If you’re an adventure lover in Millard County looking for an epic way to spend a day, look no further than the Black Rock Desert. This volcanic area in eastern Millard County covers over 700 miles of stunning rock formations and hiking areas. In this single-day itinerary, we’ll guide you through four of the area’s top attractions for adventurers.
You can get from the first destination in the itinerary to the last in just over an hour, making this the perfect day trip for intrepid spirits of all ages in search of their next outdoor adventure. Get your 4WD ready to embrace some of Utah’s finest displays of natural beauty through this exciting Black Rock Desert day trip. Now, let’s dive in.
Stop 1: Tabernacle Hill
Your journey begins at Tabernacle Hill, which you can reach via Lava Tubes Road. This Millard County attraction was formed thousands of years ago when a volcano erupted and left behind miles of craters, lava fields, and lava tubes in its wake. Today, the resulting rock formations are popular tourist attractions with plenty to explore.
Set aside a few hours to traverse the lava tubes, making sure to exercise caution during your visit. Some of the ceilings of lava tubes have caved in over the years, making a long and quite unpleasant fall for an unlucky traveler. Feel free to collect a small amount of lava rock to bring home with you as a souvenir.
Stop 2: Devil’s Kitchen
After an exciting start at Tabernacle Hill, you’ll head north to Devil’s Kitchen for the next leg of your journey. Before you venture out, keep in mind that if the ground is wet, you should avoid taking the spur road due to the bentonite clay in the soil.
Devil’s Kitchen is a lava rock bluff named for the hollow sound caused by lava flow and the site of one of the area’s most impressive petroglyphs. Here you can find hundreds of centuries-old figures drawn along the base of a basalt cliff. It’s a remarkable sight, so be sure to bring a camera!
Stop 3: Pahvant Butte
Just 20 minutes down the road, you can find our next stop. Known by the locals as “Sugarloaf,” Pahvant Butte is a butte that was formed by a dormant volcano thousands of years ago. Today, it’s a popular Millard County hiking area with two distinct peaks, both of which sit at around 1,000 feet above the valley floor.
On the western side of Pahvant Butte, you can find Utah’s Stonehenge—an abandoned concrete structure called the Hood Wind Generator. If you’re traveling with an off-road machine, this unique sight is definitely worth checking out during your time at the butte.
Stop 4: The Lace Curtain
The Lace Curtain is an extinct volcano located on the north slope of Pahvant Butte. This incredibly unique rock formation was formed around 15,000 years ago thanks to erosion from Lake Bonneville. Many people believe it looks like melted candle wax, but you’ll just have to see for yourself to make your own distinction.
Once you’ve parked your vehicle, it’s a short walk over to the base of the wall where you can get an up-close view of the many holes and extraordinary formations. You can choose to get your fill of scenery from the parking area or venture deeper into the old volcano with a hike on one of the trails.
After a long day of exploring Black Rock Desert sights, you’ve undoubtedly worked up quite an appetite. Plan for a pit stop at one of the enticing Millard County restaurants in the area before you make your way back home. What will your next road trip entail?