July Trip to Utah- Need Advice


Amish dude
D.C. Area
Hello all. Grew up in Utah, left in 2004 and have only been back for some short trips to Sand Hollow and Moab type areas. I'll be back for most of July and am looking for advice on some trails to plan on during the summer heat.

For context, I have an 89 Yota pickup on 37's, dual cased, locked front and rear, longfields, winch, normal Yota upgrades. Pic attached to give you an idea. Depending on how trip planning goes, I may acquire a mildly built XJ, 4Runner, or Landcruiser to take with me for the trip and bring back to the DC area to tinker in the woods.

1- Is July in Moab miserable due to heat? I know it averages mid to high-90's, but I'm looking for an honest assessment from those that have done it. Just left the Tucson heat this last summer (lived there for 6 years) so it's hard for me to not lean forward on mid 90's on the slick rock. I could do it but I'll have my kids with me and I imagine they'd be miserable without the A/C. If it makes a difference, trails I'd be doing are Hell's Revenge, Fins 'n Things, Poison Spider Mesa, maybe Golden Spike or steelbender.

2- Outside of Moab, what would y'all recommend? Most interested on a difficult enough trail that it keeps us interested but something we can camp along. Rubicon style, if you will. Doesn't need to be crazy but do want to have the option for some technical challenges. I'm also looking into Grand Junction area to beat the heat, but I've never been wheeling that way. 21 road looks like it's probably too much for the second vehicle. The best options outside of Moab would be some trails that are technical but allow a second, less capable vehicle that takes some bypasses but is able to make it to the end of the trail. '

3- If you know of a fun trail in Northern Utah (even if you wouldn't camp on it) please let me know. Also interested in day trips for some good trails, especially if they go up into the hills with the trees. I'll probably make a run or two up skyline drive to Bountiful and Farmington peak.

Of note, anything in Northern Utah (I'll be staying in Bountiful with family) is a bonus.

I hope my request makes sense... my first car was a Samurai on 31's that I took into the San Rafael swell with my dad and camped on the trail. Good trail with some awesome obstacles...had a blast. Looking to do the same, but with my kids.



Rusty Girdle
Premium Member
I wouldn't do Moab in July with the whole family unless you have AC in your rig and a hotel. There is no escaping the heat. While I can personally deal with it OK, everyone else is uncomfortable the whole time.


By endurance we conquer
Supporting Vendor
Houndoc is right. Moab in July will be 100+. Many people find the heat unbearable that time of year. My family spends most of the summer in the desert if we can so we are sort of used to it by the time July rolls around. It is nice to have a cool place to sleep at night whether that is a camper or a hotel.


Agreed on avoiding Moab in July.... head into the mountains for some elevation. The Uintas would be ideal in July! Or come over to Colorado and spend time in the San Juans.... they're AMAZING and the temps are ideal in July!


Amish dude
D.C. Area
Thanks for the replies! I know my fam would not enjoy the heat. Was leaning away from Moab and I think your replies sealed the deal. Good call on the Uintas. Been close to two decades since I've been through them, but never wheeled out there. Just some camping trips and day car trips to get out of town. Any good trails over that way to point me to?

I've dug through some other posts and have decided it may be worth it to head over to 5 mile pass for a day trip or two, do old ward canyon since it's so close and it'll bring back some memories, and then find another trail or two in the Uintas.

San Juans are not out of the picture though, I'm thinking about taking a couple of days going out there even if it's not any hardcore wheeling. In Tucson there were a lot of old mines in the hills... we'd dig through the tailings and go home with some cool rocks. Wouldn't mind doing the same in the San Juans, or just to see some old structures in the mountains.


Registered User
Elwood, Illinois
I went on my first Moab trip this past July. Our group schedules our big trips around some people who can only take time off during the back half of July, and usually just deal with the heat. It was brutal. 105°+ and sunny every day we were there but one, which equated to 140° trail temps in the afternoons. It was an amazing trip that we made the best of with the heat, and i cannot wait to go back, but i will never go in mid July again.