The “fins” are the Navajo Sandstone slickrock northeast of Moab, and the “things” are what remains as the fins erode. The fins started as wind-blown sand dunes some 200 million years ago, they got cemented into sandstone, and they are now going full circle back to sand blowing in the wind. The trail is reached via the Sand Flats road, and the territory it covers is the rolling country east of the Hell’s Revenge trail and between Negro Bill Canyon and North Fork of Mill Creek Canyon. (Sand Flats is now a fee area for individual visitors, but because this event pays a land-use fee, the Easter Jeep Safari trips pay no additional fee.) There are a few sudden and steep climbs on and off the slickrock that can be difficult for vehicles with long overhangs. Any tire tread will do on the slickrock, but the clearance added by tall tires is always an advantage, while an aggressive tread helps in the sand.
The views near and far are exceptionally scenic. The Navajo mounds and fins are themselves interesting, and the deep canyon system of Negro Bill adds a special dimension. Farther to the east are the red mesa rims at the base of the snow-covered La Sal Mountains.
Most of the travel time is on slickrock or very sandy dirt. Some of the climbs are aggravated by a loose-sand approach, and there is some deep, loose sand.
One hill of deep sand has a sharp turn that thwarts the high-speed approach often needed in sand, but the hill can be bypassed. There are several steep ups and downs on the slickrock that will drag front, rear, and maybe middle of some vehicles. Slickrock climbs called “Frenchie’s Fin” and “Ken’s Climb” are about as steep as we can do.