Jeep® Life

Top Tips for Off-road Trips to Moab

Easter Jeep® Safari (EJS) is like spring break for Jeep® 4×4 lovers without the beach. The annual event starts on Saturday the week before Easter in Moab, Utah. 2019 marked the 53rd year the Red Rock 4-Wheelers have done this event and my third time riding Moab’s spectacular trails. Whether you’re thinking about going next year or planning to head out to Moab anytime, I want to share a few tips (and some awesome pics) to make your adventure a success.

What Grand Canyon?

Google says that 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. To me, that means that 5 million people are missing out on some other really spectacular views.  I’ve been to the Grand Canyon once and have now been to Moab 4 times. In my opinion, the views from Moab’s trails easily match the glory of the Grand Canyon. The helpful tip? Go to Moab!

A grouping of Jeep Wranglers at Moab.
Always drive within your ability and experience level and consistent with conditions

Tent, hotel or house?

The town of Moab seems to double in size every time I go. More and more hotels are popping up and rental properties are becoming more prevalent. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the price of shelter has gone down. If sleeping on the ground is your cup of tea, there are plenty of campsites with amazing scenery all over town. If you feel like putting your hotel points to good use, you won’t have to worry about making your bed in the morning.

My first choice is to rent a house or condo whenever possible. There’s something to be said about coming back after a long day on the trail, grabbing a beer out of the fridge and sitting on the porch as the sun sets in Moab. That luxury comes at a price though. The week of EJS sees the highest rates for rental properties of the entire year so you might get a little sticker shock when you start looking. Best bet is to book early and go in on a larger house with friends.

How to make 8+ hours on the trail a breeze

Being on a trail ride is my biggest stress reliever, but if you aren’t prepared it can become a VERY stressful day. Depending on the difficulty level of the trail and the size of your group, you could be on the trail anywhere from 6-12 hours so stock plenty of trail mix to keep hunger at bay!

Always start with a full tank of fuel to avoid running out. During EJS, the gas station in Moab gives out a pretty cool little goodie bag with Moab stickers when you fill up.

Make sure you download a great playlist to keep the tunes going all day – unless you are one of the new cool kids with satellite radio. You may want to take a nice camera but your cell phone will work just fine and it will let you send photos to your Jeep® SUV owner friends to make them jealous.

A grouping of Jeep Wranglers at Moab.
Always drive within your ability and experience level and consistent with conditions.

Drive it like you stole it!

If you’d like to experience Moab’s trails but prefer to leave your Jeep® 4×4 at home there are a bunch of companies that rent out modified Jeep® SUVs. The company usually dictates what trails you are allowed to go on and most have a maximum mileage per day. Many folks drive their vehicles from far and wide to Moab, including me in 2017!

A yellow Jeep Wrangler makes its way downward off a rocky hill.
Always drive within your ability and experience level and consistent with conditions.

Things to know now if you’re going to EJS 2020

Kind of like a fantasy football draft for trails

With 40 trails rated in difficulty from 2-9 run over 9 days, there’s plenty to choose from. The RR4W club has done a great job putting trail packages together for first-timers to make sure that you (and your stock Jeep® SUV) end up on the right trails. They also offer sophomore and junior packages so you can run increasingly harder trails as you build up your courage along with your Jeep® SUV year after year.

That part’s easy. But signing up for individual trail rides can be a challenge. Imagine concert tickets for your 3 favorite bands all go on sale at the same time and you want to go to all of them. When EJS trail ride registration opens, it gets flooded with off-roaders anxious to get their first picks. By the time you book one trail, others you want may be filled. For the best shot at getting your top picks, download the trail guide in advance, make a list of your top ten picks and use multiple devices to register for more than one trail at a time.

You can learn about trails, trail guides, packages and the town of Moab by downloading a comprehensive guide before your trip.

A grid of 2019 Easter Jeep Safari trails.

Cars and Coffee at dinner?

If you have ever gone to or heard of the Cars and Coffee events that happen all over the country then you will understand this: during EJS, every restaurant parking lot turns into an impromptu Jeep® SUV show during dinner time, which is nice, because you will usually be waiting for a table at most restaurants.

Start saving now

If you are anything like me when it comes to the amount of time you spend looking at Jeep® 4×4 parts, then the vendor show is a must do! Many parts manufacturers, including Mopar®, use EJS to either announce new products or finally bring parts from SEMA to the customers. Fair warning though, you will walk away from the show either spending some dough or making a list for future purchases. Most vendors offer show discounts to help make the decision easier.

My tip: It’s all about capability. Think about what you want your Jeep® SUV to be able to do. Talk to other owners and experts. Then choose your modifications wisely.

A grouping of Jeep vehicles in Moab.

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