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Moab Off Road Trail Spotlight: Pritchett Canyon

When people come to Moab for off-roading, they often want to test out their rigs on the toughest trails around. These are the trails that put Moab on the map. As one of the leading 4x4 auto shops and off-roading enthusiasts in Moab, we at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive encourage people to explore and discover this wild part of our country. You can do this by either joining one of our organized Southern Utah trail ride events or by downloading one of the Southern Utah trail maps and hitting the trails with a group of your friends.

One of the most famous off-roading trails in Moab, and also among the most difficult, is Pritchett Canyon

Pritchett Canyon Trail Overview

Pritchett Canyon is rated 9 and has a well-earned reputation for being one of the gnarliest trails in Moab. Getting through it is extremely difficult and it has claimed plenty of well-equipped rigs. Rollovers and broken axles are common especially for overly aggressive and impatient drivers. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if you need to be winched or strapped to make it through.

The trail has lots of off-camber spots where rollovers are common and the bypasses aren’t easy either. Since the trail climbs the lower part of the canyon, for 4.5 miles within the canyon itself before exiting through a side canyon into the Hunter Canyon System. To properly run this trail, you’ll need a 4-wheel drive rig with at least 37” tires equipped with a winch as well as both front and rear lockers. Even then, rollovers and vehicle damage might still get you.

Pritchett Canyon Trail Surface and Scenery

If you can manage to take your eyes off the intimidating obstacles while going through the canyon, you’ll be mesmerized by the beautiful pool-speckled creek bottom and the steep canyon walls with large pour-offs. Outside the canyon walls, you can catch a glimpse of Pritchett Arch, Window Arch, and other fascinating rock formations.

The trail surface starts out at the boulder-strewn creek bottom before climbing out onto a series of ledges along the route where you’ll be driving on rock layers, dirt, and bedrock.

Pritchett Canyon Trail Obstacles and other Details

The obstacles in Pritchett Canyon start just after entering the trail. First up is a ledgy descent that got so terrible that it had to be graded. It is still treacherous so be careful as you descend. Next up is the Brickyard, a hellish ascent out of a small mudhole.

Chewy Hill is next followed by the infamous Rocker Knocker. The latter is a double ledge that calls for drivers to choose the perfect line and maneuver their rigs while dangerously off-camber. Axle Hill and Rock Pile, the most famous obstacles on the trail, are next. Determination, patience, excellent driving, and a bit of luck will help you overcome and complete the trail.

Since this is one of the toughest trails in Moab, your rig needs to be in good condition to conquer it so bring it over to our auto shop in Moab for a pre or post-trail inspection and tune-up.


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