The Mecca, the promised land – just a few of the undisputed phrases that describe Moab. Located in southwest Utah, Moab offers an off-road experience like no other. Its sculpted red slickrock formations, breathtaking views, and rich history attract tourists and four-wheelers from around the globe. Without a doubt, it’s a place that every four-wheeler dreams of visiting at least once in their life.
One of the many great features of Moab is the trail variety. No matter how equipped your vehicle is, as long as you can shift to low-range, you’re bound to have a good time in Moab.
Easy 1-3: Your rig doesn’t need to be built with 40” tires and maximum travel suspension to have a good time in Moab. There are a number of trails that can even be done in a stock 4WD: Secret Spire, Geyser Pass, Chicken Corners, Shafer Trail, and Polar Mesa
Intermediate 4-6: Looking for something more technical? Check out Seven Mile Rim, Crystal Geyser, Fins & Things, Hell’s Revenge, Poison Spider Mesa, Flat Iron Mesa, Cameo Cliffs, Elephant Hill, Wipe-Out Hill, Top of the World, and Steel Bender. We recommend a minimum of 33” tires and a rear locker.
Difficult 7-8: For those looking to put their heavily modified 4WD’s to the test. Minimum 35” tires along with front and rear lockers are highly recommended: Rose Garden Hill, Cliffhanger, Golden Spike, Moab Rim, Kane Creek, Metal Masher, Escalator (Hell’s Revenge)
Extreme 9-10: To the adept four-wheelers, Pritchett Canyon is for you. It’s recommended to have at minimum 37” tires with front and rear lockers along with a winch. Pritchett Canyon
Complete solitude surrounded by amazing scenery is what makes Elephant Hill one of Utah’s most popular trails. Located an hour south of Moab deep into the Needles District in Canyonlands National Park. Considered to be one of the most technical routes in Utah, in the 1940’s it was originally used as a road for cattle ranchers. The road has since been abandoned but the rich history remains.
Plan appropriately, a paid permit must be secured prior. Groups are usually limited to three vehicles with a limit of up to 24 people per 24 hours. Permits can be secured by contacting the National Park Service.
Ensure your rig is well equipped, the minimum recovery fee is $2000.
“Fins” – the navajo Sandstone slickrock formations that are located northeast of Moab. “Things” – the eroded fins.
This roller coaster rides the slickrock sandstone formations and overlooks the La Sal Mountains; prepare yourself for astonishing panoramic views. The so-called “slickrock” isn’t necessarily slick, it actually provides an incredible amount of traction when aired down. Although it’s not the most challenging, this is a trail that we find ourselves coming back to year after year.
Hells Revenge, the quintessential trail of Moab due to its postcard views of the red slickrock. Located just past the Sand Flats Recreation Area, the trail head is less than ten minutes from town.
Be prepared to remain on the slickrock the entire duration, it’s clearly marked to ensure users remain on the trail. This trail features steep climbs and descends along with multiple rocky drop-offs. Eventually, you will encounter a couple of optional challenging sections, the Escalator and Hot Tub; both of which will send shivers down your spine.
Hence its name, this trail follows and weaves in and out of Kane Creek.
During spring, the creek is usually wet and muddy. Beware, the sandy washes throughout the creek may contain quicksand. Eventually, you will find you make your way through an eroded narrow canyon that will make you choose your lines wisely. The brush is thick in certain areas, be prepared for your rig to leave this trail with minor pinstripes.
Be sure to avoid this trail after a storm, the creek may become impassable.
“I think my favorite trail is Kane Creek. It’s not the most challenging trail in Moab but it has some great obstacles. What keeps me going back is the wide range of terrain you cover on the trail. Sandy washes, multiple creek crossings, boulder crawling, and some challenging ledges gives you a little of everything. If the wheeling terrain isn’t enough for you, the beauty of the canyon is amazing. You’ll find hieroglyphics just before you drop into the canyon and once you get through all of the water crossings you find an incredible beauty in the canyon walls. Kane Creek- it has it all.”
-Scott Frary ARB USA Regional Sales Manager
Pritchett Canyon, a trail that seems to get increasingly difficult year after year. Ready to put your technical driving skills to the test and push your vehicle to the limits? Broken parts and rollovers are an ordinary occurrence.
The nine main obstacles consist of considerably steep and off-camber drop-offs and ledge climbs, none of which with an easy bypass.
The infamous obstacles of Rocker Knocker and Yellow Hill reside in Pritchett Canyon. Be prepared, body damage is likely, even on the bypass/winch hills.
“The most enjoyable and challenging trail I keep coming back to in Moab is Pritchett Canyon. Especially back in the early 2000’s before they “improved” the entrance. Not going to lie, my Willys is a bit wheelbase challenged so I usually need to skirt around certain obstacles (Rocker Knocker, Rock Pile) or take a strap. I have also broken components on it but none of that takes away from the fun.”
-Scott Harrington ARB USA Regional Sales Manager
Behind the Rocks is an easily accessible trail with the trailhead being on the side of the highway. The start of the trail is congested with smaller, layered rocks and red sand which isn’t a problem for most 4X4’s, until you reach the gatekeeper that is. The intimidating gatekeeper is a very steep wall rock formation; however, its appearance can be deceiving. One of the many reasons why Moab is considered an off-road mecca is because of the considerable amount of grip that the terrain offers. This wall is no exception. Overcoming the intimidating gate keeper will lead you through the mostly flat dusty trail accompanied by many challenging rock gardens with no bypass.
Lying between Moab and the La Sal Mountains, Steel Bender offers a little bit of everything including sand, slick rock, ledges, and even water crossings. This diverse terrain makes it one of the most popular, yet challenging trails in Moab. Due to erosion, this trail is ever changing causing certain areas to become more difficult than they once were.
The difficulty rating of 6 means front and rear locking differentials accompanied by a minimum of 35 inch tires is highly recommended.
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