Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
70.00 ft (21.34 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
1.80 mi (2.90 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.

Grand Viewpoint Trail is often considered the second most popular trail within the Islands in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park after Mesa Arch Trail. It has arguably the most scenic and diverse views, and is a must-hike for sunset. This is a 1.8-mile flat out-and-back hike along a thin ridge of cliffside at the southernmost end of the park. The trail starts with a paved ADA-accessble path to the overlook. From here the primative trail starts with well maintained rock steps leading to a typical rock and dirt trail. The primative trail then follows the canyon edge, taking hikers to the edge of the "island" that the district was named after. 

Hikers are treated to expansive views. To the east, Monument Valley can be seen for miles with the distant snowcapped LaSal mountains creating a great juxtaposition of geology. Around 0.5 miles into the hike the trail then switches to allow views to the north and west looking into the maze of cliffs created by the Green River. The end of the trail is an excellent spot to watch the sunset. For the average hiker, the short and relatively flat 0.9-mile return trip can be completed before it gets too dark. As with any sunset hike, always come prepared with a headlight.  

As with the rest of the park, there is no water at the trailhead. The hike is quite exposed to the elements and can be a dangerous place during an electrical storm. While not lengthy, it is recommened to bring water along, especially in summer. For those afraid of hights, this may not be the best hike for you. While the trail does give plenty of buffer from the cliff edge, some sections do provide simulatneously amazing and vertigo-inducing views of the massive 1,300-foot drop below.

For the photographers, a standard zoom lens will be ideal. A telephoto can also be helpful to zoom in on specific details in the canyon below. While it will be tempting to take pictures directly off the cliff edge, attempt to capture some foreground interest when available to add a sense of scale and depth.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National or state forest pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Huge vistas. Amazing geology. Ideal for sunset.

Cons

Crowds. Exposed in summer.

Trailhead Elevation

6,100.00 ft (1,859.28 m)

Highest point

6,125.00 ft (1,866.90 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Bird watching
Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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