Easter Jeep Safari is one of the largest and most exciting 4x4 event in the United States, and offroading vehicles come from all over the country to take part in this event. The city of Moab, Utah is home to the 9-day event, which is held around Easter every year. While the dates of the event may vary from year to year, it is held on the 7 days leading up to and including Easter Sunday. As many as 1,000 offroad vehicles have been registered in this event every year, and it truly is an offroading experience that a true rock crawler has to try at least once!
The Red Rock 4-Wheelers play host to this event every year, and the club is one of the largest offroad enthusiast organizations in the country. It is based in Moab, and it is responsible for planning the event, coordinating the drivers, mapping the routes, and providing guides for the groups taking the tours of the many offroading trails around the city. There is no need to have a club membership, but anyone that wants to join the event will be able to register.
There is an Expo held every year at the Safari, with many beautifully customized 4x4 vehicles on display and for sale. Vendors bring their latest offroad vehicles to promote, and there are many sponsored activities and products in this event. Musical events abound, and there is plenty of food to be had by all in attendance. The purpose of this week-long event is to put the fun into offroading, and it's truly a memorable place to be if you're an offroad enthusiast.
Many of the people attending the Easter Jeep Safari bring their own customized offroad vehicles, and you'll be able to see hundreds of 4x4 and Extreme vehicles driving around town at this time of year. The vehicles are designed to hit the trails, and the routes around Moab can be quite punishing for even the toughest custom offroad vehicles.
However, even stock car owners can enjoy the event, as there are trails and routes around the city that stock cars can handle. The majority of the routes are designed for offroad vehicles, but there are a few that anyone can drive. The vehicles will need to have a high ground clearance and 2-speed transfer cases, and they have to be street legal. (All-Terrain Vehicles are not permitted in the Easter Jeep Safari Event).
The trails around Moab are the primary attraction for offroaders and extreme drivers, and youll find that there are trails for everyone:
Golden Spike - The Golden Spike Trail has a difficulty rating of 7, though there are some bypasses that give it a 4+ rating. The easiest parts of the road feature dirt and broken rocks, but there are some rock ledges and slickrock that make the trail a challenge. The Golden Crack is the marker that indicates the final mile of the trail, but its that last mile that's the toughest! With tight canyon turns, slick up and downhills, and short slickrock ledges, it's a challenge for all offroaders.
Flat Iron Mesa - For those who are looking for an easier drive, this trail has a difficulty rating of 5. The scenery on this route is peerless, and most people drive this trail just to see the view in Muleshoe Canyon and Kane Springs. Its mostly a two-track sandy dirt trail, but there is some bedrock and slickrock that makes it more difficult. There are a few hills that will take work to scale, and the sharp turn on the narrow shelf are not for beginner drivers.
Copper Ridge Trail - With a difficulty rating of 3, this trail is for those new to the world of rock crawling. The trail runs through a pour-off of Seven Mile Canyon, and it has excellent views of Tower Arch. The trail tends to be rocky, but you'll find the sandy washbottom makes for much easier driving. The colorful hills feature dinosaur tracks, and there are two steep climbs that will test your vehicle's engine.
Cliff Hanger Trail - This trail has a difficulty rating of 6, so it's going to be a tough one. The sheer walls of Kane Springs Canyon tower on either side of you as you climb, and you'll teeter on the edge of the cliff overlooking Jackson Hole. The trail is primarily rock, but there are some portions of level slickrock and sandy dirt as well. The creek presents the toughest challenges, as both the descent and the climb out of the creek bed are covered with loose gravel. There is a tough switchback that slants upward into a steep climb, and there's an eroded grade on the cliff portion of the trail that will have your attention riveted on your driving.
Hole in the Rock Trail - This is another 6 trail, but the views of Southern Utah are truly astounding! You can see Navajo Mountain as you drive, as well as the Great Bend of the South Juan River. The sandstone route is fairly tough, as the slickrock stone is just as hard as the sand grains produced by wind erosion. The Grey Mesa approach and ascent are particularly tough, but there's nothing like The Chute - a slickrock channel - to push your car and your driving skills to their limits.
Moab Rim Trail - Here's another trail with a difficulty rating of 7, and it will push you to drive your very best. You can see the cliff from the southern edge of the town, and it's just a few miles from the city. From the moment you enter the trail, you're pushed to your limits thanks to the myriad obstacles in your path. The bedrock trail has many steps and ledges, and the slickrock trail higher up is mixed with sandy dirt and blow sand to make the trail a real challenge. Z-Turn and Devil's Crack will test your skill and your vehicle, and the 85% grade on a slickrock dome near the top of the trail is a challenge you should only try if you know your 4x4 truck can handle it!