Pritchett Canyon

Moab, Utah

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This trail is best known for its toughest obstacle—The Rock Pile—a gigantic ledge with no bypass. It gets its name from rocks piled at its base to make it easier. Unfortunately, the rocks get thrown out quickly by spinning tires. Vehicles with very large tires and a long wheel base have the best chance of getting up unaided. Most vehicles require a winch. Broken axles are common, usually the result of macho drivers who refuse to give up. Considered by many to be the toughest four miles in all of Moab. (Other trails have more difficult individual obstacles—Behind the Rocks’ White Knuckle Hill and High Dive are two that come to mind.) I’ve driven Pritchett Canyon several times, always with a large group. It’s rare not to have at least one or two vehicles with major breakdowns. If you have any weak points in your vehicle, this trail will likely expose them. Differential lockers and/or winches are basic requirements. Surprisingly, route-finding is not too difficult. The canyon is narrow so you can’t stray far. Spur roads dead end quickly. Once out of the canyon, roads are fairly well-defined, although you have to follow directions carefully because there are many spurs.
Guide to Moab, Utah Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Moab, Utah Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails

by Charles A. Wells (FunTreks)

This trail is best known for its toughest obstacle—The Rock Pile—a gigantic ledge with no bypass. It gets its name from rocks piled at its base to make it easier. Unfortunately, the rocks get thrown out quickly by spinning tires. Vehicles with very large tires and a long wheel base have the best chance of getting up unaided. Most vehicles require a winch. Broken axles are common, usually the result of macho drivers who refuse to give up. Considered by many to be the toughest four miles in all of Moab. (Other trails have more difficult individual obstacles—Behind the Rocks’ White Knuckle Hill and High Dive are two that come to mind.)

I’ve driven Pritchett Canyon several times, always with a large group. It’s rare not to have at least one or two vehicles with major breakdowns. If you have any weak points in your vehicle, this trail will likely expose them. Differential lockers and/or winches are basic requirements. Surprisingly, route-finding is not too difficult. The canyon is narrow so you can’t stray far. Spur roads dead end quickly. Once out of the canyon, roads are fairly well-defined, although you have to follow directions carefully because there are many spurs.

©  Charles A. Wells/FunTreks. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Moab
Distance: 18.9
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Difficult
Duration: 3 hours to all day
Season: Best in spring and fall
Local Maps: USGS Moab, Troughs Springs Canyon, Kane Springs
Driving Directions: Directions to Pritchett Canyon

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Apr 2018