Backwards Bill Trail Report: Moab EJS 2017Posted in Moab Experience: 2017 on April 14, 2017
Backwards Bill is named so because Bill Hughes of the Red Rock 4-Wheelers is the one who designed it, and the trail is a combination of two trails (the second half of Wipe-Out Hill and the first half of Sevenmile Rim), but they are run backwards. So you get some hardcore four-wheeling in the beginning, the gorgeous red rock formations of the Merrimac Butte and the Monitor Butte (named such because they resemble the famous Civil War ironclad ships) in he middle, and then a pleasant and scenic trail leading to the cliffside switchbacks down Sevenmile Rim. The majority of the trail alternates between sandy roads and slickrock surfaces. In the early stages, the dramatic descent of Rattlesnake Hill and the extremely challenging ascent of Wipe-Out Hill got our adrenaline pumping. Our lunch stop on a redrock slab the size of four football fields parked in between the Merrimac and Monitor Buttes gave our group a scenic respite.
After lunch, we wheeled through varying terrain and scenery, checked out Uranium Arch (a cave with an arch in front), and then climbed to the top of Sevenmile Rim from which we had views of the distant snow-capped Monti La Sal mountain range, before descending the switchbacks down to the highway leading us back into Moab, Utah. We left about 8:30 am and got back on the highway around 3:30 pm, although a smaller group can easily cut that time short.
The Backwards Bill Trail is rated a 5 by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers, and it suggests your 4WD vehicle have 33-inch or taller tires, enhanced suspension travel with good ground clearance, and traction aids such as lockers or limited-slip devices in both axles. Trail sponsor Dana/Spicer was along for the ride, and our group consisted of about 30 vehicles. We found Wipe-Out Hill to be extremely challenging, and one that required close attention to the helpful spotters, and having a winch on your rig might be a good idea (just n case) on this trail. Below you can find a full gallery of photos from our day on Backward Bills.