Moab has become to Jeepers what Sturgis is to bikers. Each year thousands of ’wheeling enthusiasts flock to Moab, Utah, to partake in the annual Easter Jeep Safari hosted by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers. It’s a family friendly atmosphere that draws people and vehicles from around the globe. With over 30 designated OVH trails and amazing scenery everywhere you turn Moab is one of the most enjoyable and picturesque places you can be come springtime.
We understand ’wheeling a new place like Moab can be a bit intimidating, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite red-rock ’wheeling spots. Many of our top picks don’t require an overly built rig. You don’t have to have an ultra-built buggy to enjoy the day. Conversely, some of our most well liked trails have obstacles that will keep even the most skilled driver and rig on their toes. From scenic backroads to hardcore crawling, Moab has it all.
Difficulty ratings are from Red Rock 4-Wheelers and based on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 the most difficult.
Despite the aggressive name, the Hell’s Revenge trail is an easy way to get a taste of what Moab is all about. The trail consists of a host of fins, steep climbs, and Moab’s famous slickrock, which is traction-rich to say the least. A stock 4x4 is more than capable of completing the trail, but you may have to bypass a few of its famous obstacles, such as Hell’s Gate, Escalator, or one of the many hot tubs. Depending on traffic, expect to spend a couple hours on the trail, but it’s generally a quick run. This is one of our favorite trails and a great place to soak in the scenery while testing your skills behind the wheel.
GPS Coordinates: 38, 34’, 31”/Lon: 109, 31’, 19”
Difficulty Rating: 6
Up for a challenge and have a day to commit? Pritchett Canyon is the place to go. This rocky and off-camber trail is one of the Moab’s most challenging. Nearly every part of the trail demands your attention. Only those with a well-built vehicle, which they are familiar with, should attempt the trail. Make sure your winch is in working order as well. Chances are, you will use the self-recovery tool at least once. The more famous obstacles include Rocker Knocker, Rock Pile, and Yellow Hill. Most of the extremely difficult obstacles have bypasses or winch points, so you can safely make it through. Body damage is likely on this trail, and a good spotter will be priceless on some of the more off-camber spots.
GPS Coordinates: 38, 32’, 8”/Lon: 109, 35’, 55”
Difficulty Rating: 9
OK, three-for-one isn’t the trail name, but rather what you get when you start on Poison Spyder Mesa and end on Gold Bar Rim. As luck (or careful planning) would have it, Poison Spider Mesa, Golden Spike, and Gold Bar Rim all connect. The trail trifecta requires an all-day commitment, but you will encounter such famous spots as Golden Crack and Double Whammy, all while overlooking some of the most amazing scenery in Moab. Small to large ledges, along with a series of fins, will keep your eyes sharply glued to the tracks ahead. In total, there are just enough obstacles along the way to keep you hardcore guys entertained, but enough scenery and bypasses to allow less-modified rigs to enjoy the journey, too. This isn’t a trip we would try in a stock rig by any means, but a good wheelman can pilot a modestly modified vehicle through the entire trail trio. Again, this is a long day, but well worth it.
GPS Coordinates: 38, 32’, 1”/Lon: 109, 36’, 24”
Difficulty Rating: 5 to 7
The challenges you’ll find on Cliff Hanger are more mental than vehicle trying, but it doesn’t mean this trail is a walk in the park. A series of ledges and climbs will keep you on your toes from the start, and will likely provide new trail scars on your rear bumper. A 1,300-foot rise in elevation gives you a tremendous view of the creek below, but the closest you come to cliff hanging is the off-camber left at the end of the trail. It will feel much worse than it actually is. This has become one of our favorite night ’wheeling trails. It’s close to town, and you can get in and out in relatively short time.
GPS Coordinates: 38, 31’, 27”/Lon: 109, 36’, 5”
Difficulty Rating: 7
This maybe one of the spookiest trails in all of Moab when you are forced to tackle an off-camber section that pitches you towards the Colorado River -- oh, and a nearly thousand-foot drop! This trail is not for the novice ’wheeler or the faint of heart, but like most of Moab, much of the challenge is mental. Once you shake your nerves, you will enjoy the view and ’wheeling to be had. Do it at least once so you can put that notch under your belt.
GPS Coordinates: 38, 33’, 34”/Lon: 109, 34’, 56”
Difficulty Rating: 7
Kane Creek Canyon
At 20 miles, Kane Creek Canyon is no short jaunt. Expect to spend a fair amount of time getting to the trail as well. The trail stays true to its name. It snakes along a creek bed and passes you through dozens of creek crossings, some of which can get pretty deep. Don’t be surprised if you find a little mud along the way, which may be a relief because Moab can be especially dusty. Towards the end of the trail, the elevation rises, and as the scenic view increases, so does the difficulty.
GPS Coordinates: 38, 27’, 58”/Lon: 109, 36’, 2”
Difficulty Rating: 6
The Upper Helldorado trail may be one of Utah’s most well-known. This short trail is actually located inside Area BFE, which is a private ’wheeling park that sits on the edge of town. The park is free to ride, although donations are gladly accepted and put to good use, and open year-round. Upper Helldorado is a mesh of huge boulders and windshield-crushing squeezes with an epic waterfall obstacle waiting at the end. If you have the wheelbase and skills, driving out of the trail unscathed and winch free is possible. If Upper Helldorado sounds like more than you bargained for, don’t count out Area BFE completely. Along with the famous hardcore trail selection is a bevy of other trails ranging from very mild to downright extreme. Like most of Moab, this is not a place you want to ’wheel alone.
GPS Coordinates: 38, 24’, 21”/Lon: 109, 24’, 24”
Difficulty Rating: 8