Between Wednesday and Saturday the backcountry trails will be buzzing with vehicles.
It’s not Jeep Safari. And you won’t be seeing hundreds of Jeeps.
It’s Rally on the Rocks, a family friendly event featuring side-by-side utility vehicles.
Side-by-sides are a new market in outdoor play. Similar to an All-terrain vehicle (ATV), side-by-sides seat more and have a roll-cage for increased safety.
Lanse Chournos, one of the event’s owners, said the annual event has grown over the last six years.
“We’re well over last year’s attendance already,” Chournos said.
He said Moab is a perfect place for the side-by-side enthusiasts, with the combination of a variety of trails and scenic beauty.
“Moab is a unique place, and it is great to see it from the seat of side-by side with 600 new friends,” Chournos said. “You can come and learn trade secrets. You can’t duplicate that anywhere else.”
Chournos started coming to Moab four years ago to explore the 4×4 trails with his wife and six children. Three years ago, he and his friend Jared Livington decided to buy the annual event.
There are up to 18 trails to choose from each day, that include a variety of challenges from the simplicity of Fins and Things to the complexity of AreaBFE.
“We advertised this as family friendly: Mild to Wild,” Chournos said. “From mild to wild.”
Each trail has an experienced trail leader to assist and provide guidance.
This year it features a four-days vendor show at the Old Spanish Trail Arena, as well as daily trails with qualified leaders to assist.
“They’re there to help people when they’re saying ‘how in the heck am I going to do that,’” Chournos said.
Kent Green is one of those guides. He grew up in Moab and has been working as a guide for 45 years.
“I enjoy people and love to show them all about Moab,” Green said. “It’s not just about the ride, it’s learning the history that goes along with it.”
Green and his wife, Cricket, own Moab Cowboy Country Offroad Adventures, which features regular side-by-side tours to Hell’s Revenge and Kane Springs.
Rally on the Rocks also features a four-day vendors show at the Old Spanish Trail Arena. Chournos said most of the side-by-side dealers are available. A demonstration track has been built on-site for test-drives.
“If you’re on the fence about what machine to ride, go on the demo tracks,” Chournos said. “Have real seat time in a real life environment.”
A raffle will be held during the event, with twenty-five percent of the proceeds to benefit Sagebrush Coalition, a Moab-based group that works toward keeping backcountry roads open. Each registered participant will receive a raffle ticket in their swag bag, but additional raffle tickets will be available for $2 each.