• Spires of Cedar Mesa sandstone in Chesler Park (Needles District)

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

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  • Some unpaved roads are closed

    Recent rains have caused extensive damage to the Lavender Canyon road, Colorado Overlook road, and the Salt/Horse road. The White Rim Road is impassable from Hardscrabble camp to Upheaval Bottom. Roads will be closed until repairs can be made. More »

  • Extreme Fire Danger

    Due to extremely dry conditions, fire restrictions are in effect in all national park units in Utah. More »

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    Hard-sided bear containers are required for backpackers in parts of the Needles District. More »

Short Hikes at the Island

photo: Hikers on the Grand View Point Trail
Hikers on the Grand View Point Trail
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

Several trails explore the mesa top with minimal elevation change. Each of these trails highlights some aspect of the park's natural or cultural history. Printed guides are available at some trailheads and in the visitor center.

Aztec Butte Trail
Length: 2 mi/3 km round-trip
Start: Aztec Butte parking area
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Change: 225 ft/69 m
A steep climb up a slickrock dome leads to some ancestral Puebloan granaries and outstanding views of Taylor Canyon.

Grand View Point Trail (see photo above)
Length: 2 mi/3 km round-trip
Start: Grand View Point
Time: 1 hour
An easy walk out to the very end of the Island in the Sky mesa. Panoramic views.

Mesa Arch Trail
Length: .5 mi/.8 km round-trip
Start: Mesa Arch parking area
Time: 30 minutes
A mild walk out to an arch perched right on a cliff edge. A popular sunrise photograph.

Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail
Length: 1 mi/1.5 km to first overlook, round-trip
Start: Upheaval Dome parking area
Time: 30 minutes
Elevation Change: 100 ft/30 m
Good view of a very intriguing rock formation. Hiking to the second overlook adds 1 mi/1.5 km and 50 ft/15 m elevation change.

Whale Rock Trail
Length: 1 mi/1.5 km round-trip
Start: Near Upheaval Dome parking area
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Change: 100 ft/30 m
A short climb up Whale Rock leads to views of Upheaval Dome and the surrounding area.

Neck Spring Trail
Length: 5.8 mi/9.3 km round-trip
Start: Shafer Canyon Overlook parking area
Time: 3-4 hours
Elevation Change: 300 ft/91 m
This loop trail passes historic ranching features as well as two springs and diverse desert plant life.

Did You Know?

Spanish Bottom on the Colorado River

At Spanish Bottom on the Colorado River, scientists discovered 260 feet of sediment below the water's surface. This could make Cataract Canyon one of the most actively filling canyons in the world. More...