I wasn't quite sure about Fins N' Things when I first heard the name. The fins refer to the weathered slickrock formations that jut out as long fins. The trail takes you from one fin to another. It has some challenging sections in it, but they are usually not really long. As such, they are a good warm up, if you would, for the more intense slickrock trails, such as the premiere slickrock trail called Hell's Revenge.
The trail is not very old. I believe it has only been run for about the last 10 years or so. A local 4 wheeler obtained permission from the BLM to open this trail. As I understand it, it took her about 3 years to map out a suitable and challenging trail. The trail resides inside the boundaries of the Sands Flat Recreation Area, which is just a few miles from Moab (the famous Lion's Back challenge is just around the corner). Admission to Sands Flat was $5 and gave you admission for 3 days. We did Fins N' Things on the first day and then came back two days later for Hell's Revenge, also located in the Sands Flat area. The money is used to keep the area looking good and helping to manage the trails. It is very important that you "Keep on the Trails", as the BLM folks are always nearby. Did I say you should keep on the trails?
The trail has a mixture of short and steep sections of slickrock, some sandy trail sections, and long fins on which to drive. Here is a short (~200KB) movie of the stock YJ going up a sandy section of the trail. It took multiple attempts before he made it all the way to the top. Joe said that a typical Jeep Safari run will spend about an hour here on account of the vehicles with open diffs having a difficult time getting to the top. This little hill was nothing compared to the sand hill we ran on the 3-D trail, although the sand was of the same type....very fine and difficult to walk and drive in.
A nice view of the slickrock in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. As you can see, these fins are really tall and long, making excellent trails. Getting on and off of the fin can be an exhilarating experience, as the sections can often times be very steep.
With the snow capped Manti-LaSelle Mountains in the background, you can see part of the our trail in the middle of the picture as it goes across the slickrock. For those who are worried about the tire tracks on the rock, it weathers off over the winter and is not visible in the spring. If you are inclined to do some early season Jeepin', be sure you have a GPS track or a very detailed map because you won't find much evidence of the trail from the previous years use.
OK, so I had to sneak a shot of lady into the story here. As you can see, some sections get pretty steep. If you have full steel doors, such as I do, getting the door open so you can get in and out is no easy task. To get back into the Jeep, I find that climbing up on the rear tire and then stepping into the vehicle is much easier than somehow jumping 4' into the air and onto the seat!
Well, you have probably her of "cow tipping", but have you heard of "Jeep tipping"? Joe is having some fun with Ken's stock YJ. The sway bar links are still connected which makes it very easy to lift a tire, as shown here. The other YJ (not stock) and a CJ took the same line and also lifted the tire, but not nearly as much. I am proud to say that Lady also tried but all 4 tires remained on the slickrock. I love her suspension.
After a fun day on the slickrock, we head back towards camp. Here is another view of the immense slick rock fins that are in the area. The Sands Flat Recreation Area is a great place to spend a day (or two), and we will find out just how great when we come back in two days to tackle Hell's Revenge!
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