2016 Rally On The Rocks Recap.
May 10th – May 14th
In the canyons of eastern Utah lies the town of Moab. A premier destination point for tourism in the western United States, Moab offers incredible panoramic views of breathtaking scenery from deep canyons and river rapids to natural arches and snowcapped mountains. The location’s vast and beautiful terrain is an epicenter for outdoor activity like hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, rafting and especially wheeling. Thousands of miles of old mining roads and backcountry trails offer a range of scenic drives and challenging 4 wheeling experiences. Off-road enthusiasts from across the nation travel to this premium off-roading haven to test themselves at slick rock maneuvering and to push the limits of their machines as well as their comfort zones for an unforgettable adventure.
We ventured out to Moab because the town is home to the annual Discount Tire Rally on the Rocks, a week long UTV event where thousands of SxS enthusiasts gather to really experience Moab. Just minutes south of town on HWY 191, the event is headquartered at the Old Spanish Trail Arena. Many UTV vendors like MB Quart, MSA Wheels, Super ATV and PRP Seats fill the arena and the surrounding area giving attendees the opportunity to meet and greet with representatives from their favorite brands and to get a look at the latest UTV parts and accessories. Many vendors even supplied products to purchase on location. Companies like Sedona Tire and Wheel and Trail Armor were hard at work installing their products on side by sides throughout the event week.
OEMs like Arctic Cat, Yamaha and Polaris were present to greet their customers as well as showcasing the latest UTVs on the market. When Polaris attends a side by side rally you can typically find them offering demo rides in their new machines as well as participating in rides alongside with customers, but due to the recent recall of some RZR models Polaris had a different game plan. They brought a team of mechanics and a semi-truck full of parts to assist customers with repairs.
Aside from the epic scenery, Rally on the Rocks is one unique UTV event because it’s one of the few events that offer daily guided trail rides. Attendees choose between 15+ trails ranging from a zero difficulty for the novice rider to extremely challenging trails for the more experienced rider. Trail rides departed each day between 10-10:30 in the morning and returned mid to late afternoon depending on the trail you choose and if anyone in the group had mechanical issues along the way.
Utah native and experienced off-roader Cory Payne was our trail guide this year; Cory has been involved with Rally on the Rocks since the beginning and has been off-roading in Moab since he was a young boy. Along with three other group rides throughout the week, Cory led our group in his 2014 Arctic Cat Wildcat X and guided each side by side though the most difficult sections of the trail. For our guided trail ride we tackled Moab Rim. Along the south side of the Colorado River, Moab Rim is a 6 mile trail that climbs the tilted rock strata of the canyon around 700 feet in elevation to reach the top of the rim for a spectacular view overlooking Moab. On a difficulty scale of 1-10, Moab Rim is rated at a solid 8.
Moab Rim gave us an opportunity to experience the Polaris General as well; we hopped in with Utah native Rusty Stebar, General Manager for Triple S Polaris in Cedar City, Utah. We were thoroughly impressed on how well the General performed on the trail, as well as with Rusty’s rock crawling skills. Prior to the rally, Rusty had his Polaris General tricked out with a long travel kit; needless to say we had a smooth ride and would hop back in with Rusty anytime. Thanks Rusty!
The guys from Discount Tire rode with us too. Not only were they the title sponsor of the event, they were the sponsor of our guided trail ride. They gave away freebies to everyone on the ride and lent a helping hand during a few breakdowns including jumping in to drop both axles when a rear differential failed on one rider’s RZR. They got the machine freewheeling in the rear and the rider incredibly rode back down the trail in front wheel drive without any issues.
Once back to the rally, Discount tire and the Rally on the Rocks event staff gathered everyone in the Old Spanish Trail Arena before the evening was over to give away tons of prizes. They passed out ice cream on Thursday and even fed dinner to attendees on Friday. Amongst the many prizes that could be won, Polaris gave away a brand new RZR XP 1000. The winner was Jack Liljenburg. Not only was this an exciting win for Jack, it was he and his wife’s 27th anniversary making this event a most memorable one. Proceeds raised at the rally supported The Blue Ribbon Coalition, an organization dedicated to legislating keeping the trails open, and the Grand County Search and Rescue program.
All in all, this entire rally was an amazing event. Aside from checking out the latest side by side products from vendors and OEMs, we met some fantastic people and made some new friends. We can easily say this event tops it all for epic trail riding, scenic views and an experience of a lifetime. Moab, Utah offers some of the best UTV riding in the nation, we recommend you add Rally on the Rocks to your bucket list. Join us for Rally on the Rocks in 2017, we guarantee you’re in for a real treat.
For more info on Rally on the Rocks visit – http://www.rallyontherocks.com