LOCAL TRAILS

Here are just a handful of our favorite trails in Moab.
 

Moab is home to some of the greatest off-road trails in the world! With unique terrain and stunning vistas, it really is a true slice of heaven on earth.

We've assembled a list of our some favorite local trails. Each trail features a "Moab Scale" difficulty rating, which we've explained in detail below.

"Moab Scale" Trail Difficulty Ratings

1. Dirt road maintained for high clearance 2WD and 4WD use in adverse conditions.

2. Dirt road with infrequent or light maintenance after rain or snow, high clearance light duty 4WD required.

3. Dirt road with frequent use, but seldom maintained. Dirt, sand and slick rock surfaces. 4WD is required due to ruts or wash erosion and maybe small rock ledges no bigger that 12″.

4. Loose rock, dirt, and some slickrock surfaces. Erosion, washes, gulches and rock ledges no higher than 12”. 4WD is required with good driving skills. Beginners can manage trail with ease Locker can be used but not required.

5. Road surfaces are rutted, rocky and sandy with steps not exceeding 14”, with considerable slickrock surfaces. Good vehicle approach and departure angles are helpful. Locker use is required. Off road driving experience will be needed.

6. Roads are difficult. Rock ledges can exceed 24”. Lockers are required. Must have off-road driving skills. Not for beginners.

7. Trail consists of rock, boulders, sand and slickrock with rock ledges exceeding 24”. Steep climbs and drops. Lockers required, winching may be necessary. Vehicle mechanical or body damage can occur. Roll over possibilities exist. Must have off road driving skills not for beginners. We do not recommend this trail to anyone who is a first time renter.

8. Extreme trail. Enhanced off road and excellent driving skills are required. Vehicle damage can occur. Equipment or mechanical damage is probable. Frequent use of your winch may be required. We do not allow this trail to anyone who is a first timer renters.

We do not allow any trails above this rating system.
Difficulty Level: 7

Behind the Rocks

The land "Behind the Rocks" is an elevated area south of Moab bounded roughly by the Moab Rim cliffs and the rim of Kane Springs Canyon, which is still farther south and west. The trail follows the most difficult of the several routes in this region, and gets its renown and its high rating mostly for White Knuckle Hill. Going down the hill is scary enough, but be prepared for a long wait and a good show while some see if they can climb it. It may be the most difficult hill hereabouts that is ascended with any frequency, although the frequency is diminishing as it erodes. More info can be found here.
Length: 55 total, 35 off-highway


Difficulty Level: 2

chicken corners

The trail name dates from olden days when it was a pack trail and only the least"chicken" passed Chicken Corners. Today travel is easier, the actual Chicken Corners is a hiking trail, but it remains as scenic as ever. The trail follows the Colorado River downstream, squirms through lower Kane Springs Canyon, climbs and then descends the "Cane Creek Anticline" (spelling of the name is in dispute) via Hurrah Pass, and rejoins the river, a few hundred feet above it this time. The end of the vehicle trail is directly across the river from Dead Horse Point. More info can be found here.
Length: 21 miles
Difficulty Level: 8

Cliff hanger

This trail is the only vehicle route onto Amasa Back, a rather high isolated area bounded by Kane Springs Canyon, Hurrah Pass, Jackson Hole, and a big loop of the Colorado River. If Kane Creek is full the crossing can become impassable. The views, however, are unusual and spectacular all the way up the side of Kane Springs Canyon. Farther along, the trail is high above the canyon of the Colorado River. There are some petroglyphs and other evidence of early visitation. More info can be found here.
Length: 20 miles round trip, 12 of which are off pavement

Difficulty Level: 2

La Sal Pass

This trail is offered to let people escape the heat that summer brings to the area. It begins on the floor of Spanish Valley out in the Pack Creek area and climbs up to a flower filled meadow in the shadow of Mt Peale, one of the La Sal Mountain's high peaks. For those used to mountain trails, it will be old hat, but the views of the Moab area are still worth the trip. Those that haven't experienced mountain four wheeling the switchback filled climbs will probably amaze them as the road clings to the mountain side. The vegetation changes continually along the way, starting with the pinion and juniper zone up unto the dark timber forest, tossing in a few aspen stands, and finally the flower filled meadows near timberline. The return trip depends on the leader, so mileage is difficult to list exactly, start with a full tank of fuel and you'll be ready for anything! More info can be found here.
Length: 36 miles (minimum)
Difficulty Level: 4

Dome Plateau

Dome Plateau is a large highland area north of the Colorado River and east of Arches National Park. To reach the region from Moab, one must travel more than 28 miles of highway to enter from the Dewey Bridge area on Utah 128. The southern highlands are forested with pinyon and juniper and are cut by canyons. The nearby Poison Strip and Yellowcat areas are the locales of many old vanadium and uranium mines. More info can be found here.
Length: 98 total, 30 off-highway


Difficulty Level: 4

Fins and Things

"Fins" are the Navajo Sandstone slickrock formations northeast of Moab, and the "Things" are what remains as the fins erode. The fins started as wind-blown sand dunes some 200 million years ago, they got cemented into sandstone, and they are now going full circle back to sand blowing in the wind. There are a few sudden and steep climbs on and off the slickrock that can be difficult for vehicles with long overhangs. Any tire tread will do on the slickrock, but the clearance added by tall tires is always an advantage, while an aggressive tread helps in the sand. More info can be found here.
Length: 25 total, 13 off-highway
Difficulty Level: 6

