EASTER JEEP SAFARI REMAINS OFF-ROAD MECCA
Pilgrimage to off-road Mecca.
LET’S GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY right out of the gate. In some ways Easter Jeep Safari is not the best time to visit Moab. The town is crowded, the traffic in town and on the trails can suck, and the price of everything mysteriously skyrockets when all the Jeeps come to town. Yet year after year, tens of thousands of off-roaders descend on Moab for the largest trail ride event in the country, and quite possibly the world. While many would argue that there are better times to come to Moab, the truth is that the best way to experience Moab is to come to Easter Jeep Safari at least once. It doesn’t matter if you drive something with seven slots in the grille or not. If it has low-range, you are more than welcome and can have a ball. Seeing the town completely overrun with 4x4s, checking out all of the unique off-road creations that are seemingly everywhere, and just being at Easter Jeep is something every redblooded off-road enthusiast ought to do at least once. Seriously.
Despite Easter coming early this year, the event benefitted from surprisingly good weather all week. Other than some wind, the days were sunny, contradictory to early forecasts of a fairly wet event. As a result, the turnout was great. Yes, more than a fair share of JKs were represented this year, just like the previous five years or so, but we’re seeing more and more of a trend towards older Jeep iron and even non-Jeep platforms pop up at EJS. This is something we wholeheartedly welcome and encourage.
New and old vehicles alike gathered for dozens of official and unofficial trail rides. The groups varied from just a few vehicles to more than 50 in some cases. Despite the large number of Jeeps in town, we didn’t get caught in much trail traffic, and we didn’t hear about many traffic snarls either. This is thanks in part to the Red Rock 4-Wheelers, the official club that organizes the Easter Jeep Safari. The club has exclusive use permits on several of the popular trails on certain days of the week. Though controversial to some people, these permits keep traffic snarls down and enables the organized Red Rock runs to enjoy the trails without getting stuck behind other groups. The Red Rock schedule is published in a newspaper that is widely distributed throughout town, so those who want to go out on their own can simply consult the paper and find out what trails are open on what days. It’s a system that works out pretty well for everyone.
Enjoy our event coverage here, and we think you’ll see why we say every off-roader should make the pilgrimage and come experience the Easter Jeep Safari at least once. Check out just a small sample of what we saw throughout the week and make plans to attend a future one. For more information, check out fourwheeler.com or visit the Red Rock 4-Wheelers website at rr4w.com.
A big bonus of the Mashed Potatoes trail is that it winds its way to the White Wash Sand Dunes. The area is lesser known and not well traveled due in part to the distance from Moab (and everywhere else, for that matter). The dunes gave people a chance to open up the throttle and kick up some sand. Skyjacker’s new JL Wrangler was impressive here, with a spanking-new suspension system that soaked up the whoops in a way that left some JK owners (and others for that matter) a little envious.
We’re suckers for older iron, and Jeep Safari offers one of the greatest opportunities to check out some oldies, many of which benefit from modern technology. Andrew Hoit’s stretched CJ-5 is one example. It still sports leaf springs in the front, but a linked rear combined with good shocks at all four corners made this Jeep just right.
We joined Warn, ARB, and Skyjacker on one of the lesser-known trails and dune areas northwest of town. The trail is called Crystal Geyser and isn’t terribly hard, but the terrain is varied with lots of optional hard lines. It’s a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the more popular trails closer to town.