Lathrop Point

Round Trip Distance: 4.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5969 - 6131 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Lathrop
Fee: $30/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic views

The Lathrop Point Overlook trail is in the Island in the Sky District of the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. The trail leads from the Grand View Point Road to a point that overlooks the Colorado River area to the south. Many great views of familiar sites such as the La Sal Mountains, Dead Horse Point, the White Rim Road and several others can be enjoyed from this overlook.

Besides hiking to the overlook it is also possible to hike down off of the Island in the Sky to the White Rim Road which is 5 miles away and even to the Colorado River some 9 miles distant. If you plan on making either of those an overnight backpacking trip then you will need to pick up a back country permit at the Visitor Center.

The first section of the hike is a moderate trek across the grassy mesa toward the distant rim.

Near the first rim the trail transitions from loose sand to slickrock with some interesting sandstone formations.

The white Navajo sandstone looks like a great sand dune frozen in time.

From the initial rim the trail steps down several flat areas as it works its way toward the overlook which is marked by a large cairn that can just barely be spotted off in the distance.

There are a few spots that require some minor scrambling. Even though the trail gives up a little bit of elevation as it heads out to the point this is the most scenic part of the hike other than the overlook itself.

The trail splits about a quarter mile from the overlook. The branch to the left is the Lathrop Trail that continues down the cliffs to the White Rim and the Colorado River.

The obvious end of the trail is marked by a large cairn and a precipitous drop.

Small sections of the Colorado River can be seen as it snakes its way westward.

Dead Horse Point is off in the distance to the east where at times you can see the sun glimmer off of a cars windshield.

It is usually pretty easy to spot one or two vehicles on the White Rim trail which is very popular with 4-wheel drive enthusiasts.

A hike out to the Lathrop Point Overlook is a nice addition to any visit to the Island in the Sky District. If your plans are to stay overnight be advised that the campground is pretty small and fills up quick. Reservations are recommended. Dead Horse Point State Park also has camping but it too fills up quickly. The one sure bet in this area is the BLM's Horsethief campground. It has about 56 sites. They are cheaper and it usually never fills up. The most popular sites in the Island in the Sky District, Mesa Arch, Grand View Point, Aztec Butte, Whale Rock and Upheaval Dome can all be squeezed into one long day. If you want to add Neck Springs, Lathrop Point or any other good hikes then you will need to plan more time or multiple visits. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.