Moab, Utah (Grand) Technical Rating: 6-8
Last Updated: 02-25-2017
Sand Flats Road
Fins and Things, Porcupine Rim, Potato Salad Hill, Upper Porcupine Rim, Mill Creek Rim West , Mill Creek Rim East
Sand Flats Recreation Area / BLM
Hells Revenge Highlights
Hells Revenge is an extremely popular trail in Moab and is considered a must do for many. 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, Hells Revenge offers a few optional obstacles; Hells Gate, The Hot Tubs, The Escalator, and Tip Over Challenge. The Overlook also offers a great view of the Colorado River. This one should be on your bucket list.
Technical rating: (6-8) Moderate-Difficult
Heavy rock and/or severe ruts. Rocks exceeding hub height frequent. Shelves to 12". Deep mud or uphill mud sections. Steep grades to 25 degrees and can be loose or rocky. Water crossings may exceed 30" in depth. Side hill to 30 degrees. One vehicle wide. Body damage possible. Experience needed. Vehicle Modifications helpful.
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Directions to Trailhead
From City Market in the middle of town, head North on South Main Street (191) for 0.1 miles and turn right onto E 300 S. Continue for 0.4 miles and the road will come to a T, turn right onto Fourth E Street. Continue 0.1 miles and turn left onto E Mill Creek Drive. Continue straight and the road will eventually turn into Sand Flats Road as you pass by a graveyard. After 1.7 miles you will reach the entrance of Sand Flats Recreation Area. There is a gate that you must stop and pay a fee at. Just past the gate, you will see a large parking lot. The trailhead is at the other end of the parking lot below the rock faces.
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, Hells Revenge offers a few optional obstacles; Hells Gate, The Hot Tubs, The Escalator, and Tip Over Challenge. The Overlook also offers a great view of the Colorado River. This trail definitely gives you a taste of what Moab has to offer.
1: Trailhead (0.0mi)
The trailhead can be found just past the entrance to Sand Flats Recreation Area in a parking area on the left. 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 (0.5mi)
A great view of the iconic Lions Back and Dinosaur Tracks
3: Steep Climb (0.8mi)
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.
4: Road Split (1.0mi)
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.
5: Bypass (2.0mi)
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.
6: Rocky Climb (2.1mi)
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 (2.5mi)
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.
9: Hells Gate
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.
10: Black Hole (3.5mi)
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.
11: Car Wash (3.5mi)
A popular picture spot, the Car Wash is a less intense hot tub and usually has water in the bottom making for great photos.
12: Hot Tubs (3.6mi)
"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 (4.0mi)
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 (4.1mi)
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.
15: Stay Right (4.1mi)
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 (4.5mi)
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 the tops of toppers. Once to the top, head to the right and it will take you back down to the main trail.
17: Tip Over Challenge (4.7mi)
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.
18: Spurs (4.9mi)
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.
19: Rocky Section and Ledges (5.3mi)
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.
There is a $5.00 access fee per vehicle to enter Sand Flats Recreation Area.
Camping and Lodging
There is no camping along the trail itself, however, there are many options available in and around Moab. In town, there are a lot of hotels and campgrounds for both RV and tent use. There are various places outside of Moab to primitive camp. The closest option to Hells Revenge is camping in Sand Flats Recreation Area. They offer 120 campsites open year round and are on a first come, first serve basis. You must camp in designated sites in one of the 9 campgrounds. Most offer picnic tables, metal fire rings, and vault toilets nearby. You must bring in all of your own water as none is available there. There is an entrance fee to the area.
Questions & AnswersNo questions have been submitted.
Offroaded on 02-25-2017
Full Trail Video
Offroaded on 06-04-2016
Low Temperature: 66° F
High Temperature: 95° F
To finish up our trip to Moab during Rock Therapy 2016, we decided to take it easy on our last day there. We got a casual start to the day getting there around 10am. The parking lot was already full of fellow Toyota's, some Jeeps and a handful of UTV trailers. The trail was pretty populated with bikers on the Slickrock Trail as well. They were entertained by everybody climbing up all the obstacles. This was the first time I've run the trail with all the new signage too. It's a great addition. Very clear directions and maps posted in various parts along the trail so it's nearly impossible to get lost now. We stopped and watched a few in our group make it up Hells Gate successfully. Continued on and a few tried the hot tubs. We didn't stick around up there too long because boy it was a hot one that day. We dropped down a bit lower off the rocks and ate lunch at the Escalator. A couple trucks nailed the line going up and did so without damage. Even eating in the shade of our trucks it was still super hot so we didn't stay long there either. Tip Over Challenge didn't claim any vehicles while we were there. The trail looked good and provided a fun time as always! We stopped for some well deserved milkshakes and walked downtown afterwards.
Offroaded on 05-22-2016
Conditions: Partially Cloudy
Low Temperature: 55° F
High Temperature: 75° F
This was my second time visiting Moab - what a magical place it is! The first time was 2 years ago and I rented a 2 door Jeep Rubicon on 33" tires and ran most of Poison Spider without any issues. For this past trip, I was able to run Fins & Things, Steel Bender and Hells Revenge with my buddy who has a 2006 Land Rover LR3 all done up. Saturday we ran Steel Bender but I was surprised not to see that many other vehicles on the trail, however on Sunday we ran Hells Revenge and encounter many more enthusiast on the trail all having a great time. I skipped some of the major obstacles like Hells Gate & Escalator but did most of the other obstacles without any damage. Knowing that I had to drive my Jeep home 650 miles back to CA made me play it safe rather than be sorry.
Offroaded on 03-20-2016
Conditions: Partially Cloudy
Low Temperature: 35° F
High Temperature: 68° F
Camping GPS Coordinates:
38° 34' 59.23"N
109° 29' 7.82"W
The ledge to be climbed for WP3 is probably the most dangerous part of the trail as it has no bypass and you will likely slide on your skid plates even with a lift and large tires. Pick a decent line and stick with it.
For the fourth of July, the trail's end is closed and the parking area at the end unavailable (depending on timing vs fireworks display) for a few days leading up to the 4th. The trailers launching the fireworks are placed in the parking area and the trigger wires running from the control panel to the trailers snake across the parking lot.