Whenever you see the photo of an offroad-ready rig on a sandstone slab jutting out over a glorious-looking red valley, that's this trail. That is right, Top of the World is a famous trail! It is most famous for its challenge and iconic views, let alone being a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail. The inspirational view from the top is going to automatically increase your bucket list to include
, which you will have a birdseye view of as you nest on the perch above. The challenging drive to the top, its 360° view, and the unique photo opportunity make Top of the World a story you will tell for years to come.
Trail Difficulty and Assessment
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
The 6 rating comes from the non-optional ledges at Waypoints 10 and 17. The higher rating is due to the various other options you can take.
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The hardest part of the trail that you
cannot bypass - you have to drive it.
The hardest part of the trail that is
purely optional - you can bypass it.
Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks less than 36" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 36" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 84" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.Read More about our Rating System
Top of the World is a rough and rugged rock crawling trail. It rises in elevation, climbing the Waring Mesa. The trail splits Waring Canyon to the west and Cottonwood Canyon to the east and climbs to a viewpoint overlooking the Onion Creek area. It is an out-and-back trail with a lollipop loop at the far end. As the guide is written, most people travel up the western side of the loop to reach the namesake "Top of the World" viewpoint. To reach the viewpoint, there are several non-optional undercut ledges. A spotter may be helpful your first time running the trail. After reaching the viewpoint, you have the option to take the eastern stem of the lollipop back down. This section will be the toughest and requires experience and/or a spotter. The west side of the lollipop, Waypoints 15-22, is optional. Although still a technical drive, if you avoid Waypoints 15-22, the drive will be less intense.
The trail is suitable for lifted vehicles and, ideally, where the sway bars can be disconnected for travel. Airing-down is a must. Bone stock vehicles will struggle.
When you drive to the photo opportunity location, it is at a slight incline to the point where you cannot see the edge. Do not drive to this point without a spotter. Keep an eye on your children, and certainly no drinking on the trail.
1. Entrada Bluffs Trailhead (0
From Entrada Bluffs Road, turn south onto Top of the World.
2. Rose Garden Hill Trailhead - Continue Straight (0.05
Continue straight at Rose Garden Hill. If you are looking for even more of a challenge, consider doing Rose Garden Hill on your next trip out.
3. Optional Steps (0.29
Continuing straight is the hardest line, and you should take it because this section isn't even close to comparing to the difficulty that lies ahead. If you are struggling here, this is an excellent time to turn around.
4. Optional Obstacle - Stay Right for Paint (0.43
The trail presents another option, but the old worn-out paint marking leads you to the right of the boulder.
5. Campsite (1.09
Top of the World is not considered a camping trail by any standard. However, if you need a spot in a pinch, this one is technically outside the BLM zone, where camping is only permitted in designated spaces. Look to Entrada Bluffs Road for camping opportunities.
6. Rough Stretch (2.4
Top of the World is a very rough trail, and its true rough nature begins to show starting at this point. Many of these sections change over time and after rain. Choosing your line is going to be up to you and your spotter.
7. Must Do Obstacle (2.97
At one time, this was one of the more challenging sections of the trail that was non-optional. Now it is debatable if it's the hardest part or not. The obstacle is two parts. In the lower portion, an undercut ledge is optional, with a more ramp-like ledge off on the driver's side. After driving up the first part, you are faced with a steep pitch slightly off-camber. Make use of 4 low and let the vehicle do the work with the help of a spotter.
Note: when reading trail reviews before December of 2022, this used to be the infamous Waypoint 4 that turned a few people back.
8. Non-Optional Ledges (3.27
Straight up the middle will be the toughest line with a 2' plus tall undercut ledge. Pick and choose your line based on the vehicle's capability.
9. Ledges and Lollipop Start/Finish - Stay West (3.3
Before reaching the lollipop start/finish, there is a section of more ledges that you will climb. The left line proves the most straightforward, with the lines to the right providing more of a challenge. At the top of the ledges, stay right to follow the trail guide.
10. Obstacles (3.5
Another series of obstacles with numerous lines are available in this section. This section will change depending on recent weather and traffic. Most of the tall undercut ledges are avoidable. You may need to zig-zag your way through to avoid scraping the bottom of your vehicle.
11. Blind Optional Obstacle (3.91
Exercise caution, as it is easy to drive straight and right over a 2' tall ledge without seeing it if you are distracted. Veering right will allow you to bypass.
12. Rock Garden (4.04
Pick and choose your lines as you maneuver through this rock garden.
13. Top of the World Viewpoint (4.29
As you come out of the low-lying shrubs and trees, you will approach an open area of slickrock, with the famous "Top of the World" photo opportunity up the slope and in front of you. Before driving up there, surveying it yourself or having a spotter to ensure you don't drive over the edge is a good idea. The slab is also cracked; when you walk to the rocks to the north side of it, you can see where the weak point is, and it is recommended to keep your vehicle behind that point. Views of the La Sal Mountains, Fisher Valley, Fisher Towers, Titan Tower, Onion Creek Canyon, and behind you, have views of the distant plains. The road you see below you is Onion Creek, a mellow trail that is pure sensory overload.
Be patient if you are visiting this trail on a busy day, as this area can get stacked up with folks all looking for the photo opportunity that is so famous.
Option: Returning the way you came is the easiest option back to the trailhead, or for more of a challenge, continue the lollipop loop. The remainder of the guide takes the eastern portion of the lollipop as its return route.
14. Start Lollipop - Drive East (4.3
From the viewpoint, travel east and down a small set of ledges to continue on the lollipop. If you struggled driving up to the Top of the World viewpoint, it's best not to attempt the lollipop as it is considerably more technical and demands experience.
15. Non-Optional Ledges (4.52
On this side of the lollipop, many of the ledges are undercut, making going down much easier than going up. This section of ledges will change daily, and you may want a spotter here.
16. Nasty (4.71
A new driver will look at this nasty and intimidating-looking section and wonder what they got themselves into. Stop for a minute to study the current lines and pick your route down. You may need to zig and zag through portions of this, being careful where your tires are to stay on the rocks and avoid undercarriage damage.
17. Steps, Shelves, Ledges (4.77
Your descent will continue down a series of steps, shelves, and ledges. A newer driver may want a spotter here.
18. Reverse Obstacle (4.95
As you approach this obstacle, a steep ledge is on the passenger side of the vehicle. You may choose to drive across the top to the far edge and make a two-point reverse turn to find the line you and your vehicle can accomplish.
19. Hill Obstacle (5.1
Although by no means difficult, this section will most likely change and prove to be more difficult over time.
20. Ledges (5.33
The last set of ledges will come in a series of upper, middle, and lower ledges. The middle section is the most challenging, and the passenger side line is the better option for lesser-built vehicles.
21. Waterfall Obstacle (5.44
Climb up and wrap around the shallow waterfall obstacle to the last minor ledge of the lollipop loop.
22. End of Lollipop - Return Right (5.47
It is roughly an hour back to the trailhead. Be mindful on a busy day as the return down can take much longer with other vehicles coming up.
Top of the World is not a good camping trail. Dispersed camping is prohibited through the first few miles of the trail. After the no-camping boundary, one pre-existing location exists that you would only want to use out of necessity. For the remainder of the trail, the ground is unsuitable for camping. However, there is designated camping along
Drive north on Highway 191 to Highway 128, and turn right on Highway 128. Drive 29 miles to Dewey Bridge and Entrada Bluffs Road. Turn right onto Entrada Bluffs Road and travel 5.3 miles east to where the trailhead is on your right.
Ran it in a stock '21 JL Rubicon on 33s and '12 JKU on 37s. We were first to the trail, leaving Dewey Bridge just before 9am. Had clear trail, muddy trail, snow and a little ice. Got hung up on the rock coming off the ledge at waypoint 11 with the stock JLR and had to get a small tug off the rock. Otherwise no issues. Ran into several built jeeps on 37s/40s headed up as we were going down and the trail was getting greeeaazzzzy so they were struggled more on some of the obstacles. Otherwise it was a fantastic morning on the trail with great views from the top.
First time I’ve ever wheeled this trail in snow. Was patchy and only an inch or two deep at the beginning, but was 6-8” deep at waypoint 7. We couldn’t make the obstacle with the snow. Turned around but still a fun day on the trail.
Tough trail, incredible views, amazing photo op! Make no mistake, this trail will challenge a stock rig. That being said, if you’ve got a locker or two, a reasonable lift and decent tires, you can make it. Just go slow, pick your lines and be prepared touch a few times when you mess up. We had the amazing good fortune to meet up with a bunch of highly experienced rock crawlers and that made a big difference for our success rate. (Big shout out thank you to Shane & his Rushmore Rock Crawlers family!)
