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Moab 4×4 Trails: A Guide to the Ultimate Off-Road Adventure

Moab, Utah is a paradise for off-road enthusiasts, with hundreds of miles of scenic trails that offer a variety of challenges and views. Whether you are looking for a relaxing drive through the desert, a thrilling ride on slickrock, or a technical test of your skills, Moab has something for everyone. In this guide, we will introduce you to some of the best 4×4 trails in Moab, and give you some tips on how to enjoy them safely and responsibly.

Hell’s Revenge is one of the most popular and iconic trails in Moab, and for good reason. This trail takes you on a roller coaster ride of steep climbs, descents, and edges on the slickrock, with stunning views of the Colorado River and the La Sal Mountains. Along the way, you will encounter some optional obstacles that will challenge even the most experienced drivers, such as Hell’s Gate, Tip-over Challenge, the Escalator, Rubble Trouble, and the Hot Tubs. This trail is not for the faint of heart, but if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, this is the trail for you.
Difficulty: Hard Length: 7.6 miles Time: 3-4 hours Access: From Moab, take Highway 191 north for about 4 miles, then turn right on the Sand Flats Road. Follow the signs for the Sand Flats Recreation Area, where you will need to pay an entry fee. The trailhead is about 2 miles from the entrance.

Gemini Bridges is a moderate trail that takes you to a spectacular natural feature: two parallel sandstone arches that span a deep canyon. The trail follows a dirt road that winds through the hills and valleys of the Moab backcountry, with occasional rocky sections and sandy washes. The trail is suitable for stock high-clearance 4×4 vehicles, and offers some scenic views along the way. The Gemini Bridges themselves are not visible from the trail, but you can park your vehicle and hike down to the edge of the canyon to see them up close.

Difficulty: Moderate Length: 13.2 miles Time: 2-3 hours Access: From Moab, take Highway 191 north for about 14 miles, then turn left on Highway 313. Drive for about 12.8 miles, then turn left on a dirt road marked Gemini Bridges. The trailhead is about 0.5 miles from the highway.

Moab Rim Trail is a short but challenging trail that climbs up the steep cliffs overlooking Moab and the Colorado River. The trail starts with a series of switchbacks that ascend over 1,000 feet in less than a mile, requiring careful driving and spotting. Once on top of the rim, the trail becomes easier, but still has some obstacles and narrow sections. The reward is a panoramic view of Moab and the surrounding landscape, as well as some interesting rock formations and petroglyphs. This trail is best done in the morning or evening, as the sun can be intense on the exposed slickrock.
Difficulty: Hard Length: 8 miles Time: 2-3 hours Access: From Moab, take Kane Creek Boulevard west for about 3 miles, then turn right on a dirt road just before the Kane Creek Campground. The trailhead is about 0.2 miles from the pavement.

There are many more trails to explore in Moab, depending on your preference and skill level. For one of the best guide books in the area check out: Moab UT Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails.

Here are some more trails that you might want to look at:

Shafer Trail: A 19-mile point-to-point trail that descends 1,500 feet through colorful sandstone cliffs and offers stunning views of the Island in the Sky District.

Onion Creek Trail: A 20-mile out-and-back trail that follows a beautiful creek and crosses 26 stream crossings. It is a great trail for mountain biking and 4×4 driving.

Chicken Corners Trail: A 14.8-mile out-and-back trail that travels the Colorado River Canyon just below Moab, follows a spectacular part of Kane Springs Canyon, climbs the Kane Creek anticline to Hurrah Pass, and descends to benches above the Colorado River.

Seven Mile Rim Trail: A 11-mile out-and-back trail that passes the old Cotter uranium mine and switches back to reach the cliff rim above the mine and Highway 191. It offers amazing views of the red rock formations and the Colorado River.

Elephant Hill:
A popular hiking and mountain biking trail that offers jaw dropping views of sweeping canyons and unique rock formations. It is also a popular off-road trail for four-wheelers who come to tackle the hill’s steep slopes.

Fins N Things: A loop ride off the Sand Flats Road about a mile past Slickrock. It features some tight narrows, squeezes, drops into pools, short rappels, and downclimbs. It is a trail for conditioned, skilled riders with intermediate to advanced technical skills.

Monitor and Merrimac: A new slickrock ride north of Moab. The apex of the loop offers a view of two rock formations, named Monitor and Merrimac in honor of the civil war ironclad warships. The ride is 6.1 miles in length and has an elevation gain of 728 feet.

Poison Spider Mesa: One of the most popular trails in Moab and is often combined with Golden Spike and Gold Bar Rim. Poison Spider Mesa is a fun-filled combination of challenging obstacles and incredible scenery. Don’t miss impressive Little Arch near cliff edge overlooking Moab.

Top of the World:
A rough and rugged rock crawling trail. It rises in elevation, climbing the Waring Mesa. The trail splits Waring Canyon to the west and Cottonwood Canyon to the east and climbs to a viewpoint overlooking the Onion Creek area. It is an out-and-back trail with a lollipop loop at the far end.

Tips for Off-Roading in Moab

Off-roading in Moab can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous if you are not prepared. Here are some tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable off-road adventure in Moab:

Check the weather and trail conditions before you go. Moab can experience extreme weather conditions, such as flash floods, thunderstorms, snow, and heat. Some trails may be closed or impassable due to weather or maintenance. You can check the latest weather and trail conditions at Discover Moab.

Bring enough water, food, and fuel. Moab is a remote area, and you may not find any services or facilities along the trails. Make sure you have enough water, food, and fuel for your trip, and pack some extra in case of emergencies. You should also bring a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a spare tire, and a recovery kit.

Stay on the designated trails. Moab has a fragile ecosystem, and off-roading can cause damage to the soil, vegetation, and wildlife. Respect the land and the rules, and stay on the designated trails. Do not drive over or near any archaeological or historical sites, such as petroglyphs or dinosaur tracks. Do not litter or leave any trace of your visit.

Drive with caution and care. Moab has some challenging and dangerous trails, and you should drive with caution and care. Do not drive faster than you can see, and watch out for other vehicles, bikers, hikers, and animals. Do not attempt any obstacles that are beyond your skill level or your vehicle’s capability. If you are unsure, scout ahead or ask for help. Always wear your seat belt and helmet, and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle.

Have fun and enjoy the views. Moab has some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the world, and off-roading is a great way to experience them. Have fun and enjoy the views, but also be respectful and responsible. Remember, you are a guest in this land, and you should leave it as you found it.

We hope this guide has given you some ideas and inspiration for your off-road adventure in Moab. Moab has something for everyone, and we are sure you will have a memorable and exciting time. Happy trails!

If you are looking for guided 4×4 tours, take a look at the offroad 4×4 UTV tours offered by the Moab Tourism Center. You can review some of their off road tours listed below: