Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,063.00 ft (324.00 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.10 mi (4.99 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 Portal Trail to Portal Overlook is a steep and rocky hike, gaining around 1,000 feet of elevation in just 1.5 miles. The payoff is well worth the effort however and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Colorado River, Moab Valley, La Sal Mountains and even Arches National Park.

The hike begins from Jaycee Park Campground, where there is a vault toilet and dumpster available as well as 7 nice tent campsites. The first stretch of trail is easy going and runs parallel to Utah Scenic Byway 279. Just shy of the half mile mark you’ll come to a trail register, be sure to sign in here before you carry on.

From this point onward the intensity gets turned up a notch as the trail turns very steep and rocky. For the most part the path is easy to follow, but there are a few areas where it can be easy to get off course. Be sure to look ahead and scout out where the trail goes next.

After gaining about 1,000 feet of elevation in just over a mile, you’ll reach the Portal Overlook. This is arguably the finest view of any hike near Moab. You’ll be able to see the gorgeous La Sal Mountains in the distance, the city of Moab, and the Colorado River. A keen eye can even spot several arches within Arches National Park to the north.

For those looking to explore further, the Portal Trail does continue onward past the Overlook and offers a dramatic hike with steep drop offs on one side and the same fantastic views. Otherwise, return along the trail the way you came back to the parking area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Colorado River views. La Sal Mountains views.

Cons

Steep and rocky trail.

Trailhead Elevation

3,992.00 ft (1,216.76 m)

Highest point

4,899.00 ft (1,493.22 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Vault toilet
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

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