Hike to Upheaval Dome Overlook

Upheaval Dome Trailhead

This short hike leads to one of the biggest geological mysteries in Canyonlands National Park.

Upheaval Dome is a geologic structure whose origins have remained hotly debated for years. Some scientists say it is the site of a meteorite impact while others theorize it is nothing more than a naturally occurring salt dome. No matter what the true answer is, there is no question that this short scenic hike leads to one of the most iconic and beautiful places in all of Canyonlands.

The trail starts 6022 feet, and gradually decreases in elevation throughout the 1.8 mile round trip out-and-back. The trail is easy to follow because of the many cairns piled on the sandstone. This hike offers panoramic views of the desert mesas and valleys that comprise Canyonlands, a great opportunity for any photographers looking to try their hand at landscape photography.

The overlook point is the best way to take in the full view of upheaval dome. For hikers looking for a longer day, the Syncline Trail can be taken down to the center of the dome, but this nine mile hike should be reserved for a full day. The overlook has guard rails in dangerous places to ensure safety of tourists, especially families with young children.

This hike is ideal for anyone looking to experience the wildlife of Canyonlands. Multiple species of lizards, desert rodents can be found, as well as hundreds of desert plant species.

Upheaval Dome is a great way to experience Canyonlands off the beaten path. This hike is sure to please beginners and experts alike.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera
  • Water (especially important in summer)
  • Food
Show More
RT Distance 1.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 200 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Unique Location

Hiked to the top. Crazy geology. Logged the Earthcache.

Short hike but fun!

The Upheaval Dome trail is a short but fun hike. Definitely do the hike out to the second overlook as this will give you a little more solitude. Looking at Upheaval Dome through pictures won't even begin to give you a sense of how big it is, so do yourself a favor and see it in person!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike The Syncline Trail in Canyonlands NP

Be advised, the NPS signs and maps that warn of a very difficult hike ahead are not hyperbole, as I thought at first.

82 Saves

Hike to False Kiva

False Kiva is an off the beaten path destination located in the “Island in the Sky” district of Canyonlands National Park, a bit outside of Moab, Utah.

601 Saves

Climbing Moses in Canyonlands

Moses offers some fantastic crack climbing. It is in the Island in the Sky area near the Taylor Canyon Campsite. The climbing is difficult but the rock is a really solid wingate sandstone.

111 Saves