Moab Trail Preview: Mashed Potato
Short and fun, this Moab-area Jeep trail is popular for its lunchstop attraction called the Gravy Bowl
Easter Jeep Safari is an incredibly strong four-wheeling magnet that attracts
thousands of metal objects to Moab, Utah. Those metal objects come in every shape and size, but they all have one thing in common: They are built to tackle the red rock terrain of southeastern Utah. Trails from extreme to scenic surround the Moab area, and you have your pick of dozens that begin just minutes from town. If you’re looking at EJS registration and wondering which trails to run, we’ve offered up five of our favorites—ranging from easy to very challenging. Here’s one of them.
We ran Mashed Potato so we could give you a stone-by-stone assessment of the trail. This is actually a section of another trail called The Pickle (also in this Easter Jeep Safari prep special section). Mashed Potato is in the first part of that linked trail system. It begins with a sandy dirt road leading up the layer cake of geologic formations.
Once on top of that initial climb, the trail opens up into a twisting rope of paths through and over lumps of weathered sandstone that run in sizes from suitcase to Subaru. It is for these lumpy, light-colored formations that this section of the trail is named. Very near the upward climb through this section is the Gravy Bowl “bathtub.” This Jeep-deep, naturally bathtub-shaped hollow is about 20 feet long and curved slightly, making it an extremely challenging (wet or dry) playground and a good place to stop for lunch. After a few of the more capable machines dipped their toes in the muddy waters of the Gravy Bowl and all the rest had finished their lunches, our party of about 60 rigs headed back down the trail to Highway 191 and then south toward town.
We would give this trail a 5 on a scale of 10 for difficulty. In our opinion, you will likely need at least a locker in the rearend, a couple inches of lift, no less than 33-inch tires, sliders, and good skidplating to get to the Gravy Bowl unharmed, but it is definitely a trail worth the effort. The entire trail, including the lunch/play break, took about four hours from trailhead to trailhead. We were back in time for lunch at Milt’s, a place we think is one of the best (and busiest) burger and shake joints in Moab.