Moab, Utah in a Jeep: Renting Is Easy. The Trails May Not Be.
If it’s rugged, beautiful, desert backcountry driving you crave, visit Moab. There’s nothing like it in the world, especially when you caravan it during the Moab Jeep Safari. You can rent a Jeep Wrangler for a weekend or a week and explore dozens of off-road trails. To rent a Jeep, just reserve your pickup time at AWD Rentals and then we pick you up at Salt Lake City International Airport in the Jeep you rent. We can get you out exploring the phenomenal off-road trails that beckon the bold. Here’s our favorite trails in Moab, Utah for Jeeping.
NOT A ROCK CRAWLER: Trails, not Off Roading
We currently have Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sports in our fleet. They have three-inch lifts, 35-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires, heavy duty Moto Metal rims, RedRock4x4 rocker guards, Smittybilt farmer jack and mount, and Quadratec mud mats to keep it clean inside. They look awesome, but they’re not a Jeep Rubicon. They can handle some pretty heavy duty trails, big rocks and deep ruts, but they’re not designed for serious rock crawling. The axle size, gear ratio, and suspension are all too basic to handle the advanced trails, especially with steep ascents/descents with obstacles. You would get into trouble and possibly damage the Jeep. Also, our insurance does not cover “off roading.” Even though these trails listed below are dirt roads through the desert, they’re allowed. But if you go off the trail to explore slick rock…you break it you buy it.
Now, there are still dozens of awesome trails throughout Moab, Arches, and the Canyonlands we want you to see where you’ll need a lift and 4WD, and be exposed to incredible rock formations and stunning cliffs. We want you to go there, drive there, and camp there. We just want to be clear about what our Jeeps of capable of so you have the best Jeep Safari trip ever.
The general standard we use is from TrailsOffRoad and their rating system. Anything over a 5-Moderate rating is getting too technical for our vehicles. We’ll attach a link to Trails Offroad where you can look for yourself. There are a lot of Hard-Extreme technical trails (Metal Masher, for example), but there are plenty of amazing doable trails all throughout Moab that you can enjoy.
Off Limits: Metal Masher, Hell’s Revenge, Fins & Things, Poison Mesa Spider, and the Moab Rim Trail to name some popular ones. All rated between 6-10 difficulty scale. Please avoid other trails within that rating, as well.
Instead, here are a few of our favorites to enjoy, especially with a caravan of other Jeep riders during the Moab Jeep Safari, or any weekend that you can slip away and see this spectacular country.
A classic for touring the Canyonlands, and definitely a must-drive road for a first-timer. This takes you down along the Colorado River and under towering cliffs on all sides (if you drive up to Dead Horse Point you can look down at this road). Just spectacular scenery on all sides, you can take it slow and soak it in.
Time and Distance: 13 miles and takes about 2 1/2 hours. Add more time if going as a group.
Link: Potash Road
Shaffer Trail (permit required)
This is a great way to finish the Potash Road. One of the most dramatic switchback road around, it goes back and forth up the cliffs and gets you a great view of the Canyonlands beyond.
Time and Distance: 5 miles and takes about 45 minutes. Add more time if going as a group.
Link: Shaffer Trail
Not for the faint of heart! Chicken corners takes you from Moab into the edge of Canyonland’s Needles District. Dirt road desert driving for a while, then it winds up right along some cliffs overlooking the Colorado River. There are even some hiking spots that you can walk right out along the edge. Great views for a quick ride.
Time and Distance: 12 miles and takes about 2 hours. Add more time if going as a group.
Link: Chicken Corners
Gemini Bridges Trail
Take in some awe-inspiring views, featuring the twin arch at Bull Canyon—Gemini Bridges. To view the bridges, see Bull Canyon, Trail #19. You must be close to them and look down to see the bridges. This trail was once a rocky road was has been tamed with a rock grinder. You need a Jeep or other 4×4 vehicle for this trail.
Time and Distance: 13.4 miles and takes 2-3 hours. Add more time if going as a group.
Link: Gemini Bridges
Onion Creek Trail
You get to do some stream crossings with this trail! Be advised, leaving the trail and driving in the stream is strictly prohibited and punishable with fines. You drive up into red rock country with views of Totem Spire as you wind your way through the canyon. When you get out in more high open country you get views of rocky red bluffs in the distance and its a fantastic drive.
Time and Distance: 10.6 miles and takes about 2 hours. Add more time if going as a group.
Link: Onion Creek Trail
Arches Loop: Klondike Bluffs > Baby Steps > Salt Valley Road > Tower Arch > Eye of the Whale > Willow Springs Road
These trails connect and take you around the northern edge of Arches National Park, and then cut right through the middle of the park itself. During the Klondike Bluffs trail you’ll get a few small obstacles and some slick rock riding, and it ends with awesome views of the Klondike Bluffs in Arches. Then the Salt Valley road is a connecting dirt road, and sometimes the dirt can be very deep which takes you to the trailhead of Tower Arch. This trail leaves the sandy valley behind and there are big rocks and ledges, but nothing our jeeps can’t handle. You’re driving along rock towers and rins, really amazing sights. At the end you can hike out to see Tower Arch and Parallel Arch. Heading back you can turn down the Eye of the Whale trail and here you’re driving through dirt roads that cut through Arches National Park! From the paved road the views are amazing, and to do it on the dirt roads in the back country of Arches, do NOT turn this up. You need to purchase a permit for the Willow Springs Road but its well worth it.
Time and Distance: Full day ~ 7 hours. Allow more time for hiking and sight seeing. If you reserve a campsite in Arches you can camp there and split up the trip
Difficulty: 2-4-Easy to Easy/Moderate
If a full day loop is not to your taste, then check out Long Canyon. A great “bang for your buck” trail. You drive through a narrow canyon, where in one section a pillar has fallen creating a mini tunnel, and it takes you right up to the cliffs overlooking the Colorado River. Great little trip if you have a couple extra hours.
Time and Distance: 7 miles and takes about 1 hour driving, plus extra to walk to the cliffs for photos.
Difficulty: 2 – Easy
Link: Long Canyon
White Rim Trail
This is a classic overland exploring trip, and if you’re serious about camping, you have to check it out. At just shy of 100 miles, the White Rim Trail winds you all the way through the Canyonlands, from cliff tops to the banks of Colorado River, you’ll be surrounded by red rock cliffs and towering rock spires. If you want to get away for a few days and really get a taste for the wilderness around Moab, then this trail is for you. Not technical, but sandy and bumpy and just rough enough to give you that adventure feel. It does require a permit for camping so make sure to buy that before you go. Enjoy.
Time and Distance: 2 -3 days. 100 miles.
Difficulty: 2 – Easy.
Link: White Rim Trail
Utah Jeep Rentals—To Bring You to the Backcountry of Utah
We’re open 7am – 8pm, but late night airport pickups are available upon request, and you can get your Jeep at our Salt Lake City, Utah location or we can meet you at the Heber City or SLC Airport. Call AWD Rentals, and we’ll reserve your four-wheel drive rental Jeep today: 801-895-2800