Hidden Canyon Overlook
Moab, Utah (Grand) Technical Rating: 3-4
Last Updated: 03-04-2017
Bartlett Overlook, Hidden Canyon, Tusher Tunnel, Bartlett Wash Road, Blue Hills Road
BLM Moab Field Office
Hidden Canyon Overlook Highlights
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.
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)
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)
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.
4: Hidden Drop-off (1.0mi)
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)
Open the wire gate to proceed, and close it behind you. The road descends through ruts.
7: S-Curves (1.8mi)
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)
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)
Climb the red soil hill and be prepared to arrive at another enormous slab of exposed bedrock.
10: Right At Intersection (2.6mi)
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)
Continue straight past the intersection and sign on your left. That is the western trailhead /end of Mashed Potato.
15: Left at Intersection (3.8mi)
Proceed to the left at the intersection; A right turn here leads to the Bartlett Overlook trail.
16: Straight at 3-Way (4.1mi)
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.
Camping and Lodging
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
Questions & AnswersNo questions have been submitted.
Offroaded on 03-04-2017
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.