Flat Iron Mesa

Flat Iron Mesa is south of Moab and is bounded by Kane Springs Canyon on the north, Hatch Wash Canyon on the west, West Coyote Canyon on the south, and Highway 191 on the east. A main road has a BLM sign, but our trail leaves the highway earlier and it quickly gets 4WD status on numerous old trails that reach fine canyon overlooks and provide some interesting four-wheeling. There are multiple obstacles that provide the rating number, some have bypasses, some don't. More info can be found here.
Length: 55 total, 17 off-highway


Difficulty Level: 7

Golden Spike

The connection between Poison Spider Mesa and Gold Bar Rim was first developed as a jeep trail during the 1989 Jeep Safari. Some folks seem so fond of damaging their equipment that we have made it available most days. Much of the route is near the rim above Moab Valley and offers gorgeous views in all directions. Its main claim to fame, however, is that some bypasses (where they exist!) still rate a 6. More info can be found here.
Length: 7 miles off-highway
Difficulty Level: 6

Hell's revenge

Our premier slickrock trail lies northeast of town between the Sand Flats Road and the river. There are long stretches of slickrock where the 4WD trail has been marked. The most difficult obstacles are out of the stock-vehicle class, but those can be bypassed. There are steep climbs and descents and some edges that are not for the faint of heart. The steep slopes, however, are not technically difficult because of the excellent traction on sandstone. More info can be found here.

Length: 16 miles, 12 off-highway


Difficulty Level: 4

Hey Joe Canyon

Hey Joe Canyon, a site of some mining ruins, is a short tributary to Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River. To get into the canyon, one must travel about 20 miles of pavement and 10 miles of good dirt road to the rim of Spring Canyon, where a spectacular ledge road winds down a 600-foot cliff to the canyon bottom. The trail follows the canyon about 2 miles to the Green River. It then turns upstream about 9 miles along the river to reach Hey Joe Canyon. The trail along the river is subject to rockfalls from above and collapse from below. Moderate to heavy brush contact should be expected. More info can be found here.
Length: 85 total, 45 off-highway
Difficulty Level: 7

KANE Creek Canyon

The trail follows Kane Creek along the bottom of its canyon between its mouth at the Colorado River and Highway 191, It runs in and out of the creek - more than 50 crossings - but in one area, climbs high on the canyon wall. When the creek is wet, as it is likely to be in springtime, there is mud and quicksand. After a storm, the creek crossings may be impassable. Wet or dry, plenty of brush grows in from the sides of the road allowing for potential paint damage. More info can be found here.
Length: 38 miles, 20 off-highway


Difficulty Level: 7

Metal Masher

A major trail goal is Arth's Rim, which overlooks Highway 191 about 1300 feet below. The route first angles up the sloping part of the cliff to a gap in the rim rock. It follows Little Canyon partway into the mesa to resume the climb along the more gentle slope of the tilting rock strata. Much of the trail is routine four-wheeling, but the approach to the rim through Mirror Gulch is difficult and threatens sheet metal. Later in the trip Widowmaker Hill has become so extreme your leader will take a roundabout bypass to the top. More info can be found here.
Length: 66 total, 46 off-highway
Difficulty Level: 6

Poison Spider Mesa

Poison Spider Mesa forms one of the cliff features that is part of the Moab landscape northwest of town. The mesa is bordered on the east by Moab Valley and on the south by the Colorado River. Access is via Scenic Byway 279. The trail climbs to the rim via the sloping rock layers. The first few miles of trail must be retraced, but most of the travel time will be spent on a loop that reaches the rim. It has become one of our most popular trails because it has great scenery and because the jeeping is just challenging enough to be fun without quite being a vehicle buster. More info can be found here.
Length: 37 total, 16 off-highway


Difficulty Level: 4

Seven Mile Rim

The Sevenmile Rim trail leaves Highway 191 just north of Highway 313, about 11 miles north of town. It passes the old Cotter uranium mine and switches back to reach the cliff rim above the mine and Highway 191. The intense mining activity left a maze of core-drilling roads on the mesa top, and the trail seeks the most interesting of these. At the southern end of the rim it turns west to parallel UT 313. Along the way, Uranium Arch is visited. The trail joins other roads in the vicinity of Merrimac Butte and Monitor Butte before tucking up near Big Mesa. It passes near Determination Towers before using Tusher Pass to dip into Tusher Wash and the interesting environs beyond. More info can be found here.
Length: 50 miles, 21 off-highway
Difficulty Level: 6

Steel Bender

This trail's difficulty rating keeps moving around as the conflicting forces of erosion and trail repair modify the obstacles. The trail lies between Moab and the La Sal Mountains in the vicinity of Mill Creek, a major drainage from the mountains. It crosses the creek a few times and travels a lovely part of Mill Creek Canyon. It overlooks the North Fork of Mill Creek as it climbs to the base of South Mesa on the skirts of the La Sals. It is yet another variation of our canyonlands landscape. More info can be found here.
Length: 30 miles, 15 off-highway


Difficulty Level: 7

Strike Ravine

This trail enters an area that remains beautiful despite the marks of "range improvements", power lines, and uranium mining. Today, grazing continues, the power lines hum, but the mines are in ruins. Four-wheeling gets better, however, as the mine roads deteriorate. The trail is about 12 miles south of Moab and between Highway 191 and the La Sal Mountains. Much of it is in and about Pole Canyon and other headwaters of Kane Springs Canyon. One badly eroded trail portion crosses a tributary canyon that we are calling Strike Ravine for the outcrop of a tilted sandstone layer that forms the base of the trail. The rocky hills and bouldery washbottoms make high ground clearance throughout the underside of the vehicle an important consideration. There are sneaky rocks that make it easy for vehicles to use their sheet metal panels as "paint brushes". More info can be found here.
Length: 32 miles, 11 off-highway

Are you ready to enjoy Moab the Twisted Jeeps Way?