Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
452.00 ft (137.77 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.90 mi (4.67 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Amphitheater Loop Trail is an easy 3-mile hike located northeast of Moab up Highway 128. It begins at the Hittle Bottom Campground and loops through the Richardson Amphitheater. This wide valley (amphitheater) along the Colorado River is named after Dr. Sylvester Richardson. He and his wife Mary Jane had a homesteaded in the area in the 1880s. Other ranchers and settlers started moving to the area and Richardson essentially started a little community by building a general store, soon to be followed by a post office and even a school. Today the Richardson Loop Trail takes hikers through the heart of the amphitheater and offers scenic views, including one of the Colorado River from the highpoint of the trail.

Parking for the loop is available at the campground. Cross over the highway (be sure to look for oncoming traffic!) and soon arrive at where the trail splits into the loop. If hiking counter-clockwise you’ll then come to a short spur trail that leads to a viewpoint.

Continuing onward the trail follows near a wash until climbing steeply up a gully and reaching the top of a ridge. This is the most challenging part of trail as the climb is fairly steep and it can be possible to lose the trail if not paying attention.

Once the climb is behind you it is smooth sailing down the ridge all the way back to the trailhead. You’ll have a great view of the Colorado River during this stretch as well.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Fairly short and easy. Few people.

Cons

More scenic hikes in the area.

Trailhead Elevation

4,099.00 ft (1,249.38 m)

Highest point

4,505.00 ft (1,373.12 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Wildlife
Family friendly
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

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