Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail
ElevationAscent: 278' 85 m
Descent: -278' -85 m
High: 5,801' 1,768 m
Low: 5,626' 1,715 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)
Current trail conditions
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“View the brilliant colors and mysterious geology of Upheaval Dome from two wonderful overlooks.”— Megan W
Family Friendly TBD
Geologists are not sure, but most think it was caused by a meteorite 500-1000 feet across hitting the earth, causing a crater and then erosion slowly reshaping the land. Another theory is that a thick layer of salt deposited by ancient seas was pushed up through layers of rock creating a salt bubble that eroded away over time. The presence of shocked quartz has led most to believe the meteorite explanation.
After contemplating the enormous forces involved in creating this rough multicolored gash, return to the main trail. If you're pressed for time, you can return to the parking area- the views from the second overlook are not appreciably different from the first one. However, if you want more solitude and decide to complete the trail, continue west along the jagged rim of the crater. At some point, the trail begins to descend over sandstone slabs and you'll need to follow rock pile cairns to stay on track. The trail ends at the second, fenced in overlook next to a large outcropping. Retrace your steps back to the parking area.
Land Manager: National Park Service - Canyonlands