Spectacular Views from Anticline Overlook

Views of Kane Springs Canyon and more from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Views of Kane Springs Canyon and more from Anticline Overlook

Anticline Overlook is probably my favorite overlook of all the viewpoints in Canyon Rims National Recreation Area (other favorites are the Needles Overlook, Minor Overlook, and Canyonlands Overlook).  It offers several views of spectacular scenery, from canyons and rock formations to the Colorado River and the La Sal Mountains – in only half a mile.  Its biggest downside is that it’s at the end of a very long (only 6.4 miles, but it feels much longer) gravel road.  So chances are this place won’t be overrun when you visit.  But it is low-clearance accessible, and given the views, it’s well worth the drive if you happen to have a few free hours and you’re in Moab or the surrounding area.

Quick Stats

Round Trip Length: 0.5 miles Trail Type: Loop Elevation Gain: 82ft. Pets: No Fees: None
Closeup of the La Sal Mountains from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Closeup of the La Sal Mountains

I happened to visit at a truly spectacular time of day – late afternoon in October.  The angle of the sun is perfect for fabulous photos and enjoying the cliffs that seem to glow in the sunshine.  I’ve also visited in the early morning, and that’s great for views into the canyons to the west.  So you really can’t go too wrong.

Views to the Colorado River and Potash to the west from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Views to the Colorado River and Potash to the west

The path begins next to the registration box (you can also start near the sign, on the path lined with stones that passes by the picnic area, but I decided to do the right side of the loop first and hike counterclockwise).  The path is easy to follow as it wanders across the desert to the canyon rim.

Hiking across the slickrock toward Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Hiking across the slickrock

There are four different viewpoints at Anticline Overlook.  Every one is worth seeing.  To get to the first viewpoint, you’ll need to turn right after about a tenth of a mile and descend (it’s pretty easy to see where to go).  The views up the valley and toward the La Sal Mountains took my breath away!

Views up Kane Springs Canyon to the La Sal Mountains from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Views up Kane Springs Canyon to the La Sal Mountains

Continuing along the path, Viewpoint 2 is about a tenth of a mile later.  Keep your eyes open for OHVs on the road below (Kane Springs Road, among other names).

An OHV on the Kane Springs Road below Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
An OHV on the Kane Springs Road

If you look north, you can also see into Arches National Park.

Closeup of Arches National Park from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Closeup of Arches National Park

Viewpoint 3 is only about 0.05 miles beyond Viewpoint 2 and offers a fairly similar view – I’m not really sure I’d even call it a real viewpoint unto itself.

Views down Kane Springs Canyon from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Views down Kane Springs Canyon

Viewpoint 4 (mile 0.3) offers a definitely different view.  You’re looking west at this point, so you get some great views into the Canyonlands (even toward Island in the Sky, though most of the national park is blocked by the nearby cliffs), the Colorado River, and the settling basins at Potash.

Views into Canyonlands National Park from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Views into Canyonlands National Park

There are two levels to Viewpoint 4.  Signs explain about the Anticline and how potash is made.  It’s all pretty interesting.

Closeup of Potash from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Closeup of Potash

Continue along the trail, which will pass a few picnic tables and finally spit you out back at the parking area, right next to the large sign welcoming you to Anticline Overlook.

Views while hiking back to the Anticline Overlooks parking lot, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Views while hiking back to the parking lot

Round Trip Trail Length: 0.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 82ft. (5,686ft. to 5,7736ft.)

Facilities: Primitive restroom and picnic tables at the trailhead

Fees: None

An OHV descends from Hurrah Pass as seen from Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
An OHV descends from Hurrah Pass

Trail Notes: There are steep (and very tall!) cliff edges along this route.  While the viewpoints have pretty hefty railings, it’s still not a great place for dogs off leash or small children.  I’ve never known even the group members who hate heights to have issues, though.  Fun fact: Anticline Overlook is (more or less) the northern terminus of Bear Ears National Monument.

A brushy penstemon wildflower (I think!) that's past its prime near Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
A brushy penstemon wildflower (I think!) that’s past its prime

Trail ★★★☆☆

Road ★★★☆☆

Signs ★★★☆☆

Scenery ★★★★★

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The moon rises behind the La Sal Mountains - we hadn't planned on staying until moonrise, but we, well, did.  Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
The moon rises behind the La Sal Mountains – we hadn’t planned on staying until moonrise, but we, well, did.

GPS Coordinates for Anticline Overlook

Trailhead: 38.4648400°, -109.6274480° (38°27.89040′, -109°37.64688′ / 38°27’53.4240″, -109°37’38.8128″) (5,710ft.) (0.0)

Viewpoint 1: 38.4657030°, -109.6267270° (38°27.94218′, -109°37.60362′ / 38°27’56.5308″, -109°37’36.2172″) (5,664ft.) (0.15)

Viewpoint 2: 38.4668850°, -109.6274970° (38°28.01310′, -109°37.64982′ / 38°28’00.7860″, -109°37’38.9892″) (5,613ft.) (0.27)

Views to the La Sal Mountains over Kane Springs Canyon, Anticline Overlook, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Views to the La Sal Mountains

Viewpoint 3: 38.4670150°, -109.6277050° (38°28.02090′, -109°37.66230′ / 38°28’01.2540″, -109°37’39.7380″) (5,621ft.) (0.29)

Viewpoint 4: 38.4670150°, -109.6277050° (38°28.02090′, -109°37.66230′ / 38°28’01.2540″, -109°37’39.7380″) (5,733ft.) (0.33)

End: 38.4647760°, -109.6275260° (38°27.88656′, -109°37.65156′ / 38°27’53.1936″, -109°37’39.0936″) (5,711ft.) (0.51)

A jackrabbit hides under a bush near the Anticline Overlook Trailhead, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
A jackrabbit hides under a bush near the Anticline Overlook Trailhead

The gpx file for Anticline Overlook can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.

Download GPX File size: 13.0 KB Downloaded 22 times

(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website.  Thanks!)

Restroom at the Anticline Overlook Trailhead, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Restroom at the trailhead

Getting to Anticline Overlook

From Moab, Utah, drive south on US-191.  After 32 miles, turn right to cross a cattle guard, following signs for Canyon Rims Recreation Area.  The road is paved for the next 23.8 miles.  Turn right onto a road that pretty quickly becomes gravel (there may or may not be a sign for Hatch Point Campground – you’ll pass the campground fairly quickly after the turn).  Drive the gravel road for 6.4 miles to its end at the Anticline Overlook Parking Area (best marked by a prominent vault toilet, though there is also a large sign).

Visual trail map and a (not very good) elevation profile for the Anticline Overlook Trail, Canyon Rims Recreation Area and Bear Ears National Monument, Utah
Visual trail map and a (not very good) elevation profile for the Anticline Overlook Trail. (It’s not very good because GoogleEarth takes the trail over the edge instead of staying on top of the mesa, which the trail actually does.)

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2 thoughts on “Spectacular Views from Anticline Overlook

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