Steel Bender

This trail's difficulty rating keeps moving around as the conflicting forces of erosion and trail repair modify the obstacles. The trail lies between Moab and the La Sal Mountains in the vicinity of Mill Creek, a major drainage from the mountains. It crosses the creek a few times and travels a lovely part of Mill Creek Canyon. It overlooks the North Fork of Mill Creek as it climbs to the base of South Mesa on the skirts of the La Sals. It is yet another variation of our canyonlands landscape.  Approximate mileages: 30 total, 15 off highway.


Portions of the trail are in two beautiful, but different looking, parts of Mill Creek Canyon. Other portions ride the higher country toward the mountains and overlook canyonlands vistas to the west from a 6,000-foot elevation.


Initially the creek bottom trail crosses streamwashed rocks and the stream itself in a few places. The high country has dirt and a little sand, generously mixed with rocks and ledges. There is some slickrock on the descent to the southern creek ford.

Trail Details

The initial section offers a gentle, sandy trip through creek crossings until encountering an extended hill of shelves with multiple approaches. Beyond this hill lie hills with many shelves. Next up is a loop offering "The Wall" and a fun slickrock fin. After a long bumpy but scenic section, a cattleguard is crossed to approach a rocky descent. Much volunteer labor has been expended to make this section safer to travel, yet it continues to defy those efforts. Extreme caution must be used here for a safe descent. Once past here more scenic vistas and rocky shelves await, finally descending a slickrock section that ends with a crossing of South Mill Creek. As the sand erodes and the rock shelf protrudes this ascent is becoming more difficult.


Trail Rating


Trail Notes

Length: 30 total, 15 off highway
Min Tire Size: 35+ inches
Winch: No
Front Locker: Yes
Rear Locker: Yes

Trail Gallery

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