We’d been pretty excited to rent a UTV in Moab and ride over the famous Hell’s Revenge trail on our first family trip to Moab, Utah. Then we woke up to a rare 5″ of snow. A little dumbfounded, we weren’t sure if it was still a good idea to go out on the UTV in the middle of such strong snowfall. Well, Mark, the owner of Ultimate UTV Adventures in Moab, Utah, was prepared for our ride even while we were still mulling it over. He and his crew saw no issues going out in the snow, and they were excited to show us this rare side of Moab.
Not ones to turn down such an adventure, Ben excitedly drove straight over- despite not having packed snow pants or snow boots (because, seriously, who would have guessed?)
Why You Should Rent a UTV in Moab
A Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) is a 4-person off-roading vehicle. It features knobby tires to easily grip unusual surfaces, which means it can also cover angled rocks and rough terrain. They are often windowless or have half shields, which makes them more desirable as adventure vehicles. Typically renting a UTV to ride the red rock trails in Moab means feeling the breeze across your body as you grip your way up seemingly impossible paths, but using one in the snow was a different story. The UTV has plenty of clearance and sturdy tires to ride over a certain amount of snow, but it’s not as smooth or fast over tall snowbanks as snowmobiles are. Additionally, the openness means getting slammed with snow at every turn since you’re essentially going through the snow, not on top of it (like a snowmobile does). By using a UTV in the snow we were signing up for an adventurous, cold, exposing adventure in a different type of terrain than it was originally intended for. Sounds like fun!
We chose to rent a UTV in Moab from Ultimate UTV Adventures because Mark has been in business for over 20 years. He and his guides know this area backwards and forwards, and are the only 5-star rated UTV rental agency in Moab. Wow! They are also the only ones who lead UTV tours on Poison Spider, Cliffhanger, the Moab Rim, and Pritchett Canyon trails. We like to push our limits, but when it comes to the safety and well-being of our son we wanted to go with a company that really knows what they’re doing.
I’m glad we did. Despite (or because of) heavy snowfall Ultimate UTV Adventures gave us the experience of a lifetime, and one many people are too scared to have.
The guides were very friendly and excited to go out with us. They fitted each of us with full-faced helmets and goggles (even the little one!) and prepped Ben on the hand signals they’d be using and where we would be going.
In true enthusiast fashion, when we apologized at the confusion of whether or not we’d be going out today our main guide, Cliff, waved us off and said, “No problem. I dig people who like my town.”
Our ride began with a quick jaunt through Moab. It was an usual and fun experience to ride in a UTV caravan on city streets, pridefully driving over the enlarging median snowbanks. We turned heads from pedestrians and fellow motorists who sheepishly waved and smiled as we rode past. Were they jealous or laughing at us? In either case, we nodded in return, acknowledging our coolness (both literally and figuritively.) We were out in a souped-up adventure vehicle with no windows in the middle of a snow storm. Yeah, man.
UTV’ing Through the Snow
The snowfall made the Hell’s Revenge trail a no-go, unfortunately, so Cliff steered us towards a route more suited for our conditions: Fish ‘N Things. Ben’s favorite part of driving the UTV was going up a section of this trail. The snow was so fresh and deep that we couldn’t see the official path at all, so he had to rely on all senses to follow Cliff’s UTV tracks and stay on course while his goggles were fogging up and he pants were soaked with snow. He’s a natural problem solver, so while Whit and I were both feeling nervous about the sliding of the vehicle and the deepness of the snow, Ben was having a blast figuring the right speed, spacing around obstacles, and distance to keep from Cliff.
“Ben, don’t get stuck. That would be embarrassing. And don’t flip us over. That would hurt.”
Cliff was an amazing tour guide. He was fun and chill the whole time. I imagine it would be hard to stay calm while taking some clients off-roading in such bad weather, but he was so fun to be with! He made good tracks for us to follow, navigated the best route to take with the deep snow, gave clear hand signals to communicate with Ben, pulled up beside us to talk things over, and even offered to take our picture a few times. I like a guy who knows how to have fun and document it.
I’m so glad we decided to rent a UTV in Moab, but, honestly, it was tough being out in the middle of heavy snowfall. It felt fun and adventurous, but after 30 minutes we were just plain cold. And wet. And cold. Ben’s pants and tennis shoes were soaked through, I got tons of snow in my face and neck gaiter because I had to remove my foggy goggles to get pictures, and Whit was slammed by snow every time Ben did a donut. We love doing unusual things and riding a UTV in the middle of snow was definitely fun, but we were ready to go back after only an hour and a half.
In fact, I think we finally found Whit’s limit. He’s climbed up mountains then rappelled down them, zip lined over rivers, kayaked down rapids, ridden roller coasters 100 feet high, explored deep, dark caves, gone off-roading on mountains and sand dunes, and even learned the flying trapeze, but he can’t stand the cold. Of the experience today he said, “It wasn’t fun because I had snow splashed on me. I was cold. My favorite part was standing on the floor heater in the office.”
Being cold is hard for me, too. I guess he takes after me a little bit, after all!
I can’t believe our fortune that Ultimate UTV Adventures was willing to take us out on such an usual day. I feel really special that we got to have this snowy experience! I’m more determined than ever to come back to Moab, though, because I’m sure UTV riding over the red rocks in warm weather is just as awesome. If you’re ever in this part of town we highly recommend that you rent a UTV in Moab- whatever the weather!
Details to Rent a UTV in Moab:
- Ultimate UTV Adventures: 543 N. Main St. (435) 355-0911
- Open all year. Visit their website here for more information on their trails and UTV’s!
- Camera (weatherproof in certain circumstances)
- Proper Clothing