With over 130,000 miles in an Alaskan Camper, Maggie MacPherson points us to some must-see off-road locations around Moab, Utah. Do not miss Maggie’s amazing Moab photographs.
Moab, Utah is well known as an area for four-wheel drive Jeeps, but we have explored it from one side to the other in our Alaskan Camper and four-wheel drive 2003 GMC Sierra 2500. Within limits, we can go where the Jeeps go.
As always, we go as far as we can on backcountry roads, and then we hike even further. You have to have an adventurous spirit, and you need lots of time to drive these types of roads. There are times when we are traveling less than five miles an hour.
Above: Don and Maggie hiking at Fisher Towers near Moab, Utah
My first bit of advice is to go to the more popular places mid-week. On the weekends these areas and campsites can become quite crowded. We have always been able to find a campsite, but we go in when people leave, which is in the late morning. We try to find a campsite between 10:00am and 3:00pm.
The second tip is to invest in the National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps of Moab North and Moab South. The third is to check with rangers about the road conditions and the fourth is to be aware of the weather.
At the south end of the Dewey Bridge on Highway 128, turn east onto Shura Road. This eventually meets the Top of the World Road and then the Dolores River Outlook Road. These are all pretty good dirt roads and the scenery is spectacular. There are also many smaller roads off these, and depending on the weather and the capabilities of your vehicle, you can drive many of them with a four wheel drive truck camper. The round trip is approximately fifty miles. With lunch and stops for photography it takes about six hours. There are places to camp along the way. As always, try to camp somewhere that has been used as a campsite before.
Above: The Onion Creek Road drive to Hideout Canyon campground
Another great drive is Onion Creek Road to Hideout Canyon campground. Turn east off Highway 128, south of the Fisher Towers turnoff. This round trip is approximately thirty miles round trip and takes about seven hours with stops for lunch, photography, and exploration.
Above: One of the Onion Creek Road campsites
There are a number of designated, first come first serve campsites along the road as well as the Hidden Canyon Campground.
See the description of Castleton Road below for a possible loop. There are twenty-one creek crossings, beautiful scenery, a narrow canyon, and an outlaw hideout. Look for climbers on the Totem Pole spire.
Above: View from Castleton Gateway Road
Further south off Highway 128 to the east is Castleton Road. The Rock Creek Campground is at the junction of Castleton Gateway Road and the La Salle Mountain Loop Road.