Top of the World - Utah
Cisco, Utah (Grand) Technical Rating: 6-8
Last Updated: 05-24-2017
Entrada Bluffs Road
Dome Plateau to Dome Wash (Route), Onion Creek, Polar Mesa, Rose Garden Hill, Dome Plateau Road , Dome Plateau Short Cut
Bureau of Land Management / Moab Field Office
Top of the World - Utah Highlights
Top of the World is one of the most famous off-road trails in Utah. Its 360° view and the unique photo opportunity it gives you are worth the tough drive. Whenever you see the photo of a rig on a slab of sandstone jutting out over a cliff, that's this trail. If you are brave enough to drive your rig to the edge and get the photo, you have bragging rights for a very long time. Even if you do not do this trail for the famous photo opportunity, the views are unparalleled looking down on the one of a kind Onion Creek Canyon and looking over Fisher and Titan Towers.
Technical rating: (6-8) Moderate-Difficult
Heavy rock and/or severe ruts. Rocks exceeding hub height frequent. Shelves to 12". Deep mud or uphill mud sections. Steep grades to 25 degrees and can be loose or rocky. Water crossings may exceed 30" in depth. Side hill to 30 degrees. One vehicle wide. Body damage possible. Experience needed. Vehicle Modifications helpful.
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Directions to Trailhead
From Moab, drive north on Highway 191 to Highway 128, 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.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates:
38° 46' 13.81"N
109° 14' 58.98"W
GPS Exchange File:
Rising in elevation climbing the Waring Mesa, the trail splits Waring Canyon to the west and Cottonwood Canyon to the east. It is an out and back trail with a lollipop loop forming at the far end. The eastern side of the loop is more difficult than the western side. The road surface is consistent with small ledges and shelves, some which are undercut, and many protruding rocks. One main obstacle stands which turns many of the ill-equipped vehicles back.
Notes: 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.
4: Obstacle - Must Do (3.0mi)
Turn right and uphill with two lines. Go straight here to bypass this obstacle and take on another. These obstacles will change weekly due to traffic and weather. There is no bypass here and this obstacle denies stock vehicles from going further.
5: Begin Lollipop Loop - Stay Right for Easy or Left for Hard (3.3mi)
The lollipop loop begins here. For the harder path up to the viewpoint turn hard left/east or stay somewhat straight for the more common route.
9: Top of the World Viewpoint (4.4mi)
When you reach the wide open space, this is the viewpoint. Views of the La Sal Mountains, Fisher Valley, Fisher Towers, Titan Tower, Onion Creek Canyon and behind you have views of the distant plains. Return here the way you came is the easiest option, or for more of a challenge continue the lollipop loop. The remainder of the guide is taking the eastern portion of the lollipop as its return route.
10: Nasty (4.8mi)
One big nasty section that will require careful tire placement and picking the line to match your skill and vehicle capabilities.
Camping and Lodging
Dispersed camping is prohibited through the first few miles of the trail. There are no pre-existing camps or suitable locations along the trail and it would be difficult to set up camp where camping is technically allowed. However, there is designated camping at Waypoint 5 on Entrada Bluffs Road. Otherwise there are 12 improved BLM campgrounds along Highway 128.
Questions & Answers
Offroaded on 05-24-2017
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.