White Rim Overlook, Island in the Sky: White Rim Overlook Trailhead, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

White Rim Overlook - 1.9 miles

Island in the Sky: White Rim Overlook Trailhead

The White Rim Overlook

The White Rim Overlook

Round-Trip Length: 1.9 miles
Start-End Elevation: 6,275' - 6,137' (6,280' max elevation)
Elevation Change: -138 net elevation loss (+172' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

White Rim Overlook - 1.9 Miles Round-Trip

The White Rim Overlook Trail is located 11.4 miles from the Island in the Sky visitor center in Canyonlands National Park. It runs .95 miles along a high, thin mesa over Monument Basin with expansive views of the White Rim, Colorado River and La Sal Mountains.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The trail is best lit in late afternoon, with views that extend nearly 270 degrees across the Colorado River gorge. This short trail is family friendly, and a recommended alternative to crowded drive up viewpoints:

The trail begins on open slickrock, and the path is not immediately obvious. Look 50 yards past the trailhead sign at approximately 1 o’clock to find the Gooseberry – White Rim Overlook trail split sign.

Here it clarifies in a diversely vegetated brush flat with emerging views down either side of the narrow mesa, which extends east toward the gorge.

Follow cairns over slickrock to a knobby point at the end of the mesa (.95 miles : 6,137’). Peer down on White Rim Road, and out over countless canyons, spires and basins that comprise the landscape.

The White Rim Sandstone Member lines an extensive inner-canyon terrace located between the Island mesa top and Green and Colorado river gorges.

It was deposited 245 – 285 million years ago during the Permian Period, blown here from sands on the shore of an ancient inland sea. It has a bleached-white, cross-bedded appearance that’s frequently exposed on canyon rims and caprocks.

The 100 mile White Rim Road loops across the eponymous formation with revelatory views of the Park’s inner canyons and river gorges.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N38 19.371 W109 50.969 — 0.0 miles : White Rim Overlook Trailhead
  • N38 19.226 W109 50.530 — .5 miles : Transition from brush flats to slickrock
  • N38 19.205 W109 50.099 — .95 miles : White Rim Overlook

Worth Noting

  • Exercise extreme caution on these exposed ledges. Keep children under control at all times.

Rules and Regulations

  • There's a $25 fee per vehicle to enter Canyonlands National Park (defined as private passenger cars with 15 people or less). Passes are good for 7 consecutive days.
  • $15 per motorcycle.
  • $10 per person (walk or bike).
  • Dogs are not permitted on trails in Canyonlands National Park.

Directions to Trailhead

The White Rim Overlook Trailhead is located on Grand View Point Road, 11.4 miles from the Island in the Sky Visitor Center.

Contact Information

Canyonlands National Park

2282 SW Resource Blvd

Moab, UT 84532

Island in the Sky District: 435.259.4712

Backcountry Reservation Office: 435.259.4351

Park Administration: 435.719.2100

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


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