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WHERE TO RIDE: Rally on the Rocks

August 29, 2016
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Watch any motorsports coverage on Fox Sports and you’ll see commercials about “Utah, the State of Sport.” In fact, former governor Jon Huntsman Jr. is an avid OHV fan, and “The State of Sport” is a much better advertising campaign than “The Wonderful World of Erosion.” Of the 48 continental states, Utah ranks as one of the most beautiful, with five national parks (only California and Alaska have more), plus the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the Utah-Arizona border. Millions of years of wind, water and ice erosion created awesome rock formations throughout the state, and two of Utah’s most beautiful parks, Canyonlands and Arches, surround Moab. Located in eastern Utah, Moab was chosen over four other possible sites for the first UTV jamboree that has become known as the Rally on the Rocks (ROTR). Not only is the scenery gorgeous, the area is blessed with a trail network featuring desert chaparral, forests, sandstone monolith, loose rocks, sand washes and even dunes.

ROTR2_DSC_4632

Utah’s love of OHV recreation is at the top of the list of states, and ATVUtah.com lists eight major ATV and UTV jamborees held each year. The ROTR isn’t on that list, but it should be, because the ROTR is on the verge of surpassing the premier Rocky Mountain ATV Jamboree in attendance and manufacturer support. For example, Polaris donated a 2016 RZR XP 1000 to be raffled off, with proceeds going to Grand County Search and Rescue. Title sponsors are Discount Tire and Polaris, and trailguide sponsors are SXS Performance, STI, ITP, DWT, CST, EFX and Arisun. As you know, rock crawling is all about hook-up and line selection, and having experienced and knowledgeable trail guides is the difference between having a great time tackling technical trail and being towed out or winched back onto all fours. The ROTR boasts two dozen such guides, with 2012 Trail Guide of the Year Kent “Moab Cowboy” Green having been a Moab guide for more than 45 years and the guides listed on the website having 134 years of combined experience.

Vendor row was bigger than ever for 2016, and Arctic Cat put on demo rides and a Wildcat press day with catered BBQ lunch by Camp Chef.
Vendor row was bigger than ever for 2016, and Arctic Cat put on demo rides and a Wildcat press day with catered BBQ lunch by Camp Chef.

CHOOSE YOUR POISON SPIDER
This year rally-goers chose between up to 20 daily trails over the five ride days of the ROTR, with most getting police escorts from rally headquarters through town to trailheads. Preregistration narrowed those 20 from a list of 28 choices, with names like Poison Spider, Metal Masher, Cliffhanger, Golden Spike, Behind the Rocks, Top of the World, Pritchett Canyon, Flat Iron Mesa, Moab Rim, Porcupine Rim and Seven Mile Rim.

New for 2016, flags marked the line-up points for each police-escorted ride, and each ride was limited by the BLM to 25 rally-goers and 10 guides/vendors. These are the Moab Rim and Cliffhanger lines, which made a long parade through town to the trailheads.
New for 2016, flags marked the line-up points for each police-escorted ride, and each ride was limited by the BLM to 25 rally-goers and 10 guides/vendors. These are the Moab Rim and Cliffhanger lines, which made a long parade through town to the trailheads.

Trails are rated from 2 to 10 in difficulty, with four beginner/novice (2–3), 12 intermediate (3–5) and 12 expert (5+–9+) trails. Trails rated 7 and up require modifications like long-travel suspension, a skid plate, body protection, winches, harnesses and 30-inch tires or larger. Trails can be as extreme as the scenery is beautiful.

Each ride day begins with checkin, a guide meeting, drivers’ meeting, splitting up into ride lines on the rodeo grounds, and then rides leave at 10 a.m. Returning from the day’s ride, participants hit vendor row and hang out for the nightly activities. Wednesday is the Discount Tire ice-cream social, Thursday is more rides and a 50/50 raffle, and Friday is a catered dinner and the grand raffle. Attendance has swelled from 65 at the first Moab rally to 1000 at this year’s ROTR.

Several ROTR rides have trail sponsors, and several people won Rugged Radio handheld units on Wednesday’s Moab Rim ride. Great scenery, challenging trail and swag; what could be better?
Several ROTR rides have trail sponsors, and several people won Rugged Radio handheld units on Wednesday’s Moab Rim ride. Great scenery, challenging trail and swag; what could be better?

