Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
473.00 ft (144.17 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.45 mi (5.55 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.

This trail starts from the northern border of the park along Route 18. The trailhead parking is outside the entrance gate, so you have to go to the gate to pay the park entrance fee (self-serve if no attendant).  Leaving the parking area, the trail begins to descend with amazing views of the Whiterocks Cliffs to the right and stunning red rock cliffs in the distance. When the trail becomes steep, you enter an area of some petrified sand dunes with great features. Before and after this section the trail is steep and encounters deep sand. As you near the junction with the Lava Flow Trail you will pass several lava vents as the landscape and rock change from colorful sandstone to black volcanic rock.

Hiking this trail downhill is the best way. With your vehicle at the trailhead, the thought of going back uphill through the deep sand may not be appealing; if so, you can take the Lava Flow Trail out to that trailhead and follow the road out of the park and walk up route 18 back to the Whiterocks Trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Amazing views.

Cons

Deep sand on portions of trail.

Trailhead Elevation

4,197.00 ft (1,279.25 m)

Highest point

4,203.00 ft (1,281.07 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.