Hell’s Revenge (Otherwise Known as “One day My Wife Will Get Hers”)

by Charlie

For many, a trip to Moab wouldn’t be complete without a drive through the nearby national parks, and taking in the absolutely incredible topography. With its sheer rock faces and incredible red color, it truly is a sight to behold. If you haven’t been to Moab and the parks, do yourself a favor and put it on your bucket list.

But taking a look around Moab you are likely to notice something else – hundreds of Jeeps and Razor ORVs buzzing around like mosquitos on a humid summer night. Are they just showing off by driving through town with exhaust so loud it would be a ticketable offense in 49 states? Nope – the other gem of Moab is the miles and miles of offroad trails. But why would we care about offroad trails? We are just in a clunky RV.

We knew when we were shopping for an RV we would need a vehicle to transport us around while at our destination as the RV is much too large to easily take into town. So what do you do? You tow a vehicle – and there are a couple options when determining what you will tow and how you will tow it. I’ll save the towing how-to for another blog post and just get right to the point.

I knew a Jeep Wrangler would be the best tow vehicle (“toad” in RV lingo) for us – and I told Reggie just that. What she likely didn’t know was I didn’t have plans to buy just a stock Wrangler – but one that is trail ready. Ideally lifted. Ideally with oversized tires. Ideally with numerous tow points, lights and a winch, you get the point. Oh and ideally in my second favorite color – grey (or Anvil, as Jeep calls it).

So while we were driving to Moab I mentioned to Reggie that I would like to take the Jeep out on one of the off-road trails. “Everyone is invited,” I said, but I wasn’t sure who would truly be interested. To my surprise she said ok – but I believe her reasoning was less about the adventure and more about the prospect of being stuck with the two kids for hours on end without backup. Either way – I set our course for one of the most famous trails in Moab – Hell’s Revenge.

Now for those unfamiliar with off roading, a challenging trail isn’t just a dusty forest service road. It is a trail that requires precision, focus, and exact tire placement, but what it doesn’t require is speed. Hell’s Revenge is a journey over slick rock – monuments of such incredible form that their sheer beauty alone gives you chills. But strap yourself into a capable 4WD and creep over these steeps and, well, you may pee yourself – and Reggie did nearly just that on our first obstacle, “Baby Lion’s Back,” also known as “The Practice Run.”

We entered Hell’s Revenge rec area, paid our $5, and headed towards the trail. I wasn’t really sure where the trailhead was so we first started down a gravel path and came upon an obstacle called Baby Lions Back. Now if you haven’t heard of Lion’s Back in Moab – put that in your Google machine and watch a few videos. The land has since been purchased by private developers and is closed – but what we encountered is a smaller version that is very similar.

We pulled up to Baby Lion’s Back and I could sense Reggie’s distress as we were going to attempt to climb this thing. Then she verbalized it and I realized she was a little freaked out. Now Stewart in the back was all for it – cheering me on – and I believe that helped calm some nerves. So, having already aired the tires down to 20 PSI, I put Storm into 4-low and started our ascent.

Here we go!

It was frickin AWESOME! The Jeep climbed the slick rock with ease – Reg was ready to puke – and Stewart couldn’t stop giggling at the thrill. We stopped at the top and I got out to take some pics.

Future Jeepers

After this mini obstacle, we found the actual trailhead and started on our way, over similar obstacles. After only about 15 minutes, Reggie started feeling more comfortable. The steep climbs didn’t really faze her much – and I kept looking for more and more difficult terrain to conquer.

Now, there were some limits. Devil’s Hottub wasn’t one I was willing to attempt. Not without another vehicle to help pull me out if needed. Nor Hell’s Gate.

We spent several hours creeping over rock, chatting with strangers, and overall just really enjoying the day.

I believe I may have converted the wife into an offroad addict.

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