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Moab Utahs Off Roading 4X4 Trails

There’s no doubt that Moab, Utah is the undisputed Mecca of off-roading. Don’t believe those who say that it’s not the same as it used to be. Having lived here for decades, we at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive assure you that it’s only getting better as time goes by.

Sure some trails are affected by erosion but that simply means they become more challenging and exciting to tackle. Sometimes the trails get a bit crowded but that’s what happens when lots of people want to experience world-class off-roading.

What Makes Moab the Center of Off-Roading Experiences?

Moab is an iconic place in southwest Utah. The history, breathtaking views, unique slickrock, beautiful red rock formations, and enduring off-roading culture all combine to draw hundreds of avid off-roaders to this corner of the country each year.

We have the miles of old mining trails near and around Moab to thank for the popular off-roading trails we enjoy so much today. The trails vary in rating and range from scenic drives to the toughest, gnarliest trails you’ve ever come across. There’s something for everyone here from novice off-roaders to veteran rock crawlers.

Moab’s Trail Ratings

That’s why we started highlighting the local trails in the area. We aim to give our customers and anyone else the latest, updated information on the trails so that they know what to expect when they get out there.

We use the same trail ratings as the Red Rock 4 Wheelers, the local Moab off-roading club. Using this system, the trails are rated from 1 to 10 in ascending order of difficulty. Those rated 1 or 2 are trails that are nothing more than country dirt roads that can be tackled using high-clearance 2WD with low gears and mostly 4WD in case conditions get diverse. A stock 4WD vehicle can handle these with no problem.

The fun 4 Wheeling starts on the higher-rated trails with those rated 4, 5 and 6 requiring 4WD, enhanced suspension, adequate ground clearance, good driving skills and tall tires at least 35 inches high. Traction enhancing devices are advisable.

Once you get to trails that are rated 7, 8 or 9, the carnage starts. Most of these are extremely tough trails that are great for technical rock crawling. You have to be an experienced driver with a modified rig to successfully tackle one of these. There are plenty of off-camber sections, steep inclines, and declines as well as ledges and steps exceeding 48 or even 60 inches. These trails are definitely for those who know what they’re doing and even then, roll-overs and vehicle body damage are likely.

Trails that earn a 10 rating can only be handled by buggies and street-driven 4x4s shouldn’t attempt them.

Off-roading Trail Etiquette

Now that you know the trail rating, you can go read the ones we’ve highlighted and decide which ones to include in your itinerary.

Before planning your off-roading trip, you need to know how to behave and interact with others on the trails.

Here are the Dixie 4 Wheel Drive top 10 rules of etiquette for off-roading:

  1. Pack it in, pack it out.

This means no littering including throwing out cigarette butts. We encourage off-roaders to pick up after themselves and even collect any trash they find out on the trails. By leaving the trails better than we found them, we can ensure they remain pristine for the next generation.

  1. Stay on designated trails.

Blazing new trails is strictly forbidden. Go over (rather than around) obstacles, through any mud or take bypasses where possible. Also, cross streams at designated crossing points. This helps to preserve the environment and minimizes our impact on it.

  1. Slow down.

When off-roading, slow and steady wins the day. Instead of speed, you’ll need steady and consistent throttling to crawl over obstacles. Slow speed also gives you ample time to respond to the trail conditions and keeps the dust to a minimum.

  1. Yield to vehicles heading uphill.

When you encounter other off-roaders, the one going downhill has to give way. Going uphill needs momentum and it’s difficult and dangerous to back down on a narrow, steep hill.

  1. Research your intended routes beforehand.

Know what types of routes you’re capable of handling then research well ahead of time. Get to know who owns the land the trail is found on as well as any rules, fees or permits required to drive there.

  1. Know your vehicle.

Off-road vehicles are extremely capable but sometimes drivers just aren’t familiar enough with their vehicles to know how to operate them. Familiarize yourself with your ride- know its strengths and weaknesses, its ground clearance, approach and departure angles, etc. Take it to an auto shop where the mechanics can check it out and ensure it’s trail-ready.

  1. Know when to yield the right of way.

You’ll share some of the trails with other users including motorbikes, horses, and hikers. When you meet them, be considerate, slow down, give them plenty of space and avoid unnecessary honking or kicking up dust.

  1. Give other off-roaders plenty of space.

Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you especially when you are navigating obstacles, climbing steep inclines or there’s low visibility. This way, you’ll be safely out of the way should the other vehicle lose traction or rollover.

  1. Keep track of the vehicle behind you.

If you’re in a group of vehicles, keep an eye on the one behind you. Vehicles tend to space out widely on the trail and you don’t want anyone to get lost.

  1. Never wheel alone.

Never hit the trails on your own. You never know what might happen –your vehicle might breakdown or you could run into some other kind of trouble and need help bailing you out.

We hope that you’ll check out as many of the local trails in Moab as possible and have the best off-roading experiences!

Moab Utahs Off Roading 4X4 Trail List


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