Beautiful trail with plenty of increasingly interesting rocky terrain. Waypoint 4 is significantly dug/washed out vs the review from even two weeks ago. Similarly equipped Tacoma and we were forced to turn around - would not have kept our bumpers even with the skid. Jeeps made it on >33s, only Tacoma that even tried (success) was 35s and a short bed access cab.
Attached photo is the same spot as photo #3 in previous review.
A must do trail in Moab. It takes a little bit to get out there from Moab City. Be prepared for this trail taking most of the day due to its location. Its a fun trail with a lot of moderate obstacles and the view at the end is beautiful. We ran the full trail including the harder eastern section and did just fine in a modded Tacoma TRD OR. ( 3" lift, 33s, full skids, sliders, front bumper, hitch skid, etc).
Definitely a fun trail, the road getting here is rough and monotonous but worth the drive. The trail itself really isn't scenic until you get to the end. the trail overall is probably a 5-6 rating and we did the harder lines listed through everything (8 seems way high for any of it). Trail could be done in a stock Rubi no problem or really most higher clearance 4x4's.
Trail towards top, where it splits not longer has an easy option. Trail is marked as in "restoration mode" and barricades are in place. Extremely capable rigs, say 35s or bigger or maybe near that with help of a winch, sure try. Trail jumped from extra capable rigs to real rock devouring ones with this change.
Beautiful trail with some challenging obstacles. The view at the top is amazing. Rating is spot on. The most challenging obstacle is on the way down going counter clockwise, #10 on the waypoints above, and did require a spotter. Video is Time Lapse (figured I would give it a try since these trails on Moab are so long and take several hours) with a few video segments. Not sure I like it, but it gives you an idea of the entire trail condition as of 4/25/22. Trail is some 30 miles or so out of Moab, so plan on an extra hour+ getting to/from the trail. Took this trail with my '97 TJ with 5" lift, 35's, rear E-Locker, front Tru-Trac and never got hung up or stuck. Lead Jeep on 33's made it without issue as well.
Epic, challenging at times and fun! We ran the trail in our 21 JLRU with 2.5” lift and 35’s. We scraped our trailer hitch on a couple drops and rock sliders in another but the guy who ran it with us in his SR5 4 Runner (on 35’s) needs some repairs on his front bumper. Take your time and absolutely have someone spot you out onto the overlook. Not much scares me but with my manual transmission I was terrified pulling onto it.
Great view and the view at the end is well worth the time and effort. I was surprised by some of the ledges and challenges on the way up but even with my limited abilities and experience, we just took our time and managed just fine!
The payoff is worth it! You really feel like you're on the Top of the World. But it takes work to get there. We ran the loop counterclockwise. The east side of the loop with the obstacle named Nasty is pretty descriptive. It's definitely the harder of the 2 paths. But the trail is not one way, so we encountered traffic coming up that side. If you aren't fully confident in your vehicle or your abilities, stick to the west side. Even that side can be quite challenging, but we did encounter a stock Rubicon that made it. As far as driving up on the overlook, it's pretty wide. Just put your tires in that indentation and you'll be in the right spot for the perfect picture.
We were able to do this trail in a ‘04 Suburban with a 6” lift and 33s and a 2.5” lifted ‘19 Tundra with 33s. Had to do some step building on a few of the ledges, and we did not take the difficult portion of the loop at trails end. It was slow going and a fun challenge for our abilities, even got a round of cheers by a surprised group of tricked-out jeeps at the top.
Rough and rocky!!! But definitely worth the effort. the view at the top is amazing. We did it on a Sunday and pretty much had the trail to ourselves. Saw maybe 10 or 12 other vehicles the entire trip. We are on a 2 1/2 inch lift and 33's..scrappped and bumped on a few spots, but just take your time and should have no problem.
Top of the World is such a great trail. There are a couple minor spots to navigate but really nothing very difficult. The view at the top is well worth it!!! There really aren’t any great views until you get to the top but it is 100% worth running for sure. There are some optional climbs which make it more fun for more well built rigs. Will definitely run it again!
Fun trail with some challenges. Don't think I'd try it in a stock Jeep, not saying it can't be done, but probably more enjoyable with some lift & tires (we're on 35's & 3.5"). This trail is not about the "trail", it's the photo-op at the top. View from the top makes it all worth it! Do TotW and "Onion Creek" on the same day, makes for awsome day!
Did this way back in 2004 in a stock Sport TJ on 30s. Have done it a few times since in my XJ on 31s without the slightest struggle. A limited slip rear diff is all that's needed for an effortless climb. Trail is a weak 3 out of 5, whereas Rose Garden Hill would warrant a medium 4. The view is a solid 5.
