Link to detailed route page and map click on route title
We had downloaded a trail map from ViewRanger which recommended an anti-clockwise loop. Very glad we took this direction as we had some morning shade, also the feeling of a valley circumnavigating the dome was very strong. Essentially we walked just above a riverbed wash through pinion and juniper woodland which followed the curve of the dome for a couple of miles until we reached a steeper downhill section before descending via a cliff band into the head of the Syncline Valley (lending its name to the trail) where we found a couple of small pools to wet our hats and neckerchiefs. Stunning hike down to this point, hence the large number of photos.
The valley floor was fairly flat and we had a nice path to stretch out our legs after the scrambling we had just done. At about 4.5 miles we came to the camping area and a spur trail up into the crater. This followed a flat river bed wash and was easy hiking. Very glad we took it as it did not take long to reach the green tinged mineral deposits that we had looked down on the other day. Would love to have had more time to explore this area but was aware of the return hike up and our water supplies. As it was our hike was about 20km with about 1,250m of ascent.
After our lunch in shade of some rocks looking down the canyon we returned to the trail junction and took the Upheval Canyon trail back up to our start point. Met a few more groups coming down the canyon this way. This was a much easier trail up, less undulating and no scrambling. We also found pockets of shade to enjoy our fruit treats and (rationed) water, including a ‘hole cave’ that I could recline in!
All in all a stunning hike and a highlight of our trip to the Moab area. See the link below for more info on the Dome.