Behind the Rocks is a tough but fashionable path simply south of Moab. Like most of the trails in Moab, the surroundings is superb, and the path retains your consideration with technical and downright laborious obstacles. It is lengthy and offers you the sensation that you just’re actually going someplace. The beginning is correct off Utah’s U.S. Route 191 south of city, and the top is close to the sand dunes south and west of city. For the Easter Jeep Safari 2021 we hit Behind the Rocks with Dynatrac and Falken tires. The reality is, more often than not we get pleasure from going up troublesome obstacles, however for no matter cause, Behind the Rocks has a bunch of inauspicious and technical descents—until you run it backwards, which might flip some very powerful downs into very troublesome climbs.
When you’ve been four-wheeling for any time frame, you most likely know that taking place an impediment is usually simpler than attempting to climb it. That is as a result of you’ve gravity working with you on a managed fall, and if tires slip, you get nearer to the place you’re headed slightly than halting ahead progress. Nonetheless, happening, whereas it may be simpler, is not all the time protected or comfy. The 2 main descents on Behind the Rocks Path are something however protected, simple, or comfy, and the value for failure or screwing up the managed fall is an uncontrolled roll over…or many.
The primary descent that can get your consideration is one known as the Excessive Dive, and it is not not like strolling the plank to the top of a diving board. The second main descent is White Knuckle Hill, and belief us once we say this: It is like driving off a 4×4-length cliff. Each obstacles take some data of what to do, and whereas we’re right here to offer you ideas, what we are able to let you know in an article won’t ever substitute the eyes of a educated spotter or a second (or third) automobile to assist winch your rig down or add stability throughout your descent. It is a path the place you’ll undoubtedly need two lockers, a winch, and a very good spotter. Comply with alongside as we aid you get down on Behind the Rocks with ideas for descending the Excessive Dive and White Knuckle Hill.
The Excessive Dive on Behind the Rocks path in Moab ain’t no joke. The entire descent is lengthy and steep, with the precise Excessive Dive being nothing however a dropoff. The dropoff of the Excessive Dive is not a straight cliff; it has a crack and ledges that may assist—or damage, relying on the way you hit the impediment. The trick, in our expertise, is to begin in the midst of the impediment on the high and slowly, controllably creep down.
Then creep barely proper to the Excessive Dive. Having a spotter that is aware of the road here’s a should, and that you must belief and hearken to your spotter. The thought is you need the entrance axle to drop down onto the Excessive Dive. From there, slowly creep ahead because the nostril of the automobile factors increasingly more down, turning the rig vertical. You need to have the automobile in gear (most likely second in a low geared handbook) and be able to flooring it if issues get too mild within the rear.
Hold creeping alongside till you slide, and when the entrance tires hit the bottom beneath hopefully the rear wont need to go excessive. If it does, flooring it and hope for one of the best. If not, hold creeping and listening to your spotter. When you’ve got a low, long-wheelbase rig and you are feeling courageous, you may traverse the left aspect of the underside of the impediment. Quick-wheelbase rigs will need a rope or winch line as a security measure, and actually brief automobiles could need to go right down to the best of the Excessive Dive. They may get high-centered, however that beats rolling over ahead
Excessive Dive is not any joke. When you’ve got unhealthy brakes or lose brakes on the best way down, unhealthy issues can occur quick. Denny Ghiringelli misplaced brakes on the high of the Excessive Dive, about two-thirds of the best way down the impediment. What he did then was nearly excellent. First he yelled, “I’ve no brakes!” which gave these of us beneath an opportunity to get out of the best way. He then drove down the ultimate drop as slowly and as managed as he might.
Sadly, that wasn’t enough to keep his immaculate M38A1 Jeep from rolling, and rolling hard. Luckily, everyone was able to get out of the way and Denny was fine thanks to a well-built roll cage that did its job. Many things could have been different if his cage wasn’t as stout, or if he hadn’t yelled out warnings before everything went downhill fast. Once we made sure Denny was OK and dealt with any fluid spills, we quickly and carefully winched the Jeep back on its wheels. Denny then drove the Jeep out of the trail. One of Denny’s front brake lines had come apart, causing the loss of brakes. It could have been a bad part, or it could have gotten pulled apart when the Jeep flexed earlier on the trail.
There’s no good way to say this: If you choose to go down White Knuckle Hill, you will fall at one point or another. You must have a good roll cage or at least a roll bar and descend on a winch. Again, you will want a good, trusted spotter who knows the line. Creep down the top of the obstacle to the main drop, staying perpendicular to the ledge. You want both front tires and later both rear tires dropping off at the same time.
Many folks in our group with weak tire carriers removed their rear-mounted spares because as your rear axle and bumper drop off the ledge, half the weight of your vehicle will go onto the spare tire. We also used winches to lower shorter Jeeps off the ledge. This helps ensure that the front stays out from under the rear of the vehicle and avoids a forward roll that could be devastating. We’ve also seen vehicles with long rear hangover (like a new Gladiator) use a sturdy traction ramp to help keep the rear bumper from dragging on the top of the ledge. Rocks stacked in the bottom are pretty much a must for coming off this one. Take it easy and slow, be ready to drive out of a roll if the rear feels light, and take your time. A roll here could be very devastating. –Additional photos by Michael Stickney