ATV & UTV Riding
Moab is a must visit destination for those who love scenic adventures.
Moab has numerous trails suitable for ATVs and UTVs. Much of the public land surrounding the national parks is open to ATV & UTV travel on existing trails. However, please note that ATV & UTV riding is not allowed within either Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. ATV and UTV enthusiasts can use all of the popular Moab 4WD Trails or explore many of the other backcountry trails that surround Moab.
Always remember that travel is limited to designated motorized routes only. Off-trail travel is illegal.
With ATVs and UTVs booming in popularity there comes a responsibility to be prepared when you hit the trail, to know trail etiquette, and to leave the land beautiful for the next generation to enjoy. This video is a quick guide of what you need to know!
Help us to protect your right to enjoy ATV/UTV riding in the Moab area by doing the following:
- We encourage street legal ATV riders to limit in-town driving by trailering their vehicles to the trailheads whenever possible.
- If you must ride in town, please try to avoid driving through neighborhoods and avoid driving at night to provide solitude for residents in the evening.
- Please note that the ATV speed limit in Moab is now 15 mph.
- When on the trails, don’t bust the crust – protect fragile desert soils.
- Pack out what you pack in.
- Dispose of human and pet waste properly.
Speed Limits for Street Legal ATV/UTVs
To help reduce noise, Moab’s in-town speed limit for ATV/UTVs is 15 mph. Grand County also has a speed limit on County B Roads which is 10 mph less than the posted speed limit. Please observe all speed limits and avoid driving through neighborhoods at night to provide solitude for residents and preserve your right to ride.
Anyone under 18 can operate an OHV on public land (no longer an 8-year-old minimum age requirement) if they are:
- Able to reach and operate each control necessary to safely operate the off-highway vehicle and;
- Have in their possession an OHV education certificate or a valid Driver’s License and;
- Under direct adult supervision
Adult supervision is required if:
- Under 18;
- Does not possess a valid driver’s license; and (Note: Learners permit requires licensed parent/guardian seated next to driver (adult supervision))
- Operating an OHV on a public highway that is:
- Open to motor vehicles; and
- Not exclusively reserved for OHV use.
Properly fastened helmet, having at least a “DOT Approved” safety rating for motorized use are required for all ATV/UTV operators and passengers under the age of 18 years. A properly fitting, safety rated helmet is the most important piece of safety gear available to an ATV/UTV rider.
All ATV/UTVs are required to have certain equipment in working order while being operated in Utah, including:
- Brakes sufficient to stop and hold the machine
- A headlight and taillight while being operated between sunset and sunrise
- A brightly colored whip flag attached to the ATV/UTV and at least eight feet off the ground while being operated on designated sand dune areas
- A muffler and spark arrestor (snowmobiles are exempt from the spark arrestor requirement).
Street-Legal ATV/UTV Requirements
Your vehicle must have (1) a license plate from your home state and (2) meet all of the requirements shown below. If your home state does not issue license plates to ATVs, your vehicle cannot be street legal in Utah. If your vehicle is not street legal it must be trailered or towed to the trailheads.
Any ATV?UTV being operated or transported on public lands, roads, or trails, of the State of Utah must display a current ATV/UTV registration sticker. All ATV/UTV registrations are handled by the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles.
If a street-legal ATV/UTV is registered and has a license plate from your home state, and it meets all of Utah’s street-legal requirements (shown above), you do not need to purchase a Utah Non-Resident ATV/UTV Permit. If your vehicle is not street legal you need to purchase a permit either online or in town. Permits are available at the vendors shown below. The permits are $30 and are good for a full year. Please note that this permit is only for riding on Moab’s OHV trails, not on roads, streets and highways.
Moab Information Center
Center and Main
1805 S Hwy 191
435 N Main
985 S Hwy 191
Spanish Trail Shell
2420 Spanish Trail Rd
When applying in person, you will need the following:
- Proof of residency: driver’s license or other state issued identification.
- Proof of ownership: title or current registration or bill of sale
Revenues generated from OHV user fees are dedicated to construction, improvement, operation and maintenance of OHV trails.
For assistance with questions concerning OHV’s, along with online registation forms, visit:
Utah State Parks and Recreation
1594 West North Temple, Ste 116
White Wash Sand Dunes
One area that is particularly popular for riding ATV/UTVs is the White Wash Sand Dunes. The White Wash Sand Dunes are located 48 miles northwest of Moab, and 25 miles southeast of Green River. The Sand Dunes themselves are delineated and fenced for open OHV play; cross country travel is allowed only in the open area. Outside this area, there are hundreds of miles of designated roads and trails to be enjoyed. All motorized travel outside the open area must stay on the designated routes. Staying on the designated routes helps keep these routes open for your enjoyment. Damage to adjoining private property has occurred, and is a threat to your continued enjoyment of this area. Staying on designated routes assures that you will not trespass on private property. Please avoid the oil production facilities and the adjoining ranch, and never chase or harass livestock. When going through gates, leave them open or closed as you found them.
You must stay on designated roads and trails when riding outside the dune area. These routes are marked with white arrows and/or white paint. Bighorn sheep inhabit this area; riders should avoid stressing these animals by giving them the space they need. The cottonwood trees growing in the White Wash area are quite unique. Please avoid damaging these trees and give them a wide berth to reduce potential for soil compaction.
To reach the White Wash Sand Dunes from Moab drive 7 miles west of Highway 191 on I-70. Take Exit 175 (Floy) to the south. Continue southwest on the Floy Wash Road for 12 miles. Be sure to bear right 4.5 miles from I-70, and then continue straight at 7.8 miles from I-70. Go east (left) at 12.3 miles southwest of I-70. The trailhead latitude/longitude is 38.80348623, -110.0444765.
There are no facilities of any type at White Wash Sand Dunes. Visitors must pack out all trash. There is no drinking water in the area. If you camp, please use a previously used camping spot. Be advised that the closest dump stations are in the town of Green River. Specific campsites are not marked and portable toilets are required.
Need somewhere to to park your trailer? Although the City of Moab does not have any public long-term parking areas, we have a list of Moab companies that provide safe, secure trailer storage here.
By following a few simple rules, OHV riders can make certain that every trip is a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Always ride in control. Ride within your abilities and your machine’s capabilities. Never attempt anything that is beyond your skill level.
- Always wear the appropriate safety gear. At a minimum, this should include a helmet, shatter resistant eye protection, long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and boots that cover the ankle.
- Only carry passengers if your OHV is specifically designed to do so. ATVs and off-road motorcycles are designed to be ridden by only one rider. Carrying passengers can alter the balance of the machine, causing a loss of control.
- Riders under the age of 16 should be supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
- Riders should be able to straddle the machine with a slight bend to the knees while both feet are on the footrests. Riding a machine that is too big is a major cause of injuries to young riders.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Provide them with a map of your intended riding area.
- Be prepared for any emergency. Always carry a tool kit and spare parts, a first aid kit, and survival equipment when you ride. Carry plenty of extra food, water and fuel.
- Check the weather forecast before leaving home. For winter riders, always check the avalanche forecast before venturing into the back country. Avalanche information is available from the Avalanche Forecast Center at 801-364-1581
- Never, ever drink and ride. Alcohol and OHVs don’t mix, but create a deadly and illegal combination.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Motorized Travel Routes