Feds designate 4 new national trails, including 1 in Utah

The Hell's Revenge Trail located northeast of Moab was designated a national trail on Friday.

The Hell's Revenge Trail located northeast of Moab was designated a national trail on Friday. (athlux, Shutterstock)


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MOAB — A popular trail for off-highway vehicle riding located northeast of Moab now has national recognition.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland designated the Hell's Revenge Trail within the Bureau of Land Management's Sand Flats Recreation Area, as a national recreation trail along with three other trails across the country on Friday. The designation was made in advance of Great Outdoors Month, which is June every year, and National Trails Day, which took place on Saturday.

"Every American deserves to have a safe and nearby place to experience nature," Haaland said in a statement. "The National Trails System improves access to the outdoors while providing significant impacts to local economies. The additions we are making today are part of our commitment to ensure that we leave a better, healthier planet for generations to come."

National trails are coordinated and administered by the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service along with other federal and nonprofit groups. However, Interior officials note it doesn't change the existing ownership or how the trails are used.

Hell's Revenge is perhaps best known for off-highway vehicles. As American Trails, a nonprofit protecting national trails, puts it, the trail's "steep climbs and descents and some edges ... are not for the faint of heart."

The Bureau of Land Management notes that it can take two to three hours to navigate the main 6.5-mile course. The whole trail totals 9.7 miles when including "optional bypasses at challenging obstacles," according to American Trails. It also crosses the 12.1-mile Slickrock Bike Trail, which is already a national recreation trail geared toward bikes and motorcycles.

"(Hell's Revenge) consists of long stretches of slickrock with outstanding views, including Arches and Canyonlands national parks, the Colorado River Gorge, several wilderness study areas surrounding Moab and the outstanding landscape of the Sand Flats Recreation Area," the Department of Interior noted in its decision.

The measure makes Hell's Revenge Utah's 24th designated national recreation trail and fifth in the Moab area.

Haaland also designated the 21-mile Banks-Vernonia State Trail in Oregon, the 1.5-mile Comal River Water Trail in Texas and the 1-mile Sweet Spring Turnpike Trail in West Virginia as national recreation trails last week.

"These four new national trails will build connections in communities, ensuring bikers, hikers and all who love our public lands have increased access to outdoor recreation opportunities close to home," National Park Service director Chuck Sams said.

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UtahOutdoorsSouthern UtahEastern Utah
Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.

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