Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Neck Spring Loop (Canyonlands National Park) - 10/11/14

The Neck Spring Trail Area - Taylor Canyon

Remnants of Cattle Ranching before the Creation of the Park

 The Neck Spring Loop trailhead is located in the Schafer Canyon Overlook parking lot in Canyonlands National Park on the Grand View Point Road in the Island of the Sky section. The trail is, perhaps, the only truly moderate trail in this section of the park as the almost 6 miles have relatively small elevation gain. This area was used in the early 1900's for cattle ranching as there are two seasonal springs flowing in the upper reaches of Taylor Canyon here.

Ben and Sue at the Scramble Wall
 The Island in the Sky comes to a narrow "neck" topographically in this area where it was easy to corral cows to one side of the neck. Along the trail, there are several relics of the early ranching.

Resting After the Scramble Wall
Beginning by crossing the road and dropping down into the shallow canyon, the trail then zigzags in and out of the canyon tributaries. It climbs back up a short wall to the upper plateau about 2/3 of the way around the loop. This wall is the only real scrambling required on the loop.

More Ranching Evidence

 On the upper plateau, the trail follows cairns over slickrock back to the parking lot. The moderate group enjoyed this very much as they laughed their way around with John B! Afterwards, a good view of Schafer Canyon and its dirt road should be required! The road is one of few ways to reach the White Rim Road below.

Almost 6 miles; 1300 feet elevation gain; who cares how long it took!

Overlook at Schafer Canyon

Schafer Canyon

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