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Steel Bender is one of the more popular hard trails in the entire Moab area. Extremely close to town and easy to access, this trail offers an entire Moab experience in just over 9.5 miles. With towering Canyon walls, water crossings, sand dunes, slickrock fins, epic views, and ledges requiring the famous "Moab Bump", Steel Bender is non-stop fun and perfect for any adventure seeker or Jeep Badge of Honor trail hunter.
Beginning at Westwater Drive, Steel Bender crosses private property for the first half mile and then drops into a sandy canyon bottom, following Mill Creek. After several creek crossings, the trail ascends numerous slickrock ledges ranging from a few inches to a few feet tall. Just over 2 miles into the trail is an intersection where Steel Bender becomes a loop, returning to this same intersection later. The loop is traditionally run clockwise, as is written in this guide.
Along the Steel Bender loop are more ledges, fast sand sections, and an optional waterfall climb that will surely test most vehicles. The loop has several interconnecting spur roads that can be used as shortcuts at any time. After completing the loop, descend the ledges you climbed early, and return to Mill Creek and Westwater Drive.
Steel Bender has many obstacles, many of which offer multiple lines or bypasses. Drivers should be prepared to traverse 6-foot tall waterfalls, steeper than 30-degree inclines, and plenty of drops that you are sure to drag something on. This trail is best for experienced drivers in a modified vehicle with larger tires. A lift and lockers would be extremely helpful, but not entirely necessary.
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