Every May, one of the biggest UTV rallies rocks Moab, UT. It’s called Rally on the Rocks, and in the few short years that it has existed, it has rapidly grown to be one of the main UTV events of the year across the nation. It is four days of some of incredible slickrock riding, and the crew from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC was there to join in the fun this year.

Picture of a Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Arctic Cat

Rally on the Rocks was held May 14-17 this year. As always, it was a spectacular event. The best way to get a feel for what it’s like is to check out the video we’ve put together:

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC at RotR

It’s no surprise that Rocky Mountain ATV/MC has a relationship with Rally on the Rocks since it attracts some of the biggest names in the industry as well as UTV enthusiasts around the nation. But what did we do while down in Moab?

Picture of Rocky Mountain ATV/MC’s Lineup of Vehicles and UTVs at Rally on the Rocks

Riding

Being the UTV enthusiasts that we are, we rode the trails! A handful of the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC crew headed down to spend the entire week at Rally on the Rocks, and it was an absolute blast. But we weren’t just there by ourselves. We hosted a contest in March, and the winners got free entry to the event (along with meals and lodging). Wesley Jones of New Mexico and Shane Clutter of Colorado were our two winners. They were there for the duration of the event along with their guests.

To add to the fun, we also had along some winners from our Ticket to Ride GNCC contest. The winners were chosen at random from a pool of the top 10 riders out of about a dozen ATV classes. Jeffrey Flinn from the Vet B (30+) class and Cameron Bruce from the College B (16-21) class joined us for the final two days of the ride along with one guest each.

Picture of the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Crew and Some of the Contest Winners

Sponsorships

At Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, we have a saying we like to live by – support the sport. So while we were there having a blast and hosting a great trip for our contest winners, we were also sponsoring various aspects of the rally.

Every year, dozens of trail guides come to Rally on the Rocks to take participants through the various trails. These are experts who are passionate about UTVs, and they want everyone to have a great time. They come as volunteers, receiving no compensation for the work they put in to make Rally on the Rocks what it is, and they are appreciated by everyone for it. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC was the official trail guide sponsor to show our thanks for everything they did. Among other things, this included a light breakfast every morning and a $100 gift card to our website.

Picture of Handing Out the Swag Bags

Aside from this, we also sponsored a trail each day. Everyone who was on the trail with us that day got free lunch and a swag bag. These extra perks made Rally on the Rocks even better for those who happened to sign up for that trail. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC employee Eric Nelson acted as the guide for the trails we sponsored.

Picture of Eric Acting as a Trail Guide

Day-by-Day Report

Tuesday, May 13

On Tuesday, the whole crew arrived in Moab to make sure everything was ready for riding and the start of the rally the next day. The weather was unseasonably cold for Moab this time of year, but this didn’t dampen our spirits since we were so excited to ride the next day.

Picture of Sign Announcing Rally on the Rocks

Picture of the Polaris Setup at Rally on the Rocks

Once we were settled, we helped get everything ready for the pizza party we were hosting for the trail guides that night. After everyone was fed, we had the initial trail guide meeting to go over changes and questions for the rally. After the meeting was completed, we gave each of the trail guides a Rocky Mountain ATV/MC hat and T-shirt as they left.

Picture of the Trail Guide Dinner on Tuesday Night

Wednesday, May 14 – Hell’s Revenge

Let the riding begin! After we hosted the trail guide breakfast, we made all of final checks to make sure everything was ready for the trail we were sponsoring that day – Hell’s Revenge.

Hell’s Revenge is an intermediate trail and was one of the most popular during the rally. The trail leads over a series of climbs, sandy trails and some obstacles. Being in the same area of the famous and iconic slickrock mountain bike trail, it is a good representation of what people expect to see in Moab. After our ride from the Spanish Trail Arena (the Rally on the Rocks “headquarters”) to the trailhead, we gave all of the participants their swag bags and hit the trail.

Picture of Handing Out Swag

Picture of Heading up Slickrock on Hell’s Revenge

Picture of Miles of Slickrock

Another Picture of Miles of Slickrock

Picture of One of the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC UTVs

We broke a front axle on one of our vehicles about a quarter-way into the trip, but it wasn’t anything critical enough that we couldn’t finish. We just had to be a little more careful and take it easy.

Halfway through riding, we stopped for lunch, which featured JDawgs (a local favorite of the RM crew), chips, and drinks. After lunch, everyone was energized again and ready to get back on the trail.

