Lathrop Canyon Trail is a 10.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Moab, Utah that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Length10.6 miElevation gain2,582 ftRoute typeLoop
CampingHikingNature tripsViewsFeeNo dogs
Description
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Getting There

Canyonlands National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $15 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55: https://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm Lathrop canyon is an obscure hike, that few do with great views at the end. First though, you walk a couple of miles through a relatively flat meadow to get there.  Once you get to the overlook below the rim you have the option to continue down into the canyon (and of course, up on the return).

Utah Travel Council, Council Hall, P.O. Box 147420 , Salt Lake City, UT, 84114, Phone: 801-538-1030, travel@utah.com

Directions from Island in the Sky Visitor Center: Travel southward along Utah 313 2 miles to the Lathrop Trailhead on the eastern side of the road.

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Daylight
Reviews (101)
Photos (80)
Activities (70)
Completed (220)
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Anthony L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 9, 2021
HikingScramble

Magnificent trail with great views of the Colorado Canyon. However, also a few frustrating aspects. The trail is essentially made up of four parts: 1. A level dirt trail leading from the parking area to the start of the rim. This part is a bit boring, as others have noted, but it should not take you more than 20 minutes each way. 2. Traverse across a rock formation to get to the edge of the canyon. Watch the cairns carefully and check your GPS - I managed to veer off-course a few times both ways. This section is where you get the best views, although I will say that you are likely facing towards the sun in the morning, which does make the scenery less enjoyable. I recommend to make your way down quickly and stay ahead of the heat. On the way back, take all the time you want to enjoy the vistas. 3. Steep descent into the canyon. This was where progress was slowest for me. Lots of loose rock and scree. Some route-finding skills required - I lost track of the trail once or twice but GPS and using common sense got me back on track. 4. Loop trail in the canyon. It was wonderful to walk among the rock formations although temperatures will rise quickly as you descend. Took me 4:40 to complete this 12.5mi trail.

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Jack Grant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 7, 2021
HikingGreat!

This is a really amazing hike although the first mile or so doesn't appear that way. The descent into the canyon is well marked with cairns and not nearly as scary as it might look from the top. Be careful around any of the cliffs that the trail nears because they are all very far down.

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Ryan Whiteside
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2021
HikingGreat!Rocky

The track file for this trail doesn't depict it accurately. That are much more switchbacks along the mouth of the canyon. Actually the Alltrails map layer shows it better most of the time. That said, there are plenty of cairns to help you out on the switchbacks and other parts of the trail so you don't get lost. I do like the idea of making a loop out of this trail by going in and out of the bottom canyon, however I did not do this due to time as it looked like being in the canyon would be a bit harder. This is a spectacular hike; you won't think so at first but that quickly changes!

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Louie Mau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 7, 2021
Hiking

some tough footing in the middle but very well marked trail. great views!

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Eric & Megan Flores
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2021
HikingIcySnow

Hiked on 12/29. Park was closed. We drove up to the visitors center and parked. We then walked along the road a couple of miles to this trailhead. Only did about the first half mile of this trail but it was great. AWESOME views of the canyon! We did all 5 parks and this one was our favorite (even despite it being closed). There are some great views even just walking along the road and some nice hikes off the road as well. Don’t let the snow scare you off! Spikes are definitely helpful. We got there around 11am and not too many people around. Left about 2:30pm and it was more crowded (sun was out).

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Emily Palmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2021
RunningSnow

Amazing trail!! Really special to go down into the canyon and climb back out. The snow wasn’t on the side where you climb down so the whole trail felt safe.

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Cale Coffman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 20, 2020
HikingGreat!

https://youtu.be/jaOAHSWaNIA After stopping at a few of the lookout points, we parked at this trailhead and did about half of the 10 mile loop. That was more than enough to provide at least a half dozen absolutely stunning canyon overlooks. I believe the remainder of the trail takes you down one of the cliffs into the canyon, which we will definitely do on our next outing! Video is of Utah State Road 128 and the trail hike!

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Jane Violette
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 29, 2020
HikingGreat!No shade

