- How do I get to the Sand Flats Recreation Area?
The Sand Flats Recreation Area is located near Moab, Utah. To get to the Sand Flats Recreation Area from the north and Interstate 70 take exit 182 toward Moab. Merge onto US-191 and go 31 miles to the third traffic light. At the light turn left onto 100 north. Proceed ½ mile and turn right onto 400 east. Go ½ mile and turn left at Dave’s Corner Market onto Millcreek Drive. Proceed for ½ mile to stop sign. Go straight at stop sign onto the Sand Flats Road that continues up a hill for 2 ½ miles to the Entrance Booth. If entering Moab from the south on Highway 191 make a right onto 400 East (this is a light with gas station on right.) Stay on 400 E for 1/2 mile, then turn right onto Mill Creek Drive. At the 3 way stop go straight onto Sand Flats Road. Stay on Sand Flats Road for another couple of miles and you will eventually be parked right in front of our entrance booth.
- Who manages the Sand Flats Recreation Area?
The Sand Flats Recreation Area is managed through a unique partnership between Grand County and the Bureau of Land Management. In 1995, in response to repeated health and resource violations. this area was developed through the collaborative efforts of Americorps, the BLM, Grand County and the Moab community.
You can help our unique partnership efforts by taking responsibility for the lands you enjoy. Learn the guidelines of sustainable land use by:
- Understanding how your use affects the land.
- Adopting minimum impact practices.
- Sharing in the costs of services, education and maintenance.
- Where do my fees go?
All user fees remain in this program and go toward services and maintenance. Information services include staffing the Entrance Station, campground and backcountry patrols, educational displays, brochures and maps. General maintenance includes upkeep of campgrounds, toilet facilities, trails, fences and signs.
User fees also sustain an apprenticeship program that provides work-study opportunities for local high school students. Furthermore, collected fees also help to support the operation of Grand County Search and Rescue.
- Does my federal or state pass work at Sand Flats?
The Sand Flats Recreation Area (SFRA) is managed by Grand County, Utah in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. SFRA functions as a self-sustaining entity with its operating budget derived entirely from collected fees and does not receive tax dollars from Grand County or the Bureau of Land Management.
Since day to day management of the Sand Flats Recreation Area is performed by Grand County, federal and state passes are not accepted.
- What is the user fee at the Sand Flats Recreation Area?
Sand Flats offers a few different types of day use passes. Enter in a private vehicle and you have the option of purchasing a 1 day pass for $5.00 or a 7 day pass for $10.00. Enter by bicycle, motorcycle or via shuttle and the cost is $2.00 per day or $5.00 for 7 days. Sand Flats also charges a vehicle trailer fee of $5.00.
Since day to day management of the Sand Flats Recreation Area is performed by Grand County, federal and state passes are not accepted.
- Does Sand Flats have an annual pass? How do I purchase a pass?
Yes, Sand Flats sells an annual pass for $25.00. The pass admits the card-holder and passengers in a single, private vehicle for day use through the last day of the month and year indicated on the pass. When entry is by bicycle, motorcycle or shuttle van, this pass covers card-holder and accompanying family members. This pass does not cover camping. This pass is non-transferable and nonrefundable.
From March through October one can purchase a pass at the entrance booth. From December until mid-February one can purchase an annual pass at the Clerk’s Office in the Grand County Courthouse, Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm. Closed Holidays.
- Can I camp at the Sand Flats Recreation Area?
Camping is in designated sites only, and visitors are required to abide by all posted rules. Sand Flats has over 120 campsites, in 9 campgrounds marked ‘A’ through ‘H’ and Juniper. Campsites cannot be reserved, but are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. In the spring and fall campgrounds are typically full Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and 75% to full other nights. Approximately 30% of the campsites turn over each morning. Campsite amenities include picnic tables, metal fire rings and nearby vault toilets. Campers need to bring in all their drinking water, as water is not available.
Many campsites can accommodate RV’s. The best choices are in campgrounds A, B, E and Juniper although RV’s will fit in other campsites. There are no hook-ups.
