When one thinks of Moab, visions of famous trails and challenging terrains come to mind. However, nestled among these celebrated paths lies the unsung hero: Flat Pass. A trail which, ironically, is far from flat.
Flat Pass serves as a rugged jeep route, reminiscent of the iconic Porcupine Rim trail. Offering both intense elevations and descents - a hearty climb of 1,000 feet within the initial four miles, followed by a thrilling 1,500 ft descent over the succeeding six miles - this trail isn't for the faint-hearted. Ledges, ideal for both ascending and descending, dot the landscape, accompanied by numerous spots for stunts and freestyle maneuvers. A blend of deep sand patches and intoxicating slickrock elevates the thrill factor.Taking cues from the Steel Bender jeep trail, the route unveils a kaleidoscope of trail conditions and distinct topography. What sets Flat Pass apart is its location – snugly fitted between the mesas of the La Sal Mountains and the noticeable ridge demarcating Moab's northeast boundary (Spanish Valley). As a rare treat for desert aficionados, parts of Flat Pass run parallel to a perennial stream. The fusion of Navajo sandstone domes and the persistent water body makes for a picturesque backdrop.
Starting from Moab, head south and veer left upon spotting the sign for Ken's Lake. Trailblazers should continue till the pavement takes a sharp left turn, proceeding straight onto the awaiting dirt road. A short distance later, right before the cattle guard, a clearing presents itself for parking.For those preferring a shuttle vehicle, after taking the left onto Spanish Trail Road and navigating through a traffic circle, parking can be found on the right, post the golf course. The trail itself is pretty straightforward, with most intersections pointing towards "Steelbender" – an alternate name as it’s also recognized as the Steelbender Jeep Safari route.
Flat Pass is Moab's unheralded jewel – a path that promises both challenge and unparalleled scenic beauty. Whether you're a professional or an adventurous intermediate, this trail guarantees a day of adrenaline, thrills, and awe-inspiring landscapes.