Explore the best trails near Monticello with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Monticello, Utah Map
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hiking
15 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

This hike was AWESOME. The views are breathtaking along the entire hike; both up top looking down and along the canyon looking up.

That said, I'm sure you, the Alltrail member reading this, are experienced enough for this hike. If you're taking people with you, though, make sure they are also as capable. This is a challenging and potentially dangerous trail. The park-guide notes that the majority of rescues occur on this trail, and that's not a surprise after hiking it.

My wife and I took my parents, who are in their mid 50s and work-out 5-days per week. They are in better shape than us. That said, this hike was at the edge of my mother's ability, and we didn't make sure they brought enough water, making it a bit more challenging than it needed to be.

The clockwise descent at the beginning is steep switchbacks into the canyon. The clockwise ascent at about the 4-mile point, just after the crater trail spur-off, is fun and just scary enough to get your adrenaline going. It's not for those scared of heights, as there are a few exposed spots. The scrambling is more flat-incline scrambling than bouldering, but there is a little shimmying and climbing around boulders.

As an east-cost hiker, my biggest suggestion here is to take at least 2-liters of water each. I've done a similar 7-9 mile 2000+ foot trails (Old Rag is a good example) with a Liter per person, but slightly under-estimated the desert sun and dry-air sweat evaporation. My parents only brought 1L each, ran out at 4-5 miles, and put some stress on my wife and I by rationing the group on the return-ascent.

All in all, Amazing hike! Be Cautious and Prepared and you'll have an amazing time!

off road driving
1 month ago

It was a great trail with lots of great views. Hamburger hill was no joke.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike was totally worth the effort. Great views of the surrounding canyon walls. Exposed climbs on steep areas that gets the heart pumping (with a bit of fear too). Did it clockwise which I recommend because I find it easier to go up the really steep areas - you dont have to look down! It is a strenuous hike but the warnings about trail being hard to follow are wrong. The cairns are placed wonderfully and the trail is well boot marked.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! Went clockwise as it was recommended for an afternoon hike. The initial downhill leads to a spectacular opening to the canyon and the view is unbelievable. I liked going clockwise because it gave me a chance to climb UP some pretty cool parts of the trail. Lots of rock scrambling/bouldering in the middle of the hike as mentioned by another reviewer, it's so much fun!! That being said, this IS a strenuous trail, I can see how it would be difficult and exhausting for inexperienced hikers and possibly those with less than adequate cardiac endurance. Be sure to bring enough water and snacks!
Would love to go into the dome next time. This is a great trail and I highly recommend you check it out when you're out at Canyonlands!

They have a sign that tells you difficult and strenuous. They are NOT lying !! They suggest going counter clockwise but if I did it again I would go clockwise. Who ever marked this trail with cairns did an awesome job. You would spend a lot of time trail finding without the cairns. It is a gorgeous and fun trail.

want to get away for some quiet geology geek time?...here it is in a loop trail!!! keep an eye on the cairns and dont forget your water. passed one spring(potable?...wouldnt tempt it...) in september '16 on the north side, watched by a mountain goat. start by going left early in the day to be in shadow for much of the hike - it helps, this is a tricky hike with some fun bouldering. channel your inner Abbey and let the silence speak to you on this one

Indian Creek Scenic Byway is a LONG road; we almost hit a huge snake, also saw a coyote, but that's about it enroute. Drive to the Needles district on US Hwy 191, 40 miles south of Moab, and take Utah Highway 211, 35 miles west. Highway 211 ends in the Needles, and is the only paved road leading in and out of the district. Once you get to the Needles entrance it is about a 10-mile drive (30 mins). Trails here are pretty easy, but slickrock can live up to its name, and there is little shade in this area.
- One easy hike and the best place to start on the left just past VC is the Roadside Ruin Trail, a 0.3 mile, self-guided nature walk that takes about a half hour round-trip and leads to a prehistoric granary, probably used by the Ancestral Puebloans some 700 to 1,000 years ago to store corn, nuts, and other foods.
- From Roadside Ruin drive .6 miles and take first rd on the left, then left again on next dirt Rd and follow it for 1.1 miles to parking area and TH for the self-guided Cave Spring Trail (easy .6 mile loop RT takes 45 mins). It's fun - it descends 2 ladders and passes sandy areas, slickrock, and thick vegetation in "wet" areas. The cave near the TH is an ancient cowboy camp, used as recently as 1975. Just past the camp look for a groundwater spring at base of canyon wall flanked with pictographs. 2 wooden ladders give an easy route up and over the rock to a slickrock plateau. Then a set of cairns lead back to the TH.
- Another trail, Pothole Point, is an easy .6-mile loop - starts from park rd. 5.8 miles from the VC. This will take 45 mins and has no shade. Good views of Needles and 6 shooter Peak.
- For a bit more of a challenge, try the Slickrock Foot Trail, a 2.4-mile loop that leads to 4 viewpoints and takes a good 2 hours. Viewpoints show off stair-step topography, from colorful canyons and cliffs to flat mesas and striped needles. The trail is 1 mile north of Pothole Point Tr. on the main rd. The 4 v/points are Sixshooter Peaks, La Sal and Abajo Mtns. and the Needles o/look. Look for a mini-arch (10 inches high) just over the right edge of the trail shortly after viewpoint #1. At v/points 3 and 4 please don't lose sight of the cairns, or you may end up lost for 127 hours at least.
- For still another option, drive 1 mile past Slickrock Trail to the end of the park rd at Big Spring Canyon O/look (don’t have to hike it, just look). Canyons are everywhere here. This trail is 5.5 miles one-way and ends at Confluence O/look, which is 500 ft. above the junction of the 2 rivers.
- At the Squaw Flat C/ground 4 miles from VC, you can take the 3-mile Elephant Hill access Rd to see Elephant Hill.
While it is a LONG drive, if you have time, it's a good way to explore the Needles District in Canyonlands.

backpacking
5 months ago

We backpacked in and reserved the "Devil's Pocket" campground in "Devil's Kitchen". I can honestly say that this was one of my favorite backpacking trips I have ever made. The trail is listed as "Moderate", but if you're backpacking it can be kinda strenuous. If we didn't have backpacks I'm sure it would have been a lot more chill.

There is so much variety on this loop, it never gets boring. Every variety that Canyonlands has available comes through in the Devil's Pocket Loop.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail. Definitely some climbing involved. My wife and I did the trail counterclockwise to end with the aggressive climb. We were happy to do it this way as we usually like to hike up the steeper inclines. Most of the steep incline out of the canyon had steps set into the cliff side as well and made the elevation gains a bit easier.

hiking
6 months ago

I love love loved this trail. I hiked it in November, so Sun and heat were less of an issue...the middle section of the hike is a lot of fun rock-scrambling- I liked doing that part on the uphill, which was doing the loop clockwise.

on Syncline Loop

6 months ago

Solid trail. Be sure to bring enough water, my girlfriend and I had 2L each in the winter and were ok but would have been more comfortable with more.

hiking
6 months ago

My lovely lady and I did the loop last week in just over 4 hours and we were not disappointed! The trail was intense in a few places, and the views you take in while hiking are incredible. We highly recommend this one if you have the time and energy. Good shoes and extra socks are a must have too. And don't forget the snacks!

hiking
6 months ago

off road driving
6 months ago

Fun trail, mostly easy road until the climb out. Neat to travel through an entire canyon from one end of Moab to the other.