Grandstaff Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
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.
2-3h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.5 km
Elevation
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.
177 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
10.0
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Grandstaff Trail hike near Moab, Utah

This quintessential Moab trail leads up a tight cliff lined valley to the Morning Glory Bridge, a stunning natural arc spanning 75 m! This mostly level hike has few climbs and plenty of shade, making it great for families in the heat of summer.

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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 75 m  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.

If you want to find other great hikes around Moab and Arches National Park, check out the Delicate Arch Hike, Double Arch Hike or the Dead Horse Point Hike.

Insider Hints for Grandstaff Trail

  • 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.

Getting to the Grandstaff Trail Trailhead

From Moab drive north along the 191 for 4.0 km 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 5.3 km until you reach the signed parking lot for the Grandstaff Trail on your right (directly across from the Grandstaff Campground).

Route Information

  • When to do

    Year Round

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Yes

  • Toilets

    Yes

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Grandstaff Trail Elevation Graph

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Grandstaff Trail Reviews

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