Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
250.00 ft (76.20 m)
Trail type
1.00 mi (1.61 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.

Whale Rock is a short 1-mile hike in the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park near the more well-known attraction, Upheaval Dome. The trail is named after a natural sandstone rock formation that resembles a whale.

Because much of the hike is on rock, there isn't a beaten path, but it's easy to find well-placed cairns, many of which are cemented to the stone in order to stay in place. To start, the trail wraps around the back of Whale Rock and begins to ascend a steep section before leveling off. Kids can scramble on the rock and other nearby rock formations without the worry of steep drop-offs or long falls. Atop the rock formation are beautiful, unobstructed views of nearby Upheaval Dome to the west and breathtaking canyon views to the south.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Great views. Fun for kids.



Trailhead Elevation

5,700.00 ft (1,737.36 m)


Big vistas
Geologically significant


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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