Hidden Canyon Overlook

Moab, Utah (Grand) Technical Rating: 3-4

Last Updated: 03-04-2017

000 0085
Status: Open
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.5 Miles
Category: Desert, Iconic, Overland, Rock, Sand
Highest Elevation: 5,000 '
Duration: about 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Go: N/A
Nearest Town:
Moab
Nearest Town w/ Service:
Moab
Nearby Trails:
Bartlett OverlookHidden CanyonTusher TunnelBartlett Wash RoadBlue Hills Road
Forest Service Road: #
Forest Service / Park District:
BLM Moab Field Office

Hidden Canyon Overlook Highlights

Highlights: Hidden Canyon Overlook - Moab, Utah

Hidden Canyon Overlook is situated northwest of Moab, Utah. This off-road trail is part of the '3D Safari Route', and gives an impression of being deep in the outback. It traverses dirt and sand, and then broad expanses of exposed bedrock or 'slickrock'. Hidden Canyon Overlook culminates approximately 500 feet above a slot canyon known as 'Hidden Canyon' which features red and white sandstone contrasted to blue sky and green vegetation. With the snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the distant east, this place is a visual spectacle to cherish.

Technical rating: (3-4) Easy

Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves but rocks to 9". Water crossings usually less than hub deep. Passable mud. Grades moderate, up to 15 degrees. Side hill moderate up to 15 degrees. 4WD under most conditions. No width problems, vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.

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Directions to Trailhead

To approach Hidden Canyon Overlook from the north: From Moab, travel approximately 17.3 miles north on Highway 191 to Blue Hills Road which is just south of Canyonlands Field Airport. Turn west and travel approximately 2.3 miles to Bartlett Wash Road or what some maps label Mill Canyon Road. Stay on the more defined roads to the right. Pass an old corral and follow the trail markers labeled "3D".

To approach Hidden Canyon Overlook from the south: From Moab, travel north on Highway 191 to the intersection of Highway 313. Turn left (west) on Highway 313. Travel approximately 8 miles to vicinity of Lone Mesa Campground, and turn right on Dubinky Well Road. Follow Dubinky Well Road for one mile to where it curves left and intersects with BLM 140. Stay right (north) on Dubinky Well Road for another mile to the intersection of Bartlett Wash Road. Turn right on Bartlett Wash Road and proceed north/northeast about 9 miles. Watch for the intersection for '3D Safari Route' on the left. This is the trailhead to Hidden Canyon Overlook.

 

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:

38° 43' 27.95"N
109° 47' 27.64"W

GPS Exchange File:

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Route Description

Hidden Canyon Overlook can be driven as a stand-alone trail or combined with others for a full day of off-road exploration. Hidden Canyon Overlook begins on a desert gravel and dirt road that transitions to exposed bedrock similar to Mashed Potato. In fact, the mid-course passes the trailhead or western end of Mashed Potato. From this exposed bedrock comprised of dips and ledges, Hidden Canyon Overlook transitions again to dirt and sand to the termination point overlooking Hidden Canyon.

1: Trailhead (0.0mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 1: Trailhead Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 1: Trailhead Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 1: Trailhead

The trailhead is a broad intersection with Bartlett Wash Road. A sign here indicates "3D Safari Route" which is somewhat misleading because Hidden Canyon Overlook is only one of several roads on the 3D Route.

2: Right At 3-Way (0.2mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 2: Right At 3-Way Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 2: Right At 3-Way Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 2: Right At 3-Way

Stay right at the intersection with Mashed Potato. This is the eastern trailhead/end of Mashed Potato. There is a sign here with a map.

3: Stay Straight (0.4mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 3: Stay Straight Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 3: Stay Straight Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 3: Stay Straight

Continue to the right at a second intersection.

4: Hidden Drop-off (1.0mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 4: Hidden Drop-off Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 4: Hidden Drop-off Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 4: Hidden Drop-off

Proceed straight, but cautiously, over the hill. It is not so much of a ledge, but rather a blind knoll.

5: Wire Gate (1.2mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 5: Wire Gate Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 5: Wire Gate Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 5: Wire Gate

Open the wire gate to proceed, and close it behind you. The road descends through ruts.

