Island In The Sky Ride

This ride description is extracted from a ride that includes Deadhorse, so ignore distances.

The entrance station is at mile 14.8; pay the $5 fee and proceed. The visitor center is on the right, 1.1 miles later. There are lavatories and a vending machine. Continue into the park. While you may have been unimpressed thus far with the scenery, you cross The Neck at mile 16.6, just 0.7 mile beyond the visitor center, and your perception changes.

As you cross The Neck, look left to see Shafer Canyon, which plunges deeply (and steeply) to the Colorado River below. The elevation here is 5,800 feet. Do not fail to look right, as well, for views of multiple springs and canyons. The road begins to wind and roll across the fanciful landscape. At mile 22.1, turn right to head toward Upheaval Dome. On the right is Aztec Butte, a masterpiece of slickrock. About 2 miles into this road, you will be surrounded by some mighty nature: cliffs on the right, and uplifts and monuments of Holman Spring Canyon on the left. Whale Rock is on the right at mile 26.0. Enter the parking area for Upheaval Dome at mile 26.8. The Dome is directly in front of you — or, more precisely, looming above you. At this point, you can circle through the lot and return to Upheaval Dome Road. Or — better yet — dismount and hike out on Crater View Trail to at least see what’s inside the dome. Geologists have surmised that Upheaval Dome is actually a crater that was formed by the impact of a meteor. The crater is 3 miles across and about 1,200 feet deep.

Return to Upheaval Dome Road for the trip back to the entrance of Canyonlands National Park. The left turn onto Grandview Point Road comes at mile 31.7. Enjoy the winding, gentle descent near The Neck. The visitor center appears on the left at mile 37.9, and the entrance station is at mile 39.0. From here, it is 5.6 miles back to the intersection with S.R. 313.