Sunday, November 3, 2019

Pritchett Canyon

Gopher Flats
October 13, 2019
Moab, UT

One of the most difficult Jeep trails in Moab (according to the Charles Wells Guide, the Red Rock 4 Wheelers rating and many locals) is Pritchett Canyon.  Pritchett has been on our list of trails to check off since we got Wile E, but for one reason or another, we haven't done it.  Since there is a high risk of roll-over (YIKES!) and an even higher probability of breakage we didn't want to risk loosing Wile E. until late in our Moab visit. So....

The scheduled club ride for October 13 was Pritchett.  We decided to give it a try knowing it was close to the end of our stay in Moab and because it seems to be getting more and more difficult every year.  Also, knowing the best spotters EVER would be with us to help us maneuver these hard core challenges made the decision a lot easier.   

We followed Jeff with Dee right behind us.

Strategy : a high level plan to achieve a goal under conditions of uncertainty !  Uncertainty being a key factor we needed a high level plan so Jeff takes a few minutes to go over one of the first challenges with Joe. 
Then Joe watches and Dee photographs as Jeff climbs right up Chewey.

Joe and I were thrilled to see Rory show up for Pritchett.  Along with Jeff and Dee, Rory is also a great spotter and indeed spotted us up and down several places.
Trail Mator is so much fun to have along...well, Rory is too...on trail.  It is so cool watching that monster truck maneuver the obstacles.  Chewey gets way tippy and the fun was just beginning !

There are many almost vertical climbs...   

Dee (driving Blanche) always makes them look easy. 

...and tall, tippy ledges.  Rocker Knocker was our favorite obstacle.  We watched as Jeff drove it first.  The front passenger tire climbs a tall ledge...

Jeff built his Samari buggy.

...the passenger front tire does a dig and moves the jeep across the ledge...

...until the driver tire hooks up and pulls the jeep up and over the tall ledge. 

Jeff makes it look so easy!

Dee drove it after us.  This is what it looks like from the front.  
Passenger tire climbs...

...does a dig and moves the jeep across the ledge...

...and the driver tire hooks up and pulls the jeep up.  Dee makes it looks so easy!

Susan, Jeff's wife was next. (Jeff built her Samari buggy as well as many other buggies in his business "Dirt Squirrel Inc".)
Susan...just before the driver tire hooks up.

With all the challenging and famous obstacles on Pritchett like Axle Hill, Rock Pile and Yellow Hill it is hard to take in the gorgeous scenery.

Pritchett Arch 

Window Arch

Our first Pritchett run was a huge success...Joe and I were all smiles and talked about it for days. We really are proud while at the same time very humbled.  Were it not for wonderful friends like Dee, Jeff & Rory, we would never have even dreamed of doing anything in our lives this exciting.  Knowing how much they care about our happiness and wellbeing is just unbelievable. We are so very, very, Blessed !!!

Our last club run for the year was Metal Masher on Oct. 19 .  Like Pritchett there was a large turn-out of vehicles.  MM is a fun trail with lots of tall ledges, slick rock domes (including Widow Maker), narrow passages, and beautiful overlooks and vistas.  There are lots of blog posts about MM and if you want more pictures or info, use the search engine in the side bar.      
Jeff climbs a tall ledge...

Dee gets flexy on the rim with Hwy 313 in view...

I love these gnarly old trees!
 The next day, we returned to Metal Masher with Jeff and Dee to help Keith, a friend and club member, get his jeep.  He left it overnight at the bottom of Misty's Thumb (don't ask...its not a pretty picture how this obstacle got it's name) when his starter decided not to work.  Jeff took us a different way and before we got to Keith's vehicle, we enjoyed a gorgeous view of Gooney Bird Valley.
L to R: Dee, us, Jeff (Keith rode with Jeff)

Our last few days in Moab went by all too quick.  The weather plays an important part in our travels.  Reservations had been made in advance for our travels heading south, and then a freaky very cold weather system was forecast with lows in the single digits.  In hindsight, we probably should have adjusted reservations and left a week or so earlier.  Oh well, that's life !  

New banners on Main Street show pictures of motorized vehicles, bicycles, and hikers with emphasis on "Stay on the trails".  I like it! 

Up next...Bluff, UT.  Until then...
Heading home on the county road after Pritchett...



  1. Such beautiful scenery! I really enjoyed this post Gay, I liked your piece by piece descriptions of what each wheel does and when. And then you repeated it with new pictures.....I'm a slow learner so that really worked for me!

    1. Rocker Knocker is one of few obstacles that looks completely different from the back and’s pretty cool watching from both directions. There is nothing slow about you Sue Bank...😂

  2. Oh WOW!!! That was some fancy rock climbing in Wily E!! Beautiful scenery too and I LOVE the new banners in Moab!

  3. I am so glad you include photos from various angles. The climbs don't look to bad when looking directly at them. Then you give the above view and holy cow!! No way!!! Some of those climbs were almost vertical. Glad your first time was successful. Beautiful scenery! I need to get back to Moab. It has been way too long.