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A meteorite crash?

This feature in Canyonlands is unusual and may be the result of a meteorite crashing into the earth... read more

Reviewed October 16, 2018
Thomas F
,
Columbia, Maryland
About an hour walk, nice view

We did the short hike to the first outlook of Upheaval Dome. While the view is "nice", we were not... read more

Reviewed August 19, 2018
swissami19
,
Zug, Switzerland
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Reviewed June 6, 2017

Upheaval Dome is a popular area within Canyonlands National Park where visitors are treated to a range of short and longer hikes and nice viewpoints into what is a genuinely unique geological land formation.

Visitors can reach the Upheaval Dome area at the end of the Upheaval Dome Road after turning off Grandview Point Road in the Island of the Sky section of the NP. From the Upheaval carpark area, there are short hike opportunities to viewpoints into the Upheaval Dome.

From here you can peer into what is most likely a meteorite impact. Interestingly, it is also debated that this might be a salt dome uplift. Evidence for the later comes from the colourful sediment and earth layers which can be seen at this location.

You can view Upheaval Dome well from the 1st and 2nd Crater Overlooks. You can also make your way along the longer Syncline Loop Trail which circles Upheaval Dome and then descends into the crater floor.

The landscape at Upheaval Dome is dramatic and remarkable. The entire area is highly photogenic and easy to appreciate for its unique geological makeup and pure beauty.

Overall, we really enjoyed the short and relatively easy hike to the two Crater Overlooks. This was a nice way to spend an hour in the morning before larger crowds had arrived. We were mostly on our own with only a few other hikers spotted during our visit. During future visits we would try to make time for the longer Syncline Loop Trail to take in more of the Upheaval Dome area.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 5, 2017 via mobile

If it is a crater or something else, scientists do not agree. I don't care, it s beautifull, it is a good half mile walk and you can take a look into the bottom of the crater. If you want you can go to the other viewpoint or even walk around it.

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank hansv245
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 5, 2017 via mobile

The walk from the carpark is short but rather strenous (uphill), but it's worth the effort.
It's unknown wat caused this formation, but it's unlike anything else in the parks of Utah

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank moniquee2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 4, 2017

The truth is, no one knows for sure. Originally it was thought that the crater and dome inside it, located in the Island in the Sky District, were the result of the collapse of a salt dome trapped under the denser rock above (as is known to have happened in nearby Arches National Park) but a detailed study of the rock structure in the 1990s suggests a meteor strike as the cause and the discovery of shock quartz in the area about 10 years ago, almost always associated with a meteor strike, further points to the more recent meteor theory. Whatever the cause, the result is a beautiful deep red and orange crater with a dome of jumbled whitish rocks in the center.

Two separate overlooks of Upheaval Dome are reached by a trail with its trailhead at the very end of Upheaval Dome Road. The first overlook is reached after a moderate climb, which is steep in places, of 0.4 miles (0.6k) and provides a good, close-up look of the crater and dome along with interpretive signs. At this point, one can turn around and return for a roundtrip hike of 0.8 miles (1.3k) or after backtracking just a bit, take the trial further to the second overlook which will result in a roundtrip hike of 1.8 miles (2.9k). The trail to the second overlook climbs up and down slickrock and in some places it is difficult to follow the cairn marked trial with a few places that require a bit of rock scrambling; however, when you do reach the second overlook, you are treated with expansive views of the crater in one direction and some wonderful canyon views in the other directions.

The trail is best in the morning and is quite popular so the parking lot can fill quickly and an early start is recommended.

Date of experience: April 2017
1  Thank Steve1362
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 2, 2017

This hike can get really busy as the trail will not only lead you to the dome but there is a long primitive trail that is quite popular. When you get up to the point to see this dome, you will be amazed at the sheer size of it! From what the park says, the length of the crater this lies in is 2 miles long! It is absolutely amazing and something you need to see. Nice place at the top to sit, enjoy a snack and look at the surrounding structures that make up the park. The trail is for the most part easy to follow and don't worry if you aren't sure as there are plenty of people on it this time of the year.

Date of experience: May 2017
Thank EpicGuy12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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