Upheaval Dome Utah, Canyonlands National Park

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Upheaval Dome

Visitors come to Upheaval Dome for a chance to see one of the most unique geologic wonders in Canyonlands National Park.

  • The Upheaval Dome is a unique geological feature, closely resembling a giant crater. 
  • A scenic overlook is available via a 1.4 mile walk.
  • The dome is located in the Island in the Sky district.

Overview

Located in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park, the Upheaval Dome is a unique geologic structure accessible via a short 1.4 mile hike. The crater housing the dome is approximately 3 miles across. The dome itself is flanked by strangely deformed rock layers. To this day there is still debate over the formation of the strange feature.

Location & Information

Upheaval Dome is located in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. Find the overlook trailhead approximately 6.4 miles south of the visitor center.

Contact Information

Canyonlands National Park
2282 SW Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532
435-719-2313

Hike to the Dome

A scenic overlook of the dome is accessible via an easy 1.4 mile trail. The walk itself will take about 45 minutes, but make sure to budget time to enjoy the scenery.

The Debate over the Domes Origins

Scientists are still unsure of the domes origin. The two prominent theories are:

  • The Salt Dome Theory: A product of ancient seas, the entire area underneath the Upheaval Dome is layered with salt. Pressure from overlying rock would have created a plastic salt flow, much like ice flow in glaciers, which over time, would have create a salt bubble, deforming the surrounding rock. The Upheaval Dome is the result.
  • Impact Crater Theory: 60 million years ago, a massive meteorite with a diameter of approximately 1\3 of a mile could have crashed into the earth at the site of the Upheaval Dome. The impact would have created an unstable crater, where rocks have now heaved upward to fill the void.

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