Navajo Rocks

Moab

A classic Moab loop perfect for a long trail run.

Trail Running Difficult

Distance
29 km
Ascent
552 m
Descent
552 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.7 km
Gradient
Navajo Rocks Map

A trail network reclaimed and developed by mountain bikers, Navajo Rocks doubles as a trail running haven full of singletrack, sweeping views, and a remote desert setting. Pack more water than you think you'll need, and tell someone of your plans before you hit the trail.

Description

Further from town than other classics like Hidden Valley and Mill Creek, this loop is the perfect destination for a day trip. Its figure-eight layout also offers the option to return to your car and refuel, or to cut the route in half.

This loop offers an array of fresh singletrack through slickrock formations and the iconic 'fins' that most associate with Moab's high desert terrain. Blazes painted on the rocks will keep you on track and you should expect to encounter a handful of mountain bikers along the way. Though trail etiquette states that foot traffic has right-of-way, this loop is infrequently visited by runners and other trail users may not be expecting any company. Stay aware of your surroundings and be respectful to any other trail users you encounter.

Most of the loop is 'runnable', with optional lines to navigate difficult sections. While mountain bikers have blazed direct paths down sandstone formations, runners have the option to switchback down them to avoid the scramble. Avid mountain biker, adventurer, and hiker Greg Heil puts it best, "It’s your choice. Straight line, or switchback down the rock? Again, it’s up to you." Whether you attempt the entire loop, or split it in half, this is a trail running experience that can't be overlooked.

Difficulty

Difficult

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, September, October, November

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area