- How much does it cost to camp?
Camping at Sand Flats costs $15.00 per night, per car for up to 5 people.
Additional people cost $2.00 per person per night.
A $5.00 vehicle trailer fee per night also applies.
- What are the Sand Flats Recreation Area camping regulations?
- Camp only in designated sites
- 10 people, 2 vehicles maximum per site
- Park all motorized vehicles in designated parking areas
- Tents must be on tent pad or within rock lined area and no more than 30′ from metal fire ring
- Camping is limited to 14 days within a 30 day period
- Build fires in metal fire ring only. Gathering / Cutting firewood is prohibited
- A trash dumpster is located at the Slickrock Bike trail parking lot.
- Operation of motorized vehicle or mountain bike off designated roads and trails is a class A misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment and/or forfeiture of vehicle.
- The Fins and Things 4×4 trail section that lies south of the Sand Flats road is open for Day Use Only and restricted one half hour before sunset until one half hour after sunrise.
- There are no open play areas, campgrounds included.
- To report off road travel or vandalism call 435-259-8115
- Use toilet facilities
- Quiet Hours: 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. No generator use from 8 pm to 8 am
- For after hour noise call the Sheriff’s Dispatch at 435-259-8115
- Emergencies call 911
- Campsite checkout time is 11 a.m.
- No discharging of firearms or fireworks
- Dogs must be attended and kept under restraint. Please clean up after your pet.
- Dumping: None
- Water: None
- Does Sand Flats take group site reservations?
Yes, Sand Flats has two reservable group sites located in campground E.
Group camping is $60.00 per night.
The sites will accommodate 16 people and 6 passenger vehicles. All vehicles and trailers must fit within the assigned parking area.
The group leader is responsible for being familiar with all of the rules and regulations of the Sand Flats Recreation Area and for ensuring other members of the group adhere to these rules. The group may be asked to leave by the Management for major noise complaints, facility or resource damage. The leader may receive a citation for excessive noise during quiet hours, or substantial resource or facility damage to the site.
If you would like to reserve a group site please go to sandflats.org
. If you have a group larger than 16 people and want to reserve a group campsite in the area you can call the BLM at (435) 259-2100.
- What is minimum impact?
Each year, millions of visitors enjoy Canyon Country. The impact of so much use is threatening the area’s biological resources. You can help protect this fragile and beautiful land by following these four minimum-impact practices.
Tread lightly when traveling and leave no trace of your camping. Drive and ride only on roads and trails where such travel is allowed; hike only on established trails, on rock or in washes. Avoid taking shortcuts and traveling through biological soil crust. When camping select an area of bare soil for your tent. Do not place your tent on top of vegetation. Use existing fire rings and bring in your own firewood. Wood collecting of any kind is illegal at SFRA. Do not strip bark, cut or break off tree limbs. Please remember these trees provide shade and shelter for you, other campers and the animals that make the desert their home. Help keep Canyon Country clean. Pack out your trash and recycle it, clean up after less thoughtful visitors, and use toilets. Protect and conserve scarce desert water sources. Leave potholes undisturbed. Allow space for wildlife. When encountering wildlife, maintain your distance and remain quiet. Teach children not to chase or pick up animals. Keep pets under control.
- What is biological soil crust?
Biological soil crust is a living crust of bacteria, algae, lichen, mosses and fungi that covers much of the soil surface in this area. It is almost invisible in its early stages. As it matures, it develops a bumpy, blackish surface. The crust is essential to desert life. It holds sand together, retains water, and makes nutrients needed for larger plants to grow.
It takes 50-100 years for the crust to fully function: yet tire tracks and footsteps can crush it instantaneously. Bike and vehicle tire tracks are especially damaging because they form ruts. When it rains water flows in these ruts causing severe erosion. Walk, drive, or bike only on open roads or trails. When walking cross-country walk on slickrock or in dry washes. Avoid trampling biological soil crust.
