Upper Helldorado
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4 Wheel of MoabThanks to Erik Shellenberger of
4 Wheel of Moab for the awesome photos!

Upper Helldorado
Serious, Moab Hard Core

Upper HelldoradoDuring the Fall months, Moab sees a lot of rain as winter sets in. Flash floods are common and the trails can get altered almost to the point of being impassable. Upper Helldorado winds up a canyon that funnels water from the La Sal Mountains down a chute, barely wider than a Jeep. Major erosion is common in this trail and the difficulty rating can change dramatically from storm to storm.

We took our local group through Lower Helldorado first, which proved to be getting easier by the day. It seems that someone who couldn’t make it through the Sharks Tooth, which is the hardest obstacle on the trail, decided to winch the tooth out of the way!! The obstacle is no longer and Lower Helldorado is reduced to about a 3 1/2 rating! People are going to have to realize that if they can’t make the trail as-is, then they should TURN AROUND instead of destroying the trail.

Upper Helldorado, on the other hand proved to be very washed out, which resulted in a 4 foot deep hole in the middle of an already tough section. The hole made for some very technical terrain and a lot of fun. The hole has to be straddled just right or a tire will drop in the hole which either pins the Jeep in place or dumps the whole rig on its side!

I didn’t have very good luck this day and tipped the Jeep over on both sides as well as taking the winch in 3 different spots. A truly hard core obstacle, Breakover Rock, proved to be a pretty serious obstacle to this day. It’s a huge boulder about four feet tall that has to be driven over, followed by another huge boulder of equal size. Getting high-centered or breaking is very common here.

Upper HelldoradoOn this run, the transmission pan got crushed in about 3 inches but didn’t crack, even with 38” Swampers for clearance. We decided to not press our luck and moved on instead of playing on the rocks in this section of the trail.

The rest of the trail has remained fairly untouched by the floods. The winch section was still a fun, challenging part of the trail. It was filled in with boulders over Jeep Safari, some half the size of a Jeep, so the obstacle could be driven instead of winched. The flash floods had totally removed these rocks and washed them so far down the canyon that they couldn’t even be found!

For those of you looking forward to Jeep Safari but thinking that you’ve “been there and done that”, think again, the trails have changed dramatically and can end up being easier or WAY harder than you remember.

See you in Moab........

Check out more photos of Upper Helldorado!

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