Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
205.00 ft (62.48 m)
Trail type
3.10 mi (4.99 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Slickrock Trail, located within the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, is a relatively easy 3 mile hike that offers stunning views of the surrounding canyon country. The majority of the trail travels high across slickrock (thus the appropriate trail name) and is well marked with cairns. The trail forms a lollipop loop and offers 4 viewpoints.

Begin by finding parking along the park road near the trailhead. Be sure to grab one of the trail guides available here before heading out. You’ll then start on the trail as it climbs ever so gently up toward the slickrock area.

Viewpoint #1 is just to the right of trail and offers a slight view, but better views are soon to come. Next you’ll arrive at the start of the loop. Hiking in a counter-clockwise direction is recommended.

Viewpoint #2 is next and offers increasingly better views of the surrounding canyonlands. A little bit of a scramble is required to get up the boulders near this viewpoint.

Viewpoint #3 is perhaps the best, with fantastic views of the “Island in the Sky” district of Canyonlands National Park, and the deep canyons of the Colorado River (the river itself isn’t visible).

Last is viewpoint #4, located a fair ways off the loop trail. If you decide to head to this viewpoint know that there are very few cairns marking the way. Just keep heading in a north/northwesterly direction until you reach the canyon rim where you’ll again have stellar views.

The Slickrock Trail then heads south (with great views of the distant Needles) until it again comes to the initial loop junction. From here follow the familiar trail back to your vehicle and the end of the hike.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Fairly easy hike. Fantastic views.

Trailhead Elevation

4,987.00 ft (1,520.04 m)

Highest point

5,043.00 ft (1,537.11 m)


Family friendly
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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