Picture of Delicious JDawgs

We continued to ride until we came up to the hot tubs that the trail is famous for. We had a couple of takers from our group, and they were able to make quick work of them. After some more riding, we came up to the famous Escalator, another obstacle that the trail is known for. The same group that battled the hot tubs made quick work of the Escalator as well. The final obstacle of the day was Tip-Over Challenge. With the experienced guidance of Eric, everyone in the group willing to try made it through without any issues.

Picture of Climbing Up Hell’s Revenge

Picture of the Hot Tubs of Hell’s Revenge

Picture of Climbing Out of a Hot Tub

Picture of Climbing Hell’s Revenge

Picture of Eric Guiding Someone Up the Slickrock

After this, we continued to the end of the trail and then headed back to the arena. We still had the wounded machine, so after acquiring a new axle, we headed back to camp. Fifteen minutes later, we were back up and ready to head out for our late afternoon ride.

Picture of Fixing the Axle

Back at the arena, we met up with some friends of ours that rode Hell’s Revenge with us earlier in the day. We made a plan to take the group to ride on Steel Bender and headed in that direction. Despite a long ride earlier in the day, the entire group still had energy and was ready to conquer this trail.

Steel Bender is a little more technical than Hell’s Revenge and has several sections with intense obstacles. However, the ride so far had prepared everyone to take on the challenging terrain. The setting sun helped to make the surroundings that much more beautiful, and we finished with just enough light to see the petroglyphs at the end of the trail. After this, we all parted ways and headed back to camp for some much deserved food and rest.

Picture of One of the Descents

Picture of Going Down the Trail

Picture of Petroglyphs on the Trail

Picture of Quite a Few UTVs

Picture of Sunset in Moab

Thursday, May 15 – Kane Creek

On Thursday, we hit Kane Creek. The ride out to Kane is a bit long, but the scenery on the way out is worth the extra driving time. We gathered in the parking lot at the trail head and had a quick meeting with the riders. After that, we gave out swag for those on the trail with us that day and then headed out.

Kane Creek is a novice-level trail and popular with a lot of first time visitors to Moab. It follows the path of the creek as it weaves back into the canyon and has a few obstacles during the ride. Another great feature of the trail is its numerous water crossings. This is usually a welcome source of relief on hot days on the trail.

Picture of Eric Explaining the Trail

Picture of a Creek

We set out and made it to our first stop without any issues. Shortly after the stop, the trail began to weave through the creek, and we were able to lead the group through this with only a couple of people getting lost. Fortunately any wrong turns can be quickly corrected, and it’s easy to get back on the main trial.

We headed to the end of the trail where it makes a steep climb and eventually leads out to Highway 191. We did a little rock crawling on this portion of the trail for those who wanted. After this, we headed back to meet for lunch. Lunch this day was pulled pork sandwiches with chips and drinks. Once again, this was welcome by everyone, and it was nice to sit in the shade and eat lunch with the sound of the creek running behind us. After this, we went back the way we came in and headed back to the arena.

Picture of a Number of UTVs Coming Around a Bend on the Trail

Picture of a RZR on the Trail

Picture of Crossing a Creek

Picture of a Scenic View Seen from the Trail

Friday, May 16 – Poison Spider

On Friday, we set out to conquer the Poison Spider trail. Poison spider is a more difficult trail and can be challenging for even experienced riders. Since it’s necessary to trailer out to the trailhead, we waited for everyone to meet up for the riders’ meeting and swag handout. With all of this done we set out and hit the trail.

Poison Spider can be intimidating within the first five minutes of the ride with its rocky outcroppings and obstacles. The fortunate thing is that there are several bypasses to the majority of the obstacles for those who did not want to take the difficult route. This was also the first trail for our GNCC Ticket to Ride winners, and they enjoyed every minute of it. With Eric as our guide, the riders were able to get up the difficult obstacles where there weren’t any bypasses available and continue along the trail.

Picture of the Ticket to Ride Winners

Picture of the Front Wheels in the Air While Climbing Slickrock

Picture of UTVs Lined Up down the Trail

Picture of Climbing Poison Spider

Picture of a RZR Climbing Slickrock

Picture of the Poison Spider Trail

Picture of Eric Showing the Way

Picture of a RZR on a More Difficult Segment

Poison Spider is the most scenic of the trails we did during our trip. We stopped by Little Arch (though it isn’t little at all) to have lunch, which was cold cut sandwiches. While lunch was being set up, the riders were able to hike out to the arch for pictures and a spectacular view of the valley below. After everyone was fed and energized, we continued down the trail.

