Praying Hands to Slot Rock Hike
Want to check out two of the coolest rock formations in the Tonto National Forest in one hike? The Praying Hands to Slot Rock hike is an awesome trek that shows off just how otherworldly the scenery of the Arizona desert can be. You’ll start at Praying Hands, a rock formation that--you guessed it--looks just like praying hands. You’ll then hike to Slot Rock, another neat formation with natural windows and narrow slots.
This hike is moderately difficult. Most skill levels will be capable of completing it. As with most hikes in the Phoenix area, you won’t want to attempt this adventure in the scorching summer months. Bring lots of water and slap on some sunscreen before heading out on the trail.
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Route Description for Praying Hands to Slot Rock Hike
The hike from Praying Hands to Slot Rock gives you two fascinating rock formations to explore on one hike. This route isn’t too hard, and strong beginners and active kids should be able to complete it. The scenery is worth it, with a big dose of what makes hiking in this part of Arizona so cool: the desert, tall cacti, mountain views, and dramatic rock formations formed over thousands of years.
This route is quite busy, so we recommend visiting during the week or early in the morning if you can. Coming out early in the morning should help you beat some of the heat, but we still don’t recommend this hike for the summer months. It’s just too hot! No matter what month you visit in, make sure you’re prepared with sunscreen, a hat, and lots of water.
This trail isn’t very well marked and users report losing the trail at some points. Download your GPS route to help you find your way and watch for cairns. You’ll definitely want a GPS or map to refer to since this trail gets so difficult to follow.
You can go either clockwise or counterclockwise, but we’ll describe the route counterclockwise as that’s how most hikers complete it.
From the trailhead, go right to take Jacob's Crosscut to Treasure Loop. You’ll soon realize how faint the route gets, but keep heading towards the rocks in the distance. At the Praying Hands Trailhead, go left. You’ll climb to the saddle at the hands. They look cool from this angle, but we recommend turning back as you hike east to observe them from that side. They look much more like their namesake from the east.
Descend gently downwards, watching for cairns. Check out Slot Rock, climbing around a bit if you’d like to appreciate the unique formation.
Back on the desert floor, you’ll hike towards the trailhead once again. It’s mostly a straight shot there. Keep right twice and then left. If you accidentally take a different arm of the trail, it should still return you to the trailhead in time.
Hiking Route Highlights
The Praying Hands is a rock formation in the Lost Dutchman State Park area of Tonto National Forest near Goldfield, Arizona. The rocks resemble a set of hands pressed together, especially when observing them from the east. This formation sits near the base of The Flatiron and Peak 5024 and is a popular hiking destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a fee for Lost Dutchman State Park?
Yes, there is a modest day-use fee. The fee varies throughout the seasons but is normally between $7 and $10 per vehicle. There are additional fees for camping.
When should I hike in Lost Dutchman State Park?
Hiking can be enjoyed in this area throughout the year, but we recommend visiting between late September and early May to avoid the intense summer heat.
Insider Hints for Praying Hands to Slot Rock Hike
- The Goldfield Ghost Town is just east of this trailhead. Check it out before or after your hike for a glimpse into the region’s mining past.
Getting to the Praying Hands to Slot Rock Hike Trailhead
The trailhead for the Praying Hands to Slot Rock hike is on Forest Road 78.
Praying Hands to Slot Rock Hike Elevation Graph
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Praying Hands to Slot Rock Hike Reviews
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