- How difficult is mountain biking on the Slickrock Bike trail?
The Slickrock Bike trail is rated as difficult. Terrain consist of rugged and rolling sandstone with occasional sandy spots. It’s steep inclines and descents offer technical challenges to the most experienced bikers. The 1.7 mile practice loop is recommended for all first time visitors. It is still rated as difficult and not for novice riders or young children. Be aware of narrow ledges, abrupt drop-offs and cliffs. Tough spots may require walking bikes. Due to numerous steep ascents, many mountain bikers need 3-4 hours to complete the trail. Motorcyclists need 1 plus hours. Beware of vehicles as the trail crosses Hell’s Revenge 4×4 trail six times. The trail is marked with white dashes painted on the rock surface Please note that travel is limited to designated trails and that cross-country travel is not permitted. The trail is closed to ATVs and 4x4s.
- What is the Porcupine Rim Trail like?
The “other mountain biking trail” at SFRA is the Porcupine Rim Trail, popular and difficult in its own right. The trailhead is located on the eastern end of the Sand Flats Recreation Area, 7 miles up the Sand Flats road from the entrance station. The first part of the trail is open for motorized travel. At mile 8.6 the trail becomes single-track with steep ledges and is only open for mountain biking and hiking. All motorized vehicles must turn around at this point. The official trail length from the trailhead to highway 128 is 14.4 miles but because it is a one-way trail, without a shuttle, it is 30 miles round trip. The trail offers a variety of riding surfaces in a remote and rugged area of outstanding scenery. Please note that travel is limited to designated trails and that cross-country travel is not permitted. Stay on the trail. Pack it in. Pack it out. Responsible recreation keeps this trail clean, scenic and OPEN.
- Where can I ride my motorcycle at Sand Flats?
Motorcycles are permitted on the Slickrock Bike Trail. In fact, the trail was originally designed in 1969 for motorcycles. Sand Flats also offers over 40 miles of 4×4 trails that motorcycles are welcome to ride. These include Fins and Things 4×4 Trail, Porcupine 4×4 Trail, Hells Revenge 4×4 Trail and the first 8.6 miles of the Porcupine Rim Trail. Please note that the Porcupine Rim single-track and LPS single-track are non-motorized. Remember that motorized traffic yields to non-motorized traffic. Please note that travel is limited to designated trails and that cross-country travel is not permitted. Stay on the trail. Pack it in. Pack it out. Responsible recreation keeps this trail clean, scenic and OPEN. For current OHV regulations please visit www.stateparks.utah.gov
- Where can I ride my ATV at Sand Flats?
ATVs or All-Terrain Vehicles are permitted on all 4×4 trails at Sand Flats, however the Hell’s Revenge and the first 2 miles of the Fins and Things trail are not recommended. The first 8.6 miles of the Porcupine Rim trail is accessible to ATVs but still rated as difficult. The Slickrock Bike Trail is open to motorcycles and bicycles. It is closed to all four-wheeled vehicles. Remember that motorized traffic yields to non-motorized traffic. Please note that travel is limited to designated trails and that cross-country travel is not permitted. Stay on the trail. Pack it in. Pack it out. Responsible recreation keeps this trail clean, scenic and OPEN. For current OHV regulations please visit www.stateparks.utah.gov
- Where can I ride my UTV at Sand Flats?
UTVs or Utility Terrain Vehicles are welcome on all the same trails as 4×4’s. UTVs are prohibited on the Slickrock Bike Trail and the single-track portions of the Porcupine Rim/Whole Enchilada trail system. Remember that motorized traffic yields to non-motorized traffic. Please note that travel is limited to designated trails and that cross-country travel is not permitted. Stay on the trail. Pack it in. Pack it out. Responsible recreation keeps this trail clean, scenic and OPEN. For current OHV regulations please visit www.stateparks.utah.gov
- Where can I ride my E-Bike in Sand Flats?
