Upheaval Dome Trail

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

Distance0.8mi
Elevation Gain136ft
Trailhead Elevation5,698ft
Top5,808ft
Elevation Min/Max5692/5808ft
Elevation Start/End5698/5698ft

Upheaval Dome Trail

Upheaval Dome Trail is a hiking trail in San Juan County, Utah. It is within Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District. It is 0.8 miles long and begins at 5,698 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 136 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. The trail ends near the Upheaval Dome second overlook and Upheaval Dome first overlook viewpoints. This trail connects with the following: Syncline Loop Trail.

Upheaval Dome Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Upheaval Dome is one of the most interesting geologic formations in Utah. At first glance the unusual circular structure appears to be a large crater, but geologically it more closely resembles an ancient dome. The strange formation consists of a huge circular pit, about a mile in diameter and 1,100 feet deep, surrounded by concentric rings of uplifted rock that were originally deep under the surface.

What kind of natural force could account for such a structure? Volcanic forces often cause both uplifting and cratering, but it is highly unlikely that Upheaval Dome was created by a volcano. There is no evidence of volcanism anywhere in the area, and none of the rock in or around the dome is volcanic."

"A short, steep hike to get the best view of perhaps the most
interesting geological feature in Utah. This is a great way to observe and study the geological wonders of the Upheaval Dome area without taking the arduous 8.3-mile Syncline Loop. In fact, you get a better view of the mysterious crater from this short trail."

"This hike—part loop, part out-and-back overnighter—is in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, 23 miles southwest of Moab. The route offers the only access to the radically distorted and colorful rock interior of Upheaval Dome, as well as outstanding views of canyon country and the Green River."

"The trail leads to two overlooks on the south rim of spectacular Upheaval Dome, possibly a giant meteor crater, on the west side of the Island in the Sky. The Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail climbs to two different overlooks perched on the south side of Upheaval Dome, one of the most dramatic natural features at Canyonlands National Park.

Hikers can go to both overlooks for a 1.8-mile round-trip hike or just to the first overlook for a 0.8-mile hike. The trail is easy to follow, has generally low-angle grades, minimal elevation gain, and no drop-offs except at the fenced second overlook. Part of the second section of trail crosses slickrock pavement and is marked by cairns or rock piles."

"Upheaval Dome is one of the most interesting geologic formations in Utah. At first glance the unusual circular structure appears to be a large crater, but geologically it more closely resembles an ancient dome.

The strange formation consists of a huge circular pit, about a mile in diameter and 1,100 feet deep, surrounded by concentric rings of uplifted rock that were originally several thousand feet under the ground. What kind of natural force could account for such a structure? Volcanic forces often cause both uplifting and cratering, but it is highly unlikely that Upheaval Dome was created by a volcano."

Upheaval Dome Trail Reviews

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7/1/2008
Portions of the trail can be somewhat strenuous(uphill), especially if you continue on to see the backside of the upheaval dome(the same view from the other side) Essentially its believed an underground dome was formed forcing the soil to rise. Its a unique natural occurence, but not the most exciting views in the canyonlands park. My rating is based on other trails in the area.
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1/2/2006
Very nice hike, picturesque landscapes, easily accessible from the parking lot. If you want to spend more than 45 minutes walking, just keep going to the second observation point, which will give you a nice view of the crater from a different perspective.
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Upheaval Dome Trail Photos

Trail Information

Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District
Nearby City
Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District
Parks
Canyonlands National Park, 2282 SW Resource Blvd., Moab 84532; (435) 719-2313 or (435) 259-4351 for backcountry information; www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm
Local Contacts
USGS Upheaval Dome, Moab Trails Illustrated Explorer
Local Maps