Whale Rock Trail

Two hikers atop sloping sandstone features
Whale Rock Trail


Quick Facts
Island in the Sky district, Canyonlands National Park

Many features in this region bear imaginative names. Does this long sandstone dome looked like a giant whale to you? This trail walks along its side, then climbs from its "tail" up to its "blowhole."

  • Roundtrip Distance: 0.8 mi (1.3 km) 

  • Time: 1 hr 

  • Elevation Change: 141 ft (43 m) 

  • Difficulty: Moderate – Mesa Top 

  • Hike Description: This trail leads up the side of a sandstone dome, ending with broad views of the Island in the Sky. Great for kids who like to scramble on rock. Be careful: wear soles with good traction and avoid steep drop-offs.  

  • Accessibility: This trail can be rough, uneven, and requires walking up and down a rocky hill and stone steps. It is not accessible to wheelchairs. In winter, there may be snow or icy conditions; we recommend traction devices for hikers. 

  • Dogs are not allowed on this trail. Service animals are allowed in national parks. What is a service animal? 

Whale Rock is part of a large outer ring of sandstone surrounding the nearby Upheaval Dome formation.

Canyonlands National Park

Last updated: January 11, 2024