Whenever we get a vehicle in for testing at Roadshow HQ that's specifically meant for off-roading, we do our best to get it to the dirt. However, sometimes schedules or weather make that impossible. Such was the case with the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk we tried out a few months back. Fortunately for us, some crazy person had the guts to take a stock Cherokee Trailhawk up Hell's Gate, and someone else was kind enough to send us the video.
Hell's Gate is just one obstacle on the Hell's Revenge trail. The trail is rated at a six out of ten for difficulty, so a stock 4x4 should have no problem. However, that is with the assumption that side-parties like Hell's Gate are bypassed.
There are a few things that make this obstacle a challenge. It's tough to get a purchase on Moab's infamous slickrock and as the trail goes up, it gets steeper and narrower. The top section is especially precarious. Choose the wrong line and you'll more than likely go ass-over-tea kettle all the way to the bottom.
The steepness of the trail is really no problem for the Cherokee. It has a 56:1 low gear ratio for low-speed, high-torque rock crawling and a locking rear differential. The most impressive aspect of this Cherokee's run is that it's wearing the stock Firestone Destination all-terrain tires, not dedicated off-road tires with aggressive tread and giant sidewalls. The driver is able to get the most out of the 65 millimeter sidewall with careful throttle application and the spotters do a great job in guiding him or her up the rock face. Bravo, team!