South of Moab, Utah, is the Flat Iron Mesa Trail. It begins right off of Highway 191 with a rock-studded hill as soon as you leave the pavement. Rated a 6 on the Red Rock 4-Wheelers’ scale of 1 to 10, the trail is made up of numerous old trails with breathtaking canyon views and some challenging four-wheeling. This rating means that much of the trail is sandy dirt two-track inlaid with bedrock, with quite a few sections of slickrock, a gravel hillclimb, loose rock, and many rocky ledges. After a rain, water in excess of 12-inchs and muddy conditions can be present in some stretches. Your rig should have 4WD and 33-inch or larger tires; and two traction-adding devices (lockers, limited slips) are required. Lifted suspensions, good ground clearance are a good idea, too. This is not a trail for novice four-wheelers.
We ran it with the crews from Dynatrac and Falken, as well as about 30 other vehicles. Highlights of the Flat Iron Mesa Trail include a 30-foot steep downhill slick rock section with a sharp hook to the right called “Tilt A Whirl.” Another obstacle called “Easter Egg Rock” causes the driver to squeeze between a rock wall and an egg-shaped boulder the size of a truck while being off-camber toward the boulder and straddling a large boulder that lies underneath the vehicle. Needless to say, inattention to your spotter will likely cost you some sheet metal damage here. The third place you might have trouble is not really difficult, but it is nonetheless scary.
Not long after Easter Egg Rock, you must carefully navigate a narrow path between a larger boulder and a cliff edge that is also slightly off-camber (toward the cliff, of course). Your passenger will be able to lean out their window and look straight down the cliff. Not paying attention to your spotter here could cost you more than sheet metal damage. There is a go-around for Easter Egg Rock and the cliff squeeze. The entire trail is about 55 miles total from town and back, 17 of that being off-road. We had no trouble, and the trail took about 7 hours to complete. To see our trip on Flat Iron Mesa, see the included video, and the gallery of photos below.