Pritchett Canyon

Moab, Utah (Grand County)

Last Updated: 05/30/2019
5 /5 ( 1 review )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 9-10
(EXTREME )
Length: 6.01 miles
Highest Elevation: 4793 feet
Duration: About 5 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Moab
Nearest Town w/ Services: Moab
Official Road Name: Pritchett Canyon
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management and Private Property
District: Moab Field Office
Distance:
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Highlights

Highlight: Pritchett Canyon

Probably one of the most recognized names in the off-road community, Pritchett Canyon is the trail of all trails. It is full of insane and epic rock crawling challenges. This offroad trail is going to test even the most experienced drivers and built machines. Thus if you are looking for an epic trail, love body damage and breaking, something that only a few can say they have done, and want to push your rig or buggy to its extreme, think no further then Pritchett canyon near Moab, Utah.

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Weather

7 day forecast for Pritchett Canyon

Route Information

Advanced Rating System (BETA)

Recommended Vehicle:
Specialized Buggy Type
Concerns:

Technical Rating: 9-10
(EXTREME )

Rocky or undulated road surface. Rocks more than 10' tall. Vertical ledges more than 8' tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls more than 18' foot. Poor tire placement. Extreme steepness and/or off-camber.

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Description

The trail follows the canyon and is narrow in areas with many large obstacles. It is common for large ledges, off-camber turns, and insane hill climbs. Only the most experienced and built rigs should try this trail. Some groups prefer to run up to the end of the trail and then head back down while others continue out through Behind The Rocks. This is a decision you will need to make as you work your way through the trail. The trail does get much harder as you near the end of Pritchett Canyon, thus be prepared for that. Please note: If you feel the trail is getting too hard for you or your vehicle, the best thing to do is turn around since it only gets harder as you continue on. Please don't be afraid to take any bypasses or use any winch points.
Because of the way the trail is, flash flood risk is a possibility.

Waypoints

1. Pritchett Trailhead

The trail splits off the CR 114 Highway and heads back into the narrow Pritchett Canyon. At this point, there is a campground and a very small area to air down and prep for the trail. Past this point on the trail are very few places to pull out of the way and air down. With that said, I recommend heading down the highway a little further to the Kane Creek Recreation Parking lot. This is a giant dirt parking lot where people can park their trailers and air down prior to starting the trail. The area is large enough for big groups. This will help keep the entrance free and avoid it from getting clogged up.

2. Drop Down Ledges (0.26 mi)

The first obstacle of the trail, this simple gatekeeper is nothing to joke around about. More difficult than most of the obstacles in Moab, this set of ledges you must drop down will be your first indicator of how hard the trail will be. The ledges are about 3-4 feet tall and are several sets. If you feel uncomfortable about dropping down these ledges, it is recommended you turn back at this time.

3. Optional Ledge (0.45 mi)

Like many of the trails in Moab, this trail does have a bunch of optional difficult opportunities to test your vehicle and driving skill. This first opportunity to do so is a ledge that is roughly 4 feet tall.

4. Right Turn 5-Foot Ledge - aka Brick Yard (1.69 mi)

Not far up the trail, you need to cross the creek and climb up one of several ledges. There is no easy bypass usually for this obstacle. The hardest line is a wall of roughly 5-feet tall while the easier lines are a set of ledges equalling about the same height.

5. Down and Dirty (1.99 mi)

Down and Dirty is a steep downhill that is off-camber that will give you a ride past a comfortable point. Once down, you will have to navigate over two large (Roughly 5-foot round) rocks. There is a rollover risk while driving​ down this obstacle.

6. Chewie (2.08 mi)

The first of the two legendary obstacles in Moab, Chewie will make you think twice about doing this trail. Comprised of slick rock that is actually slick and a bunch of ledges, you have to somehow navigate up this obstacle while spinning your tires and then make your way to the right where a loose and extremely off-camber climb up is waiting for you. Many people roll at this obstacle, thus a good cage is recommended if you try to get up this obstacle. The overall climb of this hill is probably about 50-70 feet, but you are climbing this hill in about 30-45 feet of horizontal distance meaning you are going pretty steep up. Please note, there is two winch points at the top of this obstacle to help people ascend it.

7. Down Hill Ledge (2.86 mi)

While traveling the trail, there is a very steep downhill ledge you have to drop down. If you take this obstacle at the wrong angle it could lead to a bad day. The ledge is about 6-8 feet tall.

