#EJS2019 Steel Bender Trail Report

Challenging rock sections, sandy roads, and camera-ready scenery

Stuart A. BourdonPhotographer, Writer

Moab, Utah, is the epicenter of red rock four-wheeling, and if there’s any trail that offers all the things Moab is famous for it might very well be Steel Bender. Rated a 6 on a 10 scale by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers who put on the Easter Jeep Safari, the scenery is highly photogenic; the trail combines sandy canyon bottom trails, creek crossings, and a moderately difficult collection of obstacles and challenges that range from rock-studded dirt tracks to serious boulder climbing and steep dives off rock shelves.

During the 2019 Easter Jeep Safari, we were invited to go wheelin’ with our good friends at Skyjacker on Steel Bender. The trail is a popular choice, so if you’re part of a big group plan for a full day on the trail, and make sure you have a sack lunch, some snacks, and plenty of water and sodas in the cooler.

The beginning of the trail is a set of switchbacks that take you to the bottom of a small canyon that’s a homestead farm, so be respectful and stay on the trail and keep your dust down. Then you wind your way through the tree-shaded Mill Creek Canyon, crossing the creek a few times. Then you come to the first real obstacle, a stretch of upward-tilted, bumpy, and stepped rock slab that will get you ready for the challenging trail ahead.

The route is signed so it’s easy to follow, and you will spend anywhere from five to eight hours on it (depending on the number of vehicles in your group and the number of “service stops” your group needs to make). The exit of Steel Bender crosses and climbs out of another creek, which can test your skill crawling out of the creek on wet, slippery rocks. If you’re looking for a smorgasbord of four-wheeling in Moab to fill your day, check out Steel Bender.