Long Dong Silver, Utah: A Hilariously Named Hike Off of Highway 24
Long Dong Silver, Utah: A Hilariously Named Hike Off of Highway 24 was originally published in October 2023
If you’ve been following along on all my other Utah posts from my springtime road trip along Utah Highway 24 (okay, let’s call it a revisit because I’d traveled the 24 about 10 years prior). I had been suggested to make the hike out to Long Dong Silver by a family cruising in their side-by-side when I went to scope out Moonscape Overlook for my sunrise and sunset photos.
Of course, with a hilarious name like Long Dong Silver, I couldn’t resist and knew I had to visit.
With not much information online (and what bit my mobile data was working in the area), I set out to find where this spire called Long Dong Silver was at.
I had found some GPS coordinates on where to park and begin the hike from and headed that way in the afternoon.
The scenery surrounding Long Dong Silver is pretty stark and surreal, the people who told me about it said, “Yup, you’ll feel like you’re walking straight Mordor!” (A quote wasted on me since I’m not a Lord of the Rings fanatic- however, I get the reference 🤣).
It wasn’t hard to find Long Dong Silver, he’s just tucked out of view off of Highway 24. And whatever middle earth looks like, I’d guess it’s strikingly similar to the valley Long Dong Silver boldly is erected in.
I stared at Google Maps’ satellite image of the area for a while before setting off when I spotted what had to be the Long Dong Silver Spire based on the topography surrounding it and what looked to be its pinnacle.
So in this quick guide to hiking to Long Dong Silver, you’ll find all the information you need to know before you visit yourself, as well as some handy GPS coordinates.
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The Best Time to Visit Long Dong Silver
So for the best lighting, I’d say just like all the other treasures littered around Highway 24, sunrise or sunset will give you the most ethereal views of the Long Dong Silver Spire.
Because of how my day panned out, I ended up walking to Long Dong Silver in the later afternoon, starting at about 2 pm. It wasn’t too hot since I did the hike in early May and it was quite windy.
In summer I would avoid the Long Dong Silver Hike in the middle of the day due to the extremely high temperatures and intense sun out here as there is no shade en route.
How to Get to the Start of the Long Dong Silver Hike
There are a couple of options for reaching Long Dong Silver I found, hike in from Highway 24, or continue into the valley a little further to shave some distance off of the hike.
The Longer Route to Long Dong Silver
Long Dong Silver is located just out of view from Highway 24 and there is a “pull-off” if you will, to park at just off the highway.
The pull-off is roughly 7.6 miles west of Hanksville. You can easily locate it and get routed to it by punching in (38.369585, -110.843570) into your mapping app.
From this pull-off, it’s roughly a 2 mile walk.
The Quicker Route to Long Dong Silver
Or you can continue along the rough tracks leading from the above-mentioned pull-off about another mile before reaching signs clearly stating that no motor vehicles are allowed beyond this point (unfortunately I forgot to mark this point on my GPS but you’ll see the signs).
The walk to Long Dong Silver from these signs is only about 1 mile, so if you don’t want to walk as far you can shave off about 50% of the distance by driving to this point.
The Hike to Long Dong Silver
The hike to Long Dong Silver is more of a stroll than anything else as you’ll be walking along a valley.
The valley floor is made up of a loose dusty clay, so I would suggest sticking to the tire tracks for ease of walking (despite not being allowed to drive beyond a certain point there are some rather well-trodden 4×4 tracks all the way up to Long Dong Silver).
If you start from the pull-off at Highway 24 it will be a 4.2 mile walk to the Long Dong Silver Spire (2.1 miles each way). Those that drive until the signs will need to walk about 2.2 miles total.
The GPS coordinates of Long Dong Silver are: (38.393828, -110.832310).
Where to Stay Near Long Dong Silver
There are plenty of places to freely camp near Long Dong Silver as much of this area is BLM land. There are established campgrounds in places like Goblin Valley which isn’t too far away.
If you’re looking to stay in a hotel nearby, head to Hanksville. The only place I could find online was the Whispering Sands Motel.
If you want more options and don’t mind being a bit far away from Long Dong Silver, you can check out lodges over in Torrey on the other side of Capitol Reef National Park.
Handy Tips to Know Before You Visit Long Dong Silver
- Bring sunscreen: The sun gets intense out here midday and there is no shade.
- Don’t forget water: It gets quite hot out here, so make sure you have some with you.
- Download an offline map: Or bring a GPS device to help you navigate your way to Long Dong Silver.
- There are no facilities: You won’t find anything out here, so plan to bring everything with you and use the toilet before you head out here.
- If has rained recently don’t drive beyond the pull-off: Unless you have 4WD and are willing to even then get stuck. The clay of the valley seems like it would turn into a giant mess once wet.
- You can rock climb: Long Dong Silver Spire is a place that rock climbers frequent, so if you plan to climb it bring your gear with you.
- It can get really windy: I would have loved to take some drone shots of Long Dong Silver but it was quite a windy day with strong gusts so I opted not to. Take care of the electronics you bring because of the dust the wind kicks up.
Other Places to Visit Near Long Dong Silver Along Highway 24
- Moonscape Overlook
- Factory Butte
- Bentonite Hills
- Cathedral Valley
- Little Egypt
- Goblin Valley
- Capitol Reef National Park
Have any questions about hiking to Long Dong Silver?
Ask in the comments section below.