8. Sluice (2.94 mi)

This unnamed obstacle of the trail isn't that hard compared to many of the other obstacles, but extremely beautiful. It is worth driving and taking in the beauty. Make sure you look back and watch your friends go through it.

9. Optional Ledges (3.55 mi)

Next, you will pass an area with several optional ledges. With roughly 8 different options, all of them have something for someone. Just be careful as rolling over is possible here. Breaking is also likely.

10. Rocker Knocker (3.66 mi)

Probably the most famous obstacle in Moab, Rocker Knocker is a 50-foot ascent over about 20 feet horizontal. With lots of loose dirt on slick rock, this obstacle only has a couple of options. Either full throttle and hold on, or crab walk sideways out to the left. Either way, it will be uncomfortable. There is a bypass around this obstacle, but as of now, it is harder then Rocker Knocker. As with all the named obstacles, there are anchors at the top of the hill to give people a point to winch from.

11. View of Window Arch (3.89 mi)

Along the route, there are a lot of amazing views. The Window Arch aka Pritchett Arch is a breathtaking view and worth taking a moment to view.

12. Broken Steps (4.02 mi)

The next named obstacle on the trail is Broken Steps, which this one is no easy feat. There is no real best line, just pick what you think will work for you or use one of the winch points on top of the hill. There is a winch point on top of this obstacle.

13. Axle Hill (4.11 mi)

Another named obstacle and you might be wondering when does it end, Axle Hill earned its name over the years. When approaching it, plan your line and try to climb out. Be careful, not only does this hill break rigs, but it also is a spot for rollovers. There is a winch point on top of this obstacle.

14. Rock Pile and Son of Rock Pile (4.18 mi)

This might be the hardest obstacles on the trail, that is​ if no rocks are stacked. Rockpile is a verticle ledge of 12-feet while Son of Rockpile is a 7-foot verticle ledge. Lots of ground clearance is needed and likely a bunch of the skinny pedal. Like many other obstacles on this trail, the dirt is loose making it an easy spot for things to go wrong and end up on your lid. There is a winch point on top of Son of Rock Pile.

15. Yellow Hill (4.27 mi)

If you made it this far, there is no reason to stop now. Just feet from the end is this long, steep, slick rock hill climb. The bottom of the climb can prove to be difficult but once up the first 15 feet or so, the traction improves and the climb gets easier.

16. End of Pritchett Canyon (4.32 mi)

The trail ends at the top of the canyon. From here you can turn around or continue straight and exit by Behind the Rocks.

17. 2-Foot Ledge Drop Down (4.51 mi)

Not far down the trail from the exit of Pritchett Canyon is a tight turn with a small drop down a waterfall. The overall height of the required line is about 2-feet, while the harder side is in the range of 4-feet. If you were able to do the trail before this, you can easily do this.

18. Views Along the Route (4.76 mi)

Some of the scenery along the route.

19. Southern Trailhead at Behind the Rocks (6.01 mi)

The trail ends at the Behind the Rocks trail. From here, the fastest way out is to go straight.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.535297, -109.599074

Starting Point: Moab, UT

Head to Kane Creek Boulevard at Highway 191. Take Kane Creek Boulevard west. Continue on Kane Creek Boulevard for roughly 4.5 miles

Camping

Improved

At the trailhead of this trail in a private campground. The campground is Kane Creek RV Park and isn't very large in nature. Thus if you would like to stay there, it would be best to plan ahead and reserve ahead of time. You can call (385) 277-9051 or check out their website at Kane Creek Campground - Click Here to reserve a campsite As for dispersed camping, there are no spots along this trail to disperse camp but you can camp near Behind the Rock Trail on the southern end of the trail heading towards 191. There is also plenty of dispersed camping near Kane Creek just a little bit further west past the northern trailhead. 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! If looking for other locations, The Moab Field Office maintains 26 campgrounds. Many of the campgrounds are located close to Arches National Park along the Colorado River. These campgrounds offer views of spectacular red rock cliffs amidst a green ribbon of vegetation. Click Here - For more information

Camping: Pritchett Canyon

Community

Trail Reviews (1)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
What a great trail! If you don't have a very well built rig, and not prepared to damage it, this trail is not for you! We ran this as part of the 2017 Unlimited LJ Adventure the day after a massive flash flood filled the canyon. The warning at the start of this guide is no joke... the water lines were 10 feet high from the storm the day before. It was crazy! As for the trail though, the obstacles are such a blast. They will definitely challenge any rig like stated here. I have ran the trail several times and have winched in different locations each time. Hopefully I can clean it next time.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.