2013 Rally on the Rocks – Moab, Utah
By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net
The fourth annual Rally on the Rocks was held in beautiful Moab Utah, May 15-18, 2013. Moab offers incredible scenery and vistas like no place else on earth and the city opens its arms to welcome off-roaders to the area to experience it first-hand. The event offers trails for every level of enthusiast and continues to get bigger and better. From the beginner with no rock-crawling experience to the most challenging and demanding that test driver and machine. Each day offers numerous guided, UTV friendly, trails planned throughout the Moab area. Many include casual scenic routes and demanding technical routes for the most experienced operators.
Many of the trails leave directly from the arena with a police escort through Moab while others a trailer is necessary to get your UTV to the trailhead.
If you have never off-roaded in Moab, Rally on the Rocks is the best way to get your feet wet. Experienced guides and knowledgeable volunteers will help you select trails that fit your equipment and experience level. Plus the event brings UTV enthusiasts from around the country into one location and you will end up making friendships that will last for years. Moab is definitely a bucket list type of destination.
The outside vendor area at Spanish Trails Arena was packed with semis from Can-Am, Polaris, Arctic Cat and Kymco. They were all offering demo rides and I found many of them out on the trails as well.
And the inside area was packed full of vendors selling and installing just about anything you needed for your UTV. Our 2011 Kawasaki Teryx was in the STI Tire & Wheel booth while not on the trail.
Day One – Behind the Rocks
On Wednesday, I joined other editors for a media run on Behind the Rocks. Woody from RockCrawler.com was our guide in his super capable RZR and the guys from CampChef.com setup a catered lunch for us on the trail.
The trailhead for Behind the Rocks is just off of Highway 191 about 13 miles south of Moab. We trailered down and there is plenty of parking. The trail can be run in either direction, but running it backwards makes it a bit tougher.
Trail features include High Dive, Hummer Hill, White Knuckle, Roller Coaster and Hunter Canyon. Scenic points include Terra Cotta Warriors, Lone Rock, Balcony Arch and Picture Frame Arch.
Day Two – Hell’s Revenge
One day two, we joined up with Discount Tire for a run on Hell’s Revenge. To get to the trailhead, we followed a police escort from Spanish Trail Arena to about a mile northeast of Moab. There were so many UTVs on this run, that it was split into two groups and probably totaled 80 vehicles!
Hell’s Revenge is one of Moab’s most famous trails and offers great expanses of slick rock with steep ascents and descents, sharp turns and incredible views. Hell’s Revenge is not for the faint of heart, but if you follow the trail carefully and take the bypasses, it is an easy trail.
This year, Hell’s Gate, the bathtubs and The Escalator were all available to driver’s with the proper safety gear and vehicles with long travel, 6-point cages and 4-point safety harnesses.
Day Three – Steel Bender and Cliff Hanger
On day three, I joined up with Pro Armor, Jagged X and GBC to hit two trails in one day. First up was Steel Bender which is an end-to-end trail that starts northeast of town and ends near Ken’s Lake. Steel Bender trail follows an historic wagon route that works its way up from a beautiful canyon with a few creek crossings, up numerous steep ledges, and two challenging rocky climbs that have bypasses.
The trail is bordered by a wilderness study area, so it is critical to stay on marked routes at all times. Steel bender offers up some spectacular canyon views early in the trail, and then up close views of the La Sal Mountains.
Harlen from ATVRiders.com was my passenger.
Cliff Hanger definitely lives up to its’ name. The trail has some tough ledge-type climbs that will test your skills along the 4 1/2 mile trail. The end of the trail offers an incredible view of the Colorado River. Once again I was joined by Pro Armor, Jagged X and GBC. Aaron from PRP Seats jumped into my passenger seat for this ride as well.
The highlight for the trail (and for the trip) was on the way back to the trailhead from the end of the trail. I started running pretty fast through the obstacles and soon noticed that Kory from GBC Motorsports was hot on my tail. I turned it up a notch and we “raced” to the trailhead in about 15 minutes. I felt like I was back at King of the Hammers!
Moab is the best place to enjoy riding in your UTV. It offers mild to wild trails in difficulty, and every trail is surrounded by beautiful scenery only available in Moab.
Rally on the Rocks event offers trails for the beginner with incredible scenery and vistas to the most challenging and demanding that will be sure to test driver and machine. Each day they have numerous guided, UTV friendly, trails planned throughout the Moab area. Many including casual scenic routes and demanding technical routes for the most experienced operators.
Rally on the Rocks event headquarters is at the Old Spanish Trail Arena just minutes South of Moab, Utah on HWY 191. (3641 S Hwy 191, Moab, UT 84532)