Moab Friends for Wheelin’ volunteers Glen Richardson and Jeff Stevens have been helping to prepare the trails for Easter Jeep Safari by installing “You Are Here” signs along the designated routes. Jeep Safari returns this year with 40 trails over nine days. [Photo courtesy of Melissa Fischer]

Off-road adventurers are coming to Moab for scenic views and obstacles at Easter Jeep Safari. As you plan your route, Moab volunteers say there’s a big reason to stay on the trails.

Melissa Fischer is leading trail routes at Easter Jeep Safari, including Fins and Things and Pritchett Canyon. She’s encouraging people to “leave the trails cleaner than you find them.”

“We need to take care of these trails because if we don’t we could lose them in the future,” Fischer said.

This year is the 53rd year for Easter Jeep Safari and thousands of motorized recreationists will continue the tradition beginning on Saturday, April 13.

Event registration will be open at the Old Spanish Trail Arena on April 13 from 7 to 10 a.m. Same-day registration and package pickup will also be available from 7 to 9 a.m. each morning of the event — except Big Saturday and Easter Sunday — and all day until 8 p.m. on Thursday April 18, and Friday, April 19. Event registration is also online. All Easter Jeep Safari participants must check in with the organizers at the arena to receive their event package.

The Red Rocks 4-Wheelers (RR4W) Club organizes Easter Jeep Safari with the collaboration of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), numerous volunteers and partnerships with groups such as Moab Friends For Wheelin’ and Ride with Respect.

In addition to leading trail routes at Easter Jeep Safari, Fischer has been busy working with Moab Friends For Wheelin’ completing work projects in preparation for Easter Jeep Safari.

One of the ways the group helps is by placing “You Are Here” signs along the Jeep trails so the motorized users know where they are on the trail, how much farther they have to go on the route and the trail’s boundaries. Leaving designated areas can make the trails unstable, Fischer said.

“Be patient,” Fischer said. “Stay on the trail. There are going to be a lot of people here and you need to not be frustrated and wait until there is an opportunity to move around them without tearing through the vegetation.”

RR4W President Mike Kelso echoed patience at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari as recreationists visit 40 designated trails for the event over a course of nine days.

“Stay on the trail, keep an eye on the guy ahead of you and the guy behind you,” Kelso said.

Buttes and Towers is the only new trail featured at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari. Kelso is leading the Buttes and Towers trail on Sunday, April 21. The scenery visible from that trail includes the Monitor and Merrimac buttes and Determination Towers.

“It gives you a total new perspective of that area. It’s surprising,” Kelso said. He said the trail is rated a 3 on a scale of 10 and has a road surface that varies from bumpy rock sections to smooth sandy washes.

A Boy Scout barbecue is being held inside the Old Spanish Trail Arena on April 18, the same day as the Jeep Safari Expo, said Angela Book, the arena’s administrator. Book is also a member of RR4W and she will be working that day doing “a little bit of everything,” she said.

“It’s so exciting and it’s such a good time,” Book said. “Everybody has a good personality and everyone is sharing stories.”

Easter Jeep Safari is “absolutely kid friendly,” she said, and encourages families to look for Smokey Bear to visit the U.S. Forest Service’s booth at the arena.

The Easter Jeep Safari raffle is being held the following day on April 19.

“There is a whole stage full of prizes people can win — tires, winches, light bars, suspensions, this list could go on forever,” Book said. “There are hundreds of prizes that are given away.”

The raffle starts at 7:30 p.m. and Book said “there are so many prizes it can go on until 11 p.m.”

Raffle tickets will be for sale at the registration office in the conference room at the arena.

“It’s like an all day campfire,” Book said. “You know when you’re sitting around a campfire telling stories? It’s like that all day long. Everybody just comes from all over the country, and they’re showing each other their rigs and they’re helping each other. It’s just good times.”

She also encourages people slow down, be patient and stay on the designated routes as they head out onto the trails.

“We’ll all get where we’re going in time,” she said. “It fills up, but if we can be patient, we’ll all get there.”

Moab off-road event returns for 53rd year

“It’s so exciting and it’s such a good time.”