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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.
    40 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    1.3 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

    Whale Rock Trail

    Whale Rock Trail

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    Table of contents

    The Whale Rock Trail is a fantastic little hike with incredible views. The hike up this sloping sandstone structure is so much fun for adventurous kids to climb on, play around, and conquer. The views from the top are absolutely stunning—the top of Whale Rock gives you a 360-degree look at the desert landscape of Canyonlands National Park.

    Route Description for Whale Rock Trail

    The Whale Rock Trail is a short hike up a sloping fin of sandstone shaped like a big beached whale. Leave the flip-flops at home for this one—this hike has a good incline and grippy shoes are definitely an asset for both the ascent and the descent.

    The views from the top of the Whale are absolutely breathtaking. With a 360-degree panoramic view of Canyonlands National Park, you and the fam will be able to play I-Spy to your heart's content. For an especially spectacular experience, give this hike a try at sunrise or sunset; although, no matter when you go, we promise that you’ll have a whale of time!

    From the trailhead, follow the cairn-marked path for 0.6 km up to the top of the whale.

    Soak in the incredible views before turning around and following the same path back to the trailhead.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How tall is Whale Rock?

    Whale Rock is 46 m tall.

    Insider Hints for Whale Rock Trail

    • Wear grippy shoes on this hike to help on the ascent and descent
    • This hike is a lot of fun for kids (and grown-ups)
    • For other cool hikes in the area, check out Upheaval Dome via Crater View Trail

    Getting to the Whale Rock Trail Trailhead

    From the Island in the Sky Visitor Center, head down Grand View Road for 10.3 km then take a right onto Upheaval Dome Road. Follow Upheaval Dome Road for 6.4 km to the Whale Rock Trailhead.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:


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    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Whale Rock Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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