Hiking at Canyonlands – Neck Spring Trail

Having spent a day in Arches, we turned our attention to the west of Moab to Canyonlands National Park.  Wanting a bit of variety on the trail, we scanned the list of possibilities, and, after doing so, chose the 5.5 mile Neck Spring Trail.

The trail begins a little less than a mile from the Visitor’s Center at the Shafer Canyon Overlook Parking Lot.  This lot is on the left side of the road.  The trail, which begins across the street, descends almost immediately into a canyon, remnants of an old watering trough built in the 1930’s greet hikers as the trail slowly begins to level.

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Upon completing the first mile, a little detour to Neck Spring Wall deemed worthy of a look.  In spite of the lack of water (we were there in early June) the area proved to be a cool shelter from the already oppressive mid morning sun!

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We discovered another watering trough not to far from Neck Spring Wall.

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After three miles, we crossed a dry creek bed, and then ascended a slope made entirely of slick rock.  It was quite a scamper, one where I did not dare to look down, but just kept my focus on the top, which is Island of the Sky Mesa.  I’m sorry to say that Kurt didn’t get any photos of the slick rock ascent; all hands were necessary for the climb!  However, the rock slope is pictured in the background of Sabrina’s “On Top Of The World” shot!

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Hiking around the rim of the canyon was actually kind of mundane, that is, until we crossed the road for the final leg of the hike to the parking lot!

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Always appreciating new areas to explore, I definitely enjoyed the Neck Spring Trail.  However, in order to view water flow and varied plant life, it is one of those trails that would be a better choice in one of the cooler or wetter months, perhaps fall or early spring.  I’m sure we will return to Moab in the coming years; hopefully we can schedule our trip accordingly!

 

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