Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
955.00 ft (291.08 m)
Trail type
8.30 mi (13.36 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 Sylvester Trail is in the Onion Creek area of Moab and follows open desert through Professor Valley drainage in Mary Jane Canyon. The trail passes several unique rock formations on the right which dominate the skyline.

From the parking area, follow the trail south. There is a kiosk at the trail head with some area information. The trail is relatively flat and easy to follow. The trail will cross a dry wash several times before it begins to ascend a bench on the right. The trail weaves along this bench gradually ascending toward Castleton Tower and the formation known as the Rectory. The rock formations also include the Preacher, and the the Nuns. Once the trail passes the foot of Castleton Tower, it will begin to descend slightly. When you reach a dirt four-wheel drive road, the Sylvester Trail ends and you return the way you came. It is possible to reach the La Sal Loop Road from here by crossing this dirt road and following the trail to a second dirt road where you can turn right and continue out to the loop road. This southern terminus is an unofficial trailhead from La Sal Loop Road with space for only one or two cars.

It is best to hike the Sylvester Trail from north to south and hike during the early morning. There is no protection from the sun, so spring or fall may be the best time of year for this hike.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Unique rock formations.


Hot in summer. Total exposure to sun.

Trailhead Elevation

4,400.00 ft (1,341.12 m)

Highest point

5,146.00 ft (1,568.50 m)


Near lake or river
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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