Cave Spring Trail

Monticello, Utah

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A hundred years ago the cattle and sheep business was probably the most important industry in the West. That was also a time when there were virtually no laws governing where sheep and cattle could graze, and ranchers were constantly seeking new pastures for their animals. It was around 1890 when they first began bringing livestock into what is now Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands was extremely remote at that time. Just to get to the pastures often required a 2-3 day ride, and cowboys frequently had to stay in the backcountry with the herd for months at a time. To make life a little more pleasant for the cowboys a series of camps were established throughout the area, and in the Needles District the Cave Spring Camp was one of the most important. Today the Cave Spring Camp is still largely intact, and it offers a fascinating insight into what a cowboy's life was like in the early 1900s. The camp was first established around the turn of the century, but after 1918 when the Indian Creek Cattle Company was formed it gained particular prominence. Within ten years the company had become the largest cattle operation in Utah, with its headquarters at the Dugout Ranch just 15 miles east of the national park. Trail: Well marked, easy to follow.
Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

A hundred years ago the cattle and sheep business was probably the most important industry in the West. That was also a time when there were virtually no laws governing where sheep and cattle could graze, and ranchers were constantly seeking new pastures for their animals. It was around 1890 when they first began bringing livestock into what is now Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands was extremely remote at that time. Just to get to the pastures often required a 2-3 day ride, and cowboys frequently had to stay in the backcountry with the herd for months at a time. To make life a little more pleasant for the cowboys a series of camps were established throughout the area, and in the Needles District the Cave Spring Camp was one of the most important.

Today the Cave Spring Camp is still largely intact, and it offers a fascinating insight into what a cowboy's life was like in the early 1900s. The camp was first established around the turn of the century, but after 1918 when the Indian Creek Cattle Company was formed it gained particular prominence. Within ten years the company had become the largest cattle operation in Utah, with its headquarters at the Dugout Ranch just 15 miles east of the national park. Trail: Well marked, easy to follow.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Monticello
Distance: 0.6
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 15 minutes
Season: Year-round, best spring and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 4,950 feet
Top Elevation: 4,950 feet
Local Contacts: Canyonlands National Park
Local Maps: USGS The Loop
Driving Directions: Directions to Cave Spring Trail

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Apr 2018