Round Trip from Moab: 54 miles
4WD Road: 43 miles
Minimum Time: 3-1/2 hours
The route travels the Colorado River Canyon just below Moab, follows a spectacular part of Kane Springs Canyon, climbs the Kane Creek anticline to Hurrah Pass, and descends to benches above the Colorado River. The trail dead-ends about 400 feet above the river across from Dead Horse Point.
From Main Street at Center Street in Moab, travel south on Main 0.6 mile, turn right on “Kane Creek Blvd.,” follow it through two sweeping curves past its junction with “500 W. St.,” and continue into the river canyon. When the pavement ends near Kane Creek [0.0], continue on the good gravel road as it enters Kane Springs Canyon and follows the canyon meanders at various levels above the creek. Continue with the good road as it crosses the mouth of Hunters Canyon at a hiking trailhead [3.2].
Further along, the canyon broadens, and you can see Hurrah Pass on the right. The gravel road changes to dirt at the ford of Kane Creek [6.4]. Do not attempt to ford in high water; the water can be window-deep following storms or heavy spring melts. Beyond the ford, stay with the best-looking road as other trails leave to the left in the next half mile, and the road will bend toward the north and begin to ascend the cliffs below Anticline Overlook (note the safety fence on the cliff edge above). The summit of this climb is Hurrah Pass [10.0]. As the trail winds down the other side of the anticline, it shows more four-wheel-drive character.
The trail leaves the cliffs on a gentler slope and drops into a wash bottom. Continue straight (out of the wash) where a spur trail leaves to the right and follows the rough wash bottom [12.5]. Shortly after that, an optional route enters a small canyon to the left; the preferred route up the rocky slope to the right swings close to the river on a bench above it. Farther on, two trail junctions [14.4 and 14.6] leave to the left in view of a large side canyon and a mound of red rocks not far to the left of the trail. These trails go to the rock mound and its interesting caves. The main trail continues along the river benches, which are capped with fossil-bearing limestone, ’til it crosses a major wash [17.1]. (On the return trip, you will probably spot an unusual arch near the trail east of the wash crossing.) The trail you may see starting up this wash is the Lockhart Basin trail. You follow the main trail straight across the wash and wind along the benches as they grow higher above the water.
The point where the trail is pinched between rocks on the left and the abyss on the right [20.3] is “Chicken Corners” where Moab area guides were reputed to allow “chicken” passengers to walk, rather than ride, past the narrow, sloping section of trail. The trail continues along the broad bench until it narrows to an old horse trail [21.5]. You can’t go much farther, even on foot, because this is the start of a peninsula of land bounded by the gooseneck of the Colorado, the trademark of the spectacular view from Dead Horse Point. Return to Moab by the same route.