6: Left at T Intersection (1.5mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 6:  Left at T Intersection Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 6:  Left at T Intersection Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 6:  Left at T Intersection

Turn left at the intersection, and proceed toward the southwest.

7: S-Curves (1.8mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 7: S-Curves Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 7: S-Curves Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 7: S-Curves

Proceed through the curves among cedar trees and a narrow draw. The trail will next traverse an enormous field of exposed bedrock. Watch for the white paint markers.

8: Right Across Bedrock (2.2mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 8: Right Across Bedrock Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 8: Right Across Bedrock Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 8: Right Across Bedrock

Turn right where the white paint marker indicates. Be alert, because intuition would seem to continue left around the edge. A faint trace of the trail is visible in dry conditions.

9: Red Hill (2.5mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 9: Red Hill Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 9: Red Hill Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 9: Red Hill

Climb the red soil hill and be prepared to arrive at another enormous slab of exposed bedrock.

10: Right At Intersection (2.6mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 10: Right At Intersection Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 10: Right At Intersection Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 10: Right At Intersection

Turn to the right (southwest) where the white paint marker indicates. At this point you recognize the terrain as part of Mashed Potato trail.

11: Straight at Intersection (2.7mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 11: Straight at Intersection Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 11: Straight at Intersection Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 11: Straight at Intersection

Continue straight past the intersection and sign on your left. That is the western trailhead /end of Mashed Potato.

12: Shelf (3.3mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 12: Shelf Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 12: Shelf Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 12: Shelf

Proceed straight beyond the shelf.

13: Second Shelf (3.4mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 13: Second Shelf Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 13: Second Shelf Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 13: Second Shelf

Continue straight beyond this second shelf.

14: Third Shelf (3.5mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 14: Third Shelf Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 14: Third Shelf Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 14: Third Shelf

Continue straight over the third shelf.

15: Left at Intersection (3.8mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 15: Left at Intersection Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 15: Left at Intersection Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 15: Left at Intersection

Proceed to the left at the intersection; A right turn here leads to the Bartlett Overlook trail.

16: Straight at 3-Way (4.1mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 16: Straight at 3-Way Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 16: Straight at 3-Way Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 16: Straight at 3-Way

Stay straight at this intersection; the road to the right is the Hidden Canyon Rim Escape, and serves as an expedient exit route after visiting the Hidden Canyon Overlook.

17: End at Hidden Canyon Overlook (4.5mi)

Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 17: End at Hidden Canyon Overlook Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 17: End at Hidden Canyon Overlook Hidden Canyon Overlook - Waypoint 17: End at Hidden Canyon Overlook

Stop at the end of the trail, and spend some time admiring the views.

Camping and Lodging

Camping & Lodging: Hidden Canyon Overlook - Moab, Utah

Dispersed camping is not permitted within the BLM managed lands, except for designed sites. The nearest BLM designated sites are Lone Mesa Group Sites (on Highway 313) and Horsethief Campground (also on Highway 313). For additional information about restrictions and maps to designated campsites, visit the BLM Recreation webpage: https://www.blm.gov/media_public-room_utah_moab-camping-restrictions

Map of Lone Mesa Group Sites and Horsethief Campground

Tracy

Tracy Barker

Tracy is an outdoor enthusiast originally from north Alabama. Tracy's family moved to central Utah when he was a child, and subsequently to southern Utah. These...

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Questions & Answers

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Trip Reports

Img 0007

Todd Taylor
Official Crew

Offroaded on 03-04-2017

Status: Open

Conditions: Dry

Trip Report: Hidden Canyon Overlook - Moab, Utah Trip Report: Hidden Canyon Overlook - Moab, Utah Trip Report: Hidden Canyon Overlook - Moab, Utah Trip Report: Hidden Canyon Overlook - Moab, Utah Trip Report: Hidden Canyon Overlook - Moab, Utah Trip Report: Hidden Canyon Overlook - Moab, Utah

This was my second time on the Hidden Canyon Overlook offroad trail. Both times were in the month of March. I would say this a trail you must do in March with a blue sky and the snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the background. The wheeling is not difficult at all, but its fun with many terrain changes through the entire trail. Each time that I have been to the Overlook I have just wanted to stay there for hours and soak in the scenery.

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