Moab Off Road Trail Spotlight: Rose Garden Hill

The great thing about off-roading in Moab is that you have the option of choosing between a variety of off-roading trails ranging from the easiest to the toughest. Some of the trails that offer the most fun aren’t even ranked among the most famous trails in Moab. To discover them, you can take part in the Dixie 4 Wheel Drive’s Southern Utah trail rides or download some Southern Utah trail maps to explore with a group of friends.

Avid off-roaders looking for a serious challenge are going to love running the Rose Garden Hill trail.

Rose Garden Hill Trail Overview

The Rose Garden Hill trail involves ascending one of the nastiest, most treacherous hills in Moab. This trail evolved from a longer trip that went up Cottonwood Canyon all the way to Sevenmile and Waring Mesas. Unfortunately, it was quite heavily trafficked over the years and this along with the weather significantly eroded the trail. Now it takes an entire day trip just to get to the hill and conquer it.

Going up the hill is a horrendous trip. You’ll constantly have to choose the correct line, to avoid snagging on one of the rocks or ledges. Along the way, you’ll have to contend with some seriously-sized boulders as well as some rocky ledges and shelves. After the long tiring ascent, you’ll break for lunch then start the equally treacherous trip downhill. Descending the hill is tricky as you’ll deal with the boulders, steep slopes and ruts along the way.

To conquer this hill –rated 7, you’ll need a heavily modified and well-equipped 4 wheel drive rig with at least 35” tires. You’ll also need to have a winch and both front and rear lockers. It’s also a good idea to carry along some pulley blocks, snatch straps and high lift jacks just in case as well as a group of friends who know how to use them.

Rose Garden Hill Trail Scenery and Surface

The scenery is fantastic as you go up Onion Creek. Fischer Valley also offers panoramic views of the La Sal Mountains and several mesas including Fisher, Polar, Sevenmile, Waring Mesas, and the North and South Beaver Mesas. Cottonwood Canyon, as you approach Rose Garden Hill also has beautiful scenery.

The route along Onion Creek Road ranges from smooth dirt to a bumpy trail depending on recent weather as flooding and storms can make the road rougher. The trail itself offers a range of dusty dirt sections and some slickrock.

Rose Garden Hill Trail Obstacles and other Details

Rose Garden Hill is steep with plenty of loose rock mixed in with tall boulders and sharp ledges. You’ll be tossed, bounced, and challenged along the way. Axle and drivetrain damage is also likely on this trail. Wet weather makes things worse so it’s best to run it in dry conditions.

If you’re looking to run this trail, ensure your vehicle is up to the challenge by bringing it to the Dixie 4 Wheel Drive auto shop in Moab for a pre-trail inspection or some repairs once you’ve conquered the hill.


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