What Is All The Hype Around Moab? A Week In The Rocks And Canyons

What Is All The Hype Around Moab? A Week In The Rocks And Canyons

Moab is a mystical place, but what brings off-roaders to Moab, Utah for the last 52 years is Easter Jeep Safari. This is more than a group of Jeeps heading out to the local trail and it has turned into one of the largest off-road events each year.

To get a better look at what makes Moab so special and what keeps people coming back to areas like Area BFE (yes it stands for what you are thinking) year after year. We teamed up with Titan Fuel Tanks to get a closer look at what goes on and why people would keep coming back to BFE.

A Daily Log From Titan Fuel Tanks

Airing down to 20 psi in preparation for the week ahead.

As we rolled into Moab the day before the Easter Jeep Safari kicked off, you could feel the excitement. Everyone was itching for a little bit of fun. Before heading to the house, we rented through Airbnb the crew cruised through town to see what kind of odd, crazy builds could be found.

Good thing for the Trail Trekker tank on the back of the H3, as long as the Deadman Point trail was, a number of people needed a quick splash of gas.

Weird stuff is at home in Moab, weird stuff usually works well. It is usually beat on and it is always owned by interesting and entertaining people. After not finding much we headed to the house, unloaded our bags and headed straight to Poison Spider Mesa.

Poison Spider in a very popular trail with a rating of 5, it meant there was a need for lockers and that body damage was likely. While the trail was fun and the recent rain made things slick, it did not fill our need for excitement. The night ended sitting up in bed playing Offroad Outlaws and enjoying a 7 Eleven Slurpee.

Day 1 excitement level, only a 3.

Day 2

The Red Peak crew brought out their new JL that they have only owned for a couple of weeks. With a handful of select modifications, the JL went everywhere that the overbuilt rigs went on Poison Spider.

Saturday morning came quick, we were off to meet Nic Ashby of Rockstar Garage along with a dozen of his friends rocking everything from a mild new JL to Nic’s personal GridLock CJ project that is a beast. We were headed back to Poison Spider, but today promised to be exciting.

The day before we took the easy lines, there would be nothing easy today, any thought of taking an easy line would result in mass heckling from all of the other rigs and a constant barrage of insults over the radios. We went big, fast and got all twisted up a number of times.

Nic of Rockstar Garage (left) spotting for the GenRight Jeep climbing up a three-foot vertical edge on Poison Spider. The GenRight rig (right) making a steep climb up an over vertical rock face on Poison Spider.

Sure, there was a little body damage due to the Mickey Thompson tires trying to tuck too far into the fenders, but on a trail where everything else was rolling tires three-plus inches bigger than ours, we went everywhere they did and never got stuck. Our hearts had raced, we put the truck in places where we never thought it would go and some people even got out of the truck in fear of maybe dying.

Day 2 excitement level, a solid 7.

Day 3

Well thought out 4Runner bashing the landscape of Mars, no just Kane Creek Trail.

Our third day in Moab started mellow enough, breakfast at a local joint that seemed to cater to hipsters, not one of having a man bun put us way out of place, we took our food to go and sat in the truck arguing about which trail we were gonna hit. We decided on Kane Creek which is off the beaten path and a trail that is not visited very often.

This trail had the feeling as if we were driving across Mars. The dirt is deep red, there was virtually no one else on the trail and the landscape is so harsh that it could have been used to film the moon landing if there were cactus on the moon.

No mall crawlers here on Kane Creek Trail!

Kane Creek had the feeling of Baja, racing through the areas surrounding Catavina. There was silt, rocks, narrow washes, small climbs, water crossings, and wide open sections. There was also a huge ravine.

Heading into the ravine there was no concern, as the truck started climbing the wall up the other side, concern quickly set in. The Colorado was just a little too long or the ravine was to narrow, we were stuck and stuck good!

Suck in a ravine for hours makes you start to think if you’re tough enough to survive. Lesson learned, always wheeling with extra water and snacks.

