Trip Reports

Rock Crawling at Area BFE, Moab Utah | UTV Guide

Rock Crawling Area BFE
in our 2011 Kawasaki Teryx

2011 Kawasaki Teryx Build Project
Phase One – 2011 Kawasaki Teryx Buildup

I picked up a brand new 2011 Kawasaki Teryx back in late February, and it has been a non-stop quest to get a bunch of work done to it in time for my annual trip to Moab Utah. The goals for this build project are extreme suspension, lightweight, performance and trail capability. I really like the Kawasaki Teryx as a build platform because its’ v-twin engine has great power potential, there are some very nice long-travel kits available, the chassis is stout and aftermarket products are plentiful.

With phase one of my build complete, I showed up in Moab with less than 10 miles on the odometer, and the only testing consisted of hitting a few speed bumps in my neighborhood.  Not an ideal way to start out on a wheeling adventure 15 hours from home, but I was confident in the components. The first three days in Moab, we conquered Poison Spider Mesa & Golden Spike, Steel Bender and Cliff Hanger. I was thrilled with how capable the Teryx was in the rocks.

Kawasaki Teryx crossing the Golden CrackKawasaki Teryx on Posion Spider Mesa
Wheeling our Teryx on Poison Spider Mesa and Golden Spike

With three days of wheeling, our attention turned to what to do for our fourth and final day in Moab. The group started talking about “Area BFE“.  I had heard of this place after this year’s Easter Jeep Safari. Lots of activity and events are held there and it piqued my interest.

Area BFE is an offroad park that is most well known within the Jeep and rock buggy crowd, but it is also a perfect place to explore in your UTV. The park was created by a few individuals that had a vision to create a place where people could go off-roading without the threat of being kicked off of a fun little playground. The area opened in 2004, and since then they have been working to make trails, a camping area and many other fun destination points on the property.

We locked in on Area BFE for our Thursday run and I was really excited about doing a little more extreme trails with my Teryx. In our group for the day were my friends Bob in his RZR, Dave in his RZR XP, Reid in his full tilt Teryx, Joey D in a LT Teryx, Dean in another LT Teryx, Jeff Knoll of King of the Hammers fame in a bone stock Teryx, Casey Currie in another full-tilt Teryx and Woody from in his nicely setup RZR. The small group was a nice change to the day before where we had 26 UTVs running Cliff Hanger.

Jeff and Woody had played around at Area BFE in 4x4s previously, so they led the charge and we headed for Greed Day.

Green Day is one of the moderate trails at Area BFE, but with a few optional lines it was tougher than Poison Spider Mesa, Steel Bender or Cliff Hanger.

Kawasaki Teryx on Greed Day Trail, Area BFE
I came super close to rolling on this obstacle – Green Day Trail, Area BFE

Other than almost rolling on one obstacle (I am sure it was driver error), I was super thrilled with my Teryx and loved the challenges offered by this trail. We ran the whole loop and ended at the start of another trail called Helldorado. The trail is probably all of 1/3 of a mile long, so we got out and walked it first. There was a broken Toyota at the start of the trail. It had huge tires and was stuck right in the first obstacle. At this point, I wasn’t too sure that I wanted to even run the trail with my brand new Teryx, so I walked along with an eye on taking pictures of the others instead.  Other than the first obstacle, there were a few more that looked pretty nasty, then a waterfall at the end that was impassable without winching.

I watched Woody, Casey, Reid and Dean go through the first obstacle and I guess I got caught up in the moment and decided I might as well go for it too.

Kawasaki Teryx on Helldorado Trail, Area BFEKawasaki Teryx on Helldorado Trail, Area BFE
Start of Helldorado Trail, Area BFE

Surprisingly enough, I made it though the first obstacle without assistance other than a spotter.  I think the long shocks coupled with the +5″ suspension and traction from the Pit Bulls were the difference.

Kawasaki Teryx on Helldorado Trail, Area BFEKawasaki Teryx on Helldorado Trail, Area BFE

We made it through a few more obstacles, then the the trail got easier until the waterfall at the end.

The waterfall at the end is pretty much impassable for UTVs and most full-size 4x4s so that wasn’t really a challenge.   Pictures don’ really do it justice at all. Definitely felt a little uncomfortable knowing you were going over if the line broke.

Waterfall on Helldorado Trail, Area BFEHelldorado Trail, Area BFE
Winching up the waterfall on Helldorado Trail, Area BFE

Area BFE was big fun, and we only put a dent into what you can do out there. If you are going to Moab, and have some extra time, put it on your to-do list. Whether you go for the more extreme trails or just want to cruise, there is something for everyone.

