Skyline Rim Overlook |

Factory Butte

Roadside Attraction Skyline Rim Overlook - Factory Butte Roadside Attraction Skyline Rim Overlook
Factory Butte

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Roadside Attraction
LENGTH: 1+ hours
MAPS: FACTORY BUTTE, UT; SKYLINE RIM, UT

Thu

46 | 22

Fri

42 | 25

Sat

43 | 23

Sun

45 | 20

Mon

45 | 21

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any when roads are dry.
WATER: None

Thu

46 | 22

Fri

42 | 25

Sat

43 | 23

Sun

45 | 20

Mon

45 | 21

View Full Weather Details
A rugged and lifeless landscape.

A rugged and lifeless landscape.

The Factory Butte area is about as close to a lunar landscape as I think you can get on earth! The terrain is sparsely vegetated, grey, rocky, and muted. Though stark, to my eye, it has a unique beauty and is a lovely place to spend some time.

The Skyline Rim Overlook visits the edge of an escarpment where the grey lunar-like landscape around Factory Butte changes to colorful badlands below. It is a dramatic spot with big views. The area east Skyline Rim is home to both NASA’s Mars Research Station, as well as the Burpee Dinosaur Quary.

Note: Good primitive camping can be had at a couple of spots just before the overlook. It can be very windy, though! A great place to. camp in CALM weather.
North Cainville Mesa on the left, Factory Butte on the right.

North Cainville Mesa on the left, Factory Butte on the right.

Getting There

Note: There are numerous side roads to get to the rim. What is described here was the best road when we visited. It is generally a good dirt road. Carefully driven 2wd vehicles can make it to the overlook without much problem in most conditions.

From Hanksville, go west on UT-24 toward Torrey/Captiol Reef about 10.5 miles to between mile post 105 and 106. Turn north here, on the well maintained Factory Butte Road (labeled 6650 East). Reset your odometer. ( 12S 509406mE 4246550mN / N38° 22' 02" W110° 53' 32" ) Stay on the main Factory Butte road as it heads north.

  • 6.05 miles - Side Road on the right. Take this side road, as it heads east. There are a few roads that leave this side road. Stay straight at all intersections as the road heads mostly due east. ( 12S 510251mE 4255587mN / N38° 26' 55" W110° 52' 57" )
  • 8.75 miles - End of the road at and overlook. ( 12S 514122mE 4255994mN / N38° 27' 08" W110° 50' 17" )
Picnic at the overlook on a cold winter day.

Picnic at the overlook on a cold winter day.

Route

The end of the road is the overlook. A few sights to point out:

  • The mountain range to the south across the bad lands is the Henry Mountains. This was the last range mapped in the lower 48, and home to a free roaming bison population. Mount Ellen, the highest peak, is visible from the rim and is 11,522 feet.
  • Due east, across the badlands, the red sandstone area far in the distance is Robbers Roost Country, with the La Sal Mountains visible far beyond.
  • The view to the north is dominated by the sandstone ridges of the San Rafael Swell and eastern reef. A keen eye can pick out Cedar Mountain that sits just north of the San Rafael Swell.
  • Northwest, beyond Factory Butte, is Thousand Lake Mountain.
  • Finally, west, and southwest Boulder Mountain can be seen.

Maps

Printable Maps:
Overlook

12S 514122mE 4255995mN

N38° 27' 08" W110° 50' 17"

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