Slickrock Trail
4-Wheel & Off-Road|March 2020
Harry Wagner

PLAYING HOST CAN BE exhausting, for example when your in-laws are coming to town for Thanksgiving. Sometimes, though, it is fun to be host, like when your friends come to town to go rock crawling. For the last several years, a group of friends (including fellow contributors to 4WOR Brian Sumner) have made it a tradition to go rock crawling and camping for this author’s birthday. We try to go to a new trail in the Sierra Nevada Range each year, but after tackling the Rubicon, Fordyce, and Barrett Lake we had to look for other options. That led us to the Slickrock Trail.

If the name makes you think of Moab, you aren’t alone. This Slickrock Trail is located off the beautiful and circuitous Highway 4, above Angel’s Camp in Northern California, though it’s a popular area for wheelers from Modesto and Stockton looking to escape the summer heat up at the 7,300-foot elevation of the trail. While only 5 miles long, Slickrock offers amazing scenery and some of the best campsites we have ever found. Also, the Forest Service recently added a new section of trail, including an optional rock garden, at the north end of Slickrock to reroute around private property. This section definitely increases the challenge of the trail, which is exactly what our guests were looking for on their visit to the town. Now, where to go next?

1 This optional rock garden was recently added to the north end of Slickrock by the Forest Service. We are encouraged by the agency’s commitment to shared access and willingness to open up new terrain to motorized recreation.

2 Slickrock can be run from north to south or south to north, although it is arguably more difficult going north. We actually ran the trail both directions and camped along the way for the night to maximize our time in low range.

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