This was the first Moab trail I ever did. Definitely had more to it than many online reviews and videos seem to mention/show but well worth it!
I'm in a 2011 Xterra Pro-4x with a 3in lift and 33in tires. Radiator skid but no others and no sliders.
We got through this just fine and barely kissed the trail once. Great ride with an unbeatable view at the end!
Trail was a bit disappointing. Had a couple of technical sections but didn't feel like it was as difficult as it was rated. The trail itself was getting pretty beat up with the mud and people digging it out. Views from the top are amazing but the rest of the trail is not so. Got extremely crowded as the day went on.
Camped at Dewey Bridge and hit the trail at sunrise. Little snow on the sides at higher altitudes. Needed some key tire placement on the way up. Decided to take the back loop on the way down and used the sliders a few times on the NASTY section. Dual lockers were choice.
You must do this trail!! Such an amazing view up top. You really feel as though that rock is going to give way. The trail was a little rough at moments but we took some harder lines.
35s JKU w/ 2” lift
Really enjoyed this trail today! We have a 2020 Wrangler Sport with a JKS 3" lift on 35's. Most places you have a choice of how difficult. We did some nice tall ledges and left a little rubber on the mountain. We decided to take the eastern side of the lollipop down and decided to turn back and go down the other way. Definitely the more challenging side. It was a bear trying to get turned around too! Still a blast and perhaps if my Jeep wasn't a 2020 I would have let the frame slide us down a little. I don't recommend for a stock vehicle, but with careful lines it could be done.
The trail ins't that bad for the most part there is a couple rough spots but the view from the top is pretty amazing. Took about 3 and a half hours to run it from the highway. Not necessarily a trail I would run again as there are a lot better trails in the Moab area and the drive out to Top of the World is a bit longer than you'd expect but overall a good trail.
Having done Steel Bender the previous day, and Poison Spider the day before, we were a bit tired at the beginning of Top of the World. It was an uphill battle the whole way, as expected. Once we reached the top, the views were breathtaking, and well worth the hardships it took to get there. That said, I’m not one for heights, so I stayed further from the edge than most.
We stayed right at the fork going up, and chose to take the same route on our way back down. I find going up to be easier, and this was no exception. If you have the means, this iconic trail is a must do on your trip to Moab.
Day 2 of our first trip out to Moab we decided to venture out to the Top of the World trail and while at the trail, tagged along with a few other Jeeps that were airing down. No issues on the trails for any of us but the trail itself isn't all that scenic until you get to the top! That is your Kodak moment - be sure to carefully navigate your rig out on the ledge for the once in a life time picture at Top of the World.
Beautiful conditions, minimal traffic. Stayed on the right side up and down. Waypoint 4 at mile 3 will give you an idea if you should continue. Beyond this it doesn't get any easier. Made the top in a 2016 F-150 with 2" level and 33 inch tires. Not recommended with a long wheelbase vehicle. Will benefit from a good spotter and very careful line choice. Rubbed my rock rails a few times on the taller ledges but otherwise clearance wasn't an issue.
What an amazing view at the top. We enjoyed a picnic lunch with scenery pictures will never do justice. My stock JKUR made it with no problem. I had to go significantly slower than others that had lifts and bigger tires. Picking the right line is critical. It took us about 7 hours with a leisurely lunch. I will do it again some day but definitely will have a lift. The only issue I had was a lost GoPro.
There is something surreal about parking on the edge of what we call The Top Of The World. However, don't take this trail lightly based upon the possible bravado of a jeeper, or some other "I can do that trail" person. The ledges are steep, and undercut, and the left side of the lollipop going up will certainly get your attention. Going down on the right is pretty fun as well. It can be done the other way, but be ready for heavy spotting, and possibly winching. I have no choice but to give this iconic Moab trail 5 stars for it's finish line, as well as it's interesting trail to get there. The 40 plus mile trip from Moab may seem excessive, but it's worth every gorgeous Colorado Canyon vista that you will gawk at on the drive up. Simply an amazing experience, that should be done at least once.
This was our first trail ran in our new Jeep JLUR. We have 37”s and a 2 1/2” lift and and it was quite intimidating running it alone while half covered in snow, but I think we made it with minimum trouble.. We had to take the left side up because a Nissan Xterra was parked on the right in the middle of the trail and a Land Rover was parked where what looked to be a side bypass. but didn’t know we took the hard route till coming back down in the dark on the right side seemed very easy in comparison. The 2 vehicles were gone when coming back down but they looked to have walked all the way to the top because of the trail of footprints in the snow. Other than the jack wagons blocking the trail it was absolutely breathtaking and we made it just as the sun was setting. For our one day in Moab we took the best trail possible. Can’t wait to be back later this year for some more.
