There are places in the United States that as an off-roader, are a must see. Moab is that place.
I’ve been hearing about Easter Jeep Safari for years from friends who go every year but I’ve never made the trip myself. Either it conflicted with another assignment, it was my only week home that month, or just didn’t want to make the long trip from Orange County. This year however the stars aligned. We made the move to St.George, Utah last year so now I’m only 5 hours away, RDC asked me to go check it out for the site, and my good friend Joey D from 4 Wheel Parts needed some things shot of their vehicles out there.
I’d been to Moab many years ago for an XRRA race back in 2009 but the event wasn’t held out in the trails, just an open lot where a man made course was created. Exactly 10 years later I would find myself out in the legendary trails of Moab for one of the biggest Jeep events of the year. The plan was to spend two days on the trails with the 4WP crew and then check out the Vendor Expo on Thursday to see what it had to offer.
Day 1 started at 8am as I met up with Casey Currie and his crew who would be my chauffeur for the day (while I think my 4runner can go anywhere this wasn’t the place to test out my rock crawling skills). About 25 Jeeps of all shapes and sizes led out in a train to the trail of the day which was Cliffhanger (click here to get the details on the trail). It really is interesting to see just how capable a relatively stock Jeep can do with some minor modifications. I’ve been spoiled and really my only exposure to rock crawling has been Ultra 4 rigs, so to ride in Casey’s Jeep and see what it can do with parts you can get at a 4 Wheel Parts was pretty impressive.
The views along Cliffhanger are pretty epic, at one point the trail is just wide enough for a Jeep so it isn’t for the faint of heart. With a drop of about 1000′ you can’t afford to make a mistake and having a spotter is key.
Overall we had a great day on the 4 Wheel Parts sponsored ride, lots of businesses in the industry came along for the ride like BFGoodrich Tires, Skyjacker, Currie Enterprises, Icon Vehicle Dynamics and more.
While Cliffhanger was a fun trail I was more excited for the next day as we were going to tackle Hells Revenge. The trail is an iconic Moab trail with some famous obstacles like Hells Gate and Devils Hot Tub (search for both on Youtube to see some videos), and the trail is held mostly on slick rock and has some awesome climbs.
For this run we just had three of the 4wp’s Jeeps and also their ProComp Ford Superduty which everyone got a kick out of watching go up Hells Gate. The goal for that day was to get some great imagery for them to use for marketing for the year so I was able to give them a little direction on setting up some shots I thought may look good. Can’t show everything from the day but here are a few so you can get an idea of what the trail is all about.
Moab really is a photographers dream with awesome scenery in every direction.
My last day in Moab I spent a few hours checking out the Vender Expo just outside of town at the Old Spanish Arena. Lots of vendors were there from big to small all showing off their latest Jeep parts and accessories, so its a great place to talk to companies hands on if you’re in the scene.
Moab really is a special place and I’m looking forward to not only coming back next year for the event, but also planning my own trip with family and friends to go explore the area with our UTV’s.
I really need to thank Klaus and Curtis from here at RDC for sending me out there and also to Joey D, Brent Goegebuer and Tori Bondourant from 4 Wheel Parts for having me out as well and showing me great hospitality. Oh, and thanks Casey for the ride Tuesday and for leaving me on the trail :).
Until next year!