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greenBlue Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail

  3.9 ( 29 )

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Trail

1.4 mile 2.3 kilometer loop
86% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 278' 85 m
Descent: -278' -85 m
High: 5,801' 1,768 m
Low: 5,626' 1,715 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Megan W

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Weather

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Current trail conditions

All Clear 31 days ago See History
Slightly icy on an incline between first and second viewpoint

Popular runs nearby

View the brilliant colors and mysterious geology of Upheaval Dome from two wonderful overlooks.

Megan W

Features Views · Wildflowers

No biking.

Overview

The out-and-back Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail provides the best views of the dome. This short and rewarding run is a highlight for many visitors to the Canyonlands area.

Runner Notes

This is an exposed trail with no water or shade. Be prepared for desert travel.

Description

From the parking area, follow the wide gravel trail uphill, utilizing rock stairs to gain elevation. The first overlook comes at about 0.3 miles, off a fork to the right. Here, interpretive signs explain the two theories about how this huge crater was formed.

Geologists are not sure, but most think it was caused by a meteorite 500-1000 feet across hitting the earth, causing a crater and then erosion slowly reshaping the land. Another theory is that a thick layer of salt deposited by ancient seas was pushed up through layers of rock creating a salt bubble that eroded away over time. The presence of shocked quartz has led most to believe the meteorite explanation.

After contemplating the enormous forces involved in creating this rough multicolored gash, return to the main trail. If you're pressed for time, you can return to the parking area- the views from the second overlook are not appreciably different from the first one. However, if you want more solitude and decide to complete the trail, continue west along the jagged rim of the crater. At some point, the trail begins to descend over sandstone slabs and you'll need to follow rock pile cairns to stay on track. The trail ends at the second, fenced in overlook next to a large outcropping. Retrace your steps back to the parking area.

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Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 29 votes

#454

Overall
  3.9 from 29 votes
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Rankings

#40

in Utah

#454

Overall
90 Views Last Month
1,682 Since May 16, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

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