Time to plan ahead for Moab Easter Jeep Safari

Djamila Grossman | The Salt Lake Tribune Rob Covert drives a jeep on Long Canyon Road near Moab, Utah, on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010.

The Moab Easter Jeep Safari, which began in 1967 using the Behind the Rocks Trail and first sponsored by the Moab Chamber of Commerce, has become one of the most popular events of its kind in the nation.

Now sponsored by the Red Rock 4 Wheelers, the annual event is scheduled April 8-16, and organizers have added eight trails.

Increasingly, the event requires advance planning. Participants must pre-register at www.rr4w.com for the trails they want to ride. Though a few spots may remain the day of the event, that can be doubtful.

The website has lists of trails, requirements and events that include vendor show, barbecue and big parade day. If you need more information, you can call the club directly at 435-259-7625.

The Jeep Safari is for all full-sized street-legal 4-wheel-drive vehicles. No UTVs, sand buggies, crawlers or ATVs are allowed. Cost is $150 to register and $50 per vehicle per trail day. Money goes to pay Bureau of Land Management and state land fees and to provide bathrooms, parking areas, trail marking, signs and maintenance and new camping sites such as the ones along the Colorado River.

The other challenge for participants may be trying to find a motel or a place to camp. Not only is Moab packed in the spring, but many longtime Jeep Safari participants make a reservation a year in advance. There are sometimes cancellations in Moab; those planning a trip may want to visit www.discovermoab.com or call 435-259-8825 to learn about any rooms that are available. It is also wise to check towns near Moab, including Green River and Monticello, for available rooms.

The BLM has approved the event permit for the next decade, allowing the Red Rock 4 Wheelers to add eight new trails this year: The Pickle, Cameo Cliffs, Day Canyon Point, Deadman Point, Rusty Nail, Where Eagles Dare, Jax Trax and an addition to the famous Hell's Event trail called The Escalator.

There are 51 trails in all, rated from 1 (easy) to 10 (severe).

The club emphasizes that the Utah state government has tightened up enforcement of nonlicensed vehicles on public roadways. Vehicles that are not registered to be street legal must be trailered to the trailhead.


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