|Typically Open:||Year Round|
|Highest Elevation:||4885 feet|
|Duration:||About 6 hours 40 minutes|
|Shape of Trail:||Connector|
|Best Direction to Travel:||South|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Moab|
|Official Road Name:||Lockhart Basin Road|
|Management Agency:||Bureau of Land Management|
|District:||Monticello Field Office|
Traveling over a great distance and deep into the heart of desert and canyon country, a sense of freedom is the feeling you get when on the Lockhart Basin offroad trail just outside of Moab, Utah. It is remote and far from the traffic jam you experience on many of the other popular trails in the area. This route is often used to avoid pavement when going from the Moab area to the Canyonlands Needles District. Along the way, you witness the fortress-like walls of Hatch Point to one side of you, and the intricate and humbling canyon benches that were formed over time by the mighty Colorado River to the other. The trail is great for a long day or can be combined with other trails for a multi-day overland trip for capable rigs.
Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves. Rocks up to 12" and water crossings up to 12" with possible currents. Passable mud. Moderate grades to 15 degrees. 6" holes. Side hill to 20 degrees. 4WD required. No width problems.Read more about our rating system
|Spring:||Temperatures are cooler and desert flora comes back to life.|
|Summer:||Early in the summer is better before the mid to late summer monsoons and extreme heat.|
|Fall:||The favorite time of year for this trail.|
|Winter:||You will rarely see anyone during this time of year but yet snow can cover the trail.|
From where trailhead sign is located, drive south into the wash. There is camping along Chicken Corners Waypoint 7.
Turn left (southeast) onto the area just slightly rising above the wash. This is very easy to miss.
Where the trail has a slickrock area, turn left (east) and uphill. This turn is very easy to miss but you will quickly know if you missed it when the wash dead-ends into an impassable area.
Continue to follow the slickrock into the canyon.
Follow up the slickrock.
Continue down the ledge.
Follow up the well-defined hill. In the past, this hill was notoriously off-camber, but not at the time of writing this guide.
Continue up and over the obstacle and deeper into the canyon.
Follow the canyon up the v-notch. After this short section, the passing opportunities are very limited for the next mile. The trail will subdue for a short section before reaching the double obstacles just ahead.
Continue up the canyon through the series of ever-changing obstacles. Following these obstacles, the trail will take a sharp turn and morph into a narrow shelf road rising out of the canyon.
Follow the well-defined trail up the loose rock hill.
Continue following the road. You can see all across the area from here, with distinct views of the benches formed by the Colorado River. Note: Late in the day, this portion of the trail is mostly in shade.
Continue along the trail.
As you descend, you will need to go up and over the obstacle then drive southwest along the trail.
Follow the trail.
Continue up and over this short climb and obstacle while heading west.
Continue to follow the trail west over the pass, and then south. This is the northern-most portion of Hatch Point, part of the Canyon Rim Recreation Area in which the road has followed along its mighty walls. It is a fantastic location to stop and stretch the legs and get a snack. Views of the LaSalle Mountains to the east and the White Rim to the west. From here out, the road gets more late day sunshine than the portion you have come in on.
Follow the road down and through this tight drainage area. There are many of these drainage areas along the trail, but this was the most notable in terms of difficulty.
This camp is suitable for a small group. In the evening, watch the headlights of the vehicles along the White Rim Trail across the river and in the morning wake up to excellent views of Canyonlands Island in the Sky Mesa.
Stay on the trail and follow south. This is the most western extent of Hatch Point where the desert opens up into a wider expanse to the west and the south.
Continue along the road. This camp area is large enough for a big group but would be terrible in rain with its evidence of sediment washing through the area.
Follow the road primarily to the southeast and back into the canyon walls. This area gets a considerable amount sediment from rain drainage, tire tracks can easily be washed over.
Here is some scenery looking east back into Hatch Point with its fortress type walls and Lockhart Canyon to the far south.
Follow the road. This camp location is suitable for a group.
Bear left (southeast) to follow the road, or bear right (west) for camping location.
This camp is suitable for a big group and has excellent views. Return back out to the main road to continue the offroad trip.
Here is evidence of a camping trip gone bad. As of the mid-2000s, the camper was fairly intact and painted camouflage, we do not know the story behind it, as you can see now, it has been shot up and deteriorated. Leave it as you find it. Just up the trail, a short distance is an odd looking water tank. At one time, this water tank used to sit on the bench above. Follow the road easterly as you leave the wreckage behind.
The road splits here for a short distance. The higher road is a harder option with a ledge obstacle, where the lower road takes you directly to the steps obstacle.
Follow up the obstacle. This obstacle, like most in the desert, changes on a regular basis. After navigating the obstacle, follow a more defined road just past the obstacle around a hillside.
From this point, the road goes downhill and around an outcropping containing two very minor arches. As you go up and around the corner, be mindful there is a blind curve.
If you travel this road in the opposite direction as to how this guide is written (from south to north) this is a blind corner shelf road with no passing. Views of Lockhart Canyon and benches to the west and southwest.
Follow the road as it wraps to the southeast. There are views of Hatch Point, hoodoos, and spires which are common along the four-wheel drive route.
Follow the road easterly with views to the south of the actual Lockhart Basin. Shortly after this point, the road will become narrow and start descending a ridge.
Continue along the road and minor switchbacks. There are a couple of turnouts if needed. At the bottom, the road transitions into wider and more graded condition.
Follow the sign markers southwesterly to continue the trail, or turn right (north) to experience the worthwhile side trip - Lockhart Canyon.
Go straight through the gate. For reference, the Needles Overlook Trail is just above and to the east.
Follow the well-defined road. There are camping areas along this portion of the trail that are nestled within the sandstone. The road continues and you will pass through a few narrow portions of the road where you drive in-between rock outcroppings.
Turn left (southeast) across the wash onto the graded and wide road. You will travel for another mile before reaching a slew of designated camping locations.
Follow the main road. This is the first and only vault toilet you will find along the entire route.
Turn right (north) to go into the Canyonlands Needles District for additional camping, hiking, and offroading. Turn left (south) to return to Moab via County Road 211 and U.S. Highway 191.