Moab, UT

4 Easy Hikes with Unbelievable Views of Island in the Sky, Canyonlands


If you're looking for stunning views that stretch on for miles, there's no better place to go than the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. No matter which trail you choose, you're greeted with unending views of breathtaking canyons, rivers, and rock formations.

You don't need to bust a sweat to get these incredible views either. Here are the top three easy to moderate hikes you've got to see in Islands of the Sky:
The views from these hikes stretch on for miles.J | Pexels

1. Grand Viewpoint

If you've only got time for a single hike in Islands of the Sky, this is the one do to. Grand Viewpoint is the quintessential overlook that showcases the best canyonlands has to offer.

This brief 2-mile hike is almost entirely flat, meaning you won't have to strain yourself too much for this incredible view. The NPS does caution that the trail is poorly marked in places. But because it's fairly popular, you can usually tell where the trail is by where the hikers are coming from.

Remember to bring plenty of water on this hike. All of Grand Viewpoint is exposed, and if you're attempting this in any heat at all, you're sure to need some hydration.

2. Mesa Arch

Clocking in at half a mile, this easy loop is an excellent way to get beginners and families out on the trail. The Mesa Arch trail takes you down a short loop trail (that you can do in either direction) to the stunning Mesa Arch.

Not only is the arch itself incredibly impressive. It also stands on the edge of a 500-foot cliff. The view from the arch frames Buck's Canyon below, and it expands miles into the distance.

Mesa Arch is also great for photos - whether you're on a family vacation or doing it for the 'Gram. If you frame it just right, you can catch the snow-covered La Sal mountains in the arch's frame.

3. Aztec Butte

Want some history in your nature getaway? Check out the Aztec Butte trail. This short, moderate hike takes you to an overlook where you can view ancestral Puebloan structures called granaries. From the top, you can view several one- and two-room structures that natives originally built in the area. You'll get a sense of just what it was like to live in these ancient times.

The viewpoint from Aztec Butte will also give you an excellent vista of Trail Canyon and the rest of Canyonlands stretching off in the distance.

4. Upheaval Dome

Short but steep, this moderate 1.6 mile hike will showcase what many believe to be the most interesting geological feature in Utah. The Upheaval Dome has confused geologists for decades. There's still a lively debate over just how this unique formation came to be.

What confuses researchers is how rocks that had been buried over a mile underground made their way to the surface of the crater. No one can conclusively say why. There are two main theories, and for the curious adventurer, you can learn more about both leading hypnotheses with a brochure from the visitor's center.


There's no such thing as a bad view when you're hiking in the Island in the Sky district at Canyonlands. Everywhere you look, nature will impress you with incredible rock formations that stretch as far as the eye can see.

If you don't want to bust out the tough hikes, you can still enjoy these vistas too. Which one of these easy hikes will you do on your next trip to Moab?

Get out there and enjoy the outdoors however you choose today! Happy Hiking, my friend.

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I am a travel writer and sustainable lifestyle blogger. As a world traveler, I love giving others tips on budget travel, new cultures, and how to see the planet in a sustainable, ethical way. I also write on being a digital nomad, hiking and outdoor activities, as well as living an adventurous lifestyle.

Santa Fe, NM

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