Hells Revenge

Moab, Utah (Grand County)

Last Updated: 07/20/2021
4.8 / 5 ( 30 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status:
Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Permit Information: Permit Required - Click Here
Difficulty: 6-8
( DIFFICULT - SEVERE )
Length: 7.66 miles
Highest Elevation: 4775 feet
Duration: About 4 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Moab
Nearest Town w/ Services: Moab
Official Road Name: Hells Revenge
Management Agency: Sand Flats Recreation Area
District: Sand Flats Recreation Area

Highlights

Highlight: Hells Revenge
Hells Revenge is an extremely popular slick rock trail in Moab and is considered a must do for many and is a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail. Hell's Revenge is 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 are 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, including the Car Wash and Micky's Hot Tube, then The Escalator, and Tip Over Challenge. The Overlook also offers a great view of the Colorado River from high up on the cliffs. If you only have to pick one trail in Moab, Utah, this is the one 4x4 trail you should pick. It is a bucket list kind of Jeep Trail.

Video

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
Concerns:
Summary:
The trail has many steep climbs and several off-camber areas throughout the trail giving it is rating. Now you can bypass most of the obstacles making the true required rating closer to a 2 or 3. But by doing this you will skip about half of the trail.

Technical Rating

MANDATORY
6
DIFFICULT
OPTIONAL
8
SEVERE
Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks less than 36" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 36" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 84" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.
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Community Consensus

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Description

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.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
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 (0.5 mi)
A great view of the iconic Lions Back and Dinosaur Tracks
3. Steep Climb (0.8 mi)
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 mi)
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 mi)
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 (2.1 mi)
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.
8. Overlook ( mi)
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 ( mi)
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 (3.5 mi)
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 (3.5 mi)
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 (3.6 mi)
"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.
15. Stay Right (4.1 mi)
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.
18. Spurs (4.9 mi)
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.
20. Trail End (6.6 mi)
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.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Moab, UT

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.

Camping

Not allowed
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.
Camping: Hells Revenge

Trail Reviews (39)

Questions & Answers (4)

Q: I've seen conflicting opinions but is Hells revenge doable bypassing the escalator in a stock suspension 2020 Tacoma? Bed rack, RTT and gear in bed (aprox weight 250-300 ls total). Protection = Front skid plat and rock sliders. Going to Moab in Nov.
–BRITT ALLEN (10/29/2020)
A: The escalator is an optional route. There are bypasses around all the hard obstacles. The hardest part of the required trail might be the backside dropped down to the end. All in all, we have seen a lot of people do this trail in stock vehicles. (Spotting might be required depending on your skill level and I would recommend looking at any spot you can't easily see the path)
–Josh Noesser (10/29/2020)
Q: Thank you for the prompt and clear answer. I have a bit of a planning fetish so input is appreciated. I love this app. Thank you again, Jim Britch.
–James Britch (08/27/2019)
A: Hope to see you out on the trail sometime. Enjoy!!!
–Josh Noesser (08/27/2019)
A: That's what we are here for! You are very welcome Jim!
–John (08/27/2019)
Q: Hi - It does not appear that my reply to your response made it through the system. I have a 2018 Tacoma TRD Pro with a 3 inch lift and 33 inch KO2s. I have the electronic traction control of MTS and CC. The PRO has a factory rear locker and I installed a front locker as well. I also have a 10,000 lbf winch on the front of the truck. I look forward to your thoughts.
–James Britch (08/27/2019)
A: Hey James, I agree with John. If you know your vehicle and how to pick a line, you should be fine. A spotter might help in a few spots. Just be aware you are a bit long and you will likely drag tail in a couple of spots. Have fun, and don't forget to air down.
–Josh Noesser (08/27/2019)
A: Hi James, we do not like to directly correlate a certain vehicle build with the ability to do a trail, but a combination of factors including driver ability and experience as well. I have personally seen a bone-stock 3rd gen Tacoma TRD do this trail with no issues. Personally, I have done it in a second-gen Tacoma on 33's with a 3" lift and no lockers without issue. If you are an experienced driver, I would say your vehicle can handle this trail.
–John (08/27/2019)
Q: What is meant by the various lift descriptions such as slight or large? What is meant by larger tires?
–James Britch (08/25/2019)
A: Main reason for the not specific terms is we can cover everyone from toyotas to jeeps to fords. What kind of vehicle do you have and I can let you know what I would recommend.
–Josh Noesser (08/25/2019)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.
For individual use only, not to be shared.