Picture of Taking a Break on Top of an Arch

We followed the trail to the overlook which looks out on the entire valley beneath. This was another good photo opportunity for the riders. After this, we made our way back and hit some of the more difficult obstacles on our way out. All of the riders this day did an excellent job on the trail, and we were able to get everyone back safe and sound.

Picture of a Group Shot at the Overlook on Poison Spider

Picture of Josh in Front of a Scenic Background

Piture of Climbing Slickrock

Picture of Another Difficult Segment of the Trail

Picture of One of Poison Spider’s Descents

Friday night saw the grand dinner and raffle back at the arena for all of the rally participants. The large crowd at the raffle was a testament to how large the rally is growing year after year. Another nice thing to see at the dinner was all of the people who had been on the trail with us the previous days wearing the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC hats and T-shirts that they had received.

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC held a raffle specifically for the trail guides, and one winner received a wheel and tire set. All of the trail guides also walked away with a $100 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC gift card in appreciation for all of their hard work that week.

Picture of Dinner Friday Night

Being from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, our GNCC riders opted to skip the banquet to get more riding in. A few of the guys from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC led them out on a couple more rides. Being in a smaller group, we were able to cover a lot more ground. After Poison Spider, we headed to Hell’s Revenge as well as Fins and Things. For the most part, we had those trails to ourselves, and it was a blast! Cameron, Todd, Jeff and Leroy (the GNCC winners) couldn’t get enough, but we did manage to tire them out by the time night came around.

Picture of Climbing the Trail on Hell’s Revenge

Picture of a Water Crossing at Baby Lion’s Back

Picture of Enjoying the Scenery

Saturday, May 17 – Behind the Rocks

Saturday was the final day of our trip, and we saved the best trail for last – Behind the Rocks. Behind the Rocks is one of the most difficult trails in the area and one of the personal favorites of our guide, Eric. This trail has several difficult obstacles along with places where vehicles need to be roped off to avoid tipping or rolling.

The trail starts off with a difficult climb with no bypass, but everyone was able to make it up with no difficulty. I think this first obstacle helped to inspire confidence in the riders that carried on with them for the rest of the day.

Picture of Climbing Rocks

Picture of a Difficult Climb

We continued along the trail until we arrived at High Dive and Upchuck. These are very difficult obstacles. Only about half of the group wanted to try them. With Eric’s guidance, everyone was able to get down High Dive without any issues. Upchuck presented a completely different set of challenges, and only about half of those who tried were able to make it up. The rest had to use the bypass to the left, which also presented its own challenges – a couple of vehicles tipped over, but everyone inside was okay. After the high drama of these two obstacles, we set off and continued on to lunch.

Picture of a Difficult Descent Down High Dive

Picture of Eric Offering Guidance

Picture of Tipping

Picture of Wheels in the Air

Picture of a UTV Tipped on its Side

Picture of Working Together to Get the UTV Through

Picture of Climbing Upchuck

We had lunch that day at Dancehall Rock, and we were treated to a shrimp boil complete with all of the fixings. Many considered this the best lunch of the trip. With everyone fed, we handed out the swag for the day and set back out on the trail. This part of the trail was tame, and everyone enjoyed the chance to relax after what they had seen and ridden through so far.

Picture of Enjoying Lunch

The final major obstacle we came to for the day was White Knuckle. This is an extremely difficult obstacle, and machines need to be tied off to avoid tipping over. Once again, under Eric’s guidance everyone made it down White Knuckle safe and unscathed.

Picture of Heading Down White Knuckle Hill

Picture of Approaching White Knuckle Hill

Picture of Dropping Down White Knuckle Hill

After White Knuckle, we continued along the trail and began to make our way back. Along the way out, we hit the dunes that are a feature of Behind the Rocks, and this added a little more excitement for those with us that day.

Picture of a Scenic View

Picture of Jumping at the Dunes

Picture of Being on the Trail in the Evening

We eventually found our way back to the meeting place in the parking lot at the trailhead with everyone safe and sound. Everyone was dirty and tired, but nobody’s face was missing a smile. This is always good to see on the last day of the trip, and we hope we made some new friends that will join us again next year.

Conclusion

Just as with everything we do, we made the best effort we could to improve the experience for as many people as possible – the trail guides, our contest winners, and the event participants who were on the trail with us. In the end, we all had a great time, and we can’t wait for Rally on the Rocks next year!

Picture of Sunset at Rally on the Rocks

Have you been to Rally on the Rocks? Do you hope to be able to go in the future? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Riding Disclaimer

Riding Location Disclaimer

By Josh Whitney