Murphy Trail Loop is a 10.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Moab, Utah that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until November.

Distance: 10.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,614 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

views

wildlife

scramble

closed

no shade

This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options. Descends into canyon, crosses Murphy's Hogback to White Rim Road, then returns via Murphy Wash.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! Was happy with the recommendation from a ranger at the visitor center. Only saw a few other people on a beautiful day in March.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked early February. Gorgeous day, almost nobody in the canyon, breathtaking views. The descent and ascent were a little tricky for us, with some ice and snow. The 7 miles on the bottom mostly flat. Will definitely do it again!

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked Christmas day. There is a fresh coat of snow on the ground covering the first few miles, which makes the entire experience better. Due to my perennial late start, I only hiked part of the loop, about seven miles in total. Each part was awesome in a different way. There is a section of snow going down into the canyon. I had yaktraks and poles and felt very safe. The way back up was easier than expected, or perhaps more aptly ''a breeze''. Cairns are plentiful and well placed though I did manage to walk right past the descent into the canyon and had to backtrack. I also noticed that this would be a nice place to do some bouldering. I will be back for just that purpose.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

Contrary to what most people on this page said, the ranger recommended taking the wash down (and the hogback up) to avoid walking up on the sand. I have to say that we were grateful that we had listened to him. The end of the wash also offered a beautiful view (we forgot we were supposed to turn onto the road and kept walking). The most challenging part was the descent from the mesa -- at first, we could not even figure out how they managed to fit a trail on that steep slope. Going back up was actually easier than we had anticipated. The thing we really liked about this hike is that it breaks down the Island in the Sky area into its individual components and gets you to experience "views within views" (for lack of a better expression).

hiking
11 months ago

This was awesome. I decided to take the advice of some reviews and only hiked Hogback to the campground and then headed back. The views of the basin from the campground are amazing!! So worth the hike. And quiet. I saw maybe 5 people the whole time on a Saturday. It was tough, though. I didn’t realize that I’d be switchbacking down the side of a cliff for a mile. When I saw where the trail was headed, I was like “Are you kidding me?” But it’s really not too bad if you just pay attention and watch the cairns. This was a hike I’ll remember. Bring lots of water and sunblock!!

11 months ago

Did this some years ago and it was spectacular. Heading to Moab with my GF and her daughter and will do it again.

Thu May 16 2019

This was hands down the best and most beautiful hike I have ever done! Everywhere you look is beauty and something new! It is no joke though. Climbing in and out is ruff, but amazing!

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
Sun May 05 2019

hiking
no shade
Fri May 03 2019

Beautiful loop! Take time to take in the views from all angles, but remember to stay off bio soil. Bring plenty of water; no shade and no water sources. Go counterclockwise at the fork for more of a challenge. Toilet half way at Murphy Hogback campsites. Little bit of a scramble going down and back up the canyon.

Thu May 02 2019

Hiked this today May 2nd and was great. Suggest going down the hogback and up the wash. The wash up was not that bad with some some shade if leave early am. We left 7am and did loop in 4 hours and was about 10.8 miles. Just a note when you get to the end of the hogback trail take a left on the road and follow through camp and down the road for 1.3 miles before seeing Murphy trail sign on left that takes you up the wash. The way down is steep and intense so watch your step. Good hike and like lathrop one of best in islands of sky.

hiking
Sat Mar 30 2019

Wonderful hike. Really loved the views. We did the loop with Hog Back first and then the wash. The views after the campground going down the road were worth the loop vs. a there and back. We started at 8:20am and did not see any hikers until our hike up so a fairly secluded hike if you start early. Not too hard and could be moderate for regular hikers. I gave it 4 stars due to the loose rocks at the start of the descent, easy to twist an ankle if not careful. Felt we needed to watch our step more than the trail or view.

hiking
Wed Jan 23 2019

If your looking for something really challenging I would look elsewhere. The only fun part was the rim ridge and a few spots down in the canyon. I only did 7.3 miles of the hogs but it was still interesting views.

Mon Oct 22 2018

Nice hike. Agree with the others that suggested just doing the hogback as an out and back instead of the loop through the wash.

Sat Jun 09 2018

We did the hike in early June. It was pretty hot. We did the wash first and came back hogback. The wash is really boring. I think the next time we do the hike we just make it an out and back using hogback only. The White Rim Road is okay to hike on, but also not that exciting. The Syncline trail is much better.

Sun Apr 01 2018

Fantastic hike on Easter Sunday with temperatures in low seventies. Definitely not for those afraid of heights. When you get to the rim it’s hard to believe you can hike down to the wash. A ton of fun. We did the loop clockwise, which worked for us as you gain part of the elevation halfway through the loop. A little confusing when white rim trail forks off. GPS feature works great.

hiking
Sun Mar 25 2018

Great hike! Not for those afraid of heights. We decided not to follow the other reviews and head down the hogback and up the wash. I didn't really notice a difference, other than the amazing views hiking out on the ridge. The views the switchbacks were amazing! It was fun scrambling over the rocks down (and back up) the switchbacks. Very unique for even the experienced hikers.

Thu Nov 23 2017

Yes, like the other review said.. Do the wash first. 3 miles uphill in the sand is no fun,

hiking
Tue Nov 21 2017

The description says to hike the hogback 1st and the wash on the way back, but it think it's better to do the wash 1st. That way the climb back up to the top isn't as bad.

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