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Moab Rim Trail
Route

Moab Rim Trail

 
Moab Rim Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.55888°N / 109.58286°W

Object Title: Moab Rim Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
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Page By: nader

Created/Edited: May 9, 2015 / Oct 27, 2017

Object ID: 938627

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Page Score: 81.84%  - 14 Votes 

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Overview

Moab Rim refers to a rough four wheel drive road that takes you to the top of the cliffs that rise to the southwest of Moab, Utah. The route starts on Kane Creek Road near Colorado River and follows a steep slick-rock pathway up the walls of Colorado River Canyon to reach a plateau. It then continues on the plateau to a cliff-top viewpoint where Moab can be seen more than 1000 ft below. La Sal Mountains will also be in good view.

A branch of Moab Rim Road turns into a hiking trail and goes to Petro Pass where you will gain access to Hidden Valley Trail. Please see the page for Hidden Valley Trail. From Petro pass you can continue north onto Hidden Valley and down the cliffs to reach a trailhead in a southern Moab neighborhood.

On the day that I did this hike, I saw no motorized vehicles but keep in mind that this may not always be the case.



Moab Rim
Moab Rim (the cliffs to the southwest of Moab)

Getting There

From the southern parts of Moab, Utah (where McDonalds is), turn from Route 191 (Main St.) west onto Kane Creek Road. This road goes to follow the eastern banks of Colorado River. After a little more than 3 miles, you will see a parking area and information sign.

Route Description

Moab Rim Map
Map



Trailhead Elevation: 3960 ft
Elevation at Moab Viewpoint: 5320 ft
Elevation at Petro Pass: 5220 ft
Roundtrip Hiking Distance: 10.5 miles (the route shown on the above map)



Moab Rim Trailhead
View at trailhead, the arch sits on the other side of Colorado River


The first 0.9 miles of the road follow a steep slick-rock pathway 900 vertical feet up the walls of Colorado River Canyon. This area is popular with four wheel drivers although on the day that I was there, I did not see any motorized vehicles.

The steep part at the beginning
 
The steep part at the beginning
 


From the top of the steep part
 


You will then reach the top of a plateau.

on the top plateau
 
Plateau on top
 


A short side trail gets you to the edge of the plateau where northern Moab will be in view. This is a different spot than the higher viewpoint at the end of the trail described below.

Northern Moab & Colorado River Wetlands
 
Moab & La Sal Mountains
 


The trail continues on the plateau going slowly downhill.

On the top plateau
 
On the top plateau
 


You will then reach a split in the road. You can go either way, the two routes join again in about a mile. Right takes you to the top of a slickrock dome with good views. Left follows the bottom of a sandy canyon and then goes up a steep sand hill.

Slickrock Dome Route Option:

Continuing on the plateau.

On the slicrock dome trail
 
On slickrock dome trail
 


You will then reach a slickrock dome. Follow the dashed line directly up to the top of the dome.

From the top of the slickrock dome
From the top of slickrock dome
From the top of the slickrock dome
From the top of slickrock dome



Sand Hill Route Option:

Follow the trail at the bottom of the canyon.

Sandy Trail in the canyon
 
Sandy Trail in the canyon
 


Sandy Trail in the canyon
 


Go up this steep sandy hill to reach the slickrock dome route.

Sand Hill
Sand Hill


After a short hike, the road splits again. Right goes to Petro pass to reach Hidden Valley Trail. Left goes to Moab Viewpoint.

Trail to Petro Pass/Hidden Valley Trail:

Take the right branch and hike up the road.

Petro Pass sits at the base of the cliffs
Petro Pass at the base of the cliffs


A canyon forms on the left.

Canyon
 


You will soon see a sign on the right side of the road pointing to the trail to Hidden Valley. Leave the road and start hiking the trail (the road will soon come to an end anyway). The trail takes you 50 vertical feet down a slope, crosses a dry wash and then begins to go uphill toward Petro Pass.

On the trail to Petro Pass/Hidden Valley
 
On the trail to Petro Pass/Hidden Valley
 


You will then reach Petro Pass. Hidden Valley and La Sal Mountains come to view. If you want to continue down into Hidden valley, see above link for Hidden Valley Trail.

Hidden Valley & La Sal Mountains
Hidden Valley & La Sal Mountains
Hidden Valey & La Sal Mountains
Hidden Valley & La Sal Mountains


Looking west from Petro Pass
Looking west from Petro Pass


Trail to Moab Viewpoint:

At the above split, take the left branch and hike up the road.

On the trail to Moab Viewpoint
 
On the way to Moab Viewpoint
 
On the way to Moab Viewpoint
 
On the way to Moab Viewpoint
 


You will soon reach the edge of the cliffs. Moab and La Sal Mountains will be visible.

From Moab Viewpoint
South Mountain
From Moab Viewpoint
Moab & La Sal Mountains
From Moab Viewpoint
Moab & Mill Creek Canyon
Downtown Moab from Moab Viewpoint
Downtown Moab



Essential Gear/Red Tape

Hiking equipment.
No fees or permits.

External Links

Book: Hiking from here to Wow, Utah Canyon Country by Kathy & Craig Copeland

Map: Latitude 40 Maps, Classic Moab Trails

Images

On the way to Moab ViewpointMoab RimOn the top plateauPetro Pass sits at the base of the cliffsFrom Moab ViewpointMoab Rim MapSandy Trail in the canyon
On the trail to Moab ViewpointPlateau on topFrom Moab ViewpointFrom Moab ViewpointOn the trail to Petro Pass/Hidden ValleyOn the top plateauMoab Rim
[ View Gallery - 21 More Images ]