Pritchett Canyon Trail
Some believe that this trail is our toughest because its difficult obstacles have no bypasses. Pritchett Canyon is a gem — deep, steep-walled, often wet, simply beautiful. The trail climbs the lower part of the canyon and exits via a side canyon over a divide into the Hunter Canyon system. Your leader then will choose among several optional routes (depending on how long it took to get there and how many wounded vehicles there are). Jim requests that no one sign up for Big Saturday without tall tires and at least one locking differential.
While in the canyon, the views are of the steep canyon walls, large side-canyon pour-offs, and a pool-speckled creek bottom. Pritchett Arch, Window Arch, and some smaller spans are visible from the trail. The canyon is within the rock fin country of Behind the Rocks, and is the boundary of the Behind the Rocks WSA.
The trail follows the bouldery creek bottom at first but then climbs onto ledge routes on a mixture of rock layers and dirt. The major obstacles are several forms of bedrock now exposed after erosion of the early roadway.
Upon entering the canyon there is a ledgy descent that will be tough if you have to return that way. The first real test is a couple of miles up the canyon at the nastily angled ledges of the Rocker Knocker. A little farther, a recent rock fall into the trail requires a difficult bypass. Just above that is The Rock Pile, a several-foot ledge that requires a pile of rocks just to get wheels on the slope. Next is Yellow Hill, where the road reaches for the canyon top on a very uneven ledge of multicolored rock.
The entrance to Pritchett Canyon crosses a couple hundred yards of private property, which is now used as a commercial campground. The owners of the land have been charging a fee of $2 per vehicle to cross their land. Because the Red Rock 4-Wheelers, Inc. doesn’t want to take a position on payment of the fee, we are planning the official trail start to be just beyond the boundary into public land; each vehicle will be responsible for payment of its fee.