For the uninitiated, AreaBFE is a recreational park in Moab, Utah. Its 320 acres can be used for any manner of outdoor activities – from hiking to dirt biking to camping. It was created by a group of guys 10 years ago who wanted to create a place where people could enjoy the landscape and all it offered without the threat of being kicked off by a cranky land owner. The site is open seven days a week all year round and is free to the public.
It is constantly being improved and new features are added often. According to its website, new trails and campsite are being developed all the time. In addition to being an inviting place for off-road vehicle enthusiasts, the area is available for corporate events, club gatherings, competitions, weddings and music festivals. These events, along with donations from users and the public at large, help keep AreaBFE open.
As far as rules and regulations for a recreation facility go, AreaBFE is pretty lax. They ask that visitors to stick to the upper lot if they’re coming in for a day trip and reserve the lower lot for overnight camping. Camp sites also need to stay west of the tree line out of respect for neighbors in the area.
Once you’re settled in, the staff of AreaBFE don’t ask much of you. As the expression goes: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.” This means no abandoning unneeded supplies, trash or materials behind and don’t take your new favorite rock home as a souvenir. Also, leave the vegetation alone. Don’t cut down trees, dig up plants or drive over shrubs.
Staying safe at AreaBFE
Just like any camping trip, you need to keep yourself and your belongings safe. Because AreaBFE relies on the honor system and a “police yourself” system, it’s up to you to look out for No. 1. If you’re leaving your car, truck or RV for any period of time, make sure you lock your belongings up securely. While your Jeep storage may be fine for holding onto your things while you’re driving or hanging around your campsite, you’ll need something a bit more secure if you’re not around to keep an eye on it. Bring along a portable safe for your valuables like small electronics or firearms that need some extra protection.
Because some of the trails are dangerous, avoid hitting the trails on your own. Traveling in groups is the best way to ensure you will have help if anything should happen.
On that note, while there aren’t any specified helmet rules in AreaBFE, make sure you are keeping yourself as safe as possible. Wear the proper safety gear for whatever activity you are engaging in. This means head gear, seatbelts and the appropriate pads, if necessary.
If you’re planning to camp or hike for an extended period of time, be sure to bring the supplies you’ll need. Summer in Utah is no joke, so lots of water is always a must. Be sure to carry enough snacks and other supplies for the amount of time you’re planning on staying. Bringing a bit more water or provisions than you think you’ll need is never a bad idea, either.
Always keep a first-aid kit or other medical supplies with you when you’re going to be camping or engaging in any activities where you may take a spill or turn an ankle. You should also keep a flashlight with you in case you lose track of time and find yourself unexpectedly caught in the dark.
Most importantly, enjoy your time at AreaBFE. It was designed so people like you can enjoy the land, so take advantage of it.