Off-Road Travel: Moab, Utah

Mar. 24, 2011 By Jaime Hernandez

The mystique and beauty of red rock brings off-roaders from all over the world to experience this wondrous land called Moab, Utah. Famous for its slickrock and scenic 4x4 trails, Moab has grown to be one of the top destinations for adventure seekers.

With over 50 different trails to be explored by 4x4, dirt bike, ATV and UTVóMoab is one of the best places to hit the dirt for adventure.

Moab is located 241 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah and 115 miles west of Grand Junction, Coloradoónestled between Arches and Canyonlands National Park in southeast Utah.

MOAB AND ITS TRAILS
Jeep on Kane Creek trail in Moab, UT.

Moab is famous for its slickrock trails and extreme landscape. Before it became a four-wheeling hot spot, Moab was the center of uranium mining during the Cold War. Many of the trails used today are old mining roads built to access the mines.  There are literally hundreds of off-road miles to be explored.

One of our favorite trails is Hellís Revenge. The colorful slickrock trail is a great example of the type of terrain and scenic vistas typical of the area. This is a ďmust doĒ trail when visiting Moab.

The colorful Moab red rock can be enticing to the eye, and very exciting behind the wheel. Passengers are also sure to enjoy it.

Hellís Revenge is located just outside of town in the Sand Flats BLM Recreation Area, Hellís Revenge offers a variety of terrain including slickrock, broken rock, rock ledges, dirt, and even blow sand. Itís a 4+ rated trail.

The slickrock on Hellís Revenge is a popular spot for 4x4s and dirt bikes. The rolling hills and steep climbs make it a fun trail to tackle.

Hellís Revenge is well marked by fire symbols painted on the rock. The slickrock trail travels up and down rolling hills of petrified sand dunes and remnants of ancient sea beds. From the trail, amazing views of the La Sal Mountains, Arches National Park and the Colorado River can be enjoyed.

If youíre looking for high-adrenaline action to complement your serene trail ride, look no further than Hellís Gate and Mickeyís Hot Tub. Both are along the Hellís Gate trail and are sure to get your heart pumping.

For those that are trying to avoid excessive cardiovascular palpitation, a by-pass is available.

Hellís Gate is a very challenging obstacle.  This Jeep CJ-5 got up on three wheels as the happy footed driver accelerated until finally rolling it on its side. Nobody was hurt, just some rock rash.

Mickeyís Hot Tubs are two large bowls at the top of a rock mound that sometimes have water in them. The challenge is to get inside and then try to get out. There are two hot tubs, one small and one big. The small one is manageable, but only a few dare try the big Hot Tub. Itís a driveshaft and axle breaker.

A heavily-modified Jeep trying to make it out of Mickeyís Hot Tub.

Hellís Revenge is just one of many exciting and picturesque trails in Moab. Here are some links for other trails Off-Road.com has ventured on over the years:

ē POISON SPIDER

ē GOLDEN SPIKE

ē KANE CREEK

ē SECRET SPIRE

ē SEVENMILE RIM, WIPE-OUT HILL

ē AREA BFE

MOAB EASTER JEEP SAFARI
Every year the Red Rock 4-Wheelers host the Moab Easter Jeep Safari. The nine-day event includes organized runs, raffles, food and a large vender show featuring anyone thatís someone in the Jeep and 4x4 market. 

Off-Road.com has been covering the annual event for some time now, and we will return this year for another adventure-packed week.

Moab is transformed into a 4x4 Mecca, bringing together the biggest Jeep enthusiast and off-road manufacturers under the sun.

Make sure to check back during Easter week!

MAPS, BOOKS AND LINKS
To become more familiar with Moab and the surrounding areas, make sure to check out these great resources we have found helpful:

Local off-road club Red Rock 4-Wheelers knows the Moab area very well and has an informative website with descriptions of the trails they run during the Safari http://www.rr4w.com/trails.

For detailed information about the Moab trails, including Topo maps and GPS coordinates, be sure to check out Guide to Moab, Utah Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails Guide by Charles A. Wells (Published by FunTreks). 

An electronic copy of the trails included in this book can also be found on Trails.com http://www.trails.com/activity.aspx?area=13501

We also really like the Moab trail map from Latitude 40į Maps. The colorful map offers classic trails of the Moab Easter Jeep Safari with 1:50,000 scale detail. The best part is that itís tear and water-resistant.  More at http://latitude40maps.com/

THINGS TO DO
Delicate Arch at Arches National Park just outside of Moab, UT.

If you have time for other adventures while in Moab, we highly recommend visiting Arches National Park, located just 5 miles north of town. The area is a true work of art. Sandstone chiseled by Mother Nature over millions of years brings to life an ever-changing landscape of red rock formations and massive arches spanning into the heavens.

Moab is a full-service town with plenty of hotels, shops and restaurants.

Some other things we enjoy while in Moab are water rafting on the Colorado River, mountain biking the Slickrock trail, and visiting the local shops and brewery on Main Street. If youíre a western movie buff, you might enjoy the museum at the Red Cliffs Inn. Itís also not a bad place for some rest and relaxation.
http://www.redcliffslodge.com/

Moab is a great place to visit and have fun, so start making plans and get moving!

SOURCES
Red Rock 4 Wheelers
http://www.rr4w.com/

Utah Tourism Official Site
http://www.utah.com/moab/

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