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Gooseberry Trail and White Rim Overlook - Canyonlands

On the ridge sits the main road bisecting the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. The ridge is seen here from the bottom of Gooseberry Canyon, which can be accessed by the Gooseberry Trail. (Courtesy of Jessica Gottlieb)

 

The Gooseberry Trail is a difficult hike due to its loose footing and steep descent and ascent, but it will take you off the park's beaten path and show you some of the park's geology. From the trailhead, you quickly descend into Gooseberry Canyon on switchbacks for almost a mile. Then the trail enters a much more gradual ascent that takes you through dry washes with the occasional juniper or pinyon pine tree. The trail ends at White Rim Road, but just beyond the road is a steep cliff with its own great view. You also will see a backcountry camping site in the distance to the southeast. Remember, you need to ascend back to the trailhead. At the trailhead, if you still have energy, make the 1.8-mile round trip to the White Rim Overlook to look down on where you just hiked.

Getting there: From the visitors center in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, follow the main road south for 12 miles. Turn at the sign for White Rim Overlook. The trailheads for the overlook and Gooseberry Trail are next to each other.

 

-- Nate Carlisle/The Salt Lake Tribune

Region: Canyonlands

Destination: Gooseberry Trail's destination is White Rim Road; the overlook is the destination on the trail to White Rim Overlook

Distance: 4.8 miles

Time: 5 hours

Elevation Gain: 1,5339 feet

Dog Allowed: No

Restrooms: Yes

Biking: N/A

Difficulty: 5
 

 

First published 2010-08-29