Lion's Back in Utah: the consequences for mistakes here are severe

Lion's Back is a famous sandstone ridge located near the city of Moab in the US state of Utah. It is now private property and no longer accessible by 4x4 enthusiasts.

Lion's Back

Where is Lion's Back in UT?

Lion's Back is located in the heart of the Colorado Plateau, near Moab, in Grand County, in the eastern part of Utah, in the western United States. It’s located to the east of the iconic Hell's Revenge Trail.

Why is Lion's Back in UT famous?

It gained popularity in the early 2000s as a daring climb for off-road vehicles due to its steep incline and rugged terrain.

How is Lion's Back in UT?

The climb is several hundred feet up (350 feet), and the slope has a gradient of up to 65 degrees in places; then the world’s most precarious 3-point turn at the top of the rock, before the hair-raising descent. It's said to be one of the most iconic off-road obstacles on the planet. As the tire tracks on the rock show, plenty of off-roaders have proved their insanity here. Excellent traction enabled vehicles to surmount inclines of incredible steepness, but plenty of power is necessary. The climb involves several hundred feet on a steep slope, and then a 5 to 9-point turn-around at the top of the rock before slowly descending the same way up. Drivers ascended a steep stone ramp, surrounded on all sides by precipitous drop-offs. This amazing and dangerous rock was not for stock vehicles or novice drivers.

The most famous accident on Lion's Back

This rocky hill was known for a video showing a Chevrolet Blazer losing its brakes and rolling down the hill, plunging 30 feet to the ground. The accident was featured on several TV shows.

Why is Lion's Back at Moab closed?

The experience was simply stunning. Despite its allure to adrenaline junkies, Lion's Back was eventually closed to vehicle traffic due to safety concerns and environmental considerations. The closure came after several incidents and accidents on the trail, highlighting the risks associated with attempting such treacherous off-road challenges. In 2004, this land was purchased by a real estate developer and has since been closed to the public. Now it’s privately owned and no longer accessible by 4x4 enthusiasts. It is one of those obstacles that looks much more intimidating than it is difficult. While Lion's Back is no longer accessible for 4x4 vehicles, it remains a notable landmark in the Moab area and serves as a reminder of the region's rugged terrain and adventurous spirit.
Pic: Dan Ellis