E-Bikes are considered motorized vehicles on public lands, therefore they are prohibited on non-motorized trail sections, such as the single-track portions of the Porcupine Rim/Whole Enchilada trail systems. E-Bikes are welcome on the Slickrock Bike Trail and on all of the 4×4 trails in Sand Flats. Remember that motorized traffic yields to non-motorized traffic. Please note that travel is limited to designated trails and that cross-country travel is not permitted. Stay on the trail. Pack it in. Pack it out. Responsible recreation keeps this trail clean, scenic and OPEN.
- Does Sand Flats have four-wheel drive trails?
Moab’s Four-wheel drive trails are world renowned for their combination of challenge and awesome scenery. Sand Flats Recreation Area offers 3 trails: Fins and Things 4×4 Trail, Porcupine Rim Trail, and Hell’s Revenge 4×4 Trail all rated difficult. Stock vehicles are not recommended on Porcupine 4×4 Trail and the Helll’s Revenge Trail. A stock vehicle can be on the Fins and Things 4×4 Trail if it has good articulation, high ground clearance, and adequate front and rear approach angles.
Please note that travel is limited to designated trails and that cross-country travel is not permitted. The Moab area offers literally thousands of miles of old roads. Stay on the trails and leave the scenery for others to enjoy. Tracking the landscape is one of the most lasting forms of damage.
Do not trample vegetation or biological soil crusts. Avoid driving in potholes. Respect all living things. The desert is an irreplaceable gift. Pack it in. Pack it out. Responsible recreation keeps this trail clean, scenic and open. For current OHV regulations please visit Utah State Parks
- What do I need to know to “play it safe” when recreating at Sand Flats?
The Moab area offers challenging riding amidst world-class scenery. The characteristics of the area that make it a special place for riding also make it extremely important to follow basic safety procedures. The Moab Bike Patrol has this to say:
Wear a helmet. Most trails are very rocky. Even the best riders can get tired and make mistakes. Helmets can prevent or reduce the severity of head injuries. Carry lots of water and high-energy food. At least a gallon of water is recommended per person per day. There is no water on the trails and summer temperatures often climb above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Running out of water will put your health at risk. Eating at intervals provides an opportunity to rest and the energy needed to complete the ride. Carry trail maps and know how to use them to track your position. Maps for Slickrock and Porcupine Rim trails are located at the trailheads and entrance station. Maps for 4WD roads are available at the entrance station. Detailed topographic maps are available in Moab at bike shops, bookstores and the Moab Information Center. Stay found, save money. Grand County has the highest incidence of search and rescue in Utah. The high cost of these operations is normally the responsibility of the rescued party. If you decide that you have lost the trail, do not continue on in hopes of finding your own way. Retrace your route back towards the trailhead until you pick up the trail, find someone who knows the area, or return to the trailhead. If you cannot retrace your route, stay put, conserve energy and water, make yourself visible and await rescue. It’s always a good idea to let a friend or relative know beforehand where you are going and when you should return. If something goes wrong you have the comfort of knowing that they will get help. Check your bike frequently. Riding in Moab trails loosens headsets and puts maximum stress upon frames and components. Frequent inspections reduce the possibility of injury. Be prepared in case of emergency. Don’t venture into remote areas with nothing but a t-shirt and shorts. Carry a windbreaker, sunscreen, sunglasses, maps, matches or lighter, pump, patch kit, first-aid kit, a good bike tool kit and extra food, water and clothing. Ride with someone else and stay together in case of problems. Discuss your situation calmly and make a plan to improve it.
- What are some safety tips for traveling in the Sand Flats backcountry by motorized vehicle?
Let someone know your itinerary. First and foremost it’s always a good idea to let a friend or relative know beforehand where you are going and when you should return. If something goes wrong you have the comfort of knowing that they will get help.Travel with another vehicle. Your chances of getting stuck in the backcountry are reduced with two vehicles; if one breaks down you have a way out.
