2016 Moab Experience at EJS Day 3: Behind The Rocks Trail Report
Behind The Rocks trail offers challenging terrain with a big bang
We’re here at the 2016 Easter Jeep Safari held in Moab, Utah, and this year is the 50th Anniversary of what is arguably the biggest off-road event in the world. If you aren’t here, you are going to wish you were. The town and trails are filled with more built Jeeps and other 4x4s than you have seen in one place in your entire life. On Day 2 of the Moab Easter Jeep Safari Week we ran Behind The Rocks Trail, a 7-rated trail. Here’s what we thought.
The land “behind the rocks” is an elevated region south of town that contains huge red rock (Navajo Sandstone) domes, high plains dotted with juniper, and trails that are a mixture of sand and rocks. Lasting about 7 hours ¬– rendezvous and takeoff for the trailhead was at 8:00 am and by the time we were back on pavement it was about 3:00 pm – the Behind The Rocks Trail took us on a sandy dirt road interspersed with rock outcroppings. These occasional rocky areas were either presented as shelves or a series of stairs to climb, and can be challenging. All of the very difficult sections had go-arounds for the inexperienced drivers. However, to an experienced driver, they are not a big deal, and offer a chance to test their driving skills, enjoy driving their own very capable 4x4, and to have a good time in some of America’s most beautiful countryside.
The highlights of this trail were many, and included a small but steep-sided dome of sandstone to crawl up and over, and a lunch stop at the bottom of another much larger red rock dome that had an arch in it. Our favorite part of the trail is also a Mason-Dixon Line of sorts. The obstacle called White Knuckle has no go-around and cleaved the group into two parts, those who were willing to attempt the 8-foot tall rock waterfall and those who were not. Those who “white knuckled” the vertical drop-off went on to a loop in the trail that eventually connected the main trail leading to the highway. Those who did not do White Knuckle stood as an audience on both sides of the sheer drop-off to cheer on and congratulate those who did, then turned their 4x4s around and did the trail backwards out to the highway.
Whether you “white knuckled” it or not, the Behind The Rocks Trail was one we would do again anytime. However, without that major obstacle, we would give this trail a 3 Rating. The four-wheeling was adventurous, challenging, and scenic – all the things we were looking for at the 2016 Moab Easter Jeep Safari.