View Full Version : Moab - Lockhart Basin Underrated

June 14th, 2006, 08:48 AM
I just got back from Moab and did Lockhart Basin on the last day - an all day event in temps ranging from 93 at the start to 111 in the heat of the day (not counting those moments when the sensor picked up engine heat and read "134"). In this 30+ miles it is oft said that the "1st mile" is difficult -- and that is true, but there are short stretches afterwards of ledges, less than obvious trail, eroded areas, all of which require lockers to ease over. Charles Wells says "don't travel this trail alone" - and he is right. After Hurrah Pass, we saw no person, nor vestige of habitation. About a mile up in Rock Canyon there was a Colorado vehicle, a lifted Yota, as I recall, which had no winch and had slipped off the trail - almost rolling. It was full of gear, with a hi-lift and shovels laying about, but no persons were evident. Nor had we met anyone in the somewhat less than 20 miles from Moab. I was able to climb a ledge on his left side and go around, but upon returning that evening I called the S.O. who called BLM to check it out. On follow-up, the driver must have walked out during the night and located recovery vehicles (at considerable cost). This trail, however, was genuinely tough and clearly earns it's rating of 3 1/2 for that stretch and maybe a bit more. It is also not necessarily easy to find the trail or stay on it - I meandered off a time or two. If you do it, go with friends. We had 2-3 days of food/water/radios and a lot of years of experience and it did raise the anxiety factor a bit. The scenery factor is moderate - generally due to the vastness of the canyonlands area, and a few towers. There was essentially no water in Kane Creek and Indian Creek was dry as a bone.

June 14th, 2006, 09:50 AM
That is great to know. its on the list of trail to do. How long did it take to run?

June 14th, 2006, 03:28 PM
Left Moab about 8:00 and returned the 70 miles on the hwy. at about 5:30. So we finished the trail about 4:00pm.

June 14th, 2006, 03:32 PM
Please note that on the scale identified on this forum, Lockhart Basin would rate an 8++.

June 14th, 2006, 03:43 PM
Great thanks for the info.

June 14th, 2006, 06:06 PM
Please note that on the scale identified on this forum, Lockhart Basin would rate an 8++.
IMO, 8++ is a very high rating for this trail!

I ran that about three years ago, alone, and didn't think much of it as for the wheeling being hard. It is a very desolate and secnic area, plus, the drive to Lockhart Canyon and the Colorado River is well worth it.

Maybe it's got harder, but, the only place I recall any real wheeling was after Chicken Corners. The start of the trail was in a narrow drainage and a few rocks to climb, one off camber shelf area but other than that, I'd say the rest was basic two-wheel driving. :shrug:

Alpine Spirit
June 14th, 2006, 06:46 PM
I just ran it with mostly open rigs last month, only 2 of us were locked. In terms of techincality the fist mile in the canyon was fun then the rest was scenic.. still had fun. However I will not be doing it again.

June 15th, 2006, 08:55 AM

Alpine Spirit
June 15th, 2006, 10:02 PM
Here are a few pics:

June 17th, 2006, 03:02 PM
how would you compare it to Old Chinaman's Gulch?

Alpine Spirit
June 20th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Old Chinamens Gulch is way funner... the scenery was nice but the trail winded around way too much for my taste after the tight canyon. You know the game where you try to keep the snake from eating its own tail... its like that.