It was that time of year again and most of the 4-Wheel & Off-Road crew packed up and moved to Moab for Easter Jeep Safari in early April. Rick headed out with the green Ultimate Adventure FJ Cruiser in tow behind his '07 4x4 of the Year Dodge TRX4, our new guy Ali hitched a ride with Alan in his ZJ on 33s, and Jerrod set out to drive a topless, overly flogged Premudder K5 out to Moab and back. And Fred? Poor Fred had to stay home to find new dwellings after a recent eviction notice (well, not really an eviction notice, more of a double-your-rent notice).
But where were you this year? Moab seemed a little emptier than in years past (and it wasn't just because Fred wasn't around). It was as fun as ever, but we didn't see all of you there to enjoy it. Could it have been due to overinflated fuel prices, trail closures, or maybe both? Regardless, we were just glad to be able to get around on trails more easily, with less pile-ups. It's not that we don't miss you non-returnees, heck, we would love to see every one of our readers out there having a good time. But when Moab is less crowded, it means a chance for us (and you) to do a little more wheeling and a little less sitting.
Have we seen the climax of Moab? Is it on a downward spiral, or was this just an off year? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: There are fewer places to wheel in Moab this year than ever before, with some of the most famous obstacles closing up. This year Dump Bump shut its gates, Potato Salad Hill saw its last year of debauchery, and if you haven't heard, even Lion's Back has been closed forever. By this time next year you very well could be looking at condos as you wheel on Hell's Revenge. As long as populations are growing, you should expect more land closures, so do everyone a favor and join your local 4x4 club and let your voice be heard.
When in Moab, we suggest trying to hit these trails. They are some of the harder and more fun trails in Moab. If you can, get to Moab during an off week, and you'll get more wheeling in than during the Easter Jeep Safari. EJS is pretty fun as well, with all the people and the excitement, but it's crowded! Want directions or coordinates to get to these trails? Contact the Red Rock 4 Wheelers and let them know you're interested in helping to keep Moab open and that you want to make a donation. We're sure they'd be happy to help you out with some directions after that.
And sorry, but we're not listing the Red Rock 4 Wheelers' rating system of these trails because they are in the process of changing their 2-5 ratings to a more specific 1-10 ratings system.
Behind the Rocks
Coyote Trail (near Area BFE)
Flat Iron Mesa
Hole in the Rock
Moab Rim Trail
Poison Spyder Mesa
Upper Helldorado (in Area BFE)
A few years ago, the area now known as Area BFE was in jeopardy, as the owners of the land put it up for sale. Jeremy Parriott got together with some investors and saved the area for wheelers, keeping it open for us to run such great trails as Upper Helldorado. But Moab is seeing the impacts of too many people and too much use. Dump Bump has been closed for good. So has Lion's Back, due to the sale of the land and some potential condos or something. And Potato Salad Hill saw its last wild weekend, as it will be closed after this year as well. Want to keep your trails open? Then fight for them, care for them, and make sure they stay clean.