Vancouver, Washington, resident John Jordan ascends Potato Salad Hill, a popular four-wheel drive test area, in his Bronco during a previous Easter Jeep Safari. [Moab Sun News file photo]

The Moab area’s rugged off-road vehicle trails are still a big draw for adventurers from around the world, although growing numbers of Easter Jeep Safari attendees just want to relax and enjoy the scenery.

With those trends in mind, organizers of this year’s March 24-April 1 event are scheduling trips that are geared at least in part toward past participants who are returning to Easter Jeep Safari as dads and moms, with their kids in tow.

“More of our customers are oriented now to the easier trails because they’re more family-oriented,” Red Rock 4-Wheelers President Mike Kelso said. “They can take the easier trails and the scenic trails and make it more of a family-friendly event.”

One new route this year – the Deadman Springs trail near Spring Canyon Road – was chosen for its diverse scenery and obstacles. According to a route description, the trail features some easy rock and dirt sections, occasional ledges, descents that demand a driver’s attention, along with some slickrock and sandy sections.

“The trail will go to the actual spring with a no-longer-functioning stock reservoir, where in the 1890s two cowboys found a dead cowboy at the springs,” trip leaders Kristen Texler and Dan Lindbland said in their route description. “This is a nice scenic four-wheeling trail.”

The Deadman Springs route is just one of 51 trails that will be open to Jeep Safari riders this year, and with a trail rating of three on a scale of one to 10, it’s at the lower range of an increasingly popular option among participants.

“It seems to be that our sweet spot in our trail ratings is between a three and a five,” Kelso said.

“You’ve got to pay attention to what you’re doing, but they’re not hard trails where you have to worry about your equipment,” he added.

To help drivers improve their Jeeping abilities, the club is launching a four-wheel drive skills day this year.

Kelso encourages participants to choose their trails based on a driver’s skills, and – as always – his group asks attendees to follow the proper trail etiquette.

“As we tell them, ‘Take it easy and stay on the trail – it’s very important,’” Kelso said. “Just enjoy yourself. We want everyone to enjoy it in a safe manner.”

In a step up from its previously offered First Timer’s and Sophomore packages, the club is offering a “Junior” package that allows attendees to stay with the same group for three days; each day grows more challenging than the one before it.

Anyone who has not already registered for this year’s Jeep Safari may be out of luck if they’re still hoping to sign up for the event’s most popular rides.

“We’re probably 99 percent sold out,” Kelso said.

Still, Kelso encourages stragglers to stop by the Old Spanish Trail Arena, 3641 S. U.S. Highway 191, during registration hours to see if there have been any cancellations.

“It’s good that they come in and check because we do have people who cancel,” he said.

Event registration will be open at the arena on Saturday, March 24, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Same-day registration and package pickup will also be available from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. each morning of the event – except Big Saturday and Easter Sunday – and all day until 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30.

On March 29 and March 30, attendees and the general public can attend a free vendor and information display at the Old Spanish Trail Arena. The Red Rock 4-Wheelers will be giving away a new Rubicon JL during the March 30 vendor event; the vehicle will come equipped with an array of after-market items from Jeep Performance Parts, or Mopar.

Anyone who is seeking more details about this year’s event is encouraged to visit the 4-Wheelers’ website at, or to pick up copies of this year’s Jeep Safari magazine – which is available at numerous businesses in Moab, and on the group’s website.

“It’s full of a lot of information,” Kelso said.

Event returns for 52nd year

What: 52nd Annual Easter Jeep Safari

When: Saturday, March 24, through Sunday, April 1

Where: Varies

Cost: Varies

Information and online registration:

More of our customers are oriented now to the easier trails because they’re more family-oriented … They can take the easier trails and the scenic trails and make it more of a family-friendly event.