Steep, loose, and rocky are just a few adjectives to describe Dickey Bell. This adrenaline-filled Jeep Badge of Honor trail in the Uwharrie National Forest will test your rig to the fullest, especially if you are mildly built. Stock rigs will have an extreme challenge on their hands. This trail is famous for its one obstacle with many line choices, in which there is no easy way up, and turning around mid-way is not an option. If you have just one day to explore the Uwharrie National Forest and consider yourself an adrenaline junkie, Dickey Bell should be on your shortlist. This trail is great for anyone who wants to take it to the next level of wheeling and loves to challenge themselves and their rigs.
Trail Difficulty and Assessment
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
The climb at Waypoint 8 gives this trail the 5 rating with multiple line options varying from 5 to 7 in difficulty.
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The hardest part of the trail that you
cannot bypass - you have to drive it.
The hardest part of the trail that is
purely optional - you can bypass it.
Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 24" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 24" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 54" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.Read More about our Rating System
Dickey Bell is comprised of two types of surfaces. On the flatter portions, the trail is mostly packed dirt. On the notorious steep part of the trail, it is loose rock. This trail is a straight-through trail which you will want to run from the southern trailhead and head north to ensure you ascend the steep rocky incline for which this trail is known. This trail has about 300 feet of elevation gain throughout the entirety of the trail. The one main loose, steep obstacle along this trail will test any rig as there are many line choices, and even the easiest line will pose a challenge for a mildly built rig. This trail is great for anyone who wants a challenge to get the adrenaline pumping. The hill climb is no joke! Careful decision-making and a good spotter will both play a role in making it to the top with minimal scraping.
1. Trailhead (0
Dickey Bell at the southern end starts off of Dutch John Road on the lefthand side. Look for the red diamond with the 91 on it to denote TR91.
2. Steep Descent (0.01
Directly after the start of the Dickey Bell trail, you will approach a steep descent best done in a lower gear.
3. Intersection - Stay Left (0.04
Coming off the descent stay left at the intersection. The red directional arrows on the trees will assist in wayfinding.
4. Right on Trail 91 (0.08
Just before the stop sign turn right onto TR91 to continue on Dickey Bell trail. The red arrow and 91 diamond signage keep you on the correct track.
5. One-Lane Bridge (0.17
Cross the one-lane bridge and be aware of potential oncoming traffic.
6. Intersection with Seasonal Gate and Campsite (0.35
Here the trail crosses 6584 Green Gap Shores and seasonal gates will close for the winter. The first available dispersed campsite is on the right after crossing 6584.
7. Optional Bypass (0.61
The first rock obstacle of the trail presents a hard line to the right with the bypass on the left.
8. Beginning of Steep Loose Climb (0.78
You have reached the start of the toughest obstacle on Dickey Bell. There are many line options on this steep climb, from the start, you can proceed by taking the route to the left or the right as they quickly join back together and will both include various ledges. Careful decision-making and a good spotter will both play a role in making it to the top with minimal scraping.
9. Top of Steep Climb (0.88
The second climb to the top of Dickey Bell gives you two options, one is full of ledges to crawl while the other looks mild but is filled with small loose rocks that could make traction an issue on the steep grade. During mapping, our team chose the ledge route. At the very top of the climb, there is room to park for a second and take a break or watch additional vehicles tackle the obstacle.
10. Campsite (1.03
Just past the climb is the second dispersed campsite on the trail with well-used fire rings.
11. Optional Obstacle (1.37
An optional rock ledge obstacle will be on the right side of the trail with the bypass to the left.
12. Bermed S-Turn (2.17
A tight S-turn will require you to cut hard driver, larger tires may rub on this one.
13. Campsite (2.63
The final dispersed campsite along Dickey Bell is on your left, look for the fire ring at this spacious site.
14. Seasonal Gate at Intersection - Continue Straight (2.89
At this intersection, you will cross over Dutch John Road and continue straight.
Green diamonds and stake signage denote a non-motorized vehicle trail that crosses Dickey Bell, be aware and share the trail.
16. Rocky Mountain Loop - Trail Ends (3.29
Dickey Bell ends as it intersects with the Rocky Mountain Loop trail. Taking a right (east) will quickly take you back to Dutch John Road and the Dutch John Trailhead where a parking lot and vault restroom are available.
Dispersed camping is allowed along Dickey Bell at Waypoints 6, 10, and 13, with the last being the most spacious.
There are multiple improved campgrounds in the immediate area, including Badin Lake, Art Lilley, and Arrowhead Campgrounds.
Travel north on 109 for 1.7mi and turn left on SR1153 Reservation Road. Turn right onto 576 Moccasin Creek Road after the Hunt Camp parking lot. Continue for 1.5mi and take a left onto 553 Dutch John Road. Trailhead (TR91) will be roughly 2.75mi down the road on the driver's left.
I really had no idea what to expect along this trail but let me just say, pictures just never do it justice. We ran this with a stock JLU Rubicon and a JLU Rubicon with a 2.5" lift with 35's. Both rigs took the easiest lines of the harder line choices (not the bypasses, which were hard in their own right). Both rigs used lockers to get up and over. The tension was palpable spotting both rigs up to the top, but the feeling of joy and satisfaction was overwhelming as we neared the top. This Jeep Badge of Honor trail is not to miss! I had a great time. As an avid camper, this trail fit all the bills with some nice camp spots to boot. I would recommend this trail to anyone looking to take their wheeling to the next level!
From the Community
Be the first to ask a question!
Hi I’m Ariana. I grew up driving the dirt roads of south eastern Colorado, lived in Denver for 7 years, and now currently reside in Salt Lake City, UT. My intent is always to find good camp spots to spend the weekend outside of the city!
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