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Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails
by David Day (Rincon Publishing)
Whale Rock is a huge rounded dome of smooth, white Navajo Sandstone that lies half-buried in the sand about 600 yards west of Upheaval Crater. The rock is well named. Seeing it from the road it is easy to visualize Moby Dick breaking the surface of a calm sea, and it begs to be climbed by almost anyone who drives past. The hike to the top is a fun and easy way to spend an hour. Morning is the best time because then the eastern sun makes for a great view across the top of Upheaval Crater. Trail: Easy trail.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Moab
by Stewart M. Green (Falcon Guides)
A fun easy hike up the rounded slickrock dome of Whale Rock offers panoramic views of the Island in the Sky, a narrow mesa lined with cliffs in the northern sector of Canyonlands National Park. The short Whale Rock Trail is a fun hike to the humped summit of Whale Rock, a giant whale-shaped sandstone bluff. It’s good for kids, who can scramble up low-angle slabs on the summit ridge. Keep an eye on the youngsters though, since both sides of the ridge drop off steeply. The trail is easy to follow and well marked with cairns or stacks of stones.
50 Best Short Hikes: Utah's National Parks
by Greg Witt (Wilderness Press)
Whale Rock is a great short hike that delivers a 360-degree panoramic overview of the entire Island in the Sky region. As you drive down Upheaval Dome Road, Whale Rock is easy to spot—it’s the rock that looks like a whale. Is it a blue whale or a beluga? You decide. You can be sure of one thing, though: This is a fun romp for families and kids of all ages.
Hiking Canyonlands and Arches National Parks
by Bill Schneider (Falcon Guides)
A short climb onto one of the most prominent features in the Island in the Sky. If you want a great view of the entire Island in the Sky area, take the short climb to the top of Whale Rock. From there you get a 360-degree panoramic look at the entire region. Plan on spending some extra time at the top to study all the interesting geological formations.
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