 rigs stopped to lock in and air down.

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Moab Slickrock Steve & Teressa Rich of South Jordan, Utah On the trail with the La Sal Mountains in the background

The Hell's Revenge trail traverses some of Moab's finest slickrock. Right from the start, the trail heads up onto the steep slickrock. Steve and Teressa Rich, from South Jordan, Utah, were behind us in their red and yellow 1988 YJ. The detroit-locked Dana 35 and the front ARB-locked Dana 30 helped turn their 33-inch BFG MTs up the steep slickrock.

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Pucker in Mickey's Hot Tub

The Hell's Revenge Trail follows mostly slickrock with yellow painted flames as marker indicators. Numerous long steep climbs and equally steep descents are the order of the day. As the trail winds through the landscape, the first major obstacle is Mickey's Hot Tub. This deep bowl is a challenge just getting into, let alone out of. Sam Purcell in his 1978 CJ7 almost rolled going into the tub and actually kissed his roll bar against the right side wall as he entered the Tub. Once straightened out, Sam fired up his 360 V8 engine and hit the go pedal. With a deep rumble, Sam powered his way almost out of the bowl before the crowd was showered with flying parts and pieces. The damage was extensive: broken front right hub, broken rear u-joint, broken left front axle u-joint, rear differential yoke and broken traction bar! To quote Sam, "I didn't break the front driveshaft... that's unusual." Within minutes, Sam and a few others started tearing the broken pieces off and replacing the front hub while Sam tore into the rear end. This downtime gave us all a chance to relax, eat lunch and enjoy the spectacular surroundings.

After Sam was fixed up, several other rigs attempted the Hot Tub. One rollover and one near rollover later, the group was on its way. The first downhill section after Mickey's Hot Tub is a steep crawl down a narrow ridge. There are yellow painted lines that guide the driver on the right line. Too far right of left would mean possible roll over.

From here, the trail winds its way along some sandy two-track and slickrock. The group slithered its way along the ridgetops as if it were a long snake.

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Pucker gettin a little "factor" Steep slickrock fin Catch'n some air in the Tub

The next obstacle was Tip Over Challenge. This obstacle is a short rock hill with a sandy start and several stairsteps to the top. Most rigs made it up this without much trouble, although there were quite a number of rigs who ended up sliding sideways and lifting the rubber towards the sky. One rig almost rolled before Brent and and a few others held his front end down so the driver could back down and try a different line. One by one, our group ascended this obstacle. Our group continued on and up Rubble Trouble towards the end of the trail at the base of Lion's Back.

It was another incredible Moab day with clear blue skies and incredible views of the surrounding snow-capped La Sal mountains. As usual the Red Rock 4-Wheelers' trail crew was awesome and many new friendships were initiated on the trail. Just another day in that 4-wheelers heaven we all call... Moab!!!


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Tip Over Challenge Hell's Revenge Trail Hell's Revenge Trail

For more pictures, be sure to check out Gallery Section in the related links.