Grandstaff Trail hike
This quintessential Moab trail leads up a tight cliff lined valley to the Morning Glory Bridge, a stunning natural arc spanning 246ft! This mostly level hike has few climbs and plenty of shade, making it great for families in the heat of summer.
From Moab drive north along the 191 for 2.5mi until you reach the first highway junction. Turn right onto the 128 east (this junction is before you cross the Colorado River). Continue along this highway for 3.3mi until you reach the signed parking lot for the Grandstaff Trail on your right (directly across from the Grandstaff Campground).
|When to do|
Out and back
Route Description for Grandstaff Trail
Begin this well signposted trail at the end of the parking lot, where you will find a pit toilet as well as a large sign warning about poison ivy. If you are bringing your furry friend on this hike, keep them close as they can pickup the affecting chemical on their fur or hair and transfer it onto you.
The path remains mostly flat for the entirety of the hike, only gaining a small amount of elevation a couple of times. Additionally the trail is shaded for the most part, making is especially enjoyable on hot, cloudless days. You will follow a stream up the canyon, crossing it several times. None of these stream crossings are strenuous, and all of them have logs or rocks to make sure you don’t have to remove your boots.
At roughly the halfway point, the trail will branch to the left at a fork of two canyons. As you continue you will hike below gorgeous sandstone cliffs with coloured streaks running up and down their faces. Across the canyon, smooth slick-rock formations will be visible. From here there are a handful of short climbs until you reach the Morning Glory Bridge. Towards the end of the hike you will emerge from the shrubs and trees to a slick-rock section. From here the majestic Arch is clearly visible.
The Morning Glory Bridge is a whopping 246ft long, and essentially creates a cave at the end of the Grandstaff Canyon. The cool shade it provides offers a fantastic place to have a break and a snack at the end of the hike! The canyon is named after the cowboy William Grandstaff, a notorious prospector who controlled much of the land around Moab in the 1870s. Return to your car the way you came.
Bring trekking poles to help with the stream crossings if you are unsteady.
We suggest doing this hike near the end of the day, when the light on the rock is the best. There are also nice places to have a picnic dinner right beside the parking lot, looking into the canyon.
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