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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 Onion Creek, 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.
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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.
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 Entrada Bluffs Road. Otherwise, there are 12 improved BLM campgrounds along Highway 128.
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