Syncline Loop is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Monticello, UT that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round.
Loop trail around Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands National Park: Islands in the Sky This strenuous backcountry route follows the washes on either side of Upheaval Dome. Spur trails partway around the loop provide access to the center of the crater (3 mi/4.8 km) and the Green River (7 mi/11.2 km.) Total elevation change is roughly 1,300 feet. The north side of the loop passes through a riparian area where water and shade are usually available. There is one designated campsite along the trail.
Pretty adventurous hike! Would recommend going counter clockwise, helps if you start early the first quarter is shaded that way. Be sure to pack enough water if hiking during the summer!!
One of my favorite hikes to date! We did this loop counter-clockwise, which I would recommend if you don't mind doing the longer climb at the end. Also gives you great views entering & exiting the canyon when hiked this way. I thought the boulder fields were fun, and the stretches of sandy washes provided perfect rests in between steep sections.
The park measures it at 8.3 miles and recommends 6-8 hours and 4 liters of water for the hike. My GPS tracker clocked us in at about 8.5 miles, and we busted it out in 4 hours. I could definitely see it taking 6-8 hours in hotter weather or for those who take steep sections slowly and don't plan to haul it in the flats. Overall, really fun hike with great views and a trail that keeps you interested!
This is an both an interesting and challenging hike/ climb. Most of this trail is not level. That is to say that you are not just going up hill and downhill but the path is tilted such that one foot is higher than the other. Some of this is much like walking on a slanted rooftop. Other times there are some pretty steep climbs. It's all good but just be prepared.
Last thing to know is the trail is a couple miles longer than advertised (9+ miles) with more elevation than advertised too (see my track history). The loop itself does not provide views of the interior of upheaval dome so if you are interested in seeing that add another mile to your total as there is a lookout path near the trailhead.
I absolutely loved this hike despite the fact I twisted my ankle twice on the way round. The trail takes you down to the bottom of the canyon then around into the center of an impact crater! There is a camping spot where the three canyons and mouth of the crater meet. I did not get a chance to camp here but it is something on my 'must do list'. I took a right from the trailhead which seemed like a mistake seeing there is a 1500 foot climb out of the canyon floor you have to do at the end of the hike. I feel it'd be easier to make a left, descend into the canyon at once and then climb out over the boulder field section and the ascent up seemed like it would be more tame.
This trail is NOT recommended if you have a fear of heights...which I do and had a VERY difficult time scrambling down the boulder field. Talked in depth with a Park Ranger prior to the hike so we started to the right of the trail head in order to save our knees knowing that other side of the trail was very steep. Now knowing how steep the boulder field is, there's no way I would've been able to climb up that section. The trail is incredibly beautiful but as we were climbing out the steep switchbacks, it felt as if the trail was never going to end.
This is the perfect half day route for the experienced trail runner. I started out by going left on the loop from the trail head; I think this is the preferred route if you would rather descend steeper switchbacks and do some minor scrambling on the descent out of the canyon. It was a little steep for trail running in spots but I was able to keep a good pace. It took me a little under five hours to hike/trail run the entire loop plus the spur trail that goes into the crater of upheaval dome.
need to reserve the only campsite available for months in advance, but several back country permits are allowed each night and can be purchased at the main ranger as you enter Canyonlands coming from Moab. brink lots of water or a way of purifying the spring water which is about half way
The trip down was pretty easy, going back up however was a bit more rough. It involved some light bouldering that was not expected. Did see some Desert Big Horn on the trail which was awesome. Midway through there is a spur that goes into Upheaval Dome, well worth the extra mile walk.