It’s been almost a decade since I have been to Moab, Utah. So much has changed in the UTV industry since then. UTVs that once were groundbreaking “sport” models are now looked at as: “Ah, let’s just leave that one on the farm!”
Today, it is truly amazing how far UTVs have come along in such a short time. Now more than ever, UTVs are capable of doing everything that Jeeps and 4×4 Trucks can do, oftentimes easier and even faster!
After our last adventure ride in SoCal with Kawasaki about a month ago, they asked if I was down to go to Moab for the Rally on the Rocks Event, how could I say no?!
Rally on the Rocks was the first event I have ever driven a UTV – what an epic location to take your first drive in a UTV! That was such a memorable experience nearly 10 years ago with Harlen Foley of ATVRiders.com and Dirt Nation Magazine. That guy has taken me all over the country throughout the years working for him. From camping out in Death Valley for three days in a Jeep to seeing Mötley Crüe live in concert in the front row at the Hard Rock Casino for my birthday, the memories made and stories I could tell.
As you could imagine I was eager to get back to Moab and play on the rocks once again. This time with Kawasaki driving the new Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 for two days of riding in off-roaders paradise!
Day one would consist of a small group ride with just two Kawasaki Teryx KRX models on the Sevenmile Rim trail. This particular trail serves up a variety of terrain and breathtaking views of Moab along with many stops along the way that we would soon experience.
The Sevenmile Rim trail head begins on the valley floor with sandy washes and a few high speed whooped out sections. One thing I noticed immediately is how comfortable the Kawasaki Teryx KRX is soaking up the whoops. I believe it is the combination of its plush seats and very predictable throttle response and braking I became accustomed to right off the bat. I can see why a newbie driver would also feel comfortable behind the wheel.
Working our way up in elevation, I couldn’t help but indulge in the scenery. I don’t think you can take a bad photo while you are in Moab. Everywhere you looked was absolutely stunning with the red rock cliffs, sandstone slick rock, and desert shrubbery that make the infamous Kawasaki Green plastic pop!
First stop along the way was one the scenic overlooks where the Sevenmile Rim Trail got its name. Overlooking the Sevenmile Canyon, which carries Highway 313, you can see for miles. At one time the sandstone rocks where we stood were beaches during prehistoric times. That is pretty wild to think about when you are standing thousands of feet above the desert floor below!
After taking in the overlook and snapping some beauty shots of the Kawasaki KRX and also some unashamed selfies, it was onto the next stop along the trail.
There seems to be a creative nature of those who name the obstacles in Moab. With trails like Hells Gate, Poison Spider, Steel Bender, Metal Masher and Cliff Hanger they all seem to give you the inclination that you might get into trouble, break something, or get bitten by a spider. Which we were about to see!
When we arrived at Wipeout Hill, I was pretty impressed – simply by the sheer nature of “Dang this hill is pretty rocky and steep”. Being a country boy from Indiana where I am accustomed to riding in the woods, rocks don’t come first nature to me. And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit intimidated to climb Wipeout Hill. Rest assured, I was gung ho to make a misnomer of this hill with the Kawasaki Teryx KRX – bring it on!
I followed my buddy Cody Hooper from UTV Off-Road Magazine down the hill and noticed one of the excellent features of the Kawasaki Teryx KRX which is Downhill Engine Braking. It’s pretty amazing how well it works, even on rough hills like Wipeout Hill. You can let off the gas and not hit the brake and it will slow you to a controlled creep down hill.
Going up, the Kawasaki Teryx KRX didn’t miss a beat. Right then I was hooked. I have never considered myself as a big fan of rocky hill climbs, but the Kawasaki Teryx KRX changed that story for me. With its 31” inch tall Maxxis Carnivore tires and nearly 14.5” inches of ground clearance, we made it right back up the hill with no wipeouts insight.
All of the trails in Moab have history. From petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks, to old mining structures, there is a story to tell behind every rock. One of those is the Uranium arch, which was the next stop along our journey.
If you are a fan of geological formations like the Uranium arch, you can also visit the nearby Arches National Park just north of Moab, which features 2,000 natural arches.
The next and final stop on Day 1 of our adventure ride was another interesting geological rock formation called Tusher Tunnel. Unlike the Burro Schmit tunnel we last visited with Kawasaki in SoCal, this tunnel was naturally formed by erosion.
Walking through the tunnel you can see a triangular opening at the end that looks over the valley – which can also be a great place to stop for lunch as one couple out riding did. Petroglyphs can also be found outside the tunnel, leaving clues about what the tunnel was once used for, which may have well-been dwellings hundreds of years ago.
With its rich history and legendary views, the Sevenmile Rim Trail did not disappoint. And to experience it all in comfort thanks to the Kawasaki Teryx KRX, it’s no wonder this trail is one of the most popular for visitors, guides, and rental companies alike!
Stay tuned for Day 2 of our Rally on the Rocks adventure in Moab where we take on yet another, more challenging trail called Behind the Rocks. We may even have the help of one of the Supercross Greats himself, Jeremey McGrath. You don’t want to miss it!
SENIOR EDITOR / FOUNDER OF UTV MAG
Jeff has been in the off-road industry over half his life. First starting by riding with his friends on the weekends, to working in a powersports dealership, racing, and then eventually working for multiple publications and now founding his own industry publications including UTV MAG.com and WatercraftMAG.com. He also is the CEO of an omni-channel marketing company LEA Development.