Slickrock Trail

After spending almost three weeks up in Lake Tahoe, it was finally time for us pack up our things and make our way back home to Southern California.  But, before we did, one more run for the road was definitely in order and we decided to make it a run up the Slickrock Trail.

The Slickrock Trail is located about two hours south of South Lake Tahoe, just off the 4 HWY and near to Bear Valley in the Stanislaus National Forest. Starting up on west shore of the picturesque Lake Alpine, the Slickrock Trail parallels the cascading clear waters of Silver Creek and makes its way over huge slabs of granite, through impressive sloped granite walled canyons, down steep granite Moab style descents, across a cool stream, up over a challenging rocky climb and then finally coming to an end at the  beautiful Utica Reservoir.  And, while this trail is only 5.2 miles long and can be done in about 3 hours, you should be prepared for it to take the better part of a day to complete as there is just so much to see and do along the way.  On our trip, we were fortunate enough to be treated to brilliant displays of wildflowers, equally colorful butterflies, several deer staring at us from the woods, a fast swiming water snake in the creek and of course, stunning views across the Stanislaus National Forest and Carson Iceberg Wilderness.  But, having said all that, I think the absolute best part of this trail was being able to playing in the myriad of pools that Silver Creek has uniquely sculpted and carved out of the pink granite it flows over near the end of the trail.

Overall, I would have to say that the Slickrock Trail is relatively “moderate” in difficulty and I would think that just about any stock Jeep JK Wrangler could do it with a little effort and some good driver skills.  But, I should point out that it does have a few tough sections towards the end that cannot be bypassed and I think it’s because of them that it gets an official rating of “difficult”.  Of course, there are plenty of optional obsticals along this trail that can really kick things up a notch or two and if you were to run it backwards, it could provide a lot of fun for those of you who have rigs that are armored up, locked and lifted.

If you would like to see pics from our Slickrock Trail run, simply click on the banner above or on the link below:

Slickrock Trail Run Pics

Just so you know, we are currently working on a video of this run as and if you would like to see our JK in action on it, be sure to check back soon.



  1. I assume you turned around at the ladder? It is pretty tough for short wheel base Jeeps like the TJ and most “normal” jeeps have a really tough time. I have walked up it easily but also had times where I couldn’t make it. If you noticed there is a pretty steep face to the far left near the big tree that is technically more difficult but seems easier to me. Here is a video of a tougher line that I found near the downhill slabs..

  2. Actually, we ran the whole trail without incident. And, while I’m sure my 6″ long arm lifted and locked front and rear TJ would have struggled a bit up the ladder, our 3″ lifted JK Rubicon Unlimited on 35’s simply walked up it like it was nothing. In a situation like this, a longer wheel base is definitely your friend. Great video by the way.


  3. It is a strange climb, sometimes I make it sometimes I don’t, I guess it just depends on how the rocks have moved. My buddies four runner which is shorter than the unlimited walks up it without chirping a tire. Did you see the line at the bottom to the left…that on is fun and hairly…I have to post that vid to myspace and I will post it up.

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