Chicken Corners

Moab, Utah (San Juan County)

Last Updated: 05/21/2021
4.7 / 5 ( 18 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status:
Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 3-3
( MODERATE )
Length: 11.36 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

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

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

MANDATORY
3
MODERATE
OPTIONAL
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.
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Community Consensus

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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

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 (18)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Considering doing this in a couple of weeks. Rig: 4Runner Trail, 3 “ lift, 285x70x17 k3 pulling Offgrid Trailer (14’) with 21@ clearance. Any concerns? Any other suggested trails with camping opportunities nearby?
–Reese Kessler (09/19/2021)
A: I appreciate the directness. I wouldn’t want to confront the situation on the trail.
–Reese Kessler (09/19/2021)
A: Reese, sorry to give a more direct answer, I would camp on the road to the Hurrah Pass trailhead- great sites fairly close to the trailhead. I’d be hesitant to say take that long of a trailer on Chicken Corners.
–Todd (09/19/2021)
A: Hey Reese, the concern I would have is the shelf road and the trailer where the turns get tight. If you couldn’t make one of the tighter turns, it would be problematic. Check out the video around 5:10 or so, it doesn’t show it all, but it gets narrow on that turn. Also, with the recent monsoon rains, it could be washed out to some degree and that wouldn’t be depicted in the guide. The road approaching the trailhead for Hurrah Pass has all sorts of designated camping areas with vault toilets. There are locations just near the trailhead. You might park the trailer there and run the trail and after running the trail you decide to take your trailer down it, the camping on Chicken Corners is depicted in the guide compete.
–Todd (09/19/2021)

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.