Grandstaff Trail hike near Moab, Utah
Grandstaff Trail hike near Moab, Utah

Grandstaff Trail hike

Moab and Arches National Park
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Trailhead of Grandstaff Trail hike near Moab, UtahCave along the trail on  Grandstaff Trail hike near Moab, UtahGrandstaff Trail hike in Moab has beautiful canyon viewsRock formations along Grandstaff Trail hike in Moab, UtahGrandstaff Trail hike in Moab is surrounded by beautiful sceneryMorning Glory Bridge on Grandstaff Trail hike in Moab, UtahSlick Rock on Grandstaff Trail hike in Moab, Utah

Grandstaff Trail hike

Distance: 5.3mi
Elevation: 581ft
Time: 2-3h

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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.

Grandstaff Trail hike Map

Getting there

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).

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About

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


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.

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

  • 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.

Comments

Frank M. 1 year ago

We had a great time here. The views are very nice with lots of rock formations along the way.

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Stevie M 1 year ago

Very cool trail. You'll get your toes wet a few times during this hike.

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2h 30m Time Taken
Kitera Sunama 2 years ago

I know if I had the chance I will visit this amazing place again!

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benhilton 2 years ago

Great hike with plenty of shades to rest when you are tired.

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Joe Bart 2 years ago

The views were nice and clear. Great day to hike.

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Mitch Reinwick 2 years ago

Awesome trail with pretty fantastic views. Not very challenging and strenuous. Saw some small children ahead of us.

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applepanda 2 years ago

This place is so amazing at all levels. Good hike with hubby. We will visit this place again.

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subterry 2 years ago

Nice view of the rock formations. You won't get tired because you can rest on the cool shades. Fairly easy hike.

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Queenie 2 years ago

It doesn't pose much of a challenge aside from a few climbs. Your hard work rewards you with stunning scenery.

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Willy G. 2 years ago

Amazing natural sights. It was everything we expected. A little more than we actually thought. It was just incredible.

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12 Comments Show all

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