MOUNTAINS OF SWAG AND MAGS
Testing your skills and machine preparation on awesome trails is always fun, but testing your luck in the rally raffles is also a big part of why the ROTR is so popular. In addition to the tire and wheel sponsors already listed, Warn, Pro Armor, PRP, HCR, SLP, HMF, Walker Evans Racing, GBC Motorsports, Assault Industries, Raceline, Rugged Radios, All-Terrain Communications, Camp Chef, Lazer Star, American Rock Rods, Wildcat Willy’s, Desert Bling, Axia Alloys, Method Race Wheels, MSA, Trail Armor, Wicked Bilt, Tensor Tire, Ruthless Motorsports, SSV Works, MTX Audio and Heretic LED Art donated products for the swag raffles and had great rally discounts. As media partners, UTV Action and Dirt Wheels handed out free magazines to attendees as well.

Breathtaking escarpments give a great view of Moab, its treasured slick rock and the Green River on several ROTR trails, and Moab Rim is rated 7+ for only a couple of tricky obstacles. Guides direct drivers to the correct line and stop at the most scenic and interesting spots.
Breathtaking escarpments give a great view of Moab, its treasured slick rock and the Green River on several ROTR trails, and Moab Rim is rated 7+ for only a couple of tricky obstacles. Guides direct drivers to the correct line and stop at the most scenic and interesting spots.

ROTR CONTACTS
www.rallyontherocks.com
lanse@rallyontherocks.com, (801) 559-0523
jared@rallyontherocks.com, (435) 851-3637

Rally Headquarters
Old Spanish Trail Arena 3641 S. Hwy 191 Moab, UT 84532

Utah State Parks & Recreation
1594 W. North Temple, Suite 116 Moab, UT 84532
(800) OHV-RIDE
(801) 538-7433
www.stateparks.utah.gov/ohv

Moab Info Center: (435) 259-8825

Special UTV Action thanks go out to the Moab KOA Campground, which was very rally-friendly, and almost half of the RV spots and cabins went to rally participants.
Special UTV Action thanks go out to the Moab KOA Campground, which was very rally-friendly, and almost half of the RV spots and cabins went to rally participants.

WHERE TO CAMP
OK RV Park
3310 Old Spanish Valley Dr. Moab, Utah 84532
(435) 259-1400
www.okrvpark.com

KOA MOAB
3225 S. Hwy 191 Moab, Utah 84532
(800) 562-0372
www.koa.com/campgrounds/moab

Moab Rim RV & Cabins
1900 S. Hwy 191 Moab, Utah 84532
(888) 599-6622
www.moabrv.com

Canyonlands Campground (RV & Cabins)
555 S. Main St. Moab, Utah 84532
(800) 522-6848
www.canyonlandsrv.com

Each morning began with a trail-guide meeting, then a riders’ meeting before departing to ride, and the Spanish Trail Arena was the place to be for swag raffles on Thursday and Friday nights.
Each morning began with a trail-guide meeting, then a riders’ meeting before departing to ride, and the Spanish Trail Arena was the place to be for swag raffles on Thursday and Friday nights.

ATV/UTV RENTALS/TOURS
Kanyon ATV
523 N. Main St. Panguitch, UT 84759
(877) 526-9662
(ATV/UTV rentals)

Moab Adventure Center
225 S. Main St. Moab, UT 84532
(888) 622-4097
(UTV/ATV rentals, tours)

Highpoint Hummer Tours
281 N. Main St. Moab, UT 84532
(877) 486- 6833
(ATV/UTV tours, rentals)

International Adventure
ATV Tours
420 Kane Creek Blvd. Moab, UT 84532
(ATV tours, rentals)

Elite Motorcycle Adventures
1310 Murphy Lane Moab, UT 84532
(ATV tours, rentals)

Rally sponsor Polaris donated a RZR XP 4 1000 for a Grand County Search and Rescue vehicle build and a RZR XP 1000 to be raffled off. Only 200 RZR raffle tickets were sold for $100 apiece with proceeds benefiting Grand County. Jack Liljenberg of Grand Junction, Colorado, won the RZR.
Rally sponsor Polaris donated a RZR XP 4 1000 for a Grand County Search and Rescue vehicle build and a RZR XP 1000 to be raffled off. Only 200 RZR raffle tickets were sold for $100 apiece with proceeds benefiting Grand County. Jack Liljenberg of Grand Junction, Colorado, won the RZR.

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