Every year, as Memorial Day weekend approaches, our small group eagerly plans a long weekend trip to escape the routine of everyday life. 

Over the years we have explored various hidden gems of Utah, including Alstrom Point, Toquerville Falls, and Smith Mesa, each leaving an indelible mark on our souls.


This year, however, we set our sights on Moab—a place known for its scenic trails and unparalleled natural beauty. With the guidance of Adrian Bolanos and the expertise of Bob Jorgensen from overland4lo.com, our off-road adventure was set to surpass all expectations.


The Trip Begins
Our journey commenced as we gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada. From there, our group embarked on the road trip to the enchanting state of Utah. Our first stop, Moonscape Overlook in Hanksville, Utah, greeted us with otherworldly views that seemed to defy the limits of our imagination.


We rendezvoused here with two more friends who were equally eager to commence this unforgettable expedition. As we continued our drive towards Moab, we were treated to a glimpse of the stunning Capitol Reef National Park, which was a mere taste of the natural wonders awaiting us.

Upon reaching Moab, we checked in at the comfortable La Quinta Inn, strategically chosen to maximize our trail hours and allow us to fully immerse ourselves in the planned routes. Determined to make the most of every moment, we set out early each day, hitting the trails as early as 7:30 in the morning. Our convoy of eight trucks and 17 intrepid adventurers would spend an average of 8 to 9 hours per day traversing the rugged landscapes of Moab.


Day One
Our first day was dedicated to exploring Kane Creek, leading us to the breathtaking Hurrah Pass and the rugged beauty of Chicken Corners. The vistas and scenery unfolded before our eyes, a constant reminder of the awe-inspiring wonders of nature. With every mile we traversed, we discovered firsthand just why Moab is held in such high regard by both nature lovers and off-road enthusiasts alike.

Grateful for the opportunity to experience such splendor, we extended our gratitude once more to our trail leaders, Adrian and Bob. Before day’s end we made a stop at the world-renowned Arches National Park, where natural sandstone arches, towering spires, and majestic balanced rocks formed a surreal backdrop. As we entered the park, we were immediately greeted by a symphony of colors and textures.

The rust-red sandstone formations, sculpted over millions of years by the forces of wind and water, stand proudly against the vivid blue sky. It is a visual feast that ignites the senses and evokes a profound sense of wonder. We found that Arches National Park offers more than just arches. Its towering spires, towering monoliths, and massive balanced rocks create a surreal playground for the imagination. It’s truly awe inspiring.


Day Two
On the second day of our Utah exploration, we eagerly ventured into the mystical realm of Canyonlands National Park. This leg of our journey was particularly special, as it marked the fulfillment of a long-held dream for many of us.

Our day on the trail began with the captivating Long Canyon Trail, which eventually led us into the heart of Canyonlands. Descending along the mesmerizing Shafer Trail and the iconic White Rim Trail, we marveled at the panoramic views from Gooseberry Lookout and the magnificent Musselman Arch.

Further exploration took us to Airport Tower and Monument Basin before finally exiting at Potash Road. Canyonlands National Park, renowned for its phenomenal desert landscapes and the intricate artistry of the Colorado River’s handiwork, left an indescribable impression on us. Moab undeniably stands as one of the United States’ premier outdoor destinations—a place of endless wonders to be explored in any season.


Day Three
As our journey entered its third day, we bade farewell to Moab and ventured south to pass through the legendary Monument Valley. The surreal beauty that unfolded before our eyes left us speechless—it is a testament to the vastness and diversity of the American Southwest.

Our final destination awaited us at Badger Overlook in Marble Canyon, Arizona, where we would camp for the night. Thanks to the generosity of my friend Roger, who graciously shared the whole campsite with our group, we discovered the perfect spot. This primitive campsite, perched above the roaring Badger Creek Rapids on the mighty Colorado River, provided an idyllic backdrop for our reflections on the adventures that had unfolded.


Don’t Say It’s Over
Regrettably, the following day called for our reluctant return journey home. Three days in Moab felt far too short a time to fully explore and experience everything this captivating land had to offer. However, as we made our farewells, we knew in our hearts that we would return, driven by a shared passion for exploration and a deep appreciation for the natural wonders that grace the soul-stirring landscapes in this place.

As the echoes of our journey linger in our memories, we extend our thanks to all who made this unforgettable adventure possible. Happy exploring, until we meet again!


Shout Outs
To see more of Neil Leyesa’s adventures, follow him on Instagram @bonardsgarage. You can also follow Adrian Bolanos and Bob Jorgensen. Neil would also like to shout-out his travel companions—Chris Paez, Ramon Cardenas, Jay Mendoza, Jun Vinson and Tonie Tonie.


Explore Moab With OnX Offroad
OnX Offroad is a digital mapping and navigation app de- signed specifically for off-road enthusiasts, offering detailed maps, trail information, and GPS tracking to enhance the off-road adventure experience. With comprehensive trail coverage, real-time navigation, offline map access, and features like waypoint saving and trip logging, OnX Offroad empowers users to explore new trails, plan their off-road ad- ventures, and stay on track with confidence. It is a valuable tool that provides crucial information for off-roaders, helping them navigate trails, discover new destinations, and make the most of their outdoor explorations.


OnX Offroad’s Beginner Off-Road Trails Near Moab, Utah

OnX Offroad’s Best Off-Road Trails in Moab


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This article originally appeared in OVR Issue 04. For more informative articles like this, consider subscribing to OVR Magazine in print or digital versions here. You can also find the print edition of OVR at your local newsstand by using our Magazine Finder.