Moab Off Road Trail Spotlight: Backwards Bill

With the annual Easter Jeep Safari drawing nearer every day, we have seen an upsurge in the number of avid off-roaders who want to come and experience some of the popular off-roading trails in Moab, Utah.

Since we at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive love checking out the trails almost as much as we love crafting custom-built rides, we try to show as many people as possible the variety of trails in this part of the country. That’s the reason behind our regular trail riding events as well as these series of articles highlighting some interesting trails.

Today, we’d like to point out one of our favorite trails in Moab – Backwards Bill.

Backwards Bill Trail Overview

Backwards Bill is named after Bill Hughes of Red Rock 4-Wheelers who designed it. This trail is a combination of the second half of Wipe-Out Hill and the first half of the Sevenmile Rim Trail but with a twist – it’s run backwards.

It captures your attention right from the start with hardcore four-wheeling as you ascend Wipe-Out Hill. This is followed by some rock crawling over Merrimac and Monitor Buttes (named after famous Civil War ships). Lastly, you’ll face a tough ascent up Sevenmile Rim, taking a series of switchbacks down the other side that lead you back to the highway.

To successfully run this 5-rated trail, your rig needs to have adequate ground clearance coupled with tall tires (at least 33” high). Enhanced suspension and traction aids such as rear lockers are also advised.

Trail Scenery and Surface Of Backwards Bill

If you take the time to look up from the trail, you’ll be blown away by the magnificent scenery. From the Big Mesa to Merrimac Butte and Monitor Butte, you’ll have your fill of fantastic sandstone formations. The tough ascent up Seven mile Rim will reward you with great views for miles, allowing you to catch a glimpse of the La Sal Mountain Range in the distance, Sevenmile Canyon just below and Arches National Park to the East.

The trail surface switches from sand to slickrock and back, giving you a taste of driving on both.

Backwards Bill Trail Obstacles and other Details

Backwards Bill is a fun way to hit up two great trails in a short time. You’ll get an adrenalin rush in the early stage with a dramatic descent of Rattlesnake Hill followed almost immediately by the tough ascent of Wipe-out Hill. More excitement is guaranteed as you negotiate Merrimac Butte and the switchbacks leading you down Sevenmile Rim.

This trail promises to be a challenging ride for anyone willing to give it a try. Vehicle body and mechanical damage are a real possibility on Backwards Bill. If your rig takes a beating, don’t hesitate to bring it to the Dixie 4 Wheel Drive auto shop in Moab. We’ll be happy to fix it up and have it back on the trail in no time.

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