Trail Report - Moab Rim

Report and photos by: Bart Jacobs

Moab Rim - Moab's "Trail to the Top"

Trail Rating: 4+
Location: The Moab Rim trail is located about 2 1/2 miles off Highway 191 on Kane Creek Road.
Trail Condition: Mostly slickrock with some off camber sections, rock ledges, stair steps and broken sand. Spectacular views of Moab and the La Sal Mountains from the top.
Obstacles: Devil's Crack and the Z-turn
Approx. Mileage: 7 off-road

The Moab Rim trail is a difficult trail. Breathtaking views often times overshadow the potential dangers of this trail. The lower section of the trail takes the driver close to the edge of the trail where a lapse in concentration could result in a very long drop to the valley floor below. Further up the trail, the Z-turn is a series of stair steps and rock ledges. Vehicles without lockers will have a difficult time here. Once at the top, the view looking down into the town of Moab and across the valley to the La Sal Mountains are spectacular.

Opening Saturday of Easter Jeep Safari met us with wind, threatening skies, and very cool temperatures. Despite the weather, spirits were high as we met at Hogi Yogis for the morning line up to Moab Rim trail. The run was not full and the weather had scared a few of the registered rigs off, but the 13 of us that did show up were excited and ready to hit the trail.

Airing down on Kane Creek Road. Tackling the Z-turn stairsteps in an early Bronco. The Land Rover heads up the Z-turn.
Airing down on Kane Creek Road. Tackling the Z-turn stairsteps in an early Bronco. The Land Rover heads up the Z-turn.

The road department had Kane Creek road closed down to one lane, so we aired down on the pavement during the unexpected half hour delay. We hit the trail without further incident and were ambling our way up. I love hearing the comments from first timers up Moab Rim, as almost the entire road is off-camber and climbs immediately to the side of a cliff up to an overlook of Moab.

Everyone did well on the obstacles, the Devil's Crack and the Z-turn, and we were soon to the overlook. One of the different views at the overlook was the new white "No Road" signs painted on the rocks between the overlook and the road. The backside of the Moab Rim trail was almost lost from the new official BLM permit. The Red Rock Four Wheelers have gone to great lengths to keep the trails open and to keep the participants on the trails and educate them to the credo of staying on designated trails and treading lightly.

NO ROAD markings help preserve our access. Spectacular view from the trail. Cold and dark lunchtime weather.
NO ROAD markings help preserve our access. Spectacular view from the trail. Cold and dark lunchtime weather.

Because the wind was blowing so hard we made our lunch stop early, down by some small ponds made by the recent rain water. From there we made our way up Tire Test hill where it tested the rigs and the drivers that tried it. We bypassed the back overlook on this trip because of the rain and wind, and made our way over the Sand Hill climb. These challenges really make the Moab Rim trail fun and must do for any wheelers heading to the Moab area.

The rain really broke loose on the way down the Rim trail, but it just made the challenging, off-camber trail that much more fun. Moab Rim on opening Saturday was a great way to start the 2001 Easter Jeep Safari. If you haven't done Moab Rim--or for that matter, been to Moab--add it to the top of "Trails To Do" and "Places To Go" lists.

Heading up one of the challenges, Tire Test Hill. Varied terrain at Sand Hill makes Moab Rim fun. Cold, windy and wet, but Eric's still smiling.
Heading up one of the challenges, Tire Test Hill. Varied terrain at Sand Hill makes Moab Rim fun. Cold, windy and wet, but Eric's still smiling.