Moab, Utah (pronounced: MO-ab) is a small town with a population of just over 5,000. Located on the Colorado River in scenic Grand County, the town itself has a long and storied history. Mormon settlers, prospectors, cowboys, Indians, outlaws, and speculators all played colorful roles in the boom and bust cycles of the region. A permanent settlement was established in 1878 and the town of Moab incorporated in 1902. Known as the "Uranium Capitol of the World" during the 1950s, prospectors and miners created a network of backcountry roads and trails which are now used for recreation by mountain biker's and Jeepers. Moab is surrounded by unparralled natural wonders, with the mighty Colorado River running along its northern edge, and both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks on its doorstep.
The backcountry around Moab, Utah is interlaced with a vast network of unpaved backroads. Some are mild and relatively easy while others offer heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat 4WD excitement. It's a big country, where you'll find sand, slick-rock, broken talus, impossibly steep climbs, hair-raising descents, cliff-hanging ledges, hundred-mile views, native rock-art, dinosaur tracks, and, just for fun, the occasional patch of quicksand!
Getting to Moab
Driving into Moab from the east or west is relatively straightforward as the town straddles US 191 south of Interstate 70. The nearest large airport is in Grand Junction, CO, but it is also possible to fly directly into Moab. Rental cars are available at all airports. Driving times:
- Grand Junction (GJT): 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Salt Lake City (SLC): 4 hours
- Denver (DEN): 5.5 hours
- Las Vegas (LAS): 6.5 hours
- Phoenix (PHX): 7.5 hours
Coming from the south is both incredibly scenic and a little complicated, with a long drive across the Navajo Reservation and through famous Monument Valley.
Packing for Moab
If you book a guided trip with Barlow's, detailed itineraries and equipment lists are provided to all guests, with some variations due to season and type of trip. Below is our basic recommended list of clothing, supplies and equipment.
- Pants (shorts optional)
- Sweater, light jacket (expect 50-degree mornings and 90-degree middays)
- Hiking boots or tough athletic shoes—no flip flops or spike heels on trail!
- Breathable, okay-to-get-dirty clothing is best
- Sunscreen & Chapstick
- Water (one gallon per person per day is a good guideline)
- Food (lunch each day, plus snacks—at least 1 each sweet, salty, & protein)
- Any medication that you must take daily—good idea to carry it on trail
- Orange juice or high-C beverages to help with the dry altitude effects
- Ziplock bags to pack out your TP and trash
- Folding chairs or something to sit on, if rocks are not acceptable
If you are taking your own vehicle on a guided trip with us, please see pour recommendations for safety and repair gear on our Moab Guided Trips page.
Frequently Asked Questions for Moab Jeep Rentals and Guided Trips
1. Do I need a lot of 4-wheeling experience to drive Moab trails?
Moab trails are justifiably famous and many are unbelievably rugged. But the wide variety of terrain also makes it an ideal training ground. Novices will do just fine. Our experienced and knowledgeable guides can show you everything you need to learn to successfully and safely Jeep Moab.
2. How big is the group on a guided trip?
Usually about six vehicles, plus the guide Jeep. We keep our groups small to maximize guide time with each guest and minimize trail impact.
3. How far in advance do I need to make reservations?
At least 7 days ahead is a good rule of thumb for basic Jeep rentals. Our guided trips fill up very quickly so we recommend booking these trips as soon as they are announced. Our Group Course & Trip Calendar is continually updated with new events so be sure to bookmark and check back often!
4. How many miles are included with my Jeep rental?
Rental rates include up to 150 miles per day (averaged over multi-days) and $0.35 per mile after that.
5. What will the weather be like?
Moab is the high-desert. It can have hot days and cold nights, so bring layers of clothing to be prepared for 50-degree mornings and 90-degree middays. Late winter and early spring can be cold, wet and snowy. Spring is always windy. Fall is generally clear and mild. Summers are hot with afternoon thunderstorms likely later in the season
6. What should I bring?
Layered clothing, items for personal comfort, and safety and recovery equipment if bringing your own vehicle. All participants receive a detailed itinerary and gear list upon sign-up. See the Moab Home page for more details.
7. Who can participate?
Drivers must be 25 or older with a valid driver's licence and proof of full coverage auto insurance. No underage drivers please! Passengers may be of any age unless otherwise restricted by a specific trip.
8. Are there health restrictions?
Participants should be in good health. No one with heart conditions, previous seizures, or high blood pressure or other potentially life threatening illnesses, please! All events are held outdoors with lots of time both in and out of the Jeep. Some walking over broken, uneven terrain is required. This is the backcountry and medical help is far away.
9. What if we break down or get stuck?
Learning to get un-stuck is one of the skills you'll aquire from our guides on the trail. Breakdowns are another matter. Even well-maintained vehicles sometimes breakdown. Many light repairs can be done in Moab, but a more serious mechanical issue can cut a trip short. This almost never happens, but refunds cannot be provided for trips cut short due to mechanical issues.
10. What if I damage a Barlow's Jeep?
We all make mistakes from time to time, and occasionally, one of our guests has an unplanned encounter with a rock, resulting in a dented bumper, damaged skid plate or mangled fender. This kind of damage comes with the territory and our Jeeps are insured against it.
Acting recklessly or against the guide's instructions is another matter, however, and guests may be held liable for any damage that results. In such a case, most guests choose to submit a claim to their auto insurance company to cover the cost.
Most importantly, we want everyone to be safe and have fun. Jeeps are replaceable, you and your family are not. We build and maintain our Jeeps for the utmost in safety and capability.
- Fender flare: $300
- Bumpers: $1000
- Shock: $150
- Windshield: $550
- Tire: $350
11. Is it cool to smoke and drink on the trail?
No. There is no smoking allowed in any Barlow's vehicle. Moderate alcohol consumption can be part of the after-trail fun back in town.
12. What about environmental concerns?
We take every step to conduct our trips in an environmentally sound manner. Barlow Adventures is a member of and advocate for the US Forest Service's Tead Lightly! program and works to educate the public on safe and responsible 4 wheel drive practices.
13. Are there bathrooms along the trail?
In remote areas you may expect bathroom stops to consist of thick patches of trees or shrubs. You may wish to carry toilet paper in a ziplock bag in order to pack out used paper products. Please keep our public lands and trails clean—pack out your trash!