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Anticline & Needles Overlooks

The Anticline Overlook is in an isolated area rarely visited by most travelers, but that is too bad because it offers expansive views of the canyonlands of Moab.

View of the Anticline Overlook in Utah near Moab
At the Anticline Overlook, you will be standing opposite the viewpoints at Deadhorse State Park and Canyonlands National Park Islands in the Sky district.
The view is westward overlooking the state park and the national park, to the north, you will be looking over Hurrah Pass and the Kane Creek Anticline where the area takes its name.
You can see all the way to Arches National Park to the east over Hunter Canyon and to cap it off is the backdrop of the La Sal Mountains.
There are multiple sites to see once you have made your way into this area. Looking Glass Rock is an arch you can climb up into located near the northern exit from highway 191.
The major attraction is the Anticline Overlook, nearby is the Minor Viewpoint and another viewpoint worth stopping at is the Needles Overlook. Rockland Ranch is an interesting community of houses built into the rock base of a large butte, worth a stare.
  • There are two entrances off the highway about 10 miles apart, this is a great couple of hours diversion if you are traveling north or south to or from Moab on Highway 191, entering at one of the entrances from 191 and exiting when done at the other to continue on your way.
Getting there
  • North Entrance
    Heading south from Moab on Highway 191 for 24 miles, turn right onto Looking Glass Road (Country Rd 131) ( 38.301965, -109.395114 ) for 2 miles to Looking Glass Rock on your left. Continue for 16 miles on Country Road 106 to the intersection of 132 ( 38.257259, -109.581074 ) to the Anticline Overlook or an optional stop along the way, the Needles Overlook (14 miles out and back). From here it is another 16 miles to the Anticline Overlook.


  • South Entrance
    Heading south from Moab on Highway 191 for 34 miles, turn right onto the Needles Overlook Rd (Country Rd 133) ( 38.170399, -109.379029 ). Continue for 15 miles to an optional stop along the way, the Needles Overlook (14 miles out and back). From here it is another 16 miles to the Anticline Overlook.
Anticline Overlook Map
Looking Glass Rock ( 38.278109, -109.405033 )
You can walk up to it from the road and into the window for views. Rock climbers do a free air repels off the back side through a keyhole slot. On the east side of Looking Glass Rock is an inscription with the name of Pacomio Chacon who was a relatively well-known sheepherder and artist that left his mark in stone at various locations in Utah and Colorado. On the west side of the rock is an image of a señorita. The view of Looking Glass Rock from the road
Looking Glass Rock arch
Rockland Ranch
This off-the-grid polygamy Mormon community consists of houses, big and small some quite grand built into the sandstone rock face at the base of the 500 ft tall butte. It was founded by Robert Foster in 1979. The residents own the site and operate it as a nondenominational religious community.
Rockland RanchHouses built into Rockland Ranch Butte
The Anticline Overlook
The overlook takes about 1 1/2 hours to get to from Moab by road, but you’re actually only about 5 miles away from Moab when standing at the overlook. An anticline is an uplifted fold in the rock layers. Typically anticlines are rich in minerals and petroleum deposits with most of the world’s petroleum being found in anticlines.
From the parking area it is a quick uphill walk to the multiple viewpoints with panoramic views of the landscape below and across from you. You are directly in front of the viewpoints of Canyonland National Park Islands in the Sky District and Dead horse State Park seeing the landscape from the opposite direction.
The beautiful infrastructure of the viewpoints is striking knowing that very few people ever stand here to enjoy what you are seeing. Looking down into the canyons below you are the jeep trails of Hurrah Pass and Lockhart Basin Road. The anticline is not hard to miss, the earth seems to bend dramatically behind the Potash plant on the other side of the Colorado River.
Approaching the viewpoint built at the Anticline OverlookThe amazing panorama view of the Anticline OverlookThe view toward Canyonlands national parkThe overlook
Minor View Point
A quick detour is the nearby minor viewpoint you pass on the way to the anticline overlook, a loop road around a round rock mound with views out over the canyon. It is named after a person not the view.
The road out to Minor View PointThe view from Minor View Point
The Needles Overlook
I’ve read more than once that the Needles Overlook is less spectacular than the Anticline Overlook, but I would say it’s just a different landscape and worth the side trip since you’ve already made the long journey out here.
It is an easy paved road and a nice stop to do either coming or going to the Anticline Overlook.  The views from here are still worth the time, these are free and due to the isolation, you will almost always have the views all to yourself.  There are multiple views on short gravel walkways from the parking lot and it’s worth visiting most of them.
The Needles OverlookThe Needles OverlookThe vast landscape as seen from The Needles Overlook

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