Moab had just received alot of snow. But we didnt drive 6hrs ro hang out at the hotel. The trun off from 128 was snow packed but with tire tracks. Once we started the trail you can tell someone had attempted the trail but fresh snow covered their tracks. Track traction was good until the split off for the right or left side. We decided to stay right due to the conditions. About 50 yards past the split there were no more tracks and we had to break trail the rest of the way. We made it up all the obstacles although they took a few tries. 2 scratched up wheels and a sliced tire that luckily still hold air. We made it to the top with a sense of accomplishment.
Fun trail, waypoint 4 is surely the tough spot. It appears a dozer has been in that vicinity blazing a new trail, though it didn’t appear any easier. The view from the top is well worth the trip up. Not very crowded this time of year, two in our group and we only saw 4 Jeeps and 2 m/c’s. Short days put us hitting Dewey as the sun was setting but we did have a late start on the trail.
I drove Top of the World as an add-on to our Kokopelli Trail adventure, from Moab to Loma/Fruita. Our group included three FZJ80s, one UZJ100, my FJ60, and two Tacomas. The trail is rough and requires good line selection for a "small tire rig" (32x9.5) with open diffs. Totally worth it for the view!
This is a must do once in a lifetime trail with exceptional views and photo ops!!
I'd recommend bigger than stock tires, lift and locker/s a bonus.
Uphill step ups are easier with a good spotter.
Plan on a minimum of 2 to 3 hours to reach the top.
Picnic lunch at the top is mandatory.
Trail is in pretty rough shape. I tackled it in my 17 Tacoma with a 2" lift and 33s. We made it to the top and did it with relative ease but the mandatory obstacle is 'the worse its been it years' says a local guide we passed on the trail. Both myself and my friend (in a 11 4Runner with 32s) got hung up a few times. We backed down and chose better lines and made it up everything after taking new lines. I totally agree with the rating given here but be prepared to be jostled and have a spotter if you want to make it up to the oh so rewarding 'summit'!
This was my first time on top of the world. This trail is an absolute must do while in Moab. There are no words to describe the view from the top. We tackled it in about 7 hours stopping frequently and really enjoying the top. Our crew was all tacomas/4runners on 33's and most with no lockers. I would highly recommend having at least one spotter. Overall its pretty rough, rocky, and slow moving. If you are thinking about doing it, just do it! So worth it!!!
I was glad to have finally done this storied trail. It was a long go, I didn't have much issue with my rig on 35s and a nice articulating suspension, but my buddy in his Taco on 31s really struggled. We did the entire lollipop and it was certainly a much rougher experience coming back down the left side of the lollipop. This trail inspired me to immediately do Onion Creek and explore what I was looking at from the top. Must do "bucket list" type trail here for the view!
Ran this as the start of an adventure route down Rose Garden Hill and towards the La Sal Mountains. My LJ on 37s and dual lockers had no issues with the trail at all. My buddy in a JK on 37s didn't have working lockers that day and was pulling his adventure trailer. He struggled in areas and had to get winched once. He also flopped the trailer on its side once. The trail is pretty rough and as such is a slow drive in 4lo. We managed to get to the photo op section in just over 2hrs.
There was a bit of a crowd up there but there is a lot of open space for parking and waiting your turn.
I will agree that the western side of the loop is a bit easier. If you are looking to make this trail as hard as possible, run the loop clockwise as you will be working uphill against many of the ledges.
This trail is quite a ways out of town, but is certainly a place you should visit at least once in your life.
PS: If you are going to be taking a trailer with you, it's probably a good idea to have lockers.
The view makes the trip worth it! This trail is pretty far out of town, but worth it. When I ran this trail I only had a Rear LSD however had very little trouble at that time. Fun obstacles with a breathtaking overlook. Like an idiot I ran this trail solo do to the fact the other rig we were with abruptly left the morning we were to run this trail. I would not recommend running this trail solo!!!!
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Todd is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever possible. They say necessity is the mother of all invention, which is true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American west to explore were his reasons behind starting Trails Offroad. On any given day, you can find Todd on an obscure 4x4 trail, curating Trails Offroad guides, or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.
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