Fins n Things Radio Tower Loop

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 5.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4527 - 4790 feet
Cellphone: 1-4 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Sand Flats Radio Tower
Fee: none
Attractions: Fin-N-Things




The Radio Tower Loop is located in the Sand Flats Recreation Area near Moab, Utah. The trail follows a section of the much longer Fin-N-Things trail beginning at the radio tower just north of the Sand Flats Road and looping around to the staging area where it follows the road back to the radio tower. We found the hike listed in a book that we purchased at the Moab Visitor Center which contained 50 short hikes in the Moab area. In the book the map looks the same as the Google map for this post but it shows a distance of only 2 miles whereas the hike ended up being 5.6 miles.


The radio tower is about 2 miles past the entrance fee station on the north side of the road. This isn't an official trailhead but there is a small parking area just before the tower. Since this is a loop hike it would be just as easy to park at the staging area where there is a large parking area and a restroom.


The book didn't have a lot of details about the hike but the map was identical to the one in the Sand Flats brochure so it was easy enough to figure out. The trail follows the road past the radio tower toward the north and connects up with the main Fin-N-Things route.


Stay to the left on the main trail whenever it comes to a fork. The route is marked with white painted arrows and an occasional stegosaurus.


The trail is most popular as a jeep route that also gets heavy ATV, side-by-side and dirt bike traffic.


The dirt sections of the trail are banked like a racetrack.


Some, but not all, of the rough spots have alternate routes that are a little easier.


Looking out across the landscape reveals just how rugged the area is.


The trail varies from slickrock to red dirt as it makes its loop. At the 2.7 mile point the trail reaches a fork where the main route makes a big 1.5 mile dog leg to the north and back. The trail to the left at this point bypasses all of that and reconnects to the main trail after about a tenth of a mile. That shortcut will cut the overall distance down to about 4 miles. As far as the main trail goes, as can be seen in the picture, it crosses the sandstone fins and domes like a big black snake.


While the jeeps crawl along at a slow pace on the trail the dirt bikes and side-by-sides tend to make quick work of it.


From the shortcut it is less than a half mile out to the Sand Flats Road. At this point the staging area is within a hundred yards to the right and the radio tower is about 8 tenths of a mile up the road to the left.


Whenever a trail turns up on a map or in a book we like to check them out if we can and report our findings and that is the nature of this post. It was a cloudy day when these pictures were taken but the trail was nonetheless beautiful even if they don't show it. The book said that this was a popular hike with the locals so check it out and see what you think. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.