As with all activities in Moab, people come from all over the globe to taste the thrill of cruising over the slick rock on an ATV or UTV. With hundreds of miles of old mining roads as well as newly constructed roads, there is something for everyone from the rank beginner to the hardcore rock banger.
Your Motorsport Riding Options
Four wheel vehicles have gotten more sophisticated and these days numerous vehicle choices exist. If you want to hit the trails, these vehicles are all suited for the 4×4 trails and roads in the area:
- Classic four-wheel-drive rigs – These rigs can be a more comfortable ride for you and your passengers. You’ve seen those Jeep Rubicons on the road with their burley tires. Rent one, get a guide and take your group for a ride.
- Hummer tours – These big, beefy rigs sit high above the ground and are great for family excursions. Because of their size, they primarily hit the trails in the Sand Flats area.
- Side-by-side vehicles – Also known as utility task vehicles (UTV), side-by-sides are open with no roof and can hold up to four people, thus perfect for those who want more of a thrill or need to haul some gear. They are smaller so they can tackle all the trails.
- All terrain vehicles (ATV) – Riding a 3- or 4-wheeled ATV will give you an up close and personal view of the rock, though ATVs definitely require more skill.
- Dirt bikes – Dirt bikes are a killer way to go if you want the thrill of mountain biking but don’t want to pedal. This is much riskier so ensure you have the skills and the gear, such as knee and elbow pads and the mandatory helmet.
Moab also has plenty of water sport rentals too! More choices = more fun.
Know Before You Go: Ride Safe
When it comes to motor sports in Moab, Knowing your capabilities and limitations will help you make the most of your ride. Just like other sports, all of the 4 x 4 roads and trails are categorized on a ranking system from easiest to most difficult, as delineated on trail head maps. Choose routes that suit your skill level and your comfort level.
If you’re new to rock crawling, you might want to go with a guided tour, or better yet, allow a guide to drive you. If you’re a bit timid behind the wheel, you can also choose easier trails with less features such as rocks, cliffs, deep sand, etc. The eco system sometimes works in your favor with smooth, flat surfaces of desert sandstone (aka slick rock), or sometimes not, with deep troughs of sand, and possibly quick sand, that can at times be impassable. If you decide to take your own rig, high clearance, four wheel drive is essential, as are a map, extra water and food and lots of four wheeling experience.
And perhaps most importantly, always respect the rules to keep Moab fun for everyone. Obey non-motorized use signs, especially in the National parks, and drive safe at all times!
Whether you choose a family oriented tour in which you can reach out and touch the red rock walls, or a nutty, “We’re going to go up THAT?” ride, rest assured that your Moab rock crawling adventure will be one you will never forget.
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