Murphy Trail

Moab, Utah

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Hiking the Murphy Trail is an excellent way to gain an appreciation for the wild beauty and expanse of Canyonlands National Park. It is also a good way to sample some of the history of Canyonlands. The trail was built during World War One by the Murphy brothers, who grazed cattle in the area from 1917 until about 1920. There are no active mines in the area now, but if you stand just about anywhere on the rim of Island in the Sky and gaze down into the canyon you can see parts of the old roads and trails built by the miners. When the area became a national park in 1964 prospecting was no longer allowed, but 4-wheeling and bicycling on some of the old roads has become very popular. In particular, the 100-mile-long 4-wheel drive White Rim Road, which circles the Island in the Sky has become one of the parks best known attractions. The middle 1.4 miles of this hike, connecting Murphy Hogback to Murphy Wash, is along the White Rim Road.
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

Hiking the Murphy Trail is an excellent way to gain an appreciation for the wild beauty and expanse of Canyonlands National Park. It is also a good way to sample some of the history of Canyonlands. The trail was built during World War One by the Murphy brothers, who grazed cattle in the area from 1917 until about 1920.

There are no active mines in the area now, but if you stand just about anywhere on the rim of Island in the Sky and gaze down into the canyon you can see parts of the old roads and trails built by the miners. When the area became a national park in 1964 prospecting was no longer allowed, but 4-wheeling and bicycling on some of the old roads has become very popular. In particular, the 100-mile-long 4-wheel drive White Rim Road, which circles the Island in the Sky has become one of the parks best known attractions. The middle 1.4 miles of this hike, connecting Murphy Hogback to Murphy Wash, is along the White Rim Road.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Moab
Distance: 9
Elevation Gain: 1,390 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Duration: 6 hours
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Trailhead Elevation: 6,190 feet
Top Elevation: 6,190 feet
Local Contacts: Canyonlands National Park Headquarters in Moab
Local Maps: Monument Basin (USGS), Turks Head (USGS)
Driving Directions: Directions to Murphy Trail

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Apr 2018