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Moab EJS 2016 Day 4 Trail Report: Moab Rim Trail

The Moab Rim Trail may be rated a 7, but the first mile has a pucker factor of 11

Stuart A. Bourdon
Mar 24, 2016
Photographers: Stuart A. Bourdon
When you’re choosing which trails to run during the Moab Easter Jeep Safari, most look for a trail with a rating number that offers their vehicle and themselves a challenging yet not overwhelmingly destructive driving experience, and an abundance of the dramatic red rock scenery that the Moab area is famous for. Our favorite trail is the Moab Rim Trail.
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The Moab Rim Trail has all that: terrain that is exceptionally challenging, and beautiful scenery. We ran it with the Dana/Spicer crew (who were sponsoring the trail ride) and about 30 rigs that had signed up for the Moab Rim Trail that day. It’s recommended that your rig have locking differentials front and rear, a winch, and at least 33-inch tires (35+ are recommended).
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Rated a 7, the Moab Rim Trail is, in our opinion more like a 4 or 5, except for the first mile of the trail, which has a pucker factor of 11. The beginning of the 7-mile trail follows an off-camber shelf with a succession of curves and steps that quickly rises thousands of feet above the Colorado River. When we say off-camber, what we mean is that it slopes downward toward a drop-off to the river below. There is one particular section within the first few hundred yards of the trail that contains an obstacle known as “Devil’s Crack.”
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We call it the “crack of doom.” It’s an off-camber turn onto a 3-foot shelf with a 1-foot wide crack in the rock shelf on the driver’s side of the sharp turn. If you go too far left, your front tire drops into the crack, too far right and there are boulders in the way, and as you’re making the hard left turn onto the 3-foot step, the edge of the shelf is just 6 feet behind you. Six feet, if you have a Jeep or other small 4x4. This is not a trail for large vehicles or for the faint of heart.
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However, the Moab Rim Trail rewards the brave and smart driver with one of the most spectacular views of the Colorado river, an overlook farther up the trail that allows you to look down on the town of Moab thousands of feet below, and stunning scenery. If you have the right rig and the guts, the Moab Rim Trail may just be the right one for you. It is our favorite trail in the Moab area.

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