Lathrop Trail

Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District, Utah 84749

Elevation Gain3,789ft
Trailhead Elevation6,035ft
Elevation Min/Max4404/6126ft
Elevation Start/End6035/6035ft

Lathrop Trail

Lathrop Trail is a hiking trail in San Juan County, Utah. It is within Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District. It is 5.7 miles long and begins at 6,035 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,789 feet. This trail connects with the following: White Rim Road.

Lathrop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This short spur trail drops 500 feet down Lathrop Canyon to finish at the Colorado River. It is the only place on the eastern side of Southeast #2: White Rim Trail where it is possible to get down to the river, and if you have only a limited amount of time, driving the eastern side of the White Rim Trail, including the Shafer Trail switchbacks, as far as Lathrop Canyon makes a pleasant and popular day trip.

This trek allows sufficient time to view the Goose Neck and Musselman Arch as well as have a riverside picnic in one day. Special Attractions: Sandy spur trail off the White Rim Trail; Access to the Colorado River; Shady riverside picnicking. High-clearance 4WDs are recommended, though most stock SUVs are acceptable. Expect a rough road surface with rocks larger than 6 inches, but there will be a reasonable driving line available. Patches of mud are possible but can be readily negotiated; sand may be deep and require lower tire pressures. There may be stream crossings up to 12 inches deep, substantial sections of single-lane shelf road, moderate grades, and sections of moderately loose road surface."

"Most of the trails from the Island in the Sky Mesa to the White Rim Plateau were built during the first part of the last century by ranchers who used the White Rim Plateau as a winter pasture for their livestock. In the case of the Lathrop Trail the rancher's name was Howard Lathrop, a sheep man who moved from Colorado to Utah sometime in the early 1940s. Lathrop's trail was used by him and other sheep ranchers until the 1960s when Canyonlands became a national park.

It was also used by uranium prospectors in the 1950s, and several of their mines can still be seen along the trail in upper Lathrop Canyon. Originally the trail extended all the way down Lathrop Canyon to the Colorado River, but the lower part was made into a jeep road around 1953, shortly after the construction of the White Rim Road. The uranium prospectors used the road to obtain water from the Colorado for their mining operations. Trail: Well marked and easy to follow, but very steep and rocky in one area. There is no water so carry plenty."

"This is a fee area inside Canyonlands National Park. Before you drive the trail, stop at the Islands in the Sky Visitor Center where you will learn about park features, regulations, fees, camping permits, and possible road closures. No pets, wood campfires, or firearms are allowed in the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park. Access to this trail is via the White Rim, which typically takes more than a day to drive. Lathrop Canyon makes a convenient day trip.

It is also slightly more difficult than the White Rim as it descends all the way to the Colorado River. The trail features the Gooseneck Hiking Trail, a spur to an overlook of the Colorado River, and a side trip to Musselman Arch. This trip can also be driven as an extension of the Shafer Trail. This is a very popular biking trail so watch for bikers at all times. Minor rock challenges and narrow sections. Suitable for stock high-clearance vehicles under normal conditions. Check at visitor center for possible rock slides or trail blockages. Route-finding is very easy. Carry at least one gallon of drinking water per person. Summers are hot and dry. Best driven in spring and fall."

Lathrop Trail Reviews

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Great hike (following a brief rain/sleet delay) that offers jaw-dropping views and a great workout. Kudos to the Canyonlands trail crews!

Lathrop Trail Photos

Trail Information

Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District
Nearby City
Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District
Canyonlands National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Musselman Arch
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018