Headed to Moab this Easter to do a little off roading? Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of things to do and see in and around Moab other than rock crawling. Take your adventure off road and experience all of what Moab as to offer. Just don’t forget your extra Jeep accessories and your offroad tires.
From March 28 - April 5, 2015 around 9,000+ Jeep and 4x4 enthusiasts from all over the world will gather at one of the largest gatherings of Jeeps and off-road fans in the world. That’s 9 days of total awesome, which has to be regulated right? Created in 1967 by the Moab Chamber of Commerce the Easter Jeep Safari has grown exponentially over the years and since 1983 has been managed by a group of for-profit called Red Rock 4-Wheelers. RR4W is the liaison between the BLM and The Chamber of Commerce for permit and insurance reasons. With 38 BLM approved trails your Jeep is going to have a blast climbing, crawling, and walking over the red rocks of Moab. Each trail is rated from 2 to 8 in difficulty, ones you might think twice about bringing your Jeep through. You can find a list of approved trails here at rrw4.com.
Of course there are the several Jeep trails that will mostly be crowded with guided tours during the week prior to Easter and there be the ever popular area BFE, which is located southeast of town on highway 191. A few of the trails even close to self-guided travel because of the large groups that will be running these during this week. Don’t let the trail running be your driving force when visiting this area as there is numerous other things that one should experience during your visit.
NOT TO FAR AWAY
First, there is the Moab Information Center located on the corner of Main and Center streets. They offer information on hotels, guides, outfitters, dining, shuttles and many other bits of information to help you during your visit. They have interpretive displays and a gift shop where they offer guide books, maps, posters, DVD’s and many other items you may want or need during your stay. One of the best things I ever did was purchase a great map of all the trails in and around the area. With this I have been able to take my Jeep JK and find things that sticking to the “popular” trails; one would never find or see.
In the summer Moab offers river running/rafting, paddle boarding, mountain biking, climbing and canyoneering, hang gliding and parasailing, jet boat rides on the Colorado, hot air balloon rides, horseback riding and much more to do.
There are things to see very close to town like the rock art petroglyphs that are located just west of town on highway U-279 (the potash road). Just leave town north and when you cross the Colorado River start looking on your left and you will see the signs for the Potash Road. Just east of the middle of town you can enter Sand Flats. Here you will find the beginning of Hell’s Revenge that is one of the trails during the Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) but you can also traverse the rock formation called “little lions back” or just get lost with a packed lunch on the Sand Flats road which also has sections of the trail they call “Fins & Things” which too is part of the EJS trail system.
Want to venture out further on some dirt roads with great views? Continue on the Potash road and you will pass the evaporation ponds. The dirt road you will want to pick up and follow is 142. This will take you over the Shafer Trail which travels below Deadhorse Point and along the Colorado River. Along the way you will enter into Canyonlands National Park where the road eventually comes to the switchbacks and ends not far away from Islands in the sky and the visitor’s center in Canyonlands. On the switchbacks pay attention and you may see some big horn sheep. I have seen them on every trip I have made across this trail. When you reach to blacktop, you can turn left and go to the visitor’s center in Canyonlands. Here you can also follow the road out to Grand View Point. If you choose to not turn left towards the visitor’s center, you can continue on the paved road back towards highway 191 where you will pass the road that also goes out to Deadhorse point. Deadhorse point is a view not to be missed. If you have never been there, you really should take the time to go see what you have been missing. The views from this vista are incredible.
There is also the LaSal loop road that is a great little 60 mile journey that will take you across changing terrain from slick rock area to mountain roads with trees and views. This trail is an easy drive and is picked up out by Ken’s lake. There you will travel up into the LaSal’s and the road comes out on highway 128 northwest of town on the river. Be sure to get a map at the Moab Information Center and look for this trail.
The average weather in Moab in April varies from a high of 72 ºf and a low of 40 ºf. If the weather goes south and you need a place to rest your weary bones from crawing rocks all day, Moab has quite the selection of lodging. There are a lot of Moab lodging options, including these Tripadvisor.com top 3 Moab hotels: Red Cliffs Lodge, Best Western and Aarchway Inn. Pricing starts around $80 and peak around $450 USD per night. If your more of a wanderlust personality, there are a few Moab camping options.
Moab has some great eating establishments and is home to the Moab Brewery where you can get a great burger and an equally great beer! Just up the street is Eddie McStiff’s where more great pub grub can be found. Our breakfast favorite is the Jailhouse right in the middle of town. Great little place to get you morning started off right. Other favorites include the Blu Pig, Moab Diner, Zax Restaurant, Wake & Bake Café to name a few.
Moab is also home to the Moab Castle Creek Winery which is located northeast of town on highway 128. Go to the north end of town and turn east on 128 just before the river. The winery is located about 12 miles up the road on your left. There is also the Spanish Valley Winery just southeast of town.
During the week there is the off road vendor show at the Spanish Trail Arena. Here many vendors show off their products for Jeeps and pretty much anything having to do with trail running or rock crawling equipment. Are you in the market for more goodies for your Jeep Wrangler or 4x4? This is the place to check out all that is new and available for all you off-roading needs. This event is the Thursday and Friday of the event week.
Don’t forget that your adventure should include a trip through Arches National Park. It’s just a few miles north of town and well worth the time. From the Gossips to Delicate Arch, it’s not to be missed.
Whatever you do, just have fun. Moab is a beautiful place and is well worth the visit. I really hate to break things on my Jeep so I’ll stick to trails. If you are into that body damaging, rock rash and thrashing some of these offroad trails demand and you have the vehicle to do it, get after it….I’ll watch.
-Scott Gordon Owner / GRDProductsCo.com
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