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Trail Review: Onion Creek and Long Canyon

Trail Review: Onion Creek and Long Canyon

We recently had the idea to drive down to Moab, Utah to hit a few trails with the team. Normally this would be a trip that would take some planning and require everyone to take a few days off work. We however decided to do none of this and woke up at 4am to attempt this trip in a single day. Here is a review of how that day went and the two amazing trails that we hit down in Southern Utah in one day of work!

Moab is a small town located in Utah that is famous for outdoor recreation and off-roading. It also happens to only be a 3 hour drive from our warehouse in Orem Utah, so we decided to try and do a couple trails in only a single day. We would leave our warehouse location to do the Onion Creek and Long Canyon trails before driving back to our warehouse to get home before midnight. 

We met up at our warehouse at 4am to pack the trucks and get ready for the long day ahead. We packed light since this was only a day trip and the trails we were hitting are relatively easy. We brought some recovery gear and stopped at our local Maverik gas station to gas up and buy some snacks. 

After leaving Maverik we hit the road to drive for the next 3 hours to our first trail on the northern end of Moab in an area called Castle Valley. The drive through Castle Valley is on a paved scenic byway following the side of the Colorado River. It might be one of the prettiest areas of the country and we hadn't even started the trail yet. 

Onion Creek

Length: 12.6 Miles

Difficulty: Easy

After driving Highway 191 for about 30 minutes we arrived at a dirt road turn off to start our first trail of the day, Onion Creek. Onion Creek is a 12.6 mile dirt road that starts in the middle of Castle Valley and climbs to the base of the La Sal mountains. As we drove down the trail we crossed the creek around 10 times before the trail began to climb along the side of a steep drop off. As we continued the trail entered a narrow slot canyon with massive red rock walls on each side of us.

Eventually the trail opened up to some colorful hills next to the same creek we had been crossing at the beginning of the route. At this point we were running short on time and turned back around to drive back through the slot canyon.

Overall this was a super easy trail but one of the most scenic I have ever experienced in Moab. You could probably do this in a Subaru Outback but that doesn't change the fun you will have crossing through the water and driving on the side of amazing red rock canyons. It took us about 4 hours to complete half the trail with all the stopping we did but you could do this same road to the end and back in just under 2 hours without stopping. 

Long Canyon

Length: 15.0 Miles

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

After a quick dinner in Moab we hit the road for our second trail of the day. The Long Canyon trail starts south of Moab along the side of the Colorado River and is another easy to moderate trail with stunning views of the behind the rocks area of Moab and the La Sal mountains. When we arrived at the trailhead the sun was just starting to set so we turned on some of our off road lighting to light the way up the trail. 

You start the trail on the valley floor, driving through a wash between towering sandstone cliffs before hitting a set of switchbacks that take you up the plateau. From these switchbacks you will see many amazing view points that you will want to stop and grab a few pictures at. After one of these switchbacks you will hit what this trail is famous for. A giant boulder has fallen on the trail making a tunnel that you drive through. It is one of the most unique features on any trail in Moab and makes for quite the experience.

Depending on the year and if there has been any rain, the area around the boulder can get rutted out and rocky. There are times I have done this trail with very little difficulty but this time it did take having 4x4 engaged to get through this part of the trail. After passing the boulder we continued through a narrow portion of the canyon before making the last climb to the top of the plateau and then to the highway. 

Final Thoughts

Moab has to be one of my favorite areas to go to as an overland and off road enthusiast and is a place that should be on your bucket list if you drive a 4Runner. The trails we did on our trip weren't difficult or technical but they take you to some of the most unique areas that this country has to offer. If you are looking for a challenge though, Moab does have a variety of trails that can challenge you and your vehicle in different ways.

If you want to see more of our trip down to Moab, make sure to check out our YouTube video here and if you want to see us tackle more trails this summer subscribe to our YouTube channel and comment what trails we should hit next!

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Juan Leon - April 4, 2024


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