Whale Rock

Whale Rock winding into the distance above the Island in the Sky district. Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Distance: 0.4 miles (one way)

Type: Out and back

Difficulty: Moderate

Water: No

Kid-friendly: Yes

Dog-friendly: No

Whale Rock is a moderate 0.4 mile hike in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park, bringing hikers to the top of a sandstone fin with 360 degree panoramic views. It’s one of the short and sweet hikes in the park with a big reward at the end.

Whale Rock Trail Description

From the trailhead, begin heading up toward the towering sandstone fin along the trail and into the juniper and pinyon pine forest. Begin looking for cairns to guide you through the quickest and easiest route up. The cairns will take you through petrified sand dunes on your way up, until you emerge high on top of the sandstone with jaw-dropping views in every direction.

Getting There

From the Island in the Sky entrance station, head south on the main road for 6.3 miles, turning right onto Upheaval Dome Road. Follow that for 4 miles and turn right into the Whale Rock parking area.

Elevation Profile for Whale Rock
Elevation profile for Whale Rock in Canyonlands National Park
Elevation and route courtesy of Route Scout

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