Distance: 1.6 miles (one way)
Type: Out and back
Water: Yes (at Visitor Center)
The Big Horn Overlook Trail is an easy 3.2 mile round trip hike beginning from the Visitor Center in Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah. It passes through gorgeous high desert scenery before bringing hikers out to a remarkable overlook of Shafer Canyon on the west side of the park.
Big Horn Overlook Trail Description
From the Visitor Center, begin by hiking up the West Rim Trail, which will bring you up a hill before crossing the main road. The next short stretch will bring you along the outskirts of the Kayenta Campground, so if you’re camping here, you can also use this as your starting point.
The West Rim Trail maintains a gradual descent from the campground, and as you reach the fork for the Big Horn Overlook, the descent will steepen for a short while. It soon enough levels out and maintains a more gradual descent until it reaches the rim. Once at the rim, the trail will navigate its way both near the rim, and a little bit off of it. As you get closer to the overlook itself, cairns will guide you over the slickrock and sandstone.
Once at the Big Horn Overlook, you’ll bounce over large Navajo Sandstone mounds filled with waterpockets before staring down into Shafer Canyon. It’s a fantastic view that deserves the easy hike in and is well worth soaking in. Enjoy the view as long as you’d like and when ready, hike back the way you came in or enjoy a bit more of the West Rim Trail.
From the Dead Horse Point State Park entrance station, head down the main road for 2 miles and park in the Visitor Center parking lot on the left.