Hike to Murphy Point

Utah Murphy Trailhead

Added by Johnathan Valdez

Escape the crowds and enjoy the seclusion on this seldom traveled trail in Canyonlands National Park. An easy and flat trail that will take you to panoramas of the canyons below.

Murphy Point, found in the Island In The Sky district of Canyonlands NP, takes hikers on a mesa that ends at an overlook with sweeping vistas over Murphy Basin, the White Rim, and Green River. If you're looking to get away from the tourists, then head to this quiet and often overlooked trail.

The trailhead is right off the main road to Grand View Point and the parking lot is pretty small, so keep your eyes peeled. At the beginning of the trail you will be hiking through grassland and prairie brush on a flat but sandy trail. Early on you'll pass an old corral that serves as a reminder of the cow herding past.

About a half mile from the trail head and not far past the corral, you will come to a split. The left fork will lead you off the mesa for 4.2 miles to White Rim Road. To reach Murphy Point, stay to the right at the junction and continue on to the sandstone trail.

The elevation gain/loss on this trail is minimal, but there are some short sections where you will be hiking a gradual uphill grade. Regardless, this trail is perfect for beginners or families.

As you continue on, the gravel trail will eventually disappear and you will soon find yourself hiking on sandstone. Keep an eye out for the cairns to lead you the rest of the way. Please do not build new cairns as these could confuse future hikers.

Continue following the cairns until eventually reaching the Murphy Point overlook. From here you will have spectacular vistas of the landscape below.

Pack List

  • Hat for shade
  • Sunscreen
  • Plenty of water
  • Good footwear
  • Camera
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Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



3.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

320 Feet




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How to Get There

4 months ago

Beautiful spot to watch the sunset

Bring your dinner and watch the sunset here - it is magnificent. The hike back is very flat and easy and not exposed - so it's fine to do in the dark (headlamp recommended!). You can also get a permit to backcountry camp in the area.

4 months ago

Added by Johnathan Valdez

I'm a Colorado native that's passionate about photography, exploring nature, live music, and craft beer. On my free days you'll most likely find me on the trail and behind my camera. Life is short, get out there and explore! Follow my adventures here on The Outbound and on Instagram @capulinflicker.

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