Basically, the truck was high centered by its bumpers. We wedged rocks under the tires, we tried to rock back and forth, we tried everything, nothing worked. Being stuck in the desert without a friend in another rig is a bad idea.

Luckily just as we started to worry about spending the night out there some great guys pulled up, got us hooked up, and pulled us out. We were free but at a price, both bumpers were pretty thrashed and the transfer case seemed to be working a little odd. Without saying a word to one another we all knew the day was over.

Day 3 excitement was a 9, but we don’t know if it was excitement or fear.

Off-roaders rule, everyone helps everyone. These are the guys that saved Titan from spending the night in the desert.

Day 4

Early morning on the Porcupine Rim Trail. It is hard to believe there is that much green in Moab. Every level of build can be found in Moab.

The fourth day in Moab would be a bad day, there is no way around it and we all knew it. We would run Porcupine Rim with the crew at 4 Wheel Parts. This is a trail that most people visiting Moab don’t use, it has some pucker factors and it is way out of town compared to most trails that start close to town.

The scenery was 180 degrees different than the day before. Bright green trees, patches of snow still in the shade of trees, and 100-plus foot cliffs just inches from the edge of the trail.

American pride could be seen on every trail. There was always one rig rocking our great flag (left). Most people never think about their brakes during a build, the crew at R1 Concepts out playing on the trails and educating everyone on the importance of reliable stopping power (right).

Having cliff face just right outside made everyone a little nervous, though we could not decide what would be worse: rolling down the cliff and bursting into a fireball or rolling down the cliff only to survive to have some of the off-road industries heavy hitters make fun of us forever. Luckily, we (nor anyone else) would find out.

The drive was amazing, the trail was fun and challenging requiring a spotter in a couple of areas. Day 4 while being beautiful was full of drama. As the trail started, a spotter made a bad call and the result was a hard crash which broke the transfer case actuator motor leaving us in 2WD.

EJS isn’t just for jeeps. Dodge M37 (military version of the Power Wagon)(left). Rigs rolling down one of the many steep grades on Porcupine Rim (right).

The little Duramax Colorado has massive torque though, enough to push us over almost anything we came across. That is until we came to a four-step climb, each step being vertical and well over 18 inches tall. The massive torque helped, but only having 2WD meant having to be winched over the top of the climb. So humiliating!

Day 4 excitement level, no question about it, was a 9. If we had 4WD it may have only been a 6. Take what you have, make it work and have fun with it was the motto of the day.

Day 5

Area BFE chase truck sitting, waiting for someone needing a little help.

When the alarms went off early on Day 5, no one hit the snooze button, for our final day on the trail. We were all excited to be headed to Area BFE. It is one of the spots in Moab that is almost like its own off-road park, the place is amazing. It has something for everyone, no matter the skill level or the vehicle.

Titan Fuel Tanks nicknamed the truck, Stomper, after the 1980s battery operated toy 4x4 trucks that would crawl over anything. A little stretching (right) at Area BFE before getting into the big stuff.

What makes Area BFE fun is that it’s not really a trail, it’s like a skatepark. You go where you want, hit what you want, when you want to, and at your own pace. The obstacles are endless at Area BFE and include anything from big rocks, huge climbs, to very steep drop-offs.

Usually not taken very serious a properly sorted H3 is very capable on the trail. Sure maybe not as much flex as a built Jeep, but when was the last time you saw an H3 flexing in Area BFE?

The entire day was spent trying to scare each other, hanging wheels, climbing rock faces that probably shouldn’t have been done in a true street truck rolling on 37s. Sure we bashed some sheet metal and bent a suspension part or two, but, in the end, we had finally done it, we hit a 10 on the excitement level.

The 2019 edition of Easter Jeep Safari runs April 13-21, only 375 days away!

Article Sources

About the author

Steven Olsewski

Steven Olsewski grew up with a true passion for anything with a motor. He loves his wife and kids, and during the year can be found enjoying quality time together. They are a huge part of his life and their passion for God.
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