North Trail

Hanksville, Utah

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North Trail, which descends from North Point into Elaterite Basin, was one of the first trails to penetrate the Under the Rim country. The first known person to use the trail was a sheep rancher named John Boline who was using Elaterite Basin as a winter grazing pasture as early as the 1890s. The story goes that when he brought his sheep up from Under the Ledge each spring he would roll rocks onto the trail so other sheepmen couldn?t find it. At that time there was no Bureau of Land Management and no laws governing grazing on public land. Many of the ranchers did not even own any land of their own, and success was heavily dependent on finding pastures that the other ranchers did not know about. Under the Ledge was ideally suited to sheep, and by the 1930s sheepmen had penetrated nearly every canyon in the area. By the time the Taylor Grazing Act was passed in 1935 it is estimated there were at least 15,000 sheep grazing Under the Ledge. After the 1930s cattle ranching became more prominent, and eventually the sheep ranchers disappeared altogether. Trail: Primitive, but well marked by cairns.
Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

North Trail, which descends from North Point into Elaterite Basin, was one of the first trails to penetrate the Under the Rim country. The first known person to use the trail was a sheep rancher named John Boline who was using Elaterite Basin as a winter grazing pasture as early as the 1890s. The story goes that when he brought his sheep up from Under the Ledge each spring he would roll rocks onto the trail so other sheepmen couldn?t find it.

At that time there was no Bureau of Land Management and no laws governing grazing on public land. Many of the ranchers did not even own any land of their own, and success was heavily dependent on finding pastures that the other ranchers did not know about. Under the Ledge was ideally suited to sheep, and by the 1930s sheepmen had penetrated nearly every canyon in the area. By the time the Taylor Grazing Act was passed in 1935 it is estimated there were at least 15,000 sheep grazing Under the Ledge. After the 1930s cattle ranching became more prominent, and eventually the sheep ranchers disappeared altogether. Trail: Primitive, but well marked by cairns.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hanksville
Distance: 12.4
Elevation Gain: 1,422 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 7.75 hours
Season: Year-round, best spring and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 6,506 feet
Top Elevation: 6,506 feet
Local Contacts: Canyonlands National Park
Local Maps: USGS Gordon Flats, Elaterite Basin
Driving Directions: Directions to North Trail

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Apr 2018