Slickrock Trail

Canyonlands National Park - Needles District, Utah

Distance2.2mi
Elevation Gain455ft
Trailhead Elevation4,988ft
Top5,044ft
Elevation Min/Max4967/5044ft
Elevation Start/End4988/4988ft

Slickrock Trail

Slickrock Trail is a hiking trail in San Juan County, Utah. It is within Canyonlands National Park - Needles District. It is 2.2 miles long and begins at 4,988 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 455 feet. The Viewpoint 1 viewpoint can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near the Viewpoint 3 and Viewpoint 2 viewpoints.

Slickrock Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A scenic trip through the geology of the Canyonlands. If you’re a beginner or experienced hiker with a half day to spend in the Needles District, the Slickrock Foot Trail is an excellent way to enjoy it. Many hikes in the Needles follow canyon bottoms, but this trail stays high and gives an overall perspective of the entire southeastern corner of Canyonlands National Park.

If you’re a beginner or experienced hiker with a half day to spend in the Needles District, the Slickrock Foot Trail is an excellent way to enjoy it. Many hikes in the Needles follow canyon bottoms, but this trail stays high and gives an overall perspective of the entire southeastern corner of Canyonlands National Park.The NPS suggests this trail to inexperienced hikers so they can take a look at the entire area before deciding on their next hike. On this trail beginners also learn how to follow cairns and hike on slickrock."

"This trail forms a big loop around the northern end of the mesa that separates Big Spring Canyon from Little Spring Canyon. It is a high, windswept tableland, very flat and very dry, with little topsoil to support any kind of vegetation. Any soil that might form from the erosion of the sandstone bedrock quickly blows away into the canyons below; consequently most of the hike is across a landscape of smooth, white slickrock with very few obstructions to impede the view.

The Park Service has designated four specific viewpoints along the way where hikers can pause to enjoy the scenery, but in fact there are many viewpoints along this trail. You don't really need the Park Service tell you where to stop; the high, open terrain presents a continuous 360-degree panorama of the surrounding countryside. The vistas are especially attractive at the end of the day when the long shadows reveal hidden patterns in the slickrock and the reddish hues of the Cedar Mesa Sandstone are accentuated. Trail: Well marked, easy to follow."

"Slickrock is a defining feature of this region. Some of the most popular hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and campsites are set in slickrock. Most avid hikers in the Southwest relish slickrock trails for their undulating terrain, fascinating rock formations, and unobstructed views.

Slickrock trails can also dish out some route-fiding and navigational challenges. But for most hikers, reading the route and watching for a few well-placed cairns is part of the fun."

Slickrock Trail Reviews

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5/13/2007
I agree with the trail guide's introduction to this trail. I really enjoy the Needles District of Canyonlands, and if you only have a half-day to spend, the Slickrock Foot Trail would be a great way to spend it. The way-finding is easy, the views are amazing, and there is a fair bit of opportunity to scramble around on the rocks off-trail to find different viewpoints. You'll get a good view of both the Needles and one of the canyons that cuts through the district.
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Trail Information

Canyonlands National Park - Needles District
Nearby City
Canyonlands National Park - Needles District
Parks
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Canyonlands National Park
Local Contacts

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Oct 2018