Really enjoyed this hike! Gave it four instead of five stars because while the canyon views are expansive at the top, the loop and overlook into the canyon rim toward the end of the loop are less impressive than the views at the Grand View Point overlook or Murphy trail. Overall a really great trail if you want to hike down into the canyon, look up at the huge rock formations and walk around the canyon for a bit. Started around 6:30 a.m. and made it to the rim before you turn to descend just as the sun was rising around 7:15 a.m. It's a little bit of a journey (length wise) through the field and down some rocks, but worth hiking in the dark/low light to make it to the rim for sunrise. Even if you just hike to the rim and don't go down, it's pretty! The hardest part of the hike looks more overwhelming than it actually is. While it's about 1,000 feet down (and up) in the actual descent, it's a clearly marked trail with steps and cairns to guide you the whole way. I wasn't scared of falling down at any point, as the trail is wide and gradual enough on the edge to give you space. Once at the edge of the loop, we walked along the OHV road for a little bit to get a better view of the canyon and to just see a little more. I think it's worth it for a deeper view but we clocked around 14 miles with the added canyon exploring. I saw some reviews about not being able to find the loop. If you don't go up the trail you went down, the loop takes you through the main wash. It isn't as well marked with cairns but just follow the main wash (and footprints along the trail) and you'll be fine. You have to walk along the OHV trail for 50-100 feet or so but it should be pretty easy to recognize. I'd recommend this trail because it was our second time at Canyonlands. But if you only have one day and want to do a 10 mile hike, go for the Murphy Trail Loop instead.

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Lily Yang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 23, 2020
Hiking

Tough trail coming back. But worth it! Amazing views!

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Liz Goeden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
HikingGreat!

We ended up doing this trail as an out and back because the loop trail took us along an off roading Jeep trail. Amazing hike! You start with the descent and then climb the whole way back. Not much shade on the way up so be sure to bring a lot of water. Lots of beautiful formations and views. Trekked through the canyon for about an hour just exploring!

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Levi Walsh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail into the Canyon, definitely bring lots of water

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Charlie Fischer
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingFee

Hey there is no Starbucks at the end... I tell you what save your money and go to Disney instead... more rides and more fried food

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John Napier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

Was off trail many times. was very hot and I got lost a lot. Was 102 degrees - I got dehydrated for sure. Beautiful landscape. I would wait for another season besides summer.

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Andrew Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
HikingNo shade

Lathrop trail was amazing - I'll start with that. I highly recommend IF AND ONLY IF you do this early in the morning (start at 530-6am) on days where there is extra hot (months June-August).... We started at 745am and finished at 130pm. Bring 4 liters of water minimum. The trail description says 10.6 miles with 2500ft gain - we stayed on the trail the entire time with an alltrails downloaded map and recorded 12.4 miles with 4400ft total gain.

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G Bern H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 11, 2020
Hiking

This is a good hike. Trailhead is small with limited parking and no latrine. The first 1.5 miles is a walk through a field and it's a narrow sandy path. The excitement comes once you hit the rim and start the decline. It's a rocky trail with wonderful views of the canyon. It can be hard to follow the cairns here so pay close attention. I would not recommend this hike for families because of the cliffs / ledges. It does get hot as you go down so start early. Bring lots of water, wear a hat and bring a lunch. Going back up takes awhile in terrain like this. We hiked this trail yesterday and didn't see anyone on the trail so plan accordingly. Shade was minimal coming back up so hike early and on a day with cooler temperatures. This canyon is awesome!

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Jessica Conroy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 29, 2019
HikingSnow

Solitude and views! Did not do the whole trail due to time constraints but wish we could have. Only one car at the trailhead when we started and only saw one group of two hikers the whole time. First mile is a little boring, but only compared to the awesome views after that. I would recommend poles for sure footing in the snow.

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Daniel Codazzi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 23, 2019
Hiking

Absolutely beautiful hike, probably the best for us this year. After 2.5 kn on a flat trail in the sagebrush, you literally dive in the canyon of the Colorado River. Easy trail, very rewarding.

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Mike Oriente
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 9, 2019
Hiking

Grand Canyon like hike. Allow more time than the typical 11 mile hike.

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Hubr Ct
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 21, 2019
Hiking

Amazing trail, we combined this with the Colorado River trail and brought our camping gear to camp in backcountry (with permit) close to the river. Took us about 5 hours to get down to the river and 4 hours to go back up the following day. With good equipment (it gets colder at night) and lots of water, this is a great experience! Not a lot of shade so bring a hat and sunglasses. The view all the way down & up is gorgeous!

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Eric Abrams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 21, 2019
Hiking

Fantastic hidden trail. Hard switch backs, better views than Grand Canyon.

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Andy Eames
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 30, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful views and interesting terrain, just a shame that you share the trail with Jeeps if you go all the way to the river.

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Grady J
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2019
HikingNo shade

Do yourself a favor and save this trail for sometime in the fall or spring. I did it 7/12 and thought I was going to get heat stroke. This is a BRUTAL hike in the heat and even a gallon of water wasn’t enough for me. The views are incredible, but fearing for my life kind of took away from them. I went all the way to the bottom of the canyon (5.3 miles). I never saw a single person on this trail. Use better judgment than me and wait til it’s a bit cooler than 105 degrees to do this hike. It just might save your life. This hike would be tough any time of year, but far more manageable in cooler temps.

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Ron Pashley-Crawford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 17, 2019
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

Views from the overlook section are stupendous over Canyonlands. Only ventured short way down zigzags before returning.

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