Pritchett Canyon Trail
SW of Moab, Utah

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Trip Leader--Hobo Scott 'Mad Max' Maxwell


   On Saturday May 24th, the Hobos set out from camp for the 4+ rated Pritchett Canyon SW of Moab.  Touted as one of the harder trails in Moab (Rated 4+), it has lots of fun obstacles, and great scenery.  Along for today's trip were Jed 'Clampett' McClelland (CJ7), fresh off his Superwinch Hub  replacement, his brother Jim McClelland (TJ), Marc 'Nugget' & Kristen Gilbertson (CJ7), fresh of his camp front u-joint camp repair, and myself 'MadMax' and my son Tom.  Hobo Willy passed on the trail, and had issues with thousands of mill worms in his tent to DE-contaminate, then he played tourist at Canyonlands Park.


Cool Air Photo of Pritchett Canyon Trail

(Zoom in or out, use Topo to see the trail)

Trail map of Pritchett Canyon Trail 



Well's Moab-Pritchett Canyon Trail Map

   After a right at McDonald's, the trailhead starts south of the Colorado River, past the Moab Rim trailhead, and before the Kane Creek trailhead.  A small fee to pass thru private property is given, and we were on our way.  We were delayed a little at the first shelf that drops you down into the canyon floor.  The group in front of us had a high spring over that rolled while dropping off the first ledge.  Once he was OK and out of the way, we proceeded on.  Jim was our trip leader, as he had done the trail before, so he led the group on up. 

Scenic beauty all over the canyon (photo by Jay McMullan)...


Canyon walls surround you (photo by Jay McMullan)...


Scott brought up the tailend on this obstacle...


Fun rock garden, Scott picks a nice line...

    Pritchett Canyon is a super trail with loads of fun obstacles along the way.  The Hobos ‘rolled’ along enjoying the sights, ledges, and slick rock.  There is one obstacle (I’ll call it the squeeze, but I’m sure it has a real name) that offered some good boulders to crawl over.  There were some large rocks on the sides to keep the side panels in play, while the lower boulders are looking to scratch their marks into any slightly misplaced wheel.  All made it through with nary a scratch.

Marc takes the squeeze, without a scratch...


then tackles some more small rocky obstacles...


and even gets some air with his new lockers!


Jed played around in the waterfall and attempted the big ascent ...

Well, at least he got the front end up and made for some cool pics.

I can’t imagine what rigs actually made it up this part..


Jim making his way up out of the waterfall area...


Scott loving that automatic tranny on the slickrock ...


   The next stop was Rocker Knocker.  We watched several people attempt this one, but to no avail.  One pretty radical rock buggy couldn’t quite get the line after multiple attempts.  This is a really cool obstacle.  It’s a little like double whammy.


Rocker Knocker is harder then it looks (photo by Jay McMullan)...


   You approach the double ledge on the very far right side.  This allows you to get the back tires up the first ledge with the fronts up against the wall at the top of the second ledge.  Then you just spin away.  As the tires spin you slip horizontally along the ledges for about fifteen feet to a point where if you’re lucky and have great skill, the front tires can make it up the second ledge and get enough traction to pull you up before you slide all the way over to the huge boulders on the left (a.k.a. the rocker knocker).  If you don’t get those front tires up in exactly the right spot you back down, and give it another run.


   Jim had seen this one done the year before and gave it a run.  He was the only one in our group to attempt this one, and made it up just fine (yikes! No Photos!  Everyone was too focused on watching him...).  Great job Jim.  Made the guy in the radical rock buggy look a little silly.

   Just as we were approaching the ledges and shelves that lead up to the Rock Pile obstacle, we got a brief but fairly heavy rain.  It made the ledges really slick, but cooled things down nicely, while making the canyon walls and slick rock beautiful.  I ‘MadMax’ tried the go around on this one, and couldn’t clear the ledge after several attempts and some awesome rock stacking by Jed and Marc.  Meanwhile, Jed used his head and winched up the face of the rock pile.  We were then able to strap the rest of the gang up and over.  Next time we’ll know to just hook up the winch from the get go.

Scott's son Tom enjoys the quick rain, and the great views of Pritchett Canyon...


Jed winches up the 'Rock Pile'...

    Once over the top of Pritchett Canyon, we headed for the sand dunes.  Marc and Kristin were the masters of aerial delights here with a couple of speed runs that launched the ‘Nugget’ (Marc’s Jeep) off all 4 wheels!  Why waste time getting articulation shots with one wheel in the air when you can just get the whole Jeep airborne!!   - picture of Marc launching the jeep here. 

Marc enjoys some air at the dunes...


Jed caught some good air in 2002...


    The desert was really pretty this year, and we noticed that with a little more moisture than they’ve had in the last couple of years that things were really green.  The cacti were in full bloom, which was awesome.


Most cacti were in full bloom...


   After the dunes, we headed to the highway, and back up to Moab late in the afternoon.  Thanks for leading all the Hobos through this one Jim.  I’m sure we’ll visit this trail again in years to come.  When Jim arrived back at camp he heated up his oil fryer and fried a 14# Turkey for us for dinner, it was great!!  Just another day in aaaahhhh, Moab!



Storyline and captions by:

Scott Maxwell  HoboJeepers


*Web design by Hobo Willy




Here are some other Pritchett Canyon Trip reports:


*Pritchett Canyon Trail by


2003 Pritchett Canyon Trail by Action Jackson:


2001 Pritchett Canyon Trail by Moab Off-Road:


2000 Pritchett Canyon Trail by Rocky Mountain Moggers:


Pritchett Canyon Trail by Jay McMullan:


33rd Annual Easter Jeep Safari Pritchett Canyon Trail by Flatlander:  


31st Annual Easter Jeep Safari Pritchett Canyon Trail by Flatlander:


1998 Pritchett Canyon Trail by Moab Off-Road:


30th Annual Easter Jeep Safari Pritchett Canyon Trail by Flatlander:



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