Trail Length: 9.4 miles
Low-End Rating: 4
High-End Rating: 5
This is what wheeling in Moab is all about. You can do this trail in a stock vehicle as long as you have decent approach angles in the front and back and good tires. You spend all day in sand or going up and down fins -- smooth, steep and long expanses of rock.
Try Baby Lion's Back near the entrance booth to the Sand Flats Recreation Area. It is on the left, past the entrance to Hell's Revenge. It's short but a fun introduction to driving on slickrock fins.
The trail is done in two sections, with the first section shorter and sandier than the second section. You could skip either one as they both start and end on Sand Flats Road.
The first section starts off mellow with a nice bumpy rock hill to get you started (this bumpy hill is optional, if you go to the very left you can bypass it all together). You go through a lot of sandy areas and get to play on some ledges before you see your first fin.
The first fin is a steep, sandy downhill. This is a safe place to test your vehicle. See if you can stop completely while you are on the hill and before you get to the bottom. There are a few other hills like this on the first section to enjoy.
It isn't very long before you wind your way through a camp site and you find yourself back on Sand Flats Road. Turn right here and work your way to the trailhead for the second section. It is the second entrance on your left.
You start out this section with a nice fin to come down. It seems steep and impossible, but this is just a small example of things yet to come.
You should be able to see a radio tower ahead. If you have the Sand Flats Recreation Area map they gave you at the entrance booth, you can see this radio tower marked on it. Use this for a reference point as you work your way out to the edge of the Negro Bill Canyon Wilderness Study Area to the north and the fins to the west.
There is a short hike to the Morning Glory Arch that you can take if you turn into the canyon at the far end. This is also near a natural part of rock that has a section that looks like a dinosaur.
It is very easy to get lost in this area. If you have the detailed directions in Charles Wells' "Guide to Moab, UT Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails" you'll be better off.
The last part of this section is mostly on large fins of slickrock, and it takes you on a roller coaster ride as you go up and down them. If you end up back on Sand Flats Road and you haven't gone up and down many fins then you've missed the last loop. You'll come to an intersection where you can see black tracks on the slickrock made by tires. These tracks run off in the distance, so aim for those tracks. You will make a large, counter clockwise loop, so work your way to the right-most tire tracks.
There is a section at the far end of the loop where you can either take a sharp left turn and go up a steep hill, or continue straight to follow the trail around to the left. The sharp left turn with the steep hill is Kenny's Climb. It's a very steep climb but it's a blast! You should not have any troubles here.
After a few more fins you'll find yourself on sand, then you'll come around a sandy corner to the left and you'll find yourself face to face with a steep section of slickrock, very black with tire marks. This is Frenchy's Fin. It is short but extremely steep -- it is the steepest section of slickrock on all Moab 4x4 trails. If you take it slow and steady and follow the tire tracks you really aren't in any danger, though it sure feels like you are.
You still have a couple more steep climbs and descents, but the trail ends sooner than you'd like. Take a right turn on Sand Flats Road to get back to town. There is nothing else like this trail!