We Went To Moab & Rented A Jeep

Robert WellerTake A Hike!

Trail Mater!

A couple of years ago I started watching a you tube channel called Trail Mater. The channel is all about off road recoveries in Moab, Utah. Last summer my wife, Cathy, asked me what I wanted to do for our 25th wedding anniversary. I said, “Let’s go to Moab and see if we can meet Trail Mater!” She just looked at me with a big smile on her face and said, “are you serious?” To which I replied, “Heck yeah, why not?” After realizing that I was not joking Cathy was immediately on board with the idea. So, in August of 2023, we booked our flights and a place to stay for our future trip to Moab in the spring of 2024, the week of our wedding anniversary. We also decided that while we were there, we would rent a Jeep and go off-roading and do some rock crawling so we could see for ourselves some of the sights that we had only been able to see on YouTube.  Cathy loves to plan vacations and she does an amazing job, so she began looking at what trails we should drive and what hikes we should try and do during our upcoming stay in Moab.

Unfortunately, on December 12, 2023 I received an email from the rental home company. They informed me they were filing bankruptcy and that we needed to dispute the credit card charges if we wanted our money back. Only a week or so later, I received the following message from my wife. It read, “I am beginning to think that we are not supposed to go to Moab. I just got an email from the airlines informing me that they will no longer offer service to Moab.” I remember talking with her on the phone shortly after the text came through and we were both having second thoughts about our plans to go to Moab. Over the next several weeks we went back and forth about whether we should go. We canceled our flights and got a refund from the airlines right away but there was this matter of the credit card dispute and a temporary status of the credit we had received for our housing deposit. After much prayer and consideration, we decided that if the credit card dispute was final and the temporary credit was made permanent by the end of January that we would re-book our trip. On January 29th I received an email informing me the dispute had been closed. We had received the credit that we were waiting on. A few days later, we booked a new place to stay and decided we would just drive Cathy’s Subaru Outback to Moab. 

On Thursday May 2, 2024 we left home on our two day journey to Moab. A long 13-hour day landed us in Kearney, Nebraska for the evening where we enjoyed a nice dinner and got some rest. Friday, we drove through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It is a beautiful part of the country that neither of us had ever seen before. We enjoyed the scenic drive and were amazed at how the landscape continued to change as we got closer and closer to Utah. Soon we were looking at the beautiful red rock of Moab and all I could say was “WOW!” As we drove into town it was hard not to pull the car over

and just gaze at the amazing landscape. We arrived at our VRBO and were very pleased to find all the amenities it had for us. We knew immediately that we were not going to have any issues enjoying our stay in Moab. 

Landscape Arch

Saturday morning, we were off to visit Arches National Park where we began our day with an awesome 3 mile hike to see Delicate Arch. It’s a bit of a challenging hike due to the long climb and descent but we managed, and it was certainly worth the effort for the view. Next, we continued our drive to the back of the park to see Landscape Arch. We were told you can fit a football field under that Arch which helped us comprehend just how big it was and again it’s well worth the effort it takes to get there to see it. After those two hikes Cathy and I were starting to feel our legs tell us we were pushing our luck. We stopped for a few other short walks to see Sand Dune Arch, Balanced Rock and drove by The Windows on our way out of the park. By the end of the day, we were exhausted and our legs were very tired. 

Balanced Rock

The next day was Sunday and was the first day having our rental of the Jeep. We pulled into the Twisted Jeeps parking lot just after they opened. The staff asked us what color we wanted and of the four Jeeps they had available that morning, Cathy 

chose a bright Orange Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. A few signatures later we were driving back to the house to load up and hit the trails. Our first drive included Potash Road, The Shafer Switchbacks and Mineral Point. Potash Road to the Shafer Switchbacks was an easy drive with lots of nice places to pull over and enjoy the views.

