Off Road Trail Spotlight: Sliplock Gulch

There’s no place like southern Utah for off-roaders. If you’re planning a trip to the southwest to get a taste of the trails, you can’t afford to miss out on Sand Hollow State Park. This is a recreational haven for off-roaders, with trails to suit all driving levels from off-roading novices to veterans.

Here at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive, we encourage all visitors to this part of the country to sign up for our Southern Utah trail rides. That way, you can get a feel of the different trails while learning from other experienced off-roaders.

Today we’ll highlight an extremely fun trail in Sand Hollow State Park – Sliplock Gulch.

Trail Overview

Rated 6 and with several sliprock waterfalls and plenty of obstacles along the way, Sliplock Gulch is perfect for those looking for a tough challenge. The trail has 3 major sections each just different enough from the others to keep things exciting. Before attempting this trail, ensure that your rig is fitted with at least 33” tires and rear differential lockers because you’re going to need them.

The first section of the trail runs from a scenic rim road which leads from the dunes to the bottom of a gulch with steep waterfalls. This section is just the warmup and it gets you used to the feel of driving on slickrock.

Crossing the bottom of the gulch will bring you to the second section where you’ll have to negotiate some waterfalls. The second of these – Horseshoe Falls, is the most treacherous and it has dented the sheet metal of many 4WDs. Once you’re through, you’ll have to negotiate a series of climbs and cracks as you head down the west side.

The third and final section of Sliplock Gulch starts off with a steep sand drop into a wide slickrock gulch. Immediately afterward, there are a couple of tough ledges which call for careful wheel placement and expert rock crawling to avoid body damage. Towards the end of this section, things get a little hairy with some tight slots and a wicked, wide V-notch that have caused damage to several rigs.

Scenery and surface

The first part of the trail goes over sand dunes and have you brushing up on your dune running. From there it gives way to slickrock which will provide plenty of traction for your rock crawling.

If you can take the time to look up from the trail and obstacles, you’ll be wowed by stunning views of Zion National Park and the Sand Hollow Reservoir in the background.

Notable Obstacles

This trail run has several 7 and 8-rated obstacles. Most of them have bypasses so take those if you’re not entirely confident about negotiating the obstacles.

The most notable obstacle along this trail is Horseshoe Falls but there are steep waterfalls, tight chutes and a V-notch towards the end that can cause significant damage to your ride’s drivetrain and body if you’re not careful.

Overall, this is a trail for those looking for a challenging run without being overwhelmed.


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