I had a great experience in Moab once again. Always great wheeling, and I meet several super cool people each year. Just wish I could stay longer. And as far as my new Teryx goes, phase one of the build has completely exceeded my expectations. My gears have been turning since I left Moab on what do to next. I know for sure that I will be talking with Muzzys about a big bore engine, and I really want to check out some 30″ tires. I live in northern California with the world famous Rubicon Trail in my backyard, so I know that there will be some rock crawling in my summer plans. Hopefully the rain will stop soon so we will be able to get to the trail head sometime soon.

Here are a few highlights of the phase one build:

  • The suspension is a +5″ LSR XTR-F kit. This setup utilizes bolt-on shock towers front and rear that enables 8.5″ and 10″ Fox shocks with Position Sensitive dampening. I have the ride height setup a little higher for the rocks and it is just about perfect. With the rear sway bar removed, the shocks are flexing really well and the ride is very plush (I set the compression adjustment soft for rock crawling).
  • Power steering from Wicked Bilt is also super nice. Once you drive a UTV with power steering, you will know what I am talking about. Especially in the rocks, steering effort is greatly reduced and makes driving much more effortless. Also no worry about ripping a thumb off when you hit a big rock without notice.
  • I am running 26.5″ Pit Bull Rocker tires on DFR Baja Crippler wheels. This setup gives me a bit more ground clearance, and the tires grab the rocks real well. I may look into something taller for the rocks, but I am torn because the Pit Bulls have incredible traction. A set of 31/10.50/R15 Growler LT’s may be in my future…
  • Factory UTV 1/2″ UHMW skids and rocker guards are key to protecting the underside of my Teryx. Unlike aluminum, UHMW helps soften the hits but is stout enough to last. I may add a few pieces of 1″ box to the underside of the frame to support the skid better. There are areas that could use some backing, and with repeated abuse even 1/2″ UHMW will suffer without proper backing.
  • I put my Warn RT40 winch to the test on Cliff Hanger. There were a few spots that were a bit of a challenge for some and I winched a good dozen times over 3 different obstacles. The RT40 never flinched.
  • The v-twin Teryx powerplant has a nice rumble to it, and with the addition of a Muzzys exhaust, it just sounds awesome! One really cool feature is the flexibility of this exhaust. You can run open, with a Quiet Core, or with Muzzys’ exclusive Whisper Core. When trail riding and rock crawling, I really like the Whisper Cores. Exhaust noise is toned way down and it only takes a minute to swap them in/out.
  • The Teryx has been shortened to about 107″ overall with a bed that was bobbed and narrowed. This give the Teryx a sportier look, but also creates a much better departure angle when rock crawling. Roggy Enterprises did an incredible job taking my vision and executing the design that is strong and simple.
  • Seats and harnesses – I installed a set of Beard Fuel seats and Beard harnesses. The seats are comfortable and provide ample containment. They are also real tall and provide good head support and protection. The harnesses are 5-point, but I was just running the lap in the slow moving rocks.
  • CBR Radiator was installed to help with extra cooling. Although I don’t really need the extra cooling capacity now, I plan to upgrade to a big bore Muzzys engine, and don’t want to worry about temps in the dunes. The radiator is a complete bolt-up replacement for the factory unit, but provides more cooling capacity.

2011 Kawasaki Teryx Build Partners:

Follow our build at:2011 Kawasaki Teryx Build Project

Area BFE:

Area BFE, Green Day and Upper HelldoradoArea BFE, Green Day and Upper HelldoradoArea BFE, Green Day and Upper HelldoradoArea BFE, Green Day and Upper Helldorado
More information: Area BFE

Since Area BFE is private property, they cannot charge an entry fee without the county getting way too far into their business. Instead, Area BFE depends on donations from users to enhance and maintain the area. Please donate, and also treat the property better than you would your own so we can continue to have the privilege to use this area.

How to get to Area BFE:

From Moab, go south on Highway 191 approximately 13 miles. Take a left on Pole Canyon Rd. which is just opposite to the road to Behind the Rocks. The turnoff is just after the passing lane comes to an end. The parking lot for Area BFE is in about three miles on a maintained dirt road.

Trail Description: Green Day

  • Trail Rating: Intermediate to Expert
  • Description: Two distinct lines, intermediate and expert. At least 14 Expert obstacles are present. Bypasses for difficult obstacles.
  • Requirements: Min. 33″ tires, at least a rear locker and a winch.

Trail Description: Helldorado

  • Trail Rating: Expert
  • Description: The Famous Helldorado Trail. Prepare for damage!
  • Requirements: Min. 37″ tires, Lockers, Winch, spare parts possible, a welder, and SPOTTER!
  • Do not attempt alone!


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