The Shafer Switchbacks were not difficult to drive other than being a little narrow at times. But there were plenty of spots to let oncoming traffic go by and in our case, plenty of spots to drive around the crazy people riding mountain bikes up those switchbacks. My legs would not have made it past the first hill, so I was pretty impressed with those riders’ abilities to keep going. Mineral point trail was also rated as an easy trail with the option to get off road a little more at the end of the trail. Cathy kept saying the book says if you’re not comfortable you can get out and walk the last quarter mile. Now folks, I had no intention of walking somewhere that our fancy Jeep on 35-inch tires could get us. I was thrilled to see the ledges and rocks that I got to drive over at the end of the trail, so I drove all the way down to the overlook where we enjoyed the view and got some cool pictures of the Jeep that got us there. On the way out, I put Cathy in the driver’s seat and even got her to go over some smaller rock ledges so she could get her feet wet doing a little off-roading of her own. 

Monday morning, we stopped by Trail Mater Recovery’s shop where I got to meet Rory Irish (owner) and Shawn (one of his employees). I must admit, I was a little starstruck getting to meet a couple of guys I’ve been watching on you tube for two years. They were very easy to talk to and the way we carried on you’d have thought that we were old friends. Afterwards we took the Jeep out Gemini Bridges trail (rated easy) and found an offshoot called Bull Canyon Trail (rated moderately difficult). I loved the added challenge of that trail and enjoyed driving every minute of it. I got to further practice my off roading skills and get more comfortable with not only what I could handle but what the Jeep could handle too. As we made our way back to Gemini Bridges Trail, we stopped to do a short hike that took us to see the bottom side of the Gemini Bridges. The Gemini Bridges are two arches that are side by side that essentially create parallel bridges across an opening. The view was completely worth it and there wasn’t anyone there but Cathy and me. We drove the rest of the way back to the main trail and continued to see the upper side of Gemini Bridges. After reaching the top, we sure were glad we had seen them from underneath as the view from below was far more spectacular. We continued on to the Dead Horse State Park and drove out to see Dead Horse Point. It was extremely windy that afternoon and the dust in the air as we looked out over the canyon made it look as if it were raining. The sights were still amazing, nonetheless. We decided to take Long Canyon Road back to Moab as Cathy spent more time behind the wheel of our rental Jeep. She even got to drive underneath a larger boulder that at some time fell from above, leaving just enough room for vehicles to pass under it. 

Tuesday, we headed out to take on the Dome Plateau trail. This trail was rated difficult, and I was looking forward to whatever challenges it had for me. Let me just say the trail did not disappoint me with its several rock ledges I had to maneuver up or down. There was one steep climb that had me laying back in my seat looking at the sky as well as a 

thirty degree slope that I had to navigate down. It was an absolute blast. Aside from the added challenges and fun that the trail offered, it also took us to another Arch where we stopped for lunch and then a scenic overlook that proved to be the best view we had our entire trip. Once again, we had the view to ourselves and took our time just enjoying it and taking it all in. After we had enjoyed the view and taken several photos, we headed back out to finish the loop of the Dome Plateau Trail. The trail got easier, and Cathy took over driving. We passed a huge cave on our way out along with a couple of old mining camps. Cathy did an excellent job navigating a rocky hill as we made our way back to the main road. I was so proud of her for driving over some more challenging terrain and she did very well. We finished our day with a run out Onion Creek Road and back for more amazing views of canyon walls as we drove through between twenty and thirty creek crossings. 

