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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.
    497 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    13.8 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.
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    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

    Syncline Loop


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    Table of contents

    The Syncline Trail is a worthy challenge for experienced adventurers. This hike has lots of steep scramble sections over rugged terrain as it circles the incredible Upheaval Dome formation. If you want to split up your time along this trail, there is a lovely campsite at the midway point for use with a backcountry overnight permit.

    Route Description for Syncline Loop

    The Syncline Loop is a fantastic route for experienced hikers. This trail is steep and scrambly with lots of ups and downs over varying terrain. Good, supportive footwear is an absolute must for this route and hiking poles can be a huge help. Bring lots of snacks and more water than you think you’ll need to fuel your hike along this trail. We strongly recommend starting this loop early in the morning and giving yourself plenty of time to complete your hike. If you do start later in the day, bring along a reliable headlamp or flashlight in case you finish in the dark.

    The Syncline Loop is a worthy challenge for experienced hikers and will give you a solid workout as you navigate your way over the diverse terrain. For the prepared person, this hike is tons of fun. Steep scrambles and bouldery sections will make you feel like a nimble mountain goat conquering the desert landscape.

    From the Upheaval Dome trailhead, follow the path to the left to hike this loop clockwise. 4.8 km in, you will reach a fork, take a right to head towards the Syncline campsite and then take a left at the campsite itself to continue along the loop. Approximately 7.1 km later, you will find yourself back at the Trailhead.

    Just up the path straight across from the trailhead is the Upheaval Dome Trail. If you have the energy, it’s worth it to take a peek at this geological wonder. The first viewpoint overlooking the Upheaval Dome is just a quarter mile up the trail.

    Trail Highlights

    Upheaval Dome

    The Upheaval Dome is a strange geological formation: a rock dome surrounded by a craterous moat spanning 5.5 km. There is debate over what caused this formation, but there are two main theories. The first is that the upheaval dome was caused by molten salt bubbling up under the earth and pushing the overlying rock into a dome-like formation. The other, more popular theory is that The Upheaval Dome was created by a meteorite impact approximately 60 million years ago.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you camp along the Syncline Trail?

    Yes, camping along the Syncline trail is permitted at the designated campground. Campers must have a backcountry overnight permit that can be obtained from the Parks office or online here.

    Insider Hints for Syncline Loop

    • Proper footwear is essential for this route, hiking poles are strongly recommended.
    • Give yourself lots of time to complete this route, the challenging terrain can make this hike slow-going.
    • This hike is easier to do in the clockwise direction.

    Getting to the Syncline Loop Trailhead

    From the Island in the Sky Visitors Center, follow Grand View Road south for 10.1 km then take a right to head west on Upheaval Dome Road. Follow this road for 7.7 km to the Upheaval Trailhead, this is the starting point for the Syncline Loop.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:

      Syncline Campsite

    • When to do:


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    Syncline Loop Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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