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Motorized Routes

Cliffhanger Trail

There are thousands of miles of  four wheel drive routes in Grand and San Juan Counties providing recreational opportunities for motorized users. Some roads receive maintenance from the county. Others are repaired just enough to get through, offering every possible route condition.

The Moab Field Office marks popular backcountry roads. The most popular motorized routes include the 630 miles of the Jeep Safari Route system. This network of backcountry routes has been popularized in guidebooks and on maps. A good source for trail descriptions, difficulty ratings and recommended equipment is the Red Rock 4-Wheelers website.

Motor Assisted Bicycles: The Moab BLM has determined that motor assisted bicycles (electric, gas or diesel) are "motorized vehicles."

Regulations found at 43 CFR 8340.0-5(a) define an “off road vehicle” as "...any motorized vehicle capable of, or designed for, travel on or immediately over land, water, or other natural terrain..." Furthermore, regulations found at 43 CFR 8342.1 direct the BLM to designate routes as either available for or not available for off road (motorized) vehicles.

Since electric assist bikes have a motor, they fit under the definition provided in 43 CFR 8340.0-5(a) as off road (motorized) vehicles. Thus, electric bikes are allowed only on routes designated for off road (motorized) vehicle use and prohibited from routes that have been designated only for non-off road (non-motorized) vehicle use.

Below is a list of motorized trails that are compatible with motor assisted bicycles.

Jeep Trails: Amasa Back, Klondike Bluffs, Moab Rim, Poison Spider, Porcupine Rim, and all Jeep Safari Routes

Trails: Orange, Slickrock and Sovereign

In addition, the Enduro Loop Motorcycle Trail, Gemini Bridges Road, motorized portions of the Kokopelli Trail and motorized singletrack in the White Wash Area are compatible with motor assisted bicycles.

All routes open to motorized use are on the maps
on the Travel Management Plan page.

Sevenmile Rim Metal Masher Hells Revenge Fins and Things Poison Spider Shafer/Long Canyon Gemini Bridges Chicken Corners Moab Area Jeep Trail Locations

Route Descriptions
The eight routes on the map above depict the variety and range of the many four wheel drive routes in the Moab area and are suitable for four wheel drive vehicles, dirt bikes and ATVs. Only street legal vehicles may drive the Shafer/Long Canyon Loop. 

Stay on the Route
Motorized travel is limited to designated routes. If the route is too difficult for you, turn around rather than attempt to go around obstacles. 

ATVs and Dirt Bikes
ATVs and dirt bikes can ride on all four wheel drive routes in Grand and San Juan Counties. Some trails are specifically designated for ATVs or dirt bikes. 

ATVs and dirt bikes are governed by state laws which include:

  • Children under 8 cannot operate off-highway vehicles
  • Those ages 8 – 16 must possess an OHV education certificate
  • Drivers and passengers under 18 must wear a helmet
  • OHVs must display a current OHV registration sticker
  • All OHVs must have a spark arrester

Utah Off-Highway Vehicle Laws, Use, Safety and Ethics

Trail Marking
While the BLM strives to mark routes, it is always wise to carry a map or guidebook.

Visit the Canyonlands Natural History Association website
 to purchase maps and books of the area.

Route Difficulty
Rating the difficulty of four wheel drive routes is difficult as vehicles vary in their capability and driver experience is a factor. The easiest route described above (Shafer/Long Canyon Loop) is barely out of the two wheel drive class. The most difficult routes (Poison Spider, Hells Revenge) require first-rate off-road equipment. The other routes are within the capabilities of stock four wheel drive vehicles.

Be aware that difficult four wheel drive trails involve some risk of damage to vehicles and occupants. Develop experience on easier trails before attempting difficult routes. 

Getting lost, stuck or disabled is a risk. Although the routes described here are not very remote, the safest procedure is to travel with more than one vehicle. Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return. Carry a good supply of water. Other equipment should include sun protection, adequate clothing for cool nights, first-aid supplies, a spare tire, and tools/equipment to keep the vehicle mobile.

Ranchers lease public lands for grazing and you'll find fences throughout the area; leave gates open or closed, as you found them. Carry out what you carried in.

Roads can be severely damaged by use when muddy and many become impassable and dangerous when wet.

Minimum Impact Practices

Backcountry Safety Tips