Chicken Corners

Moab, Utah (San Juan County)

Last Updated: 04/13/2021
4.6 / 5 ( 13 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 3-3
( MODERATE )
Length: 12 miles
Highest Elevation: 4764 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Moab
Nearest Town w/ Services: Moab
Official Road Name: N/A
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Moab Field Office
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Chicken Corners
Moab, Utah is one of the premier off-road and four-wheel drive destinations. Comprised of some of the most well-known trails in all of the United States it has trail types that suit all drivers wheeling desires. Some would call it an "off-roader's paradise". Amongst these trails, Chicken Corners is one of the more popular "easy" trails in the entire area. It follows down a beautiful shelf road and eventually runs along the Colorado River with plenty of viewpoints along the way. The last portion, known as "Chicken Corners", gives you a straight-down view of the river way below. Combine this trail with the more difficult and remote Lockhart Basin for an overland trip through the desert to the Canyonlands Needles District.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Chicken Corners

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Stock SUV with High Clearance and 4 Low
Concerns:
Summary:
The actual Chicken Corners towards the end is relatively easy, but it does have an exposed feeling as you lean towards the cliff. There are other minor obstacles along the way that a stock SUV with high clearance should handle ok.

Technical Rating: 3-3
( MODERATE )

Typically, more rock or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 12" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 12" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 24" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep.
Read more about our rating system

Description

Hurrah Pass, if you keep going, turns into Chicken Corners. Chicken Corners is mostly a dirt and rock road with some patches of sand. The first stretch is a long descending shelf road that winds along the cliff walls. As you come to the bottom, the trail turns shortly into a wash before climbing back up and follows the edge of the Colorado River for portions as it takes you through the desert. Any high clearance SUV can do this road in dry weather.
Very slippery mud when wet.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Once you reach the top of Hurrah Pass, just follow the road downill.
2. Shelf Road Example (0.6 mi)
Although it may look intimidating if you are new to off-roading, there are plenty of places to pull off. Remember, uphill has the right of way. Keep an eye ahead as you watch vehicles come up so you can choose a wide spot to pull over and let them by. Note: the shelf road starts almost immediately when you start the trail, this is the beginning of the more narrow parts.
3. Wash and Basecamp Lodge (2.4 mi)
Continue straight in the wash area past the Basecamp Lodge sign. The Basecamp Lodge is available to stay in. It has seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a full-service kitchen. It sits on 145 acres with three-quarters of a mile of Colorado River shoreline.
4. Minor Obstacles (2.8 mi)
Turn up out of the wash and travel up this minor bit of slick rock. It will look like you can go straight, but up the slick rock is the way to go. This is the most technical portion of the entire off-road trail.
5. Intersection - The Catacomb Rock (4.1 mi)
Continue straight if you are short of time. Turn left (south) to explore The Catacomb Rock, which is filled with tunnels and caves throughout. It is worth it.
6. Catacomb Rock (4.3 mi)
There are plenty of catacomb spurs to go explore inside the rock. Many people take a nice long break at this location. Return back out the main trail or for a short and more challenging add-on trail for the day, try the Catacomb Spur Trail.
7. Spur - Colorado River Access (5.4 mi)
Continue straight or turn right (north) for camping and Colorado River access. Be warned, there are a million bugs along the river and it stinks pretty bad. If you look around in the wash, near the entrance, you will notice a late 1930's International truck. It is reported that the driver of this truck got stuck in the sand, and while trying to dig himself out, had a fatal heart attack.
8. Scenic (6.4 mi)
Continue straight. The monolith you see consistently across the river is called "Pyramid Butte".
9. Natural Bridge (6.7 mi)
Just off of the road is a natural bridge that is hidden in plain sight. This bridge was formed from a band of limestone, part of the Upper Hermosa geological formation that was deposited over 300 million years ago!
10. Lockhart Basin Trailhead (7.4 mi)
Continue straight past the sign that typically has some type of rubber or stuffed chicken hanging from it. Turn left (south) for the more challenging Lockhart Basin.
11. Designated Camping Area (10.4 mi)
Continue straight. This camping location can hold several vehicles.
12. Chicken Corners (10.5 mi)
Continue around the corner. It is wider than it looks, but there is no room for oncoming vehicles to pull over, so ensure you are clear before driving. Legend has it that Moab area guides were reputed to allow "chicken" passengers to walk, rather than ride, past the narrow, sloping section of this route.
13. End (12 mi)
There is room for about 5 vehicles to park. This is a great spot to relax after the drive out. There is a footpath at the end which takes you way out along the cliff. This is where we chickened out!

