Murphy Wash Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"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. 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 have become very popular. In particular, the 100-mile-long 4-wheel-drive White Rim Road that 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. Trail: Good trail most of the way, but very steep and rocky for a half- mile at the beginning and end. There is no water along the trail."
--David Day, Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails (Rincon Publishing).
"Murphy Point is the name given to a mile-long promontory of land that extends westward from the southern end of the Island in the Sky Mesa. It was named after the Murphy Brothers, who grazed cattle and sheep below the point from about 1916 until 1920. For many years the Park Service maintained a road to the end of Murphy Point, but in 1996 the last mile of the road was closed and made into a footpath. Since the road was closed Murphy Point now receives far fewer visitors that any of the other named viewpoints on the mesa, but in my opinion there is no finer place in the park to watch the sunset. If you can arrange to be there at the end of the day your time and energy will be well rewarded. Not only is the view unmatched but you can also enjoy a touch of wilderness, with no road noise and, more often that not, no other people. If you have never experienced a desert sunset from a high canyon rim, alone with only the sounds and smells of nature to distract you, then you really should take advantage of this trail. Just be sure to take a flashlight with you for the walk back. Alternatively, you may want to obtain a backcountry permit at the visitor center and spend a night on the point. Trail: Well marked and easy to follow."
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