Panoramic views from the "Island" can be enjoyed from any point along the rim; you'll see much of the park and southeastern Utah. Short hiking trails lead to overlooks, Mesa Arch, Aztec Butte, Whale Rock, Upheaval Dome, and other features. Longer trails make steep, strenuous descents from the island to the White Rim 4WD Road below.
Elevations on the island average about 6,000 feet. Bring water for all hiking, camping, and travel on Island in the Sky. No services are available, except at the visitor center in emergencies (bottled water is sold).
Stop here for information about Island in the Sky and to see exhibits on geology and history; books and maps are available for purchase. The visitor center (435/259-4351, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily late Oct.-mid-Mar. except for some winter holidays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily mid-Mar.-late Oct., telephone reservation information available 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) is located just before the neck crosses to Island in the Sky.
From Moab , go northwest 10 miles on U.S. 191, then turn left and drive 15 miles on Highway 313 to the junction for Dead Horse Point State Park . From there, continue straight seven miles. Many of the park's plants are grown and identified outside the visitor center; look also at the display of pressed plants inside the center.
The Lathrop Trail (13.6 miles to White Rim Road, 21.6 miles to Colorado River, round-trip) is the only marked hiking route going all the way from Island in the Sky to the Colorado River. The trailhead is on the east side of the main road, 1.3 miles past the neck. The first 2.5 miles cross Gray's Pasture to the rim, then the trail descends steeply, dropping 1,600 feet over the next 2.5 miles to White Rim 4WD Road . Part of this section follows an old mining road past several abandoned mines, all relics of the uranium boom; don't enter the shafts, as they're in danger of collapse and may contain poisonous gases.
From the mining area, the route descends through a wash to White Rim 4WD Road, follows the road a short distance south, then goes down Lathrop Canyon Road to the Colorado River, another four miles with a descent of 500 feet. Total distance for the strenuous hike is nine miles one-way, with an elevation change of 2,100 feet. The trail has little shade and can be very hot.
At the road junction just past the Mesa Arch Trailhead are spectacular viewpoints. After 2.5 miles, a rough dirt road turns right and goes 1.7 miles to Murphy Point. Hikers can take Murphy Trail (10.3 miles round-trip), which begins off the road to the point, to White Rim 4WD Road. This strenuous route forks partway down; one branch follows Murphy Hogback (a ridge) to Murphy Campground on the four-wheel-drive road, and the other branch follows a wash to the road one mile south of the campground. A loop hike along both branches has an elevation change of 1,100 feet.
Energetic hikers can reach Upheaval Dome  from the parking area at the overlook or from White Rim 4WD Road below. Syncline Loop Trail (8.3 miles round-trip) makes a strenuous circuit completely around Upheaval Dome; elevation change is 1,200 feet. The trail crosses Upheaval Dome Canyon about halfway around from the overlook; walk east 1.5 miles up the canyon to enter the crater itself. This is the only nontechnical route into the center of the dome. A hike around Upheaval Dome with a side trip to the crater totals 11 miles; it's best done as an overnight trip. Carry plenty of water for the entire trip; this dry country can be very hot in summer. The Green River is the only reliable source of water. From near Upheaval Campsite on White Rim 4WD Road, you can hike four miles on Upheaval Trail through Upheaval Canyon to a junction with the Syncline Loop Trail, then another 1.5 miles into the crater; elevation gain is about 600 feet.
Small Willow Flat Campground (no water, open year-round, first come, first served, $10) is near the Green River Overlook. Rangers present campfire programs here from spring through autumn. The 12 sites often fill, except in winter; a sign near the visitor center indicates when they the campground is full .