Round Trip Distance: 3.3 miles
Elevation: 4850 - 5131 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - No Dogs
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Sound of Silence
Attractions: Scenic desert terrain
View Sound of Silence Trail in a larger map
The Sound of Silence trail is located in the Utah Section of the Dinosaur National Monument near Jensen, Utah. The trail makes use of several gullies and ridges to form a nice loop through a section of the colorful desert of the monument where hikers can occasionally see deer, bighorn sheep or coyotes. The Sound of Silence trail can be combined with the Desert Voices trail by making use of a short connector trail to create an even longer hike.
The Sound of Silence trailhead is about 1.8 miles from the Visitor Center on Highway 149 which is the main road that runs through the monument. The trailhead is stop #2 on the Tour of the Tilted Rocks Auto Route that begins at the Visitor Center and ends at the Josie Bassett ranch on the Cub Creek Road. Guidebooks for the auto route are available at the Visitor Center for $1.00.
The trail crosses the sagebrush flats from the roadway and enters the dry bottom of Red Wash. The Sound of Silence trail is an interpretive trail with numbered trail markers that coincide with another guidebook that is also available for 50 cents. The information in the guidebook enhances the hike with useful tidbits about the areas ecosystem as well as providing route finding directions. The extra knowledge makes for a much more memorable experience for school age children and adults who can't seem to ever stop learning.
The surrounding cliffs rise higher as the trail continues its meander up Red Wash. The red sand contrasted with the different shades of the green of the trees and shrubs keeps the mind and senses satisfied as though viewing a variety of paintings in a museum. The trail eventually climbs out of the wash and follows along on the bank above it.
At the western most point of the loop the trail leaves Red Wash and enters what the guidebook refers to as an anfractuosity which refers to the nature of the next section of winding trail that has many twists and turns.
The route to follow through the labyrinth of shallow washes is mostly apparent but when in doubt always take the right fork. The trail climbs gently in altitude as it arcs around toward the east and eventually tops out on the north side of the ridge above Red Wash.
There are striking views of Split Mountain from the trails vantage point.
The trail follows along below the ridge with some easy hiking for just over a half mile before climbing up the side of the hill and over the top.
A very nice specimen of petrified wood protrudes from the trail on the opposite side of the ridge.
There is a junction where the half mile long Connector trail branches off in the small valley between the ridges. A trail marker points out that there is 7 tenths of a mile remaining between this point and the trailhead where the hike began.
The trail climbs the small ridge on the south side of this little valley and becomes much more primitive as it descends several sections of slickrock and loose dirt. There is one particular spot where route finding gets a little confusing just before the trail drops down the final crevice and re-enters the Red Wash drainage. To follow the correct route be sure to follow the trail to the right where you can once again pick up the series of cairns that will guide you the rest of the way down. This spot is about 2 tenths of a mile from the Connector trail junction around marker 23.
After descending the final hill the trail completes the loop by following a shallow wash that parallels the trail entering Red Wash at the beginning of the hike.
There are quite a few deer in the area that become easier to spot in the early morning and evening hours which is also the best time to do this hike during the hot months of summer.
The Sound of Silence trail is a pleasant hike that gives you a good taste of desert hiking. For anyone that isn't accustomed to the area or this type of a hike be sure to bring plenty of drinking water and one of the guidebooks. The guidebook has a small map of the trail and provides plenty of directions to help you safely find your way. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.