Jeep Safari is not only for the hard-core 4-wheel enthusiast.
The Red Rock Four-Wheelers have created a first-timer’s package for those who are still acquiring their 4-wheeling skills and driving stock vehicles.
For three days – Sunday through Tuesday, March 24 to 26 – 4-wheelers are introduced to the trails with the same participants and same leader.
“This is designed for people who haven’t four-wheeled before,” said Doug McElhaney.
Frenchie LaChance is this year’s First Timer’s leader.
Chicken Corners trail is day one of the First Timers package.
The trail is accessed by Kane Creek Road, a paved road that runs alongside the Colorado River. From there is a well-maintained dirt road goes through Kane Creek Canyon before it opens into a large amphitheater.
From there the trail climbs an area of cliffs to a summit known as “Hurrah Pass”.
The trail was named for those too “chicken” to stay in the vehicle in an area where the trail is pinched between a cliff face on one side and an abyss on the other.
Dead Horse Point can be seen across the river.
The Secret Spire trail is day two of the First Timers package.
The trail is in the desert north of Moab and is mostly on top of the mesa between Hellroaring and Spring canyons near the Green River.
The trail is named for a tower of Navajo sandstone that stands by itself. Two arches are nearby.
3-D trail is scheduled for day three of the three-day package for First Timers.
The trail is 59 miles, with 28 of those miles off-pavement.
The 3-D Trail is northwest of Moab in the Hidden Canyon and Brink Spring area. Its name is from the various viewpoints along the trail; from the canyon bottom, the canyon rim and finally an overlook of the area.
For those who have graduated from the First Timer’s package, there is the Sophomore package for slightly more challenging routes.
The Sophomore package works much the same as the First Timer’s package, with three trails on three different days with the same participants and trail leader.
The Sophomore package is Tuesday through Thursday, March 26 to 28.
Copper Ridge is the first day of the Sophomore package.
The trail is north of Moab near the western boundary of Arches National Park.
Most of the trail is dirt and rocky dirt, but there are some long stretches of slickrock and some sandy washes.
A highlight on the trail is exposed dinosaur tracks that can be visited on foot. There are also remains from the set used in the movie “Blue” that was filmed in 1960.
Sevenmile Rim is the second day of the Sophomore package.
It is accessed north of Moab off Hwy 191. It passes the Cotter uranium mine and switches to reach the cliff rim above the mine. The trail features Uranium Arch, which can be walked across.
Fins and Things is the third day of the Sophomore package.
Fins and Things is reached by Sand Flats Road on the east side of Moab. The trail is set on rolling slickrock or sandy dirt between Negro Bill Canyon and the North Fork of Mill Creek Canyon.
The fins are made of Navajo sandstone that were once sand dunes about 200 million years ago.
Although most of the Easter Jeep Safari tours are full with pre-registered participants, organizers say that the above trails are accessible most of the year to most types of stock 4×4 vehicles. Many local companies offer jeep rentals, maps, info and guided tours.
And it’s never too early to plan for next year’s Safari.