So I guess "UPPER" Helldorado is closed now.... so it's referred to only as Helldorado now... and surprisingly is only .56 miles in length, interesting.
San Juan County, Utah
View this on the Utah Trailheads Map
Nearby Towns: Moab
Nearby Trails: Strike Ravine, Area BFE, Minor Threat, Green Day
Season: Year Round
Trail Length: 0.57 miles
Elevation: 5,520 to 5,632 feet
Named Obstacles: Gatekeeper, Squeeze, Can Opener, Waterfall, Boulder Field
This trail used to be called Lower Helldorado. Upper Helldorado is no longer open, so the name of this trail is now simply Helldorado.
This trail is famous for turning away even the biggest 4x4 rigs. The Waterfall is the biggest obstacle, and it may not be possible without winching. You can expect body or mechanical damage from any of the obstacles.
The trail starts very near the parking area for Area BFE. The entrance is the Gatekeeper obstacle. This obstacle of rock can be tackled many different ways, and there are no easy lines through it. You can also do Gatekeeper as an optional way of starting the Minor Threat trail.
After Gatekeeper, there is a rock slab that must be climbed up and over. Then it isn't long before you're at the Squeeze. This obstacle is a slab of rock between two walls of rock, and it might be impossible to get your vehicle through it without hitting your rig's body on one or more of the rocks on the way through. It is also a steep obstacle, making things even more difficult.
The Can Opener obstacle is right after the Squeeze. This jumble of rocks has a tendency to want to rip a tear in the body of your rig, so choose your line carefully.
After these obstacles the trail mellows out. There are a few rocky sections and ledges but nothing to worry about. You go around a corner and find yourself face to face with the Waterfall.
You can't miss the Waterfall. It's a wall of rock covered in black tire marks. It's over 10 feet tall and completely vertical. Some vehicles have climbed this obstacle without assistance, but most rigs won't be able to do this.
In order to continue the trail, it is often necessary to send someone around from the end of the trail to be used as a winch point. If you have a vehicle at the top of the Waterfall, it is a straightforward winch job.
When you get past the Waterfall there really isn't anything else to challenge you. You come to a "Y" in the road and you can take either way out. Most people take the rightmost fork, as there is a fun Boulder Field on this section.
No matter which way you choose you end up on the Strike Ravine trail. Turn right to go back to the Area BFE parking lot and the road. You will make a loop at this point.
It's probably a good idea to walk this very short trail first before tackling it. Driving it with someone else who has done it before is also a good idea. Pull off to the side if you break down, but stay on the trail. You can easily walk out to the Area BFE parking lot at any time, but a walk back to Moab would be a long one. Come prepared for carnage.
Information last updated on May 11th, 2008.
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This trail has not yet been run by a TrailDamage.com member, but we did walk along it to take pictures and get information. You can view the pictures of our hike to determine for yourself if you're ready to drive this trail.
From Moab, go south on Highway 191 approximately 13 miles. Just after the uphill passing lane comes to an end, take the first left onto a wide dirt road. Follow the maintained dirt road and signs for about three miles to the cleared parking area on the left and the sign for Area BFE. Work your way along the trail and through the parking area until you descend down into a ravine. Helldorado starts at the bottom of this ravine at a metal sign.
Meet at the McDonald's at Kane Creek Road and Main Street in Moab.
Haha your not kidding. Not only that but ill **** my pants winching up a 10ft wall worrying my winchline will snap
I think with some patience we can get through it, the only thing that would suck would be if the trail was really busy and we felt rushed. I've just spent about two hours looking at it. Only thing NOT doable is the waterfall, the rest is good line choice and spotting, and have a big boy in front of you to hook up to if you need a tug. I'm not worried about body damage, the worst would be my windshield frame in the narrows, and being careful we can avoid it. It's a half mile.... how bad can it be...