Wednesday, we got up early and went back to Arches National Park as we had tickets that would allow us to hike in The Fiery Furnace. Folks, let me tell you, that is one very special place. So special in fact that they only allow a certain number of people to visit it per day. They offer two guided hikes per day with a maximum of fourteen people allowed per each group. They also allow seventy-four people each day on a self-guided hike. Cathy had really wanted the guided tour but was not able to obtain those tickets, so we opted to go self-guided. I had the ON X Offroad maps app and my maps saved for offline use so I was confident we could do it alone. The Fiery Furnace hike has you climb over large rocks, squeeze through tight crevices and at some points you need to use both your hands and feet to get through a passage. It is not a hike that everyone will be able to do but the things you get to experience and see when you are in the Fiery Furnace are nothing short of spectacular. We met multiple dead ends and had to turn back but it was a very adventurous hike. We spent about an hour and a half in the Fiery Furnace before we found the exit. Next time we plan to spend more time exploring and looking around, but for now we were happy to have made it through without getting lost or turned around. We spent the afternoon that day doing some pretty serious off-road driving as we tested our skills on a recreational trail called Fins and Things (rated difficult). There were several areas that challenged us on where to place the tires of our rental Jeep as well as some hill climbs that had me feeling like I was laying on my back looking straight at the sky. One of the descents we made on the slick rock was so steep the tires on the Jeep skidded a little as we went down the hill. It was a thrill seeker’s dream come true and I loved every minute of it. My wife will tell you that she was a bit nervous, but I never doubted my ability to successfully navigate the trail or her ability to spot me when I could not see where my tires were. For two people with no experience with rock crawling, I’d say we did pretty good for our first time on the trail. That evening we enjoyed a nice dinner and boat cruise where we learned more about the history of Moab. We found it very interesting to learn that Moab was at one time known for mining Uranium. That stopped in the 1980’s and they had to figure out how they were going to survive so they switched to promoting Moab as a tourist destination. Many movies have also been filmed or at least partially filmed in Moab and when they are local talent is used as extras as well as labor. 

Thursday morning, we decided to hike the trail to the Corona Arch. Folks let me tell you, the Corona Arch is an absolute must see if you get the chance. It’s hard to find the words to even describe it. The hike was not terribly difficult although it does require you to climb a very steep area with the assistance of a chain guard rail and a short ladder. It was worth the effort it took to get there. You can walk under the arch as well as around one end of it. In fact, people have been known to climb up on top of the Corona Arch and swing down off it with Bungee Jumping equipment. Not my cup of tea but hey, more power to you I guess. On our way out, we took a small side shoot over to see Pinto Arch as long as we were already there. The Pinto Arch trail turned out to be a little more strenuous but nothing we couldn’t handle. When we arrived at Pinto Arch, we realized we were the only ones there, so we took the time to enjoy it while we could before any other visitors showed up. After we had rested up from our adventure, we headed back to the Jeep and decided

to take one last cruise. Cathy suggested we run out Kane Creek Road and drive part of the Hurrah Pass. It was a gorgeous drive. We knew we would have to turn around and come back before we made it to the end, but we were able to see most of the trail and even got to take a photo with the Jeep pulled up close to the edge of a bluff. It was a great way to end our week in Moab! Once we returned to town, we had to wash and gas up the Jeep before we turned it back in at Twisted Jeeps. We were a little sad to say go bye to our fun toy for the week, but it was time to get ready to go home. 


I made a you tube video of each day of our trip so our family back home could watch the previous day’s activities each morning while we were out having new adventures. As we made the drive home over the next two days, I continued to upload footage of our last day in Moab. I got a little choked up making the last video and uploading it. Our adventures had ended two days prior to my video upload but watching the footage over again, just made it all feel so final. I guess when you feel those kinds of emotions after a vacation like this one, you know it was a great experience. We are home now and back to our daily routines, but my heart will be missing Moab for a long time. My hiking boots still have a little red dirt on them and every time I put them on and lace them up, I close my eyes for a second and let my thoughts drift back to the red rock, amazing views, and awesome experiences I shared with my wife as we explored Moab, Utah and celebrated twenty-five years of marriage. If you have never been to Moab, it is a destination I can personally and highly recommend. 

Below is the link to the video I created of our best 15 minutes of footage wheeling in the Jeep. Feel free to browse my channel when you are there if you want to see more footage of each hike and off-road trail. 

We went to Moab Utah and Rented a Jeep! 

Link: https://youtu.be/jJjG2jQrBio

Go have an adventure, Happy Trails, safe travels and God Bless.

Robert Weller
Latest posts by Robert Weller (see all)