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.482093, -109.625034
Follow Hurrah Pass to its end point where Hurrah Pass turns into Chicken Corners.

Camping

Designated
Chicken Corners does have designated dispersed camping locations in the middle portion of the trail at Waypoints 6, 7, and 10. Remember, when using free designated sites, you are required to remove all solid human waste from the area. Campers are required to possess, set up, and use portable toilets. Campers may not bury or leave exposed, solid human body waste or soiled toilet paper. The disposal of solid human waste off public land is required. You must camp only in marked sites, and no wood cutting is allowed. Following these simple rules will ensure that the sites are attractive to future campers. Enjoy your stay! The Moab Field Office maintains 26 campgrounds. BLM Camping Regulations
Camping: Chicken Corners

Trail Reviews (13)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Easy trail with great views of the Colorado River, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point. I don't know that it is a 3 rating wise, this was pretty easy with a lot of drive arounds for stock vehicles. The chicken corners were pretty tame by shelf road standards. I know that is subjective and everyone has different limits. For us, no one got sideways at all on this one. Started early and had it mostly to ourselves. Traffic really picked up around lunch time and got heavier on the way out.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
First time on Chicken Corners. A bit crowded, but it was a weekend after all. The scenery was fantastic! Definitely a must-do in Moab.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a great trail if you have never been in the area, or if you are newer to offroading. It has amazing scenery and has a few technical obstacles. We saw a stock Jeep Patriot at the end for reference, so a stock 4wd vehicle will have no issues. An AWD vehicle with an experienced driver should be able to complete this trail. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is it sees a lot of traffic. Go early or go on a weekday to have a more remote experience.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Still a great trail after running this about 10 times. Still always seeing and finding new things after running the trail so many times. I am adding one more waypoint to this trail, the Natural Bridge we found at about 6 miles in.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Easy trail but amazing scenery the entire way, this one has been on the list for awhile and although it took me 2 days, glad to have bagged it. Check it out!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Had a one night stand at waypoint 6 after a long drive from Colorado. Fantastic trail with great views. Highly recommended.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail is amazing. Let me tell you. As I explore more and more of Moab and Utah, it starts to fall a bit on the list for a few reasons. The amount of usage it gets, the amount of new bootleg off-trail tracks, and the amount of trash. If you haven't done this trail, definitely go do it. I would recommend going on a weekday as it can be overrun with other adventure seekers. And as usual... pack it in - pack it out, and stay the trail!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran this trail along with Hurrah Pass and Lockhart Basin. Always such a great trail to take in the scenery. Did notice more trail widening and newly formed side trails, it’s important we all stay on the trail and pick up any litter.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I took my 2016 Jeep Renegade TH along this trail and absolutely loved it. Gorgeous views and lots of fun obstacles for a baby Jeep owner like myself. Highly recommended.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great river views and a fun drive. Lots of traffic on the trail as it's a recommended trail from UTV rental companies.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Really fun, fast trail. Only saw two other vehicles while riding this trail

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Had no problem going through and back with a full size ( some areas i wondered if i would have made some of those turns ( waypoints 2 and 12 ). Totally worth the drive

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
On my way to the Overland Expo, I wanted to hit a quick trail that I could camp on. Chicken Corners offers great scenery with easy wheeling so I chose this trail for my evening layover. This is one of my favorites for whatever reason, perhaps due to high scenery without a big effort getting there.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Todd

Founder

Todd is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that holds true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American West to explore were his reasons behind starting Trailsoffroad.com. On any given weekend you can find Todd on some obscure 4x4 trail or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.
For individual use only, not to be shared.