Carry trail maps and know how to use them to track your position. Maps for all trails are located at trailheads and the entrance station. Detailed topographic maps and guidebooks are available in Moab at bike shops, bookstores and the Moab Information Center.
If you decide that you have lost the trail, do not continue on in hopes of finding your own way. Retrace your route back towards the trailhead until you pick up the trail. Changing conditions- Directional signs may be removed or vandalized. New roads can spring up. Use your map or guidebook but exercise common sense when discrepancies occur.
Inspect your vehicle. Before going in the backcountry make sure that your vehicle it is in top operating condition. Drive or ride safe and sober. It is illegal in Utah for any occupant of a vehicle to drink or even open an alcoholic beverage. Please remember to buckle up.
- Can I bring my dog?
Yes, but please note that Grand County “Animal Care and Control” code does apply.
- All dogs shall be kept under restraint.
- No owner shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his or her animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance.
In the campground animals must be on a leash secured to a fixed object or under the control of a person or otherwise physically restricted at all times. In the backcountry dogs need to be under restraint and not chase or harass people or wildlife. No unattended dogs.
Helpful Information for Dog Owners
- A good place to take your dog for a walk is to hike one of the less used 4×4 trails such as the Porcupine 4×4 trail or Porcupine Rim trail.
- If you are riding one of the bike trails leave your dog at one of the Moab kennels listed below.
- Most dogs are not used to running on sandstone, which acts like sandpaper on their paws.
- Never leave your dog in a parked car; temperatures rise to dangerously high levels quickly in the desert.
- Owners should carry water for their pet.
- Owners need to clean up after their pet.
Moab Veterinary Clinic: 435-259-8710
Karen’s Canine Campground: 435-259-7922
For lost dogs or problem dogs call Animal Control at 435-259-8115
- Do you waive fees for volunteer groups?
As a self-sustaining program we cannot afford to waive fees. We will, however, waive up to half of the camping fees for at least one full day of volunteer service. This half price fee is at the decision of the manager.
We also have a scheduled volunteer service program that gives participants an annual pass for day-use valued at $25.00. Dates for these events are advertised in local papers and radio and usually held in the spring and fall.
The volunteer labor of local and visiting volunteer groups are important contributions to operations at the Sand Flats Recreation Area.
- Does Sand Flats Recreation Area accept credit cards for payment?
Yes, there is a $1.50 charge.
- What are the Sand Flats Recreation Area day use regulations?
- The right to use public lands comes with the responsibility of caring for those lands.
- Operation of motorized vehicle or mountain bike off designated roads and trails is a class A
misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment and/or forfeiture of vehicle. To report off road travel
or vandalism call 435-259-8115.
- Drive or Ride Safe and Sober.
- Maximum speed on 4X4 trails is 15 MPH.
- The Fins and Things 4×4 trail section that lies south of the Sand Flats road is open for Day Use Only
and restricted one half hour before sunset until one half hour after sunrise.
- There are no open play areas, campgrounds included.
- Parking is provided in designated areas. Do not park on vegetation or on roadside shoulders.
- Do not litter. A trash dumpster and recycling bin is located at the Slickrock Bike Trail parking lot.
- Use toilets located at trailheads and in campgrounds.
- No Shooting or Fireworks.
- For emergencies call 911.
- Dogs must be kept under restraint. No unattended dogs. Please clean up after your pet.
- What is the LPS trail?
The higher entry point for the Porcupine Rim Trail within the Sand Flats Recreation Area is the Lower Porcupine Single-track or LPS trail. The LPS trailhead is at the Manti La Sal National Forest boundary, 11 miles east of the Sand Flats Entrance Station on the Sand Flats road. No motorized vehicles, which includes e-bikes, are permitted on LPS.
The LPS trail is technically challenging. The trail splits into a rim ride section and the Notch section. The Notch is for experts only. The rim ride section has an entry drop that is difficult. Most hoof it over these obstacles. The trail has numerous drops and slickrock to negotiate. Average grade is 11%. LPS is the 5th ride of the Whole Enchilada.