Travel on this trail is a designated one way by the BLM. The route is clearly marked so be sure to follow the yellow flame symbols on the ground. It does criss-cross the Slickrock Trail so try not to get confused and be sure to stay on the correct trail. It's a wild rollercoaster ride over natural, petrified sand dunes, or "fins" as most people call them. If you take all the bypasses, it's not a very technical trail, however, it's not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of steep climbs and descents over the fins and some areas that you must drive very close to the edge of high cliffs which can be truly terrifying.
For those looking for some added fun and thrills, Hells Revenge offers a few optional obstacles; Hells Gate, The Hot Tubs, The Escalator, and Tip Over Challenge. These obstacles are for experienced drivers or people with great spotters.
For those looking for more of the mild and relaxing fun, The Overlook also offers a great view of the Colorado River.
This trail definitely gives you a taste of what Moab has to offer and can easily be said this is the poster child of Moab. With that said, some of the steep ups and downs are to a point that dragging bumpers might be required with vehicles with lower approach and departure angles. A stock Rubicon JLU can do the trail without touch bumpers but might require a spotter in a few spots to ensure the right line.
There is a $5.00 access fee per vehicle to enter Sand Flats Recreation Area.
The trailhead can be found just past the entrance to Sand Flats Recreation Area in a parking area on the left. There is plenty of space to park and air down. There is also a restroom here. The excitement starts right away when you climb a small fin.
2. Lions Back Overlook and Dinosaur Tracks (0.5 mi)
A great view of the iconic Lions Back and Dinosaur Tracks
This is one of the largest fins on the trail. The key is to keep your tires in the black marks while traveling up and maintain a steady speed. Wait for any vehicle in front of you to reach the top of the hill before you start up yourself.
Here you can make a choice on which way you want to go. The left route takes you up some more steep slickrock. The right route is a bit quicker. It is a little bumpier as it drops you into a little gully area filled with some rocks. There is also a fun obstacle you can climb if you go this way. It's a steep slickrock ledge that is often sandy so it provides a fun challenge. You can also bypass it to the left if you choose not to do it. The two roads meet back up immediately after this obstacle.
This is a bypass if you want to skip the Overlook and the Hot Tubs. It will meet back up with the trail just before you arrive at The Escalator.
This area has a few rocky ledges. There are multiple lines you can take that vary in difficulty. You also have the option of bypassing it completely. You'll find the bypass on the right just before you reach the hill.
7. Fork - Overlook Spur/Hells Gate (2.5 mi)
Taking the left route will continue you along the trail to the Hot Tubs. Going to the right will take you to The Overlook and the obstacle Hells Gate.
In the open area, if you continue straight, it will take you to The Overlook. Here you get a great view of the Colorado River.
Once you reach the open area about 0.4 miles down from the main route, you'll find the optional obstacle Hells Gate to the left. It's a kind of v-notch on the slick rock that can easily get you on three wheels and go end over end if you're not careful. You'll find the entrance to the West if you head straight towards the Overlook. You'll first have to drive down a bit of slick rock which will lead you to Hells Gate.
This is named for the shadow that constantly lurks under the large overhang of slick rock. This is also an area where you drive right along the edge of the large cliff. If you're nervous, focus on the black tracks in front of you, but if you are brave enough to look down, you will see the rusted remains of a vehicle down below.
A popular picture spot, the Car Wash is a less intense hot tub and usually has water in the bottom making for great photos.
"This area has two of the Hot Tubs, which are essentially deep holes that you can drive down into. Be careful when first driving into this area as one of the Hot Tubs is right next to the trail and one could easily drive into it on accident. You'll find an easier Hot Tub, The Car Wash, that most vehicles can do to the West. It's a steep drop into a flat area and then a steep drive back out. The other Hot Tub here, Devils Highway, is more difficult. The drive in is fairly smooth but it's a good idea to put a strap on the front of your vehicle if you attempt it. It's so steep that a vehicle can easily roll backwards onto its roof. As an added element of difficulty, there is usually water (more like sludge) in the bottom that makes your tires slick. The trail continues on to the left just after the Devils Highway Hot Tub. The most difficult one, Mickeys Hot Tub, is a short way up the trail further."
13. Mickeys Hot Tub (4 mi)
You'll find this hot tub a little further down the trail from the previous two. This one is the hardest of the three. It's a steep drop in and an almost immediate steep climb out.
14. Dragon's Tail (4.05 mi)
A very, very steep descent back onto a sandy area. The rocks are clearly marked with yellow lines in which you need to keep your tires between. A spotter is recommended to check your tire placement as it's very easy to mess up here, and there's no going back if you do.
This is where the first bypass from earlier meets the trail again. Stay right when you get here, otherwise, you'll do another loop back to the Hot Tubs!
16. The Escalator (4.5 mi)
After traversing the sands, you'll reach an area that's edged with log fences. You'll find The Escalator on the right. This is an optional obstacle. It's essentially a natural staircase, but each stair is a deep dip down. It's very technique sensitive and can cause vehicles to lay over onto their sides. It also has a tendency to take out rear corner lights and roofs. Once to the top, head to the right and it will take you back down to the main trail.
Photo 1 is the most technical spot of this obstacle. It is highly recommended that you hike up to this spot and figure out your line. For a lot of vehicles, something similar to photo 1 which is being high on the right will be required to climb out of it.
17. Tip Over Challenge (4.7 mi)
You can only guess what happens here a lot, judging by its name. This is also an optional obstacle. Short wheelbase vehicles will sometimes struggle here. The route skirts around a rock face and is steep and off camber. You can easily lift a tire and sometimes may slide sideways and end up rolling. The bypass is right at the bottom of the obstacle and will take you to the right.
Once you reach this area, there are a lot of previously used roads that may be confusing. Just stick to the dirt roads that look well-traveled.
Past this point, the trail gets pretty rocky. You can say that the lower rating is because all the ledges you must dropdown. More stock vehicles will have to pick perfect lines to avoid body damage.
19. Rocky Section and Ledges (5.3 mi)
An area of rocks and few ledges that can get you a bit tippy. Try and come off the ledges as straight as possible. Take your time and choose your lines carefully.
The trail ends in a large parking area that meets back up with Sand Flats Road. This is a good area to air back up in.