Moab Rim Trail

 

The Moab Rim is the cliff rim seen just to the southwest of town. Its only four-wheel-drive access begins just downriver from town and it’s one of the busiest one-mile drives you can find. Many vehicles have “bit the rocks” on the succession of rock ledges and tight turns that lead to the rim. On top, the trail is sand and rock as it leaves the rim, but it returns at another overlook. A spur, sometimes used, visits Indian ruins and rock art. After closing a short loop, the trail returns on the same rocky mile it started with. A formerly used trail loop to the famous Egg Ranch Fin and Death Row is now closed because it enters an area closed to motor vehicles in the BLM’s Resource Management Plan.

 

Scenery

The first mile of trail has increasingly high overlooks of the Colorado River gorge in one of its most beautiful areas. The rim view includes the La Sal Mountains, Moab and Spanish Valleys, some of Arches National Park and distant features such as the Book Cliffs. Behind the rim are displays of rock domes and fins and some of the rims of the Colorado River gorge farther downstream.

 

Road Surface

The first part of the trail is mostly on bedrock that nature has broken into ledges and steps. The higher country has slickrock, blow sand, and some sandy dirt with broken rock mixed in.

 

Obstacles

Highlights among the many steps in the first mile are the Devils Crack and the Z-Turn. The former requires a tricky turn onto a ledge to avoid dropping a wheel into the crack beyond, and the latter has two turns over irregular rocks and ledges. On top, a slickrock dome has an optional climb with about 85 percent grade. Excellent ground clearance and large diameter tires are useful throughout, and a locking or limited-slip differential helps a lot.