The Vortex is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gunlock, Utah that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 2.3 miles Elevation Gain: 524 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

views

rocky

scramble

The Vortex features an interesting bowl formed into the sandstone. This trail is also referred to as the Camelback Trail.

hiking
muddy
over grown
snow
12 days ago

hiking
no shade
24 days ago

Wasn’t too hot with the light breeze and hardly anyone on the trail this morning. Very fun!

rock climbing
no shade
rocky
scramble
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Super fun and quick! Really cool natural rock formations.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

perfect place for sightseeing. one of the best hikes I’ve done .

hiking
no shade
scramble
1 month ago

Great views from the top. Trail a bit hard to follow at times especially across some of the slick rock. Some of the scrambles have some exposure but not bad.

hiking
1 month ago

We brought our 4 kids (2-12) on this hike and had a blast. The terrain was beautiful. Had to be careful near the end with the tall and steep slopes. Will hike this again.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing short trail, not too difficult. Great views from the top. Use All Trails map to find your way to the top and don't try to climb straight up to where you see people standing! Lots of people brought their dogs but spent most of their time trying to keep them from falling off the edges. Pretty dangerous drop offs for dogs and kids to keep an eye out.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

This was an awesome hike. The views from the top were breathtaking and we were lucky enough to see all 3 sandstone pools filled with water. Begins with a decline down some lavarocks, a short bit in sand, and then mostly a gradual incline on sandstone to the top. The trail is poorly marked so just keep your eyes on where you see other footprints and use the map guide from here (it was a lifesaver for us!)

hiking
2 months ago

Felt like I was on Mars. It was beautiful. Thankfully there were rock cairns to help guide the way because it’s not marked all that well. Super fun hike though.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

At the top, super view of Dameron Valley. 3 bowls at the top. 2 dry ones and one with water. The trail is not well marked but there are plenty of foot prints. The steps can be steep. We had 3 dogs and our old one (10½ yo golden) had trouble. When you get to the top, climb up the ridge on the right. Trekking pulls are a big help! I consider this hike a workout. It would be hard if you had sore hips, knees, or feet. We saw scat but no snakes or mammals--other than all the dogs (that was fun).

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! A little hard to stay on trail. I really think park service should put up markers. I used all trails to keep us on he track. Very rewarding at end when you reach the Vortex. We brought water, turkey sandwiches, banana and apples! Super cool terrain

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

Great for views and a bit of in incline but not bad all. Great family hike.

hiking
4 months ago

It was hard to know where the trail was most of the time. We did find the vortex, but it wasn’t probably the most direct route. It was very impressive to see and we all enjoyed it- including all 4 of my kids (ages 6-16) and my mother.

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful trail for the family and dog.

hiking
5 months ago

Heads up that the trailhead might not be accessible without all wheel drive if it has rained recently. We just tried to go here but had to turn around because we were afraid of getting stuck.

hiking
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

The road to the trailhead was muddy so we had to park on the side of the road and walk a quarter mile up to the trailhead. We started at the Lower Sand Cove sign and kind of made our way down to the river bed as there was no defined trail path. We scrambled for a bit but most of the trek is up easy to traverse sandstone or sand. The weather was in the 40s but about half way up it got very windy and cold. The Vortexii were filled with water. Amazing views from the top. I would say the thing that makes this trail moderate is some of the scrambling where you need to use your hands and the fact that the trail is not defined. JUST KEEP FOLLOWING THE CAIRNS!!! and use this app ; )

hiking
6 months ago

Good trail with pretty views. It’s quite rocky at times and a little difficult to stay on the path... it’s not well marked. Great moderate intensity, short hike.

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