Billy the kid, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and other colorful characters once roamed the Southwest in search of adventure. And it was in the canyons of southern Utah that these bandits took refuge from the long arm of the law. These days, canyons such as Helldorado draw a more contemporary crew mounted up on high-flex rock rigs from the land of the rising sun. Our posse recently caught up with Suzuki aficionados Tim Lund of ARB, Zukiworld Online's Eric Bewley, Tough Trails' Brian Huffman, and their group of renegades for a trot through Upper Helldorado and some insane four-wheeling.
When they first hit the U.S. market, Suzuki Samurais were scoffed at by many as cheap imitations of Jeeps. Over the last 10 years, though, the venerable little Samurai has come of age, having proven itself a competent featherweight contender among the big dogs of extreme rockcrawling. These days you see them everywhere. Samis are out on all the tough trails and even at the Rock Crawling Championships where they are scoring quite well. Madman Randy Ellis managed Fourth Place at the Hammers in February with some really trick but fairly simple modifications.
Moab's Helldorado Canyon is one of the toughest trails around, and it draws quite a crowd during the Easter Jeep Safari. While the lower section is easily navigable by any well-equipped rig, the upper section is left to the vehicularly insane. At just a 1/2-mile long, the upper canyon is 2,640 feet of pure off-road torture. There are four major obstacles, all of which will cause some serious grief to the ill prepared. The first is a gnarly, twisty, three-boulder squeeze that will usually sort out the men and women from the meek. The last obstacle in the box canyon will put your winch to the test as you jockey up a 15-foot, near-vertical slickrock ledge. Everything in between is pure candy for the modern-day rock hound.