Behind the Rocks

Moab, Utah

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This trail starts just south of the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area. This particular WSA is completely closed to motorized travel to preserve its incredible beauty. This fantasy land of Navajo sandstone fins and domes is perhaps the most photographed area in Moab. Between difficult obstacles are stretches of easy terrain and unique arches. The trail concludes with a wild descent through remote Hunters Canyon. Behind the Rocks’ most difficult obstacle—White Knuckle Hill—may be the most dangerous and terrifying obstacle in Moab. It’s akin to driving off a series of small cliffs. Many drivers attach a safety strap to the rear of their vehicle to avoid tipping forward and tumbling down the hill. Others do it cold turkey. Incredibly, some people actually turn around and drive back up. To make matters worse, White Knuckle Hill has no bypass. You must avoid this entire portion of the trail or turn around. Remaining obstacles are not much easier. High Dive and Upchuck are appropriately named. I’ve seen stock vehicles get through this trail, but not without a great deal of assistance and body damage. Lockers and extra high ground clearance are highly recommended. Even then, damage is possible. While landmarks and defined roads make route-finding manageable, the route is complex. Instructions must be followed carefully. Fortunately, if you get lost, the exit route is not far away.
Guide to Moab, Utah Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Moab, Utah Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails

by Charles A. Wells (FunTreks)

This trail starts just south of the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area. This particular WSA is completely closed to motorized travel to preserve its incredible beauty. This fantasy land of Navajo sandstone fins and domes is perhaps the most photographed area in Moab. Between difficult obstacles are stretches of easy terrain and unique arches. The trail concludes with a wild descent through remote Hunters Canyon. Behind the Rocks’ most difficult obstacle—White Knuckle Hill—may be the most dangerous and terrifying obstacle in Moab. It’s akin to driving off a series of small cliffs. Many drivers attach a safety strap to the rear of their vehicle to avoid tipping forward and tumbling down the hill. Others do it cold turkey.

Incredibly, some people actually turn around and drive back up. To make matters worse, White Knuckle Hill has no bypass. You must avoid this entire portion of the trail or turn around. Remaining obstacles are not much easier. High Dive and Upchuck are appropriately named. I’ve seen stock vehicles get through this trail, but not without a great deal of assistance and body damage. Lockers and extra high ground clearance are highly recommended. Even then, damage is possible. While landmarks and defined roads make route-finding manageable, the route is complex. Instructions must be followed carefully. Fortunately, if you get lost, the exit route is not far away.

©  Charles A. Wells/FunTreks. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Moab
Distance: 30
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Difficult
Duration: A full day
Season: Best in spring and fall
Local Maps: USGS Moab, Troughs Springs Canyon, Kane Springs
Driving Directions: Directions to Behind the Rocks

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Apr 2018