Slick Rock 4×4 Trail
Slick Rock 4×4 Trail Quick Info:
Difficulty (1-10): 5 with a level 8 winch hill
Distance: 17 miles (including the forest roads between Hwy4 and Utica Reservoir)
Apprx. Travel Time: 6-8 hours
Type of Trail: Loop to Highway 4
Directions to TrailHead: North End TrailHead | South End Trailhead | Access to Utica Reservoir
Governing Authority: Stanislaus National Forest
Sponsoring Club: Mother Lode Rock Crawlers
Typical Operating Season: April 15 – December 15
Last Fuel Stop: Kwik Serve Arnold
Last Starbucks Stop for JK Owners: Starbucks Angels Camp
Ham Radio Repeaters: K6TUO – 147.975- pl 100Hz | KB6DWO – 146.65500- pl 131.8Hz
Fire Permits: Help Prevent Wild Fires!
Last Updated: 10/3/18
Slick Rock 4×4 Trail GPX and KML/KMZ Files
We personally prefer Gaia GPS for all of our trail mapping needs. Get a membership (20% off for My Off Road Radio readers if you follow this link!), and then you can either upload one of the files below into your Gaia account, or click on this link here and save our public Gaia GPS Folder to your own folders. Then go hit the trails!
Slick Rock 4×4 Trail Trail Review
Slick Rock Trail is a beautiful, moderate trail, with a big, new Winch Hill. The winch hill was a result of the trail re-route that happened in early 2018.
If you are planning to run it from north to south (starting at Lake Alpine), you can get through with 33s and a locker. The only place you should have troubles is getting up The Steps. But, with a few different paths and lines to choose from, you should be just fine and a 35s open/open might do okay with some good driving.
If you are planning to run it from south to north (starting at Utica Reservoir), you will want 35s and lockers front and rear. When you run this direction, you end up going up the winch hill, which is where you will need the lockers. Pretty much every other section of the trail can be run with 33s and a limited slip rear if you go this way.
There is a fantastic camp site that can accommodate 10-15 rigs right along Silver Creek. It has access to some great swimming holes along the river there. There is also camping at Lake Alpine, as well as Spicer Reservoir, and Utica Reservoir.
One of the great things about this trail, is its close proximity to Deer Valley 4×4 Trail. If you plan a full weekend of it, you can run both trails with a nice overnight camping stop at Lake Alpine.
If you are in a less geared rig (33s and 1 locker or less), then we recommend starting at Blue Lakes on the north side of Deer Valley 4×4 Trail. Travel south on Deer Valley, pop out at Hermit Valley Campground and either camp there, or head up to Lake Alpine to camp for the night. From there, head on in to the north end of Slick Rock, and run Slick Rock south until you pop out on Highway 4 just above Arnold.
If you are more geared (35s and a locker and winch, or 35s and 2 lockers), start down at Utica Reservoir, and run Slick Rock north. Then camp at Lake Alpine or Hermit Valley. Then run Deer Valley up to Blue Lakes on the 2nd day.
Slick Rock 4×4 Trail Obstacles
The Steps are a fun obstacle with multiple lines. Going down is no problem, just take it slow, use your low gears and brakes, and watch your spotter. Going up can be difficult as it is a fairly steep climb. Shorter wheelbases will want to consider taking the easier line to the left of the above pictures. Just for fun, there is an optional 6 foot ledge that is also pictured above.
The Winch Hill
Slick Rock 4×4 Trail is typically an easy to moderate rock crawling trail. However, the north end of the trail had to be re-routed due to it being on private property. During the re-route, a winch hill was created! The winch hill severely increases the difficulty of the trail, and is a similar rated section as Winch Hill 2 on Fordyce.
The slick rock winch hill is split up into 3 distinct sections. In the order of the pictures, the bottom section is a narrow, steep, 30ft climb with extremely loose rock on the passenger side (if you are heading up). The best way to get up this part is by climbing up the wall on the driver side. Once you get to the top of this part, you will be met with the middle section.
The middle section is filled with lots of tire sized rocks that are loose and roll around. Just take it slow, work your way up the passenger side of the hill here. This is where you will find solid traction on the refrigerator and car sized granite boulders.
The final section of the winch hill just has some slightly bigger than tire sized rocks. But these are all pushed in together so you will get crossed over. Longer wheelbases will have troubles here as there is a moderate little S turn you have to make in the middle of all of the boulders in order to stay on top of them.
Going down the winch hill is pretty straight forward. Just use your lowest crawl gears, and stand on your brakes. Having a spotter help you crawl down will be very helpful as you will be planted into the dash for a while.
Slick Rock 4×4 Trail Points of Interest
Reserved for pictures of the camp site.
Thank you for reading! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below! If you want to keep in touch with us when we add new content, join our newsletter! We do special offers that only show up in the newsletter, so make sure you sign up below!
You can also join the community forums and ask questions and see what adventures everyone else is up to!
Also, if you don’t have your Ham Radio Technician License, head over to our Online Ham Radio Class and study up! Remember, 15% of your registration goes back into keeping our trails open!
And, of course, don’t forget to check out our MORRFlate 4 Tire Off Road Inflation Deflation Kit!