Climbing giant boulders and finding yourself with only three (or even two) wheels on the ground is an intense experience. When you’re placing your front tires on the edge of a trail with a dropoff below you, you’d better be paying attention and god forbid you have some kind of electronic device in your hand.
This week I finally got to experience the red rock terrain of Moab, Utah. Piloting a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I ended up off the pavement route and on a dirt-and-rock road winding up a mountain. The scenery was spectacular, and off-reading never fails to remind me of just how long the Earth has been around and how much beauty exists in nature. And it got me thinking: what other off-road sites am I missing that I should add to my bucket list?
Moab is pretty magical and the trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and vehicles are abundant. You can catch a helicopter ride or skydive between routes, if you’re so inclined (I’m not, at least not on the skydiving side) and there are tons of Jeep and side-by-side rental companies.
Of course, Moab is famous for the Easter Jeep Safari, but Ford also owns a little piece of that part of the world. The Blue Oval runs an Off-Roadeo site on a scenic spot along the river along with its other Off-Roadeo properties around the country. That includes Texas, where the brand commissioned an off-road course with some jaw-dropping views of Hill Country and where Ford launched the Bronco earlier this year.
There’s no need to worry about inexperience; legendary off-roader and winning driver in this year’s Rebelle Rally 4x4 competition Nena Barlow has a Jeep training/rental branch in Moab as well as Sedona, Arizona. Each of her rental Wranglers has a name and a number and Barlow runs classes all year to teach you how to master off-road trails properly.
Getting off the asphalt is dirty, dusty, grimy, and in some ways, more challenging than track driving. I’m totally hooked on it and would love to hear your ideas on where I should go next to explore.
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