Hell’s Revenge is some of the most exciting off-road trails available anywhere. It is a slickrock trail that is only suitable for 4WD vehicles and drivers who have the experience and guts to take on the route. There are ways around many of the most difficult spots if you are so inclined. There are many steep climbs and teeth-grinding descents that, when combined with the sun-bleach, wind-blasted terrain, gives the area its name.
Dan Mick Tour
Hell’s Revenge is located just north of Moab, Utah between the Sand Flats Road and the Colorado River. If you don’t have the requisite vehicles and willingness to risk it, then the easiest way to have a careful adventure here is to hire a guide to take you through it. That is how we saw it, using Dan Mick’s Guided Jeep Tours. I can’t speak highly enough for our overall experience. Dan Mick has been a pioneer of the trails through Hell’s Revenge and his is a family operated business where you are sure to get the best experience. Some other operators don’t use the top-notch jeeps and experienced drivers Dan Mick has, and you may not get to take on the more adventurous paths if you use one of them.
We were picked up at our motel in Moab – my family of four just fit in the jeep with our driver. It was a three hour tour that begins not very far from Moab. My group included two teenagers, and they had a ball. If you are not familiar with this kind of 4WD rides, you will go places in the jeep that you did not know were possible.
The terrain will be familiar to anyone who has spent any time in the Moab area. The sandstone rock is smooth, called slickrock by cowboys in the old days where riding on such a surface was difficult for their horses. The sandstone actually give really good grip to good shoes and tires that makes the steep route through the buckled terrain possible.
The first time you approach a steep climb you will catch your breath. The black tracks of thousands of prior trips along the rock provide some comfort, but when you are leaning back in your seat, you’ll wonder if you aren’t going to slide backwards down the cliff. But the rubber tires and experienced drivers will navigate you safely along.
The views are dramatic, with the La Sal Mountains visible to the east and the looming plateau where Arches National Park lies to the west with steep cliffs leading down to the Colorado River. The black path you will be traveling winds over the terrain in a sinuous pattern and it is easy to marvel at the path. This may be the most exciting drive you ever have.
The route will include a stop to see dinosaur tracks and another for a nice view of the Colorado River far below. But the main attraction will be the challenge of the ride. It is like a slow-motion roller coaster, and I mean that in a wonderful way. This is better than a day at any amusement park I have ever been too.
The most famous stretch you’ll drive is Hell’s Gate. The ride down is steep, but the trip back out is insane. We watched each jeep in our little cavalcade make the trip one at a time, and when we went, it was incredible how steep we were able to navigate, with undulating rocks making the short ride all the more challenging.
The jeep ride in Hell’s Revenge with Dan Mick’s is an excellent example of a careful adventure. The risk is minimal but the payoff is incredible.
To see a hi-res gallery from our incredible experience, go here.
To see more things to do in Utah, go here.