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Moab Trails - Lions Back

Credit - JP Magazine

Moab, Utah, offers some of the best, most scenic off-roading anywhere. Most of us have at least seen the Lion’s Back Trail on TV, but if you have never seen it, it amounts to a huge rock that is just wide enough to drive up. The best way to get a feel for what this trail is like, is to take your dog’s water bowl, turn it on its side—oops, sorry about the water—and drive your Matchbox Jeep up to the top, now do a Matchbox 68-point turn, and drive back to the bottom. That’s right—not only is it narrow, but on either side is a deadly vertical drop of a couple hundred feet. That’s it, not a lot of skill involved, just nerves. If that does not make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, there is another option called the Backside of Lion’s Back. This time you drive up to the top of a similar rock, only you have to drive through an area where an extra set of underwear is mandatory.

Moab Offroad Trails - Lions Back
Getting started on Lions Back is one of the steepest parts. Not much room for error here...
This area is off-camber to the driver’s side on loose gravel, all in a space that is as wide as your average parking spot. So as you creep through this parking spot-sized, loose-dirt, off-camber area, you should be paying close attention to your experienced spotter, but for whatever reason you are very distracted by the several-hundred-foot drop on the downhill side of the off-camber area a foot or less from where you are sitting.
Traffic on Lion's Back is supposed to be one way at a time, or things can get especially interesting. The access to the climb goes through private property, and a small fee is charged, but it's worth it to at least once gain the pucker experience of a narrow, steep trail with big drop-offs on either side. Remember this one from the famous video?
Build it for:
Build a vehicle with a low center of gravity, a narrow track, and good brakes.
How to die:
This one is as simple as jumping out of your Jeep to take a leak, and taking one too many steps. Or trying to drive this trail without someone who knows exactly what the line is.
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