Moab Easter Jeep Safari: Do It The Right Way
Photos: John Cappa and Ali Mansour
Moab, Utah has long been known as the Jeep and 4×4 mecca and the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari has been recognized as the crown jewel of 4×4 events for more than 50 years. Of course at the heart of Easter Jeep Safari are the world renowned off-road trails, but there are also other attractions that can keep you and everyone in your family entertained all week. If you’re visiting Moab for the first time, you should seriously consider signing up for the official Easter Jeep Safari trail runs led by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers (RR4W). It will help you get your feet wet in the Moab terrain with assistance from the experienced local off-road club members. No matter how you choose to access the trails, read on to find out what else you shouldn’t miss at the next Moab Easter Jeep Safari.
Moab Trails You Can’t Miss
The trails you chose should be at the same level as your Jeep and driving skills. There are trails for all levels and the RR4W club website does a great job of describing each trail and providing an accurate difficulty rating. Having said that, there are quite a few trails that we would put on a must-do list if your Jeep and driving skills are up to the task. Hell’s Revenge is by far the most quintessential Moab trail. It features lots of the signature Moab slickrock and easy bypasses for difficult sections. You’ll also find extremely challenging and popular optional routes such as Hell’s Gate, Mickey’s Hot Tub and Escalator. Hell’s Revenge is close to town and easy to access, so we often find ourselves here several times during the week.
Our second favorite trail in Moab is Kane Creek Canyon. In the spring you can expect more than 50 water crossings on this trail. Beware, if it’s raining hard, the trail may be impassable. Much of the trail is through brush, which can damage a fancy paint job. There are several challenging sections on Kane Creek Canyon, but the climb out near the end will require the most skill.
Pritchett Canyon is the most difficult official Easter Jeep Safari trail, however there are plenty of far more difficult unofficial trails. If you plan to take on Pritchett Canyon, expect a long day. It’s popular. The most challenging parts are narrow with few bypasses to get around broken vehicles. It’s not unusual to sit in line waiting a good portion of the day in Pritchett Canyon. Bring plenty of tools, spare parts, drinks and food. You’ll likely be out there longer than you plan.
Poison Spyder Mesa is our fourth favorite trail in Moab. It’s a great trail for modified full size trucks. It’s not overly tight but there are enough challenges to keep it interesting for even the most experienced driver. Of course there are fantastic views, too.
Our fifth favorite Moab trail is Cliffhanger. Cliffhanger is an in and out the same way you came to the trail. It’s narrow in most places so it can get clogged with traffic and broken vehicles. Fortunately, the most challenging sections are at each end of the trail. If you don’t like off-roading near ledges, consider skipping the end bit and simply turn around and head back early. You’ll still have the opportunity to enjoy the challenge of the exit steps and ledges to the gravel road. Check out the rest of our top 10 favorite Moab trails below.
Our Top 10 Favorite Moab Trails
- Hell’s Revenge
- Kane Creek Canyon
- Pritchett Canyon
- Poison Spider Mesa
- Moab Rim
- Fins and Things
- The Pickle
- Golden Spike
- Metal Masher
Moab Easter Jeep Safari Expo
Some Easter Jeep Safari visitors forget to stick around long enough to catch the vendor’s Expo at the Spanish Trail Arena. It’s where you can see the latest in aftermarket Jeep and 4×4 offerings and talk face to face with the manufacturers about your Jeep or other 4×4 project. The expo is held Thursday and Friday of Easter Jeep Safari week. It’s open all day and into the night. There is usually enough time to stop by the show in the morning before hitting a trail, or hit a trail first and make your way to the show in the afternoon.
Moab Jeep Booth
Simply walking through the central part of Moab you’ll see any number of cool 4x4s parked and driving by. One stop you shouldn’t miss in town during Easter Jeep Safari week is the Jeep and Mopar booth, which you’ll find in the Walker’s True Value Hardware parking lot. It’s here where you’ll usually see several one-off prototype off-road ready Jeeps built specifically for Easter Jeep Safari as well as many production vehicles and aftermarket Mopar parts. Sometimes you’ll even see a new Jeep vehicle reveal, so it’s a solid waypoint when strolling about Moab.
Moab Lodging, Entertainment and Food
There are plenty of hotels, RV parks and Airbnb options in and around Moab, Utah. The downside is that all of them are well aware of when Easter Jeep Safari takes place, so you can expect to pay two-three times the normal rate for lodging during the event. Lodging options close to town usually fill up first. Staying in town is convenient because it makes it possible to walk to the many food options.
Speaking of food, we have a few favorites. If you’re a burger and shake lover, you’ll want to make a trip to Milt’s for a burger, fries and a shake or malt. We also steer into Giliberto’s Mexican Taco Shop for the food we’ve come to love. There are plenty of sit-down restaurants in town and some of our favorites include Zax Restaurant, Sunset Grill, the Moab Brewery and any number of other places. One thing is for sure, you won’t go hungry in Moab.
Now if your significant other and offspring aren’t as addicted to 4x4s as you are, don’t worry, Moab itself can offer some leverage. There are plenty of other activities besides 4×4 trail rides in Moab, Utah. Moab is well known for world class climbing, rafting on the nearby Colorado River, mountain bike trails galore, dirt bikes, side by sides as well as hiking in the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. If all else fails you can include a bribe of a spa day at the Sorrel River Ranch resort.