Top of the World - Utah

Cisco, Utah (Grand) Technical Rating: 6-8

Last Updated: 05-24-2017

Top of the world
Status: Open
Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
Length: 5.5 Miles
Category: Desert, Iconic, Rock
Highest Elevation: 7,036 '
Duration: about 4 hours
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Go: N/A
Connecting Trails:
Entrada Bluffs Road
Nearest Town:
Cisco
Nearest Town w/ Service:
Moab
Nearby Trails:
Dome Plateau to Dome Wash (Route)Onion CreekPolar MesaRose Garden HillDome Plateau Road Dome Plateau Short Cut
Forest Service Road: #
Forest Service / Park District:
Bureau of Land Management / Moab Field Office

Top of the World - Utah Highlights

Highlights: Top of the World - Utah - Cisco, Utah

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.

Read more about our rating system

Video

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

Topo Maps:

GPS Exchange File:

Download

Route Description

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.

1: Entrada Bluffs Trailhead (0.0mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 1: Entrada Bluffs Trailhead Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 1: Entrada Bluffs Trailhead Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 1: Entrada Bluffs Trailhead

Take the fork to the right from Entrada Bluffs Road.

2: Optional Steps (0.3mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 2: Optional Steps Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 2: Optional Steps Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 2: Optional Steps

Easier bypass to the left or straight for the steps.

3: Rough (2.4mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 3: Rough Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 3: Rough Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 3: Rough

Rough section here and throughout the trail.

4: Obstacle - Must Do (3.0mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 4: Obstacle - Must Do Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 4: Obstacle - Must Do Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 4: Obstacle - Must Do

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)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 5: Begin Lollipop Loop - Stay Right for Easy or Left for Hard Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 5: Begin Lollipop Loop - Stay Right for Easy or Left for Hard Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 5: Begin Lollipop Loop - Stay Right for Easy or Left for Hard

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.

6: Optional Lines Obstacles (3.6mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 6: Optional Lines Obstacles Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 6: Optional Lines Obstacles Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 6: Optional Lines Obstacles

Follow up the wide trail with your choice of lines.

7: Obstacle Series (3.7mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 7: Obstacle Series Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 7: Obstacle Series Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 7: Obstacle Series

Follow the wide trail with a choice of lines.

8: Rock Garden (4.1mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 8: Rock Garden Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 8: Rock Garden Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 8: Rock Garden

Follow the trail straight and pick your lines.

9: Top of the World Viewpoint (4.4mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 9: Top of the World Viewpoint Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 9: Top of the World Viewpoint Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 9: Top of the World Viewpoint

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)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 10: Nasty Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 10: Nasty Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 10: Nasty

One big nasty section that will require careful tire placement and picking the line to match your skill and vehicle capabilities.

11: Ledges (5.4mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 11: Ledges Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 11: Ledges Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 11: Ledges

Slight undercutting of ledges requires your attention.

12: Waterfall Obstacle (5.5mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 12: Waterfall Obstacle Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 12: Waterfall Obstacle Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 12: Waterfall Obstacle

Steep and slightly off-camber followed by a small ledge.

13: End of Lollipop Return Right (5.5mi)

Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 13: End of Lollipop Return Right Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 13: End of Lollipop Return Right Top of the World - Utah - Waypoint 13: End of Lollipop Return Right

Return back to the trailhead by going right and the way you came in. The mileage listed for this guide was taken to this point and does not include the additional 3.3 miles back to Entrada Bluffs Road.

Camping and Lodging

Camping & Lodging: Top of the World - Utah - Cisco, Utah

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.

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Todd Taylor

Todd Taylor is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention...

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Questions & Answers

Question:

Do you think a stock 2015 JKU Willys Wheeler would make this trail with an experienced driver? Stock 32" tires, rock rails and a rear Limited Slip differential. I'll be there in early August.
By Evan Siebert on July 19, 2017
respond

Answer:

Waypoint 4 would be the hardest part that is not optional to get to the top. If you did fine over that I would suggest going up the right side of the lollipop and come back down that same way- it's easier . The trail conditions change all the time, so use your best judgement and tire placement. There are a few rough sections along the way you will most likely scrape on. Have fun! The view is incredible!
By Todd Taylor Official Crew on July 19, 2017

Question:

Do you think i can reach the Top Of The World viewpoint by a full stock Dodge Ram and then come back the way i came? Thank You
By Lorenzo on July 13, 2017
respond

Answer:

I personally would not take a stock Ram up this trail. It is a long rough trail and you most likely will ding your underside and probably rear bumper on the way back down.
By Todd Taylor Official Crew on July 13, 2017

Question:

To avoid crowds as much as possible, do you have a recommended time that you would start on the trail? Would you avoid this trail on weekends?
By Marc Nitz Official Crew on June 05, 2017
respond

Answer:

When we mapped this guide for Top of the World we had a very late start, around 11am on a Saturday. There was a steady flow of side by side traffic coming down as we were going up. Coming down we ended up stuck behind a large Club where some members were having mechanical difficulty, which really slowed us up. I would plan your trip around the position of the sun for better and more interesting views.
By Todd Taylor Official Crew on June 05, 2017

Trip Reports

Wp7c

Ryan Boudreau
Official Crew

Offroaded on 05-24-2017

Status: Open

Conditions: Sunny

Trip Report: Top of the World - Utah - Cisco, Utah Trip Report: Top of the World - Utah - Cisco, Utah Trip Report: Top of the World - Utah - Cisco, Utah Trip Report: Top of the World - Utah - Cisco, Utah Trip Report: Top of the World - Utah - Cisco, Utah Trip Report: Top of the World - Utah - Cisco, Utah

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.

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