Hurrah Pass is a fairly easy ride on gravel and dirt. It's
9.4 miles each way (from the Amassa Back parking area), but you can
shorten the ride by driving a portion of the road. Starting at 4000 feet,
it climbs to 4800 at Hurrah Pass, with total climbing of 1100 vertical
feet. The surface is a tad more technical during the final 2-mile climb to
the pass, but should still be within the reach of a beginning rider.
Early in the ride, we're looking at
cliffs of Navajo sandstone, rising from a base of Wingate (the horizontal
layers near the road at right). Photos April 21, 2003 by Bruce.
|Many riders start this ride from town. This adds about 7
miles each way, but it's flat cruising on paved road. Kane Creek Blvd is
quite narrow as it follows the Colorado River, and drivers may be gawking
at the cliffs, so be cautious.
For a shorter ride with children, you can drive the family car over the
first pass into Kane Spring Canyon.
These petroglyphs are found just to
the right of the road, about 0.7 miles from the Amassa Back parking area.
||For the first 6 miles, the road is gravel. There are some
washboard sections. This can create problems for young children with
small-tire bikes. Hills can be conquered with the typical El Cheapo
This is a nice "date ride" with friend or spouse. Most of the
riders you pass will be couples.
After the initial climb, the road
descends sharply through these switchbacks into Kane Springs Canyon. The
cliffs are Navajo sandstone, the cross-bedded layers are Kayenta.
|From Kane Springs Canyon, the rock layers rise gradually,
exposing the sheer Wingate cliffs, then the underlying bands of the Chinle,
then the deep browns of the Moenkopi. As the canyon opens up, it exposes
the butte-and-valley vistas you've seen in so many western movies.
The golf ball, about 5 miles into the
||Climbing up to Hurrah Pass, eyeball the weird rocks in the
Moenkopi layer. At the pass, look west into the canyons of the Colorado.
For a truly gnarly return route (for advanced riders only) consider
looping back via Jackson Hole. Otherwise, head
back the way you came.
We're nearing the final climb to the
0.0 R and uphill from parking
N 38° 31.717' W 109°
35.802' Alt = 4000'
0.6 Pass Amassa Back trail
0.8 Petroglyph rock on R
1.2 Ridge, 4300 ft, descend switchbacks
2.8 Keep straight, Hunter Canyon on L
6.2 Fork R (L = Kane Springs)
N 38° 27.967' W 109°
36.009' Alt = 4150'
9.4 Summit Hurrah Pass
N 38° 28.919' W 109°
37.509' Alt = 4800'
Turn around and head back
Looking back from the pass, goblins
cover the Moenkopi slope at right, while we look up Kane Springs on the
||Getting there: Head south on Moab's Main Street. When you
reach the McDonald's on your right, turn right onto Kane Creek Blvd. After
0.6 miles, go straight where the road seems to turn right (500 West).
Drive along the Colorado River about 5 miles until the road turns to
gravel, and head uphill about 2/3 mile. Parking is found at GPS N 38° 31.329' W 109° 35.501', and further uphill
in the official "Amassa Back Parking"
area at GPS N 38° 31.717' W 109° 35.802'. Start the ride by heading up the
gravel road. For younger riders, you can skip the initial climb and
descent by driving another 1.3 miles over the ridge, parking along Kane
Springs Creek. (Adjust your mileage as necessary.)