Hidden Canyon Overlook

Moab, Utah (Grand County)
Last Updated: 02/07/2018
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Difficulty: 3-4
Length: 4.5 miles
Highest Elevation: 5000 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Moab
Nearest Town w/ Services: Moab
Official Road Name:
Management Agency: BLM Moab Field Office
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Highlight: Hidden Canyon Overlook

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 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.


Route Information

Technical Rating: (3-4)

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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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

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. Mashed Potato Trailhead (0.2 mi)

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. Fork - Stay Straight (0.4 mi)

Continue to the right at a second intersection.

4. Hidden Drop-off (1 mi)

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

5. Wire Gate (1.2 mi)

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

6. Intersection - Turn Left (1.5 mi)

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

7. S-Curves (1.8 mi)

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 (2.2 mi)

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 (2.5 mi)

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

10. Intersection - Stay Right (2.6 mi)

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. Mashed Potato Trailhead/End (2.7 mi)

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

12. Shelf (3.3 mi)

Proceed straight beyond the shelf.

13. Second Shelf (3.4 mi)

Continue straight beyond this second shelf.

14. Third Shelf (3.5 mi)

Continue straight over the third shelf.

15. Bartlett Overlook Trailhead (3.8 mi)

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

16. Hidden Canyon Rim Escape Trailhead (4.1 mi)

Continue 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/Hidden Canyon Overlook (4.5 mi)

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

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.724430, -109.791010

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 the 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 with '3D Safari Route' on the left. This is the trailhead to Hidden Canyon Overlook.


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
Camping: Hidden Canyon Overlook

Writer Information

Tracy Barker

Mapping Crew - Colorado
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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 family moves established a precedent, of sorts, as Tracy has lived in numerous states over the past three decades. Tracy is determined now, however, to settle down in Colorado Springs. His favorite activities are family trail rides and camping with small groups. This, too, is a precedent started many years ago in dad's pickup truck, followed by Tracy's first 4x4 acquisition, a 1975 Ford Bronco. Tracy aspires to climb some of Colorado's venerable 14'ers while traveling some of the notable and not-so-well-known 4x4 trails in the Centennial State. He's excited about contributing to Trails Offroad because the site and fellow contributors are committed to meet a critical 4-wheel drive enthusiast requirement--current and accurate trail data.


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Trail Reviews (1)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
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.