The longer hiking trails at the Island generally begin on the mesa top and descend via switchbacks to the White Rim bench. A few trails continue down to one of the rivers. Most are considered strenuous, with an elevation change of 1,000-2,000 feet, and require negotiating steep slopes of loose rock as well as sections of deep sand. Water is scarce in most areas. Trails are marked with cairns (small rock piles).
Elevation: 6,200 ft.
Length: 10.8 mi/17.4 km round-trip
Start: Murphy Point Trailhead
A few miles of hiking on the mesa top leads to a steep descent down a cliff face to a bench where the trail divides. One fork continues along Murphy Hogback, a slim mesa with great views of the White Rim Formation and the surrounding canyons. At Murphy camp, hikers follow the White Rim Road south for about a mile, then follow a rock-strewn wash back up onto the hogback. At-large backpacking only. No water.