Canyonlands National Park: Alcove Spring Half-Hike

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This trail descends along a narrow and slow-going ridge to the canyon floor. Alcove Spring Trail is about 5.6 miles out-and-back, but we decided to set camp about 3 miles in after the difficult downward hike. The views of the surrounding cliffs are spectacular from the whole trail. If you’re afraid of heights or you don’t have good gripping shoes that can stop you on slick rock, this is probably not the best hike for you. My heart was pounding the whole way down, and not because of physical exertion. We lost the trail on the descent near the alcove (photo below) and ended up making our own way, which was probably foolish and far more difficult than needed to be.

Alcove Spring Trail

 

When we reached the bottom floor, we were given a 180 degree of gorgeous land forms. We hiked along the trail while the clouds built-up overheard and the sun sank below the canyon walls. We found a place to set a tent away from the trail and admired the scenery.

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We woke early to watch the sunrise in the valley floor.

 

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When we got back to the top and looked back, our thighs and the view of the canyon let us know that we had accomplished a difficult hike. If you’re coming to Canyonlands National Park for some easier trails, or you’re with kids, skip this. If you want a short but difficult challenge, this is a great hike.

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