Have you ever wanted to transport to Middle Earth or feel like you’re the star in Lord of the Rings? You have to visit one of the coolest rock formations in the Southwest: Long Dong Silver in Utah. It’s actually made up of two black spires that rise up out of the middle of nowhere. When you see these in person, you will be amazed!
I have been traveling the US in a van for the past seven months and this may be one of the coolest rock formations that I have seen. Part of its appeal is the fact that very few people know about it or make it to this destination. Luckily, a friend reached out to make sure that I went to this spot while I was in the area. I would have never found it without her explicit directions. We hiked there on a sunny day in the middle of May and we had the entire area to ourselves. It felt like we were the only ones on earth, it was an indescribable feeling.
If you have heard of Long Dong Silver, then you probably tried to scour the internet to find out how to get there. Luckily, I have a comprehensive guide completely focused on this amazing rock structure. You can find all the details including where to park, how to walk there, and things to know before you go. I hope you find this wonderful hidden gem and experience complete awe at earth’s amazing constructions!
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Table of Contents
Long Dong Silver Details
Elevation: 679 Feet
Type: Out and Back
Length: 4.05 miles
This hike isn’t much of a hike at all. It’s more like a casual stroll through Middle Earth. There is no established path, so you’ll have to find your own way to the spire. Once you have parked on the side of the road, you can walk directly into the bushes and desert landscape. After you’ve continued for a bit, you should start to see tire tracks on the road. You can follow the tire tracks, or simply continue through the valley between the two cliffs.
Walk one mile into the flat desert and you should get between two massive cliffs. Soon, you’ll see the first spire on your left. This rock formation is very cool, so feel free to walk up to it and take a few pictures. You’ll continue walking until the tire tracks curve around, you can choose to walk up the rocky hill or follow the road. Finally, as you come over the hillside you will see the two massive rock spires that make up Long Dong Silver. It’s a truly magnificent sight! Enjoy staring out at the landscape and once you’ve reached the rock, you can turn back around the same way that you came.
How to Get There
Finding Long Dong Silver is one of the harder things to figure out. Even though there are some resources on the internet, most people find out about this spot through word of mouth or a friend! However, if you have made it to this blog, then you’ve lucked out, because I’ll tell you exactly where to go to access this amazing rock formation.
You’ll want to drive South of Hanksville on route 24, which is the main road that takes you through the area. Continue down the road until you get to these coordinates: 38.3702010, -110.8406440. You should map out this drive before you get there, in case you lose service. Once you get to this spot, you will want to walk directly from the road into the valley between the cliffs. I have put the coordinates of the rock spire in the hike description above. If you download the map ahead of time, you should be able to find it with ease!
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Best Time to Go
Similar to many other Southwest destinations, Hanksville can get extremely hot from late spring-early fall. Temperatures often soar into the 90s and above. Although it’s a dry heat, the sun is extremely strong and you can get easily dehydrated. Despite the heat, people often travel to this area then, because they have time off. If you want to avoid the summer heat, then the best time to go is the early Spring or Late Fall when temperatures are mild.
Winters in Hanksville are very short, but they do get some snow and clouds. The winters are often cloudier, so you won’t see as much of the bright desert hues. However, it is also one of the least crowded times of year, so you will have many of the sights in the area to yourself.
Watch out for wind at all times of year, because the dusty landscape can be dangerous. When we were hiking there, we ended up walking back in extreme winds. We ended up with dust coating our bodies, piling in our ears, and covering our clothes. Try to avoid hiking in this area if you know that it will be windy or make sure to wear the proper eye protection so you don’t get anything in them.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is plenty of BLM and camping in the area surrounding Long Dong Silver, which you can find on iOverlander.
- People often go to this spire to rock climb. If you are a rock climber, make sure to bring all the proper gear and do your research about it ahead of time.
- We saw tire tracks on the walk to the spire, but you are not allowed to drive vehicles to the destination. There are signs up throughout the area that tell you that vehicles are prohibited. Always listen to the signs, so that you protect the natural landscape.
- Please do not geotag this location on social media as it is one of the few that has still remained off of it. People want to continue to enjoy the destination and have the trail to themselves!
- There are absolutely no facilities by the road here or at Long Dong Silver. You should try to use the restroom before you get to the trail and bring a bag to carry any of your belongings.
- Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. As always, you want to leave nature looking better than you found it.
What to Bring
Long Dong Silver is in a very remote location outside of Hanksville, Utah. I highly recommend that you download the map or bring a compass, so that you do not lose your way. Temperatures in this arid region regularly go into the 90s during the summer months. Always wear plenty of sun protection even if it seems like a cloudy day, because the sun is very strong. I recommend sunglasses at all times of year, because gusts of wind can lift the dust up into the air. Also, it’s important to pack extra water so that you stay hydrated while walking through the desert landscape.
- Downloaded Map
- Comfortable Hiking Boots
- Small Pack
- 2 Liters of Water
- First Aid Kit
- Hat to block sun
If you have wanted to go somewhere off the beaten path, then you need to go to Long Dong Silver in Utah. As soon as you get to this crazy landscape, you’ll feel as if you were transported to Middle Earth. It’s one of the most remote locations and you’ll likely have it all to yourself. Take time to enjoy the walk and marvel at this crazy natural wonder.
Let me know if you found this guide helpful in the comments!
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