Backcountry Travel

Safety Tips for Backcountry Travel

Grand County has the highest incidence of search and rescue in Utah. Please help us reduce this by playing it safe and following these guidelines:

  • Let someone know your itinerary.
    •  A friend or relative will get help if something goes wrong and you haven’t returned when expected.
  • Travel with another person or another vehicle.
    • If your equipment breaks down, you can avoid getting stuck in the backcountry.
  • Carry trail maps and know how to use them.
    • Although we try to mark the trail adequately, directional signs may be missing and illegal roads can spring up. Make a note of trail layout, and track mileage markers and key junctions. If you have lost the trail, do not continue in the hopes of finding your own way. Retrace your route back towards the trailhead until you pick up the trail. If you cannot retrace your route, stay put, conserve energy, make yourself visible and await rescue.
  • Bring at least a gallon (4 liters) of water per person and high energy food.
  • Start early to avoid the heat of the day.
  • Inspect your bike or vehicle before hitting the trail.
    • Check your equipment to make sure it is in top operating condition. Also check equipment frequently while on the trail. Riding on Moab trails puts maximum stress on frames and components. Frequent inspections reduce the possibility of injury.
  • If in doubt, scout.
    • If you are unsure of the route, stop and scout on foot. Do not travel crosscountry or try shortcuts. Go back the way you came.
  • Drive or ride Safe and Sober.
    • It is illegal in Utah for any occupant of a vehicle to open an alcoholic beverage. Please remember to buckle up.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bike or an ATV.
  • Be prepared in case of emergency.
    • Carry maps, matches or lighter, pump, patch kit, first-aid kit, a good tool kit and extra food, water and clothing.
  • Develop basic riding and driving skills on easier trails.
    • Trails like Slickrock, Porcupine Rim, Hell’s Revenge and Fins and Things are not suitable places to learn basic skills.