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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    440 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    13.4 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Murphy Wash Trail


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    Table of contents

    The Murphy Wash Trail is a beautiful subsection of the Murphy Loop in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. This trail has beautiful desert views that change as it drops down into Murphy Wash. The Murphy Wash trail is a great place to go with older kids and explore the beauty that the Utah desert has to offer.

    Route Description for Murphy Wash Trail

    The Murphy Wash Trail is a gorgeous hike in a lovely area of Canyonlands National Park. This trail has a section of steep switchbacks down a vertiginous drop. If you are nervous about heights or are not a fan of elevation changes, this trail might not be the best for you. However, if you are up for the challenge, tie on a sturdy pair of hiking boots and pack along lots of water and snacks before you hit the trail. The desert terrain of the Murphy Wash Trail is absolutely gorgeous. If you’re lucky, you might even see desert wildlife sharing the trail with you. If you do see any wild animals, give them lots of personal space, and do not feed them your snacks.

    From the trailhead, follow the path southwest to a divide, take a left at this first divide. Head down the switchbacks to the second divide; take another left here to follow the wash bed.

    The Murphy Wash Trail will eventually meet up with the White Rim Road. This is the turn-around point for this route. If you want to spend more of your day exploring this area, you can extend this hike by following the Murphy Loop up and along the Murphy Hogback trail back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Murphy Wash Trail Trailhead

    From the Island in the Sky Visitor Center, follow Grand View Point Road for 13.8 km to the Murphy Trailhead on the west side of the road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:


    • When to do:

      March to November

    • Pets allowed:


    • Family friendly:

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Murphy Wash Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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