Confluence Overlook Trail

Canyonlands National Park - Needles District, Utah

Distance4.2mi
Elevation Gain1,541ft
Trailhead Elevation4,939ft
Top5,123ft
Elevation Min/Max4830/5123ft
Elevation Start/End4939/4939ft

Confluence Overlook Trail

Confluence Overlook Trail is a hiking trail in San Juan County, Utah. It is within Canyonlands National Park - Needles District. It is 4.2 miles long and begins at 4,939 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,541 feet. Big Spring Canyon Trailhead and another parking and the Big Spring Canyon Overlook attraction are near the trailhead. There is also parking. Along the trail there are a spring and a viewpoint. The trail ends near the Confluence Overlook viewpoint.

Confluence Overlook Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails (Rincon Publishing)
David Day
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"Canyonlands, the largest of Utah's five national parks, is neatly split into thirds by the intersection of the Green and the Colorado Rivers. Both rivers have carved thousand-foot-deep canyons through the high surrounding desert, and the view of their confluence at the center of the park is one of Canyonlands? most impressive sights. Both of the famous rivers have now been largely tamed by a series of dams built over the last sixty years, but from this prospective one can still see the same wild scene that John Wesley Powell saw during his historical voyage down the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1869."
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails (Rincon Publishing)
David Day
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"Canyonlands, the largest of Utah’s five national parks, is neatly split into thirds by the intersection of the Green and the Colorado Rivers. Both rivers have carved thousand-foot-deep canyons through the high surrounding desert, and the view of their confluence at the center of the park is one of Canyonlands’ most impressive sights. Both of the famous rivers have now been largely tamed by a series of dams built over the last sixty years, but from this prospective one can still see the same wild scene that John Wesley Powell saw during his historical voyage down the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1869. In July of that year, while his party was camped on the north side of the confluence, Powell and one of his men climbed above the rivers to a point just south of the present day overlook trail. In the following passage, first printed in Scribner’s Monthly in 1875, Powell describes what he saw: "From the north-west came the Green in a narrow, winding gorge. From the north-east came the Grand [Colorado] through a canyon that seemed, from where we stood, bottomless.... Wherever we looked there was a wilderness of rocks- deep gorges where the rivers are lost below cliffs, and towers, and pinnacles, and ten thousand strangely carved forms in every direction, and beyond them mountains blending with the clouds." (The Canyons of the Colorado, reprinted by Outbooks, Golden, Colorado, 1981)"
Hiking Canyonlands and Arches National Parks (Falcon Guides)
Bill Schneider
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"A long, strenuous day hike to a famous landmark, the confluence of the mighty Green and Colorado Rivers. This is a serious hike, but the destination—a sweeping vista of the joining of two great rivers—makes up for any discomfort in getting there. Some sections go over slickrock marked with strings of cairns, but unlike most trails in the Canyonlands, most of this trail is a well-defined dirt path. The NPS has expertly routed the trail through many interesting features, taking advantage of the great scenery along the way."
Mountain Biking Moab Pocket Guide (Falcon Guides)
David Crowell
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"OK, so it sounds tiring and tough. It is. But the payoff—a short hike to see the confluence of the Green and ColorRed-Oh! Rivers—is worth the effort. When the rivers run true to their names, the mixing of color is spectacular. Bring a lock to secure your bike while hiking."

Confluence Overlook Trail Trip Reports

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11/4/2018
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5/17/2010
This trail was awesome! Easy to follow. The Confluence overlook is a great place to eat lunch. And this was our Plan B for the day. Bring plenty of water, obviously.
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Trail Information

Canyonlands National Park - Needles District
Nearby City
Canyonlands National Park - Needles District
Parks
Difficult
Skill Level
Nat Geo Trails Illustrated Map: Needles
Local Contacts
Nat Geo TOPO! Map (USGS): The Loop and Spanish Bottom
Local Maps

Trail Log