Ernie's Country

Hanksville, Utah

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No one now remembers who Ernie was, or how Ernie's Country got its name, but this part of the Under the Ledge country has long been a favored grazing area for sheep and cattle. From 1919 until 1944 it was used by the Chaffin family as a pasture for their cattle. It has not been grazed since 1944, however, and since then it has recovered to near pristine condition. The two springs along this trail, Lou's Spring and Clell's Spring were both named after members of the Chaffin family. They were developed by the federal government during the 1930s as a WPA project. This hike is often done as an overnighter with a camp near Clell's Spring or Lou's Spring. Clell's Spring, 6.8 miles from the beginning trailhead, is relatively close to the halfway point on the trail, but unfortunately the campsites near Clell's Spring are not nearly as nice as those near Lou's Spring. The hike described below begins at the Ernie's Country East Trailhead, near the Dollhouse, and ends at the west trailhead 4.2 miles south of the Wall Camp. Try to get an early start so the sun will be low and behind you as you walk through Main Flat at the beginning of the hike. This area is particularly pretty early in the morning. If you aren?t able to arrange a shuttle and you plan to begin and end your hike at the same trailhead I suggest hiking in from the west trailhead. In my opinion the most interesting part of the hike is the western portion.
Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Canyonlands National Park: Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

No one now remembers who Ernie was, or how Ernie's Country got its name, but this part of the Under the Ledge country has long been a favored grazing area for sheep and cattle. From 1919 until 1944 it was used by the Chaffin family as a pasture for their cattle. It has not been grazed since 1944, however, and since then it has recovered to near pristine condition.

The two springs along this trail, Lou's Spring and Clell's Spring were both named after members of the Chaffin family. They were developed by the federal government during the 1930s as a WPA project. This hike is often done as an overnighter with a camp near Clell's Spring or Lou's Spring. Clell's Spring, 6.8 miles from the beginning trailhead, is relatively close to the halfway point on the trail, but unfortunately the campsites near Clell's Spring are not nearly as nice as those near Lou's Spring. The hike described below begins at the Ernie's Country East Trailhead, near the Dollhouse, and ends at the west trailhead 4.2 miles south of the Wall Camp. Try to get an early start so the sun will be low and behind you as you walk through Main Flat at the beginning of the hike. This area is particularly pretty early in the morning. If you aren?t able to arrange a shuttle and you plan to begin and end your hike at the same trailhead I suggest hiking in from the west trailhead. In my opinion the most interesting part of the hike is the western portion.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Hanksville
Distance: 10.7
Elevation Gain: 1,150 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 7 hours
Season: Year-round, best spring and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 5,120 feet
Top Elevation: 5,320 feet
Local Contacts: Canyonlands National Park
Local Maps: USGS Spanish Bottom, Elaterite Basin
Driving Directions: